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On the desktop site, most of the vertical whitespace in one-line comments is to make space for the flag button, which is below the vote button. I find this whitespace to be excessive, especially given that my monitor is wider than it is tall.

I propose moving the flag button next to the vote button, instead of below it. For example (current on left, proposed on right):

Example 1:

enter image description here

Example 2:

enter image description here

In example 1, after the change, the entire set of non-hidden comments fits nicely in my browser window.

I think this improves readability of comment threads by grouping the comments slightly closer together, providing a relatively consistent amount of white-space between single-line and multi-line comments, and reducing the amount of white-space (letting you see more comments at once). I would like to see this done on all of the sites.

In the above examples I just moved the element but did not adjust spacing. Some small amount of extra horizontal spacing between the buttons could help separate them a bit.

I have also created a user-script that can do this on the sites if you want to see what it looks like (sorry if it's ugly, it was a bit of a "hello world" for me; I know it works on Chrome at least). The script does add spacing between the buttons (a 0.75ex padding looks nice).


Here is an example with a slightly wider spacing between the buttons (0.75ex). They're about the same distance apart as the current vertical orientation:

enter image description here

  • I decided to tweak the script to reverse the order of the buttons, since the upvote link was habitually right next to the upper-left of the text. Just requires replacing srctr.removeChild(srctd); dsttr.appendChild(srctd); with dsttr.insertBefore(srctd, dsttr.lastElementChild); – Nathan Tuggy Jan 16 '15 at 23:55
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I've also wanted this for a long time and actually just spoke to our design team this morning. We're going to make this change because it is a big waste of space for single-line comments.

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    This is going to make it super hard on tablet users who use the desktop (full site) version on a 7, 9, or 10 inch tablet. It's hard enough now to hit the right button, now they'll be closer together... – hichris123 Nov 19 '14 at 22:59
  • @hichris123 What if the flag button was to the left of the vote count? (Is that too weird) – Jason C Nov 19 '14 at 23:01
  • @JasonC That would look pretty weird, yes. – hichris123 Nov 19 '14 at 23:02
  • If it makes you feel any better @hichris, I frequently use the full site version on my little phone. Fortunately, the system usually prompts me before my binding flags take effect. – Shog9 Nov 19 '14 at 23:05
  • I find it really ugly on multi line comments... can you only apply this feature request for single line comments, while keeping the current behavior for multi line ones ? Thanks. – user230564 Nov 20 '14 at 7:43
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    @AndréDaniel I'm pretty strongly against moving things around in different contexts...part of a good UX is knowing that what you're looking for will always be in the same place. I think the win of not wasting so much space / fitting more info on the page outweighs a little bit of ugliness. – Laura Nov 20 '14 at 15:26
  • Maybe you could space the buttons a bit farther apart horizontally, there is plenty of horizontal space. My example just moved the elements but doesn't adjust spacing. – Jason C Nov 20 '14 at 17:16
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    @hichris123 What if the flag button went at the end of the comment, sort of as a "replacement" for the delete button? You can only delete your comments and you can only flag other people's comments, and "delete" and "flag" have similar effects; so it could make sense to have them in the same place. Then spacing wouldn't have to be messed with at all. – The Guy with The Hat Nov 25 '14 at 13:10
  • Moving flag button to the right makes sense. Pro-comment actions on the left; actions against comment on the right. If you keep flag button next to upvote button and lie them horizontally there will be too much space between score and comment. – doc Jan 24 '15 at 15:41

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