I'm trying to figure out a good solution to the following situation, but I'm drawing a blank.

I'm working on a site that generates comments in bulk, like the ones shown below. The user selects up to 9 criteria to be included in generating the comment, and groups names into three categories of 'good', 'medium' and 'bad', and a batch of comments are generated. And this covers 95% of cases adequately, and no adjustment is needed.

enter image description here

However, for certain users, I'd like the option of being able to fine-tune the comment by adjusting the value of a single criteria and hitting refresh - for example, in the comment above, it's been given a '2' across the board, but I'd like to increase 'Criteria 3' to a '3' or '4' and regenerate the comment.

At the moment Ive just generated a table of the ratings beside each comment, but I'd like to have an interface where the user can adjust these values. The only solution I can think of working effectively is a modal window with radio buttons or sliders, but as a solution it seems cumbersome and distracting to the flow of the process.

Is there a solution that doesn't require the use of modals/popups, and doesn't take up too much space in the comment block, bearing in mind that there could be 9 values available to adjust??

  • Is this creating spam comments?!
    – qoba
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 1:50

3 Answers 3


I think you want a list of discrete sliders, one for each criteria. You can put them closer together than in the example below, and add the values along the top (1 2 3 4 5). The user can then drag the slider handle to select one of the values. This approach takes the same amount of space as the table but is editable.

When a value is changed, the update button should be highlighted (perhaps by graying it out before). But if your comment-generating engine can manage it in under a second, it would be better to update the comment as soon as the value is changed so the user can immediately find out what effect his changes made.

It also seems like a single comment would not show the breadth of comments that would be generated by your engine given the user's parameters. It might be better to show multiple comments instead (3-5?). Showing a single comment is like taking a magnifying glass to look at a single data point on a curve when the criteria are actually modifying the shape of the curve. Since the shape of the curve (i.e. the machine learning model) would mean little to users, the next best thing is to show multiple samples on the curve.

list of sliders


Please interpret my answer, as I do not feel I fully understand your goal.

Since you said the majority of use cases do not need the tuning, put a single button with the comment that says 'edit', 'fine tune', etc.

When the user hits this button, next to the comment show the additional tunable properties. For each property, show its name (like Criteria 3), (optionally) current value, and an up and down arrow. The thinking here is that the user would say, 'Give me more criteria 3' and hit the up arrow. This should be spatially compact.

You can get rid of the refresh button, just change the comment each time they hit an arrow (the user would like to see what it looks like in these states as well. The idea that the user would be able to understand what the system is going to do when making multiple modifications simultaneously is probably unlikely)


After reading comments here, and sleeping on it, I was thinking of something along user353877's suggestion as well. The 'refresh' button refreshes the comments with the settings as is - using the example screenshot above, if the user is not happy with the comment and clicks refresh, then the comment is refreshed with the strings as is - in this example, with all the criteria having a setting of 2.

The solution I was thinking of, would be to first get rid of the refresh button, and having two links under the comment - [REFRESH] and [EDIT AND REFRESH]. If the user clicks REFRESH, then the comment is refreshed in the div, and all is good. If the user clicks [EDIT AND REFRESH], then the div containing the table expands down and left, and the content will be replaced with options to adjust - perhaps the up and down arrow mentioned above, or a [-] 2 [+] for each criteria. That would in theory keep everything happening in the same window, without jumping into modals, but would still be big enough and simple enough to be navigated with ease.

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