Here on Stack Exchange you have to wait 15 minutes before posting another question.

But from a general standpoint, where quality isn't a must/enforced (something along the lines of a forum, but more Reddit style), how much time is considered acceptable before a user loses patience?

Making a user wait before posting anything has the added advantage of squeezing more queries per second to the db for one reason, another one being less intentional flooding/spamming of a website from a malicious user.

What could be acceptable? 30 seconds, 1 minute, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 10...?

And in the case it's bad UX practice which one of the following proto-alerts would help in psychologically alleviating the waiting time for the user?

Replace 30 seconds with any amount you think is the right one.

I want you to think as if you was the targeted user in such a site.


Otherwise, what techniques do you think could be used other than the proto-alerts illustrated above?


3 Answers 3


The reason behind this restriction is to avoid bots and unnecessary flood of questions alongside other merits. But do not make users feel stupid.

You may allow them for the second time immediately after the posting first question or a meager 15 seconds delay if and only if necessary.

From the second time to third time and till few steps further you can gradually increase the time delay.

With respect to the message display, make it conversational and ask for apology to the user or have a polite tone like "Sorry", "Please" because it is your requirement to make him wait and not user's interest. And delay commit will confuse the user for sure and you will have more use cases to handle like what if he posts again during this hibernate period. So better avoid delay post.

You can use this only if the user wishes to review meantime even after posting as like in Gmail(this is a lab feature and has to be manually enabled in Gmail)


Let just be honest with user. "To avoid posting messages by bots, we allow to post one post per 30 seconds."

Or message can be funny "Don't panic!. We can post only one post per 30 seconds." "Your post too often!. Don't be part of global warming!


If a user has to wait to post, he will go post somewhere else. Sometimes we take this UX thinking a bit extreme. As designers our job is to make things agile for the user, keep them informed of all the things they need to be aware with and let them successfully work.

  • Not necessarily: for some types of troublesome user (e.g. trolls, bots) it's useful to slow things down or put other impediments in their way for the benefit of the site or community. See blog.codinghorror.com/suspension-ban-or-hellban for examples. Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 9:11
  • Thats wrong. For trolls or bots, there´s resources enough nowadays in order to create a site that´s secure than 3 years ago. So using technology to stop them and give users a faster experience is good. It all depends on the money for the project, the capabilities of the team and the environment of it.
    – Vanessa
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 18:03

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