Should "Reply" appear in the right gutter?


(Sam Saffron) #1

I find I have not even once clicked on the loud blue reply button on the right, I would mute the style to a grey button, or possibly even remove it


Change right gutter to vertical timeline + topic controls
(AstonJ) #2

Personally I think it is fine as it is Sam - the only reason I’d remove it if it became apparent people were clicking on that when otherwise they would normally be clicking on the reply button of a specific post (but as of now I don’t think that’s happening).


(Dave McClure) #3

I like the idea of removing the reply button from the vertical timeline and letting the tracking state button be wider with a text label.


(Mittineague) #4

Same with me. I either
read the topic to its end and use the topic Reply.
use the post menu Reply (most often to respond to “tangential” questions)
select - quote Reply as in this post.

Having a Reply to Topic in the timeline doesn’t seem useful to me.

The only scenario I can think of, that I might, but have not once yet, want to use that button is if I read the topic, went back to an earlier post to check “what was it he said?”, and then didn’t quote, reply to that post, or want to scroll back down.


(Sam Saffron) #5

One additional point about big blue button, I think it encourages bad behavior

  • if you click it you are replying out of context, replying to nothing specific (it is not in reply to any post)

  • if you are replying out of context, you better have read the entire topic, otherwise likelihood of your reply being a dupe is fairly high. Which is why you would use big blue button at the bottom of topic anyway and not big blue button on the right

The button is a departure from “reading is fundamental”


(TechnoBear) #6

I agree with this wholeheartedly. One of our categories is plagued by people who don’t seem to read much beyond the topic title, never mind the first post, before replying. It’s the bane of my life, and I really dislike the new button as I’m sure it will only encourage this behaviour.


(Jeff Atwood) #7

It isn’t though, because:

  1. scroll down
  2. read until you discover someone who is Wrong On The Internet™
  3. slam the reply button on their post as hard as you can
  4. profit

There’s 0.0% difference between that behavior – someone who stopped reading before the end of the topic and slammed a reply button – and what we currently have.

To fix that, we would need to do things like

  • prevent people from submitting their reply until they physically reach the end of the topic (e.g. pop a “sorry, can’t submit until you scroll all the way down” dialog when they press the submit button)
  • show actual read time / posts read in the topic next to the user’s name to shame them into reading more
  • literally hide all reply buttons until you reach the bottom of the topic

Which of the above do you prefer @sam? Please reply and let me know.


(Mittineague) #8

But isn’t there?

The grey Reply is a “reply to post” and the blue Reply is a “reply to topic”.

And visually

OK, I know the difference, but for those that don’t, given the prominence of the blue I’d think the tendency for most would be to click that over the other.

True, the blue is consistent with the bottom reply to topic button. And members should know the significance of the difference. But my life experience has shown that shoulda woulda coulda oughtas are assumptions that often fail.

IMHO if the button in the timeline is to remain it would be better to have it as a reply to post, which of course would be redundant as the post reply would already be easily accessible anyway.


(Jeff Atwood) #9

That’s insane, since it’d be impossible to tell “which” reply you are replying to on scroll position alone.

Anyway in that case, people should be quoting – which already works. Highlight text in a reply, then mash any reply button. Watch what happens.


(Jeff Wong) #10

For what it’s worth, I like it as-is.

That way no matter how far down I am in the post, I can still reply to the original topic, or engage with any of the replies previously – and it’s my choice.

From my understanding, generic replies (sans-link) are either be replying to the post immediately above, OR to the original topic. Maybe I just want to reply/respond to the main topic (even after reading only 30/100 comments), and the reply button in the gutter is a good way of doing that. I think it’s fine to reply in general even if the user hasn’t read all the way to the bottom. It should perhaps be encouraged by the community, but not mandatory by the software.


(Jeff Atwood) #11

I am open to de-emphasizing the button a bit, but the claim that “if you make it so easy, teenagers will have sex!” is … well… :wink:

repliers gonna reply


(Gerhard Schlager) #12

Maybe by removing the label? That would also solve the problem with longer button labels nicely.


(Nick) #13

The extra Reply button definitely adds confusion, in my opinion. It’s clear to me when to use which button but I’m not looking forward to explaining this to my non-technical forum users.


(Sam Saffron) #14

At least repliers are going to reply to the correct post, and not generally to the topic :slight_smile:


(Jeff Atwood) #15

Not bad, what about this?


(Sam Saffron) #16

loud blue screams “click me”

Its visually much much stronger than the button that in general we want people to click. Muted grey is by @gerhard mockup is something I can live with, but still feel is incorrect anyway.


(Jeff Atwood) #17

Ah, but our editor allows people to write read while they read, and reference other people’s posts… so popping the editor is actually a good thing. It signifies intent to reply, and does not block reading in any way.

I think suppressing the word reply is the best way to go here for now as we continue to evaluate. That mutes some of the loudness, while retaining the color that matches the topic reply and is correct.


(Sam Saffron) #18

This is my pref, if we are keeping a button there I think this is better, other option is simply to hide everything there


(Pad Pors) #19

you are loud people by default with lots of information; by loud i don’t mean to insult you, i mean you put your point of view whenever needed without any doubt. and so perhaps you don’t need that much of motivation or a blue-button which is asking you to talk.

but not everyone is trained like this. some people, needed to be invited to a discussion. they may have good information or points of views, but they may not have the confidence or they may think of themselves as outsiders.

as a loud person you may not loose a thing if there exist a blue icon which invites you to the discussion, but those who feels less welcome may benefit from this blue icon.


(TechnoBear) #20

I like that. The arrow looks to me much more like a “Back” button than a “Reply” button, so hopefully it will to the majority of our “numptie” users, too, and stop them using it.