Best position for Reply button in vertical timeline

Continuing discussion from here.

I’m also in the “Reply button should be at the bottom” camp. I also think there’s no need to show two Reply buttons. Here are some mockups:

Right-align all the things:

Just dock the Reply button

Transition from vertical to bottom reply button

Either the vertical button could just disappear at the end, while the bottom reply button is always there. OR, we could get fancy, and make it so that when the vertical reply button reaches the bottom, we swoosh :dash: (aka animate) it over to the left.


I agree, I think it is too much in your face right now.

I like the swoosh version feels more natural

Is the fancy “swoosh” helpful? What’s the benefit of moving it from the right, underneath the timeline to the left with the other buttons?

I like the idea of removing the current Reply button at the bottom (on desktop) if there’s a duplicate at the bottom of the timeline, which I also like. It seems simple enough to just leave it there when you’ve reached the bottom. You know where it is while you scroll and it doesn’t move on you in any way. It’s always where you remember it to be.

I think a swoosh might get visually distracting after a while. :worried:
Unless that is the point to encourage replies. But even then…


I’d vote for reply in the bottom!

If that so, why not a dashed box annotating clicking this area will pop out the composer? That would be much more visible and probably easier for plugin to hook up with

Reply button at the bottom makes sense as the reply will be posted at the end of the timeline. It should be clear that a reply would be a reply to the topic, not necessarily to the specific post that the reply button happens to be next to at the time.

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I’m rather partial to the right-aligned bottom design, since it maintains a visual grouping of the topic-related buttons despite them being split into two areas.

That being said, the original mockups appear to display the “Watching” dropdown alongside the Reply button and I think that would make it even better

@probus and @Yuun you may wish to make your case for button moving here. I don’t have strong feelings about this so whichever case is more compelling, is fine with me.

Oh, right. So, I don’t have much to say beyond what was in the original post, but basically:

  • It’s more consistent with Discourse’s typical button layout (reply is always on the bottom of posts, topics)
  • My attention/cursor tend to be on the bottom half of the screen, so it’s more in focus for me
  • It makes some sense to have it after the timeline, since it’s read->post (ideally), and also as @Chili said earlier you’ll be adding to the end of the timeline with your reply

That said, it’s certainly not a live-or-die thing, and having had the buttons at the top for a bit now… I’ve gotten used to the layout and like it pretty well.


FWIW at this stage, I really appreciate @erlend_sh starting this topic. I’d prefer to see it move down - where it is now feels wrong and after a week I am still not used to it. I like all of the ideas, in this order of preference: docked, right aligned, :dash: swoosh.

Not sure where to express this, but I also am missing the “reply as new topic” link in the right gutter and would like to see it return in the UI. At the very least in the ... post menu where anyone might find it, maybe using a right arrow icon? And a ctrl-click or long click on the reply button?

One proposal that was recently revived by @erlend_sh is this one:

(Which I quite like myself still)


I am strongly in favor of:

  1. Move the buttons to the bottom of the timeline
  2. Do not “swoosh”, just let them rest at the bottom aligned with the other buttons.
  3. Remove the existing Reply and Tracking buttons
  4. Remove the extra “pinned/unpinned” text and align that button too

Like so:


Okay, let me say I agree with moving them to the bottom, but

what the heck is THIS?

“Something else” is not the right choice here tyvm

OK, I am convinced! @eviltrout can you move reply and notification state to the bottom, and put the admin wrench (if the user can see it…) at the top?

Eh, I think there’s some value in duplicating the controls, for consistency with mobile (which has no right gutter, remember) and also to give people two places to find the functionality. A little bit of duplication is good, sometimes.

Here’s a crazy idea, look for the other #ux topic already dedicated to that? Just a thought :wink:


Okay, deploying now!


On mobile I think it’s worth considering making these controls sticky too, either inside the other progress bar when it’s expanded, or alongside it, since it’s already taking up vertical space and overlapping text.

But that can be revisited some other time!


Totally agree here. Having these controls sticky would promote more engagement on mobile I believe.

OK, @eviltrout added a nice fade-out for the gutter buttons when they reach the bottom: