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Lack of Interest [Suggestion] "reply" link needs help

Discussion in 'Closed Suggestions' started by "Mark", Sep 12, 2010.

  1. "Mark"

    "Mark" Member

    As a new user to the forum, and liking the overall usability, one thing that was somewhat difficult was finding a quote button. After not finding one, I tried the reply button and was happy to see it quoted the response I wanted to quote.

    But finding the reply button is somewhat tricky. It's not located next to the post content, where I was looking. Instead, it's buried far away in the right hand corner, over 120 px south of the text in a single-line comment like this, and 800 px east in a typical comment like this (1280 px wide typical screen). In fact, I first clicking on the orange "New" button, as that's where the reply/quote button would typically be.

    Further complicating the issue is that the reply button is separated from the post by the signature line. While this does make logical sense, the signature line has the effect of further detaching the reply link from the post, especially if the user has a tall signature. See this post for an example. In fact, in that post, it almost looks like the reply button belongs to the post below.

    I have three suggestions for improving things:
    1. Align the #, Like, and Reply links to top of the signature area instead of the bottom
    2. Reducing the width of the signature separator to 300ish pixels. Posts without a signature (and thus no signature bar) are far less confusing.
    3. Increasing the size of the #, Like, and Reply links so people see (and use) them. I haven't used the Like feature yet, because I'm a lazy human being and it's too much effort to find and mouse-over such a tiny target.
    Alternatively, moving the entire messageMeta div in front of the messageContent div would solve the problem.
  2. Peggy

    Peggy Well-Known Member

    I've never used a forum software where the reply link was above the signature? The signature is part of the post. If you've ever used vBulletin or IPB or MyBB, etc,. they're all pretty much set up like this, as far as I know.
  3. "Mark"

    "Mark" Member

    And yes, I realize this has come up before here and here, but they're old threads and talk about different aspects (such as the ordering of the buttons).
  4. "Mark"

    "Mark" Member

    Here's what I'm talking about, using a graphic to explain:

    While it makes sense that the signature is part of the post, having the reply/quote link so far away is visually confusing. Putting everything up top and close makes more sense. Here's how SMF does it:


    Btw, the image attaching system is really slick.
  5. dutchbb

    dutchbb Well-Known Member

    It's perfect as it is IMHO, I don't see the need for any change here.

    The reply link isn't 'lost in the corner', it's exactly where I expect it to be and clearly visible.
    Kier and Dragonfly like this.
  6. Peggy

    Peggy Well-Known Member

    Ah you're used to smf. Now I understand. I knew what you were talking about. I think most of us are used to vbulletin, ipb,and others where the reply link is below the entire post where it is here.
  7. "Mark"

    "Mark" Member

    Perhaps better separation between posts would help, such a stronger bar, alternating backgrounds, or boxing.

    For instance, if you look at the DI.fm forums (which use vBulletin), while the quote button is below everything, it's visually obvious what you are quoting. And it says Quote instead of Reply.
  8. Hauzer

    Hauzer Member

    Hey Mark,

    In all honesty I love your idea! Either have the "Reply" text above the signature or above the entire post. I'm not really accustomed to a SMF interface, but I'm more of a/an vBulletin, IPB and phpBB user and I like the idea of the reply button. The main advantage to this is so that user's signature doesn't affect the usability of the forum.

    Also about the text "Quote" or "Reply", again I agree that the text should be "Quote" rather than "Reply". I understand that earlier versions of vB may have once said quote and reverting back to the quote text would be going back in time, rather than forward but it's what it should be, if you really think about it. When you say reply, it doesn't really regard the message, rather it regards the topic/thread in general. Having the text "Quote" clearly conveys to any user, that you should click the button/image/text to quote that post. ;)

    Of course, my 2 cents. ;)
    "Mark" likes this.
  9. Mikey

    Mikey Well-Known Member

    On one of my forums, I have it set up like this;


    The users got confused at first, so I can see the point you're making as it's not where you're used to it, however I'm sure this could be made into a mod, or a setting somewhere which is along the lines of "Put reply button above signature?"
  10. Kim

    Kim Well-Known Member

    I think it is perfectly located now, I just want it changed to say "Quote" not reply which is very confusing for newbies.

    But it makes zero sense to me, to have the quote above the post... as you have already read the post, and are therefore south of the post when you decide you want to comment.. having to go back to the top of the post in long posts makes no sense at all.
  11. "Mark"

    "Mark" Member

    Which is a perfectly valid point, and the best reason for not putting it above the post. But it's no worse than putting it below the signature, when you're not quoting the signature.
  12. Kim

    Kim Well-Known Member

    Well you have to remember not everyone has signatures, and not everyone browses with them on, so for a lot of people it is right at the bottom of the post.... Perhaps this might be an easier viewing set up for you, you can disable sigs in your control center, then the Reply will be right after the post for you :)
  13. Mike

    Mike XenForo Developer Staff Member

    I'm surprised at the desire for "quote" over "reply". I think a lot of that comes from the technical distinction that you see in other forum softwares, but it certainly doesn't seem more intuitive to me.

    People are trained that to reply (and quote) an email, they click a reply button. While "quote" may imply an action of sorts, "reply" is a far more intuitive action for the average user - it points to the intent and ultimate action that they want to take by clicking it. (There may be a few situations where you just want to quote the message and not reply, but that is far from the average use case.)
    Jason, Enigma, Peggy and 1 other person like this.
  14. Dean

    Dean Well-Known Member

    Seems simple to me. If I am replying to a post, I want to quote and refer to it. If I want to reply to the thread and not refer to anyone in particular I can go to the quick reply and start typing.

    Lawrence and Peggy like this.
  15. Kim

    Kim Well-Known Member

    Hey Mike, hmm not quite sure I agree with you here, Reply in the email sense is of course a singular action, you are replying to the email.. however quoting a post on a forum is not replying to a singular conversation, it is replying to a multiple participant conversation, and as such it is not intuitive for newbies to forums at all, they see Reply and think that is how they reply to the total conversation, not just to that one post within the conversation.

    When IPB went from Quote to Reply, there was so much confusion - as a supplier of skins I saw more complaints from Customers about that than almost anything else.. back then the Reply was a button, and the first thing I did was change the text on it to Quote, and my customers were very grateful, as many of them run sites with totally un-technical people, and newbies to their forums just couldn't work it out that Reply meant Quote.
    "Mark" likes this.
  16. "Mark"

    "Mark" Member

    Quoting is a supplemental action to replying. If I just wish to reply to a topic, I'll go to the bottom of the thread, type something in, and post my reply. If I wish to quote someone, or add a quote to my reply, then a quote button makes sense.

    In email, the two are mostly analogous, because you are only dealing with one message. It's a rare email client that shows messages as a thread when displaying messages, and when you do reply/quote one of those messages, it takes you to a new compose window/screen to respond to that single message.

    In this forum, the two are distinct actions. One is to insert a quote into the reply box, the other to post the reply. I find using the same word for two different actions counter-intuitive, especially in a forum so elegantly designed for usability (nitpicks aside, XenForo is by far the best forum I've come across when it comes to usability).
    Dragonfly likes this.
  17. mrGTB

    mrGTB Well-Known Member

    I tend to agree with you also. I do look at REPLY as meaning you post a reply (without quoting). And if I want to Quote a person, I hit the quote button instead.
  18. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member

    There is a "Post Reply" button next to the Upload a File and More Options. One would think that would be the Reply without Quoting button but it's not, it's actually an ENTER Reply button. So I guess the Reply next to the Like should be renamed Quote or Reply/Quote?
    Dragonfly likes this.
  19. Lawrence

    Lawrence Well-Known Member

    That's exactly how I looked at it too. I am replying to a specific post (so it is quoted in the reply area). And if I want to reply to other posts, I just hit reply to have each quoted. IMO, pretty intuitive.
  20. Kim

    Kim Well-Known Member

    I think it is really easy for us who are well versed in Forums and how they operate to completely forget what it is like to be a newbie to forums, and how confusing all the options can be.

    Most of the installs of any forum product are to Hobbyists, and many many many of their members will be absolute beginners.

    Put yourself in the shoes of someone who has a great deal of knowledge of their area of interest, but is new to forums....really think about what you would click to join in the conversation if you had never seen a forum before, but wanted to talk about steam trains, and wow here's this great conversation I can jump right into....

    You are going to click the first thing that looks like reply you can... and that is the 'Reply' link.. which is really a 'quote' now you have this bumpfh where you should be typing, and you have no idea why, suddenly you are feeling like a dill or worse giving up.

    I started a private forum a while ago after a tragedy, for the families of those lost and 90% of the members had no exposure to forums, they all did this constantly. Almost every post had an extraneous quote in it. That is not an isolated case, most of my Customers are serious hobbyists, and they all have members who do this constantly as well.

    It's so very easy to forget that not everyone is technically tuned, and most don't live for forums like we do.

    One of the things I really love about xenforo is how intuitive it is, it is without doubt the most intuitive forum software I have ever seen.. but it makes this mistake like others do :p So long as it is an option to change the text to Quote, and so long as there is an easy tutorial for Admins who want to, I have no great drama with it being Reply however, just wanted to pass on the feedback that whilst it is what you expect if you are an old hand, it isn't if you aren't ;)
    "Mark" likes this.

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