I did mention this about a year ago, but it was inside of another thread and not the core topic, even though it deserves to be one.
Using this topic as an example, you can see a bunch of “moderative posts” (which is what I’ll call them) that tell you that something has been done. They look like normal posts and they are written in the first person perspective, but they are not normal posts, and I feel like the yellow background is not enough to tell that “action has taken place”. It was worse when the background was a slight blue.
So, why is this a problem? Well, I currently see two issues with this:
- As I saw these the first time I immediately thought: “Why do these people create such a lengthy post for closing a thread?” I know it’s common practice to announce who closed a thread so that users know where to address their complaints (I moderated a community for a while), but in that case this is a lot redundant information.
- It looks like a normal post and not like something created automatically. You can even like it or bookmark it - or flag and reply to it. I guess being able to reply is reasonable since it opens a public discussion about a moderator decision, but all the other stuff is unnecessary and even that is not really useful in 95% of the cases.
As an example for where this is handled differently I’d like to point to github’s issues. (Random example issue)
As you can see, action is clearly different from comments and it is immediately obvious what action has been performed due to the icons.
In a place dedicated to discussions (such as discourse) comments and action should be visually distinguishable even for first-time visitors.