While reading this post I noticed that there seems to be an issue with the user experience when reviewing an already approved/rejected suggested edit on OP's own post.

It shows only one explicit option, namely to override the community's review decision. If the edit has been approved I can only "Reject", and if it's been rejected I can only "Approve". Thus, for example, if I don't want to reject an approved edit, I don't know what to do. And this can lead to seemingly unintentional destructive overrides like this or this.

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I propose that the review page should always show both options (Approve and Reject), with one option effectively being a no-op, for the sake of a better user experience.

4 Answers 4


Starting with the next production build, we'll add a guidance box at the top of the review tab. Basically, what animuson suggested in his answer, with additional minor tweaks to the copy:

screenshot of the guidance box

  • 3
    Assuming this will have both versions of the text - approve/reject?
    – Catija
    Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 22:43
  • 4
    @Catija Nah, I figured just the one will do. ;) (The other version is "If you disagree with this edit being rejected, you can apply it to your post using the Approve button below." When the OP can't override, only the first sentence in the screenshot is shown.)
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 22:44
  • 1
    @AdamLear can something be done about this situation, where I'm suggesting an edit to my own post (a tag excerpt)? It seems ... kinda pointless.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 20:55
  • 1
    @Glorfindel Sorry, this completely fell off my radar... until earlier today. You should no longer see these messages for suggested edits (yours or by other users) to tag wikis you created if you can't override the results.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 23:24
  • @AdamLear thanks for fixing it.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 7:14

There's some major problems with just adding another button there:

  1. When the OP clicks it, we can either literally do nothing or record an extra Approve vote onto the review.
    • If we record an extra vote, that's just plain confusing. The OP effectively added a vote that didn't actually affect the review outcome in any way - a review that was already completed hours ago.
    • If we don't record a vote, there's nothing in the review system to indicate the OP already viewed and clicked the button, so we'd just... show it to them again?
  2. Those buttons will not always be there. The OP can only override a suggested edit decision if there hasn't been another edit since then. If the post has been edited again, the suggested edit is locked in and can't be changed. In that scenario, there would be no buttons and the immediate confusion is solved, but that still doesn't solve the problem for the broader case of "I was directed here and there doesn't appear to be anything to do."

Rather than adding another button which doesn't clearly identify the situation but may actually cause the OP to do something destructive because they don't realize it's already handled, a far better solution would be to just tell them it's already been handled. Simply add a small message at the top visible only to the OP on any suggested edit to their own post. I'm not picky, we don't even need to look to see if the OP reviewed, just always display it on a completed review to their own post. Simple.

Suggested edit already approved

And if they are eligible to override it still, display an extra line depending on whether it was approved or rejected.

Override the approval

Override the rejection

  • 3
    What if the button just said Go Back or something instead and functioned in the same way as them leaving the page? I mean if they don't want to override it, they have to do something, be it press the back button on their browser, navigate out through the nav bar, close the window, etc. "If you disagree" is fine but there's still no "if you agree" path there, even with the notice. The way it looks now, it looks like you have to press that one button to move on.
    – Jason C
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 1:59
  • 1
    (If it's just a single button it's sort of like to the weirdness of an "OK"/"Cancel" dialog where only the "OK" button is present, and "Cancel" requires pressing the X to close the dialog.)
    – Jason C
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 2:04
  • 2
    @JasonC Go back to where? Go back makes no sense if you didn't come from anywhere. These end up in emails too, and if they opened it from an email, then going back would be closing the tab, which they can already do.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 2:04
  • Well don't display the second button in the email version, I guess, but write "If you agree, you can safely ignore this email."
    – Jason C
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 2:05
  • 1
    @JasonC We don't put the suggestion directly in the email. The notification can be emailed to you as part of the unread inbox items notification email, in which case you would be opening a link directly to the suggested edit, and thus there's nowhere on-site to go back to. You came from your email client.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 2:09
  • 2
    Looks Good (which is consistent with other queues, too), then, and have it take you to the post when you press it, or have it just remove the buttons and write "Got it!" or something. Whatever. Just some kind of clear path. Surely there's a wording that can make sense.
    – Jason C
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 2:13
  • The message would certainly help to understand the situation. Though some users don't read anything and just think they have to click the next best button.. Adding a neutral button like "OK" would surely help.
    – Floern
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 8:11
  • @JasonC imho "Looks OK" is unclear whether the edit looks ok or the review outcome looks ok.
    – Floern
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 8:27
  • Perhaps "previous state" would be better than "original state", to prevent new from thinking original is good because it is my original question and i dont want other people editing it because it is my question not theres!!1 or similar things that may not have occurred to them otherwise.
    – wizzwizz4
    Commented May 20, 2017 at 17:57

I am in favour of showing both buttons (Approve/Reject). The button for the community decision should be disabled then. On hover of the disabled button we could have some text like this:

This action was already taken by the community. You're done.

I think this way the UI for Approve/Rejection of edits is more consistent.

I don't find the blog post from Stack Overflow, but the content in summary: Users don't read anything. They only want to find the quickest way to take their action.

Taken this into account, if the user find his button, but it is disabled, he has probably the best chances in figuring out why he can't approve/reject.


I just encountered this confusing UI, though in the opposite case, where an edit was rejected and my only option seemed to be to "Approve."

It was entirely unclear to me what it would mean, if anything, to "Approve", because it doesn't say what it would approve (the edit, or the rejection of the edit?), and there is also no visible alternative other than to do nothing with it.

Seems to me that first the button (or some explanation/instruction text) should make it entirely clear in detail what it means to click or not click the button.

i.e., to me it would've made most sense (and match what was explained to me, if there were two buttons, one saying "Approve the edit, contrary to the review votes" and the other saying "Reject the edit".

As for what the other button should do, I'd think it would do nothing and/or add weight to the review vote, or be recorded as the OP's choice, but in any case should mean the OP doesn't get reminded about it again, even if it requires another bit of data.

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