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I want to encourage users to add comments but all the questions show up on one page so having all the comment boxes visible takes up too much vertical space. Is it good UX to show them on clicking a toggle button or is there a better way?

  • Welcome to UX.SE. This question doesn't quite meet the standards of this site as "improve the ux" is not technically a question. Is there a specific goal you want to meet in improving it? e.g. "I want to encourage users to add comments but all the questions show up on one page so having all the comment boxes visible takes up too much vertical space. Is it good UX to show them on clicking a toggle button or is there a better way?" That's an actual question that can be answered. Try adding more information to your question. – elemjay19 Dec 18 '14 at 15:49
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    Yeah I can see how things could get messy if everyone started posting links to "Hey check out my thing!" – DaveAlger Dec 18 '14 at 15:52
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    My apologies. norabora, that's exactly what I wanted to ask. I just couldn't word it correctly. – rolu Dec 18 '14 at 15:59
  • How many questions do you have on the form? And are you soliciting comments for each question? What is the purpose of the comments? It seems weird to ask someone to comment on a simple question about their age.... So it'd be helpful to understand why you want users to invest valuable time filling in comments for every question – tohster Feb 16 '15 at 21:41
  • If you really want users to spend time thinking about comments to make, serving them new content (i.e. the next question) directly will cause the content to compete for user attention with the content adding affordance. – Steve Dodier-Lazaro May 18 '15 at 23:27
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Showing many text areas for every single question could add too much friction. Showing many toggles is less friction but still more friction than not showing anything at all until required.

I would suggest that you automatically show the comment text area only for the question currently being answered. Just make sure the place to comment doesn't demand attention and is clearly optional.

comment

  • For the case in question, where a select element is being used, this would mean the select opening and the comment box appearing simultaneously. That could be pretty messy. – shahar Mar 19 '15 at 21:33
  • Also, in this paradigm, how do I go back to make a comment? I'd have to click the select again to activate the comment box, when I've already made my answer. – shahar Mar 19 '15 at 21:35
  • a vertical list has been shown to be the easiest for users to consume - i usually put a field label first line, control second line, validation message (if any) third line and then a small spacer so the labels and controls are easily associated. in your scenario since the comment is optional it is perfectly fine to place a text area off to the right so it doesn't get in the way but only for the currently active input. i'll try and make a little demo later but doing it this way will allow users the option to comment on any question without a bunch of repetitive noise – DaveAlger Mar 19 '15 at 22:23
  • A comment box to the right? that could work. Especially if any comments made are displayed as text when the user moves to a different item. There would need to be unobtrusive links to edit/add comments for the non-current item. – shahar Mar 20 '15 at 0:33
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Something like this would inform the user that longer answers are welcome, but you would want to do a better job than I have done in the image below; formatting the link and the "optional" tag so that they are obviously related. As my example stands, some might think that the question is optional, which isn't good.

enter image description here

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You could limit the first type of entry (age for example should be a max 3 digits and maybe a dropdown) keeping a lot of space on the same line. Aside the answer you could have a single line entry field with "add comment" or "elaborate" already written inside it. (Think of Facebook's "what's on your mind".)

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