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When commenting on questions and answers I often find myself clicking 'edit' in stead of 'Add comment'. I don't know why but it happens by accident. I'm wondering if there are some people with the same problem? Maybe the two buttons look too much like each other, or the 'Add comment' button is located too far from the post itself. Perhaps there is some improvement possible?

I would move the 'link|edit|close|flag' buttons to the right. Right under the 'answered 10 min ago' and above the user info. So the placement says: this answer was given 10 minutes ago, do you want to edit, close,... it. And then the area is terminated with the user info. Then the comments.

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happens to me all the time. –  Amir Rachum Apr 4 '11 at 11:31
    
They look alike because they're both links so this is a good thing. As for the location, there is enough space between them to keep them separate. All in all, I think there's no need to change/improve anything here. –  Shadow Wizard Apr 4 '11 at 12:22

2 Answers 2

Ones tiny and between two other links. The other is quite large and all by itself.

not a problem

I don't see a problem here. The (link/edit/close/flag) toolbar need to stick right close to the actual text of the question and tags, because they are pretty much meant to act on that (ok, the link button could go elsewhere).

The "add comment" should stay separate from those tools - it's not about changing or flagging the question. And it makes a lot of sense where it is when there are comments already - you're kind of replying to, or adding to, the comments above it.

When there are no comments I still think it's good to have it where it is. Posting a comment is more link proposing an answer in the sens that you're giving input. So it's good that it's closer to the "answer" part than the "question" part.

Moving the toolbar to the right above the flair would make it much less obvious/harder to locate in my opinion. And it would waste vertical space, which comes at a premium. (I'm guessing even more so on mobile devices, but I have no idea what the layout is on mobiles).

So: no thanks.

Now inverting the flair and the toolbar (flair on the left, toolbar on the right) would be fine with me, no issue about that. I don't really see what it would gain though. But in that case I'd move the "add comment" link with the toolbar though, not leave it on the right - it would be even less obvious all alone below the flair, and would look like you're leaving a comment on the user rather than the question. So I'm guessing you wouldn't like it for the same reason - same relative layout. (Squishing the "add comment" between the question and the flair would be even worse.)

I'm not even considering a scheme where you'd move the flair to the top of the question and have the question contents flow around it (left or right). That would allow to have the toolbar bottom left and the comment to the right (or the opposite), which I am thinking you would rather have. But that would make editing the question a pain if you need some code or fix format data near the top.

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The problem is that the thing I want to do most often is the farthest away. –  Gabe Apr 4 '11 at 6:58
    
I don't think you get really get it. There is no problem in finding the difference between the two (thanks for stating the obvious). It's about the placement. The manipulations you can perform on a post are closer to the comment button than to the info about the post itself. It might be subtle and it's not a big problem, still it's worth reasoning about. It's a matter of perception so I understand when this doesn't happen to you. But it happens to some people. Let's turn the question around: would you have a problem if these buttons were located to the right? –  Jan Apr 4 '11 at 19:04

By coincidence, Jeff Atwood has actually written about this very subject. Personally, I don't see much of an issue with these links. "Add comment" is off in its own place. If anything, I sometimes click "add comment" at the bottom of a question instead of scrolling down (past the fold) to the answer box when I'm not thinking. But the UX differences between the two quickly corrects me.

I imagine the "add comment" link could get a little more styling to make it stand out, but in my opinion that would make the whole section look a bit too busy. As it stands, how often does accidental deployment of the ejector seat really happen? (Keeping in mind that simply clicking one link or another does not produce an irreversible consequence.)

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I tend to make lots of edits to my own posts so I use the edit button quite often. I don't comment that much so I find myself deploying the ejector seat quite often because 'edit' is a button I use a lot. I wouldn't change the styling, I would just move it to the right, together with the info about the user that answered. –  Jan Apr 4 '11 at 10:20

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