In the latest blog post, The Loop #2: Understanding Site Satisfaction, Summer 2019, this graphic is included:

transcription below

Coded responses to "What do you find most frustrating or unappealing about using Stack Overflow?"

Unwelcoming community 10.6%
Design 9.8%
Artifact quality 9.7%
Barrier to participation 8.3%
Discovery 8.0%
Overmoderation 7.1%
Voting 5.1%
Question quality 4.2%
Timely answers 3.5%
Other 3.2%
Comments 2.2%
Onboarding 2.1%
Social friction 1.8%
Subjective content 0.8%
Mobile app/site 0.6%
Welcoming backlash 0.5%
Job quality 0.4%
Review queues 0.3%

One of the statistics is marked "comments", comprising 2.2% of responses.

What does this mean? What are the issues being coded under "comments"? Issues with people leaving comments? Issues with people not leaving comments? Rude comments? Not understanding the UI? The way this is expressed here doesn't actually explain the issues people were encountering.

What are the actual issues filed under "comments"?

  • 2
    My guess is that most are about the fact people can't comment with less than 50 rep. (Since unwelcoming/rude comments fall already under the first item) Jan 27, 2020 at 8:28
  • 2
    Are we going to have a question about what is meant by "design" next? Do some users dislike the responsive design, the site's theme, the font etc.? I am more puzzled by "Discovery". What is it? Is it SO related? Is it a product? Is it referring to intuitiveness of the User Interface? Jan 27, 2020 at 10:26
  • 2
    @Mari-LouA Discovery is likely any response that included "can't find"
    – OrangeDog
    Jan 27, 2020 at 10:55
  • 2
    To be fair, almost every single entry is ambiguous enough... interpret as you like... Jan 27, 2020 at 12:46
  • 6
    Y'all... how is this opinion based? Just because y'all don't know doesn't mean that we can't get answers/examples of the responses for you.
    – Catija
    Jan 27, 2020 at 14:18
  • 1
    My favorite is Onboarding. Maybe it's my missing language skills, but I associate entering airplanes with it. Jan 27, 2020 at 21:07

1 Answer 1


I talked to Carla, who's leading the work interpreting the responses we get from the Site Satisfaction survey and she was able to give me some info for you. Responses were added to this group if they were about:

  • General frustrations with commenting
  • Too many unhelpful comments
  • Inability to comment (due to rep)
  • Answers in comments

This excludes rudeness in comments which gets categorized as "unwelcoming" while including answering in comments and noisy comments.

Some specific responses we got include:

  • Users giving answers in comments. They destroy the best questions. I shouldn’t have to read the comments to discover if there is an answer to a question.
  • Not being able to delete my comments if I want to.
  • There can be helpful information or actual solutions in comments that are easy to overlook
  • Gettings multiple comments instead of an answer.
  • No markdown support in comments
  • Comments frequently degrade into squabbling even on the simplest of queries.
  • Not being able to edit the comments we post after 5 min

These seem to be very familiar issues. As a user and moderator I would see them frequently... well... not the one about deleting comments... but it's certainly common to see people who are confused by our UI and think that things are impossible when they are actually possible.

Hopefully this helps clarify this category, which may also help you understand a little about how we categorize other responses.

  • 1
    "Not being able to delete my comments" might refer to comments made by others on their question or answer (I've seen flags for this sort of thing when the comments are in fact helpful, though not as often as users deleting and reposting to clear comments) - or yes, maybe they missed the delete button in the UI. Jan 27, 2020 at 22:20

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