Is it possible (and would it be a good idea) to check if someone has
clicked the link and or refreshed the page after the notification has
been display and then automatically mark that notification as 'read'
or something like that?
I like this idea, as the issue bothers me. There are various methods to read a comment other than clicking the notification.
However, I don't think we can accurately identify when someone has read the content the inbox notification is for without a specific action from them.
Neither refreshing the page or clicking the "load more comments" link signifies a user has read all the newly loaded content, specifically the comment which is sat in their notifications.
You are reading comments on a different post (Q/A) to where your comment is (same thread as where your comment is).
Refreshing the page does not mean you've read your comment as well, as it cannot know you are looking at your comment - you're reading different post to where your comment is.
You could have refreshed to load more comments, load the answer edit, or load new answer(s).
You might scroll up and read your comment, but you might also read the answer edit and close your browser and go out for the day.
Even clicking "Show X more comments" on the discussion where your unread comment is doesn't necessarily mean you've read your own comment.
Ok, mostly you will have, but what if you miss the reply to you?
That notification is a direct indication someone has replied to you, and these are (usually) the more important ones we want to read. So potentially losing this should not be taken lightly, however unlikely it may be.
I would like to resolve this issue, however, so what about:
A new small icon/button is placed on our comment(s) when there is an unread notification for it.
Upon clicking the button on the comment or viewing the notification in the inbox (as currently) will remove the notification as being unread, and remove the button from the comment?
Something like the size of the current "red cross" and "this comment has been edited" icons.
The design could be anything, but for example purposes, I've used a yellow circle with an exclamation mark:
Clicking the yellow icon or viewing the notification in your inbox would remove both.
Not too much change
I not usually in favour of changes to comments, but this is a fairly big niggle, and it happens to me and I don't get many comment notifications.
It must be fairly annoying to users with hundreds of questions/answers and frequent comment notifications.
NOTE: my idea is very specifically place a button on the comment only when "there is an unread notification for the comment", not for any/all unread comments etc.
Anything else would get complicated and we're just trying to resolve having unread comment notifications for comments we've actually read.
And I don't want to introduce a new feature like marking any/all unread comments, this is not a forum - just improving on the current functionality we already have.