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I am a junior UX Designer working on a web application. In a nutshell we're trying to build a forum for our product.

Each day users will receive a question and hopefully they will engage with the question and reply to it.

At this stage users can only reply to the parent post, not to each other's posts so the primary action would be replying to the question of the day.

Most of our visitors (we're running an MVP version of this site so that's how I know the stats) are on mobile devices.

I have 3 options I would love to hear your feedback about them. enter image description here

  • A small note: It helps to use realistic content in the images. Gives a better perception of the situation. – jazZRo Feb 5 '16 at 8:35
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    yes I agreee, lorem ipsum doesnt give the context or the flow of conversation to the developers and rest of the team. – Franky Feb 5 '16 at 17:44
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Here are my thoughts on the three options you provided

Option 1 : Since you mentioned the primary interaction is with the main post and not the comments posted by other users, this seems like the most direct approach as the response textbox is directly inline with the main post. However since the comments are directly below and in close proximity, there might be a tendency to associate them with the response box (Read about the Principle of Proximity)

A recommended approach would be to increase the size of the response box and increase differentiate it from the from the comments below so that it stands out for users.

Here is a good example of the primary text box stands out against the commenting system

enter image description here

Option II : This would work great if the users were not only interacting with the primary post but also the comments inline to it as it enables them to scan the main post and the associated comments from top to down before posting a response. However this can also cause the users to be influenced by the conversation and the interaction might be with the main post.

Option III : I am not in favor of this since it cause confusion about the primary interaction method (does the user interact with the main post or does he interact at the bottom and if he does interact at the bottom, is he interacting with the main post or the comments). The other challenge with this design is that the response box at the bottom is far more prominent than the inline call to action to the main post. This could cause the primary interactions to be done via the response box at the bottom. However since the user would need to scan the comments to get to the response box, his responses might be influenced by them.


In summary, I would say go with Option I but ensure your response or comment box stands out against the comments to establish it as the primary interaction point.

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Since the app has already a user base you can introduce small changes and watch the result. But you can start with deciding if you want to attract quick or slow (thought through) answers.

If quantity matters and quick answers are important, make the effort to answer as small as possible. Your first example could be a good idea to achieve that.

If quality matters, you might want users to focus on the question and the comments before focus on the answer field.

In examples 2 and 3 the answer field seems unrelated to the question part of the screen. But you should test if users experience it this way too.

For quality answers it can also be an idea to add a button that brings up a static text field and keep the answer and comments scrollable for reference while typing.

In my example the text field pops-up after tapping the reply button. I placed the button on top of the question so it won't move down with each line of text (as in your third example) and also is one of the first things to notice (question and reply button represent the main purpose of this screen and should therefore be one of the first things to notice)

enter image description here

  • What do you think about the 3rd option? It has 2 CTA's one is under the parent post and one at the bottom. Like Facebook app. When we have the styling ready I might replace one of the reply buttons with an icon. Thanks for the comment! – Franky Feb 5 '16 at 18:02
  • I think it's the best option if you're sure placing the field at the bottom isn't a problem. But I would place the first button above the parent post for reasons given in my answer and label it something like "compose answer". And if you label the second button something like "post answer" there will be a clear distinction and no confusion about what each button does. – jazZRo Feb 5 '16 at 18:28
  • Yes I was discussing it with the team quantity vs quality thanks again for the feedback! – Franky Feb 5 '16 at 19:46
  • I don't really think this method is conventional and it might irritate users, since you don't see this kind of behaviour in other apps. I think OP can choose from his 3 options, but you made a good point: When quick answers matter, before reading anything else, option 1 is optimal. If the user is supposed to read the other answers first, option 2 seems fitting. – Big_Chair Mar 6 '16 at 16:44
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All the three options are good and can be AB tested.

But it could be approached in two ways. (a.) comment box below and load all the comments below that. You can use a progressive loading (b.) comment box at the bottom and showing only last 5/10 comments with load previous comments link as in like Facebook.

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The main two things that need to be kept in mind while selecting the right option for your scenario are:

1) Its main users are on mobile.

2) comments can only be made to parent question. So I would suggest you to select option2.

The main and only action user can perform on this page is to comment.

In option1, the comment box is not in accessible area of mobile phone. There are 3 types of areas on mobile devices viz, Easy, Reach, Hard. The main actions that are expected from users are to be kept in easy area.Hence option1 is not a good idea.

Check image for reference enter image description here

In option 3, the user will get confused in between 2 reply buttons making the screen less user-friendly. Also, it would be very confusing to decide that how the comment box would show up or animate on click of the top reply button.

So option 2 is perfect in your case. Additionally if you add functionality for comments on comments, you can add some left spacing before those comments, reduce their font size and you can keep the distance between 2 main comments more than two comments on comments.

-1

enter image description here

Enter the user interface , there are two , first , you need to see other responses, replies can browse the last second own reply : click on the problem , you can reply

Hide button reason , the pursuit of simple pages , thus reducing the psychological pressure

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    This is an English language site. Please provide answers in English in future. – JonW Feb 5 '16 at 6:56

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