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Currently, the process of reading comments for a question/answer goes something like this:

  1. Read the 3 or 4 top rated comments
  2. Click the "add/show more comments" link
  3. Start at the top again, reading comments you think are new, tring to figure out which ones aren't

This reminds me a lot of the old Microsoft Office Intelli-menus, where an essentially random set of menu items would surface to the top, and the rest would be hidden. Upon clicking a little chevron at the bottom of the menu, the rest of the menu would appear, but instead of appearing at the bottom like you'd expect, they appear scattered throughout the menu you just looked at. Just like in the current StackOverflow implementation, you have to start reading back at the top again and scan back through to find new stuff.

It would be better from a user experience standpoint to just show the remaining comments at the bottom when "show more comments" is clicked.

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2 Answers 2

I disagree. A lot of times, those comments voted up are in response to comments above it, and the only way you have a bloody shot is to see them chronologically. The comments are the only way that we can have a logical discussion on this Q&A site, and very much should be in chronological order.

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2  
I don't think he's saying don't use chronology - I read it as "don't show me the highest voted quips without context, just show the first 4 comments, and then clicking on 'more comments' shows the rest, in proper chronological order" –  Jared Harley Jul 25 '09 at 4:22
    
It doesn't exactly sound like that, but I can't be sure so oh wellz –  Ian Elliott Jul 25 '09 at 4:36
    
@Jared: OP doesn't have any (stated) problem with only showing the top-5 comments. he just doesn't want to read those top-5 again after expanding (currently they are expanded into a chronological list). under his suggestion, those top-5 posts would be out of chronological order with the rest of the comments. –  Kip Aug 3 '09 at 18:45

The items that were shown in the initial view should visually differ from the hidden ones. For example by giving them a different font color.

That would making reading comments after expanding the comments list a lot easier.

You can keep messages in chronological order that way.

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This seems like the most obvious solution. It's nice to see the highest rated comments before expanding since these are generally the more interesting/informative comments. –  Eric Sep 13 '09 at 17:28

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