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On an old question with no accepted answer, the user sees a "start a bounty" link/button:

After clicking this they get the following:

My suggestion would be to move the "What is a bounty?" link outside of the "start a bounty" box. I can see a user being afraid to click "start a bounty" because they don't know what a bounty is, and they don't realize that clicking the button brings up another menu (as opposed to starting the bounty immediately).

You may also want to change "What is a bounty?" to simply "What's this?". That seems to be how most other "cool" sites are wording it nowadays. And everyone wants to be like the cool kids.

Edit: Here's a mockup of what I was thinking:

enter image description here

Another suggestion was made by dbr below.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I guess the reasoning for this is to make it stand out from the other buttons (the ones on every question..)

That said, it really should be above the comments at least:

Bounty button below comment

Edit: Actually, putting the bounty along side the edit/close/delete buttons isn't too bad - mock-up:

moved bounty button mockup

Edit v2: Oh, I misunderstood your question! I agree with your point about new users maybe not clicking the "start a bounty", unless they already know what it is.. That said, programmers are typically pretty curious, and I would guess most people would wonder what this green link is..

A simple ? after the URL might be enough for the less curious, and wouldn't take up much space:

A ? after the bounty link

An alternative idea (one that wouldn't add more link-clutter to the page) - you would get an alert the first time your question goes unanswered for 2 days, saying "You can now start a bounty for [question name]"? You would click the question-link, and see the green bounty button?

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good idea. i was just saying that i think users who don't know what a bounty is might not even click on "start a bounty" and see that there is a "what is a bounty" link. –  Kip Jul 11 '09 at 1:05
    
img links broken –  Brad Gilbert Jul 11 '09 at 2:01
    
Brad: They're fine again. Imageshack were having.. problems: it.slashdot.org/story/09/07/11/1430249/… –  dbr Jul 11 '09 at 19:56

I can see a user being afraid to click "start a bounty" because they don't know what a bounty is, and they don't realize that clicking the button brings up another menu (as opposed to starting the bounty immediately).

There is a well-established UI convention (for desktops, anyway; less so for the web) for operations which ask for confirmation or provide more details before actually performing an action: the ellipsis. Adding one would reduce this fear without cluttering up the page as much as an extra link:

add comment

start a bounty…

(The Web as it was designed has its own version of this convention: links should never have side effects whereas buttons may; but that's more of a lost cause.)

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very good point! –  Kip Apr 12 '12 at 14:53

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