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I'm building an imageboard framework and have decided to allow posts to have replies similar to Reddit or Hacker News. A common problem I face is that I want to jump to the next parent reply when another reply has too many child replies. To illustrate:

Witty comment.

Reply

Reply

Reply

Reply

....Several dozen more

Next Witty comment.

What would be a good design choice to jump to the next parent?

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You need a kind of reputation system to sort the replies by (or chronological order if there's no better), and simply cut after the 3rd or 5th, or below 4.0 or less than 1 vote if nr of replies > 3, something along the line. –  Aadaam Aug 19 '12 at 18:59
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2 Answers

I would recommend providing a feature at the base of each parent comment which could collapse all the the child comments or expand it as needed. This way the user can quickly collapse the child comments and move on the the next one.

However this would work well if the user knows he is not going to read through say all the 2400 child comments. However if he does want to move to the next parent comment while reading through the child comments,i suggest a feature at the child comment level like this :

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

where the next comment link (highlighted in red) would take them to the next comment (I took the idea from reddit which already has permalink and parent)

enter image description here

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I would consider implementation a reputation system (something along the lines of e.g. Reddit) that sorts the posts on votes given, with the highest rated witty comments at the top.

Then, to avoid noise when there are a lot of replies for a witty comment, I'd hide all the replies for a witty comment that has not been voted high enough (e.g. only show the top 5 voted replies for witty comment X). Basically something along the same lines of what Stackexchange does. ;)

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