Maybe just small optional DVD-player like chapter-selection icons directly below the vote buttons, something à la
>>, <<, >|, |<
for next, previous, last and first answer.
I think it's quite an interesting idea.
For these purposes, I've written a user script (implements this idea).
This script will appear on any question and will produce a box filled with answer links. If no answers, you'll see just "Back to question", which would bring you to the top.
In case if the number of answers is greater than 19, the box is scrollable.
If your window width is too low, the box disappears so as not to be annoying.
Please report any issues there.
The engine's usability is not optimized for large (more then say 30) numbers of answers.
We intend to keep it this way.
It is rare that posts become very long with many answers, however it has happened recently. Here is a question that received 94 answers with each answer being very long.
Sometimes I don't have time to read everything, so I'll just read it later. However, it is rather annoying to endlessly scroll to where I left off.
My proposed solution is to add a box (with a list of links to answers) to hop to that specific answer.
This feature should only be shown when the page length and/or answers exceeds a specific number.
Please excuse my horrible design.
This is a great idea, but the execution doesn't actually help out that much.
Let's consider the use case. Answers are in a ragged array, which means I can't easily (mechanically) "skip one". I need to visually pay attention in order to find the beginning of the next answer. If a very long answer is followed by a short one, I may skip it entirely. Perhaps I want a way to cycle through the answers to find one that I read earlier. These are valid use cases.
So your solution is to put the next/prev controls under the vote button. But do they make sense there?
You already have an up and down button, why would you want a left and right arrow in order to pan the screen up and down?
For long questions, I would still have to scroll in order to find the buttons.
Extra navigation options
I would still have to scroll up and down to read long responses, which means that you are adding an additional navigation method but not removing the old. This is confusing.
As you scroll the question, the next/prev links will move with it, this is frustrating because you would want your navigation points to be constant. This would imply that the next/prev buttons should be a hovering item. That has a host of it's own problems.
It is an interesting idea, but there are simply too many problems and not enough usefulness to make it worth implementing.
I don't get it. Therefore I am saying please don't.
You have a question, below it you have a list of answers. If there is more then a certain amount you have page 1 and page 2 etc. The answers are sorted either based on votes, newest or oldest. You scroll down to read them using your mouse wheel and browser scrollbar.
What would these buttons add, in anyway whatsoever?