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Like more than 1% of the American population, I have a tremor. It's minor enough that I don't have problems with any apps except for one: Stack Overflow. When I try to upvote a comment, my tap often registers as two taps, canceling itself out. When I then try again, I'm told that I cannot change my vote so soon. Please consider my use case when setting timeouts and vote changing policies.

I understand that you can't come up with policies that are ideal for everyone but did want to give you the data point.

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    I've even done this and I don't have a tremor. Stress/excessive caffeine can cause this issue too. – Carcigenicate Oct 1 '19 at 15:21
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    I wouldn't expect anything to come out of this, the mobile apps (at least those on Android) have long since been abandoned unfortunately. – Rakete1111 Oct 1 '19 at 15:36
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    @rakete1111 That's a shame. It's a good app. – Ellen Spertus Oct 1 '19 at 15:46
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    As support for this request, WCAG (web accessibility guidelines) indicate that accessible sites should allow users to cancel or minimize a time-out: w3.org/TR/WCAG21/#enough-time – April Salutes Monica C. Oct 1 '19 at 15:49
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    Follow up question -- Does the Stack Exchange company itself have any accessibility-focused designers? 508-conformance is a good start, but it doesn't cover everything. – April Salutes Monica C. Oct 1 '19 at 15:50
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    @Shog how come it's in review when SE doesn't even have android developer? You will hire a new developer just to make this change? – Shadow Keeps Social Distance Oct 1 '19 at 15:53
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    Probably can't easily make changes for the android app, @Shadow. But I want to think about this for (post) voting buttons on the website too. If it's possible to fix this on the backend, could benefit both. Keep in mind: "review" doesn't mean "will fix" - it means "need to take a look". – Shog9 Oct 1 '19 at 16:00
  • @Shog9 well, my boss who is not a programmer at all once fixed a bug in complex C++ program by himself by just digging through the code, changing stuff around until it worked. So in extreme cases, anyone can fix bugs, I guess. – Shadow Keeps Social Distance Oct 1 '19 at 16:07
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    @Shadow yes, but how many did he introduce? 😀 – Ellen Spertus Oct 1 '19 at 17:01
  • Good idea, Ellen. In the meantime, as a workaround -- in case you aren't aware, it is often possible to make a useful adjustment to the mouse or mousepad settings. Let me know if you want more details. – aparente001 Oct 1 '19 at 21:02
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    @aparente001 no mouse on my Android devices – Ellen Spertus Oct 2 '19 at 2:12
  • @EllenSpertus - oh. How about some kind of speech to text instruction? I haven't tried what Chrome has but it seems popular. I have some experience with Dragon + KnowBrainer and I'm confident that would work. If you write to KnowBrainer and explain your issue they will likely give you free the KnowBrainer software that extends Dragon. – aparente001 Oct 2 '19 at 2:53
  • @aparente001 Speech control still isn't what I'd hoped it would be by this time. I had a computer 9 years ago that listened better than my phone does now... – Mast Oct 2 '19 at 9:31
  • @Mast and Ellen -- I do have some experience with the Dragon-KnowBrainer combo and if you haven't tried it, I encourage you to do so, while you're waiting for Godot. // Ellen, it sounds like the Android device may be making life more difficult for you -- might it help to be working on something other than an Android device whenever possible? – aparente001 Oct 2 '19 at 14:53
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    @aparente001 Dragon does have one of the best speech-to-command suites in existence (for years now), yes, but we're talking about mobile applications here. Note the android-app tag. While Dragon has a Remote Mike, that still connects to PC. Or am I missing something here? – Mast Oct 2 '19 at 15:46
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As much as I would like to be able to fix this, this is a behavior that I have confirmed only exists within the mobile app, and doesn't exist on the website. So unfortunately, I have to mark this as as we are unable to update the mobile apps further at this time.

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  • To further elaborate: on the website, if the comment upvote button is double tapped, it prompts one if they want to undo their upvote instead of simply undoing it, like the app does. – Sonic the Stay-Home Hedgehog May 7 at 19:45
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    Can you pull the app from the various App Stores if you can't update them? There's so many issues with them that they're almost useless. An alternative would be to make the main site a PWA, if it matters that much. All you'd need to do is add the flag dialogue and upvote button to comments on the mobile website. – S.S. Anne May 7 at 22:03
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A suggestion: make the triangle to the left of a comment insensitive to touch for a couple seconds after it is touched, in all cases.

Currently, as Ellen said, if you tap the triangle multiple times in short time, the first two touches are counted - it only blocks taps starting from the third. Blocking them for a couple seconds starting from the second first tap elegantly solves the problem for people with tremors and I believe it is a better experience for everyone. I do not have tremors, but I have more than once mistapped/misclicked and cancelled a vote I intended to place.

Also, during the time when the triangle is blocked, replace it with some sign that signals a wait time - like a moving circle or something similar. It is more friendly than saying "you can't do that now".

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Suggestion: Make comment votes work just like Question/Answer votes:

The user should have 5 minutes to upvote/downvote any comment and then after that it's locked in. There's no need for this "two taps and your done" policy.

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    I'm not entirely sure how this fixes the issue of accidentally tapping twice, undoing the earlier vote. I don't think that has anything to do with the 5 minute lockin. – JAD Oct 2 '19 at 10:49
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    @JAD, comments have a two-tap lock-in: tap once to upvote, tap again to un-upvote, and you can't do anything more. Changing that to a five-minute lock like question and answer votes use, and it doesn't matter if you accidentally double-tap: you can just try again. – Mark Oct 2 '19 at 20:40
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    @Mark gotcha, thanks for clarifying – JAD Oct 3 '19 at 6:07

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