I've just had my first encounter with the new close reasons dialog and I have to say "noooo!" - it's far too big and means that I am guaranteed to have to scroll the page whenever I use it. Also, it provides me with no information I don't already have.

Edit: I just voted to close a question as a dupe. This involved me scrolling down to find the "close" button on the new giant dialog, and then scrolling up to be able to enter the close reason in the "dupe" dialog. Gah! I hate scrolling!

Can I suggest that when one gets over either a certain rep or a certain number of closes, this reverts to the older version?

  • 5
    @Neil, just switch one of your monitors to portrait Feb 8, 2010 at 11:57
  • @Neil Screenshot?
    – C. Ross
    Feb 8, 2010 at 13:18
  • I agree with this, but it is good to to be reminded of what the reasons mean. So either have the description as a tooltip (which it used to be) or show the full information occasionally.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Feb 8, 2010 at 13:38
  • 1
    Screen capture from Super User: img.skitch.com/20100208-gmyqr42442y2i2pfekkfak9ftm.png (I thought the question was about the new longer explanation shown underneath closed questions, but after seeing the close dialog I now understand it's about the close reasons dialog while voting. Yes, just like Neil described it. ;-)
    – Arjan
    Feb 8, 2010 at 17:50
  • 1
    The dupe part is a PITA in and by itself. Feb 11, 2010 at 8:25

6 Answers 6


Instead of leaving it as the huge stonking great big dialog it is, or making it less visible for higher rep users, why not make it hide the reason descriptions by default and either make them only appear when an reason is selected, or make a floaty description box appear as the mouse pointer wanders tantalisingly down the screen?

  • 9
    The descriptive text was shown in a tooltip before this change. Apparently that wasn't visible enough for new 3k users who don't read. Feb 8, 2010 at 17:50
  • 1
    +1 For the "floaty description box".
    – Sampson
    Feb 8, 2010 at 17:59
  • 1
    +1 for "floaty description box", -1 for "wanders tantalisingly down the screen". Feb 9, 2010 at 0:39

The layout wastes a lot of space for no real reason. After stripping out the pointless table tags, I restyled it and was able to get the exact same information on-screen easily:

Screenshot of SO question with close dialog in 1024x768 window http://shog9.com/so_close_dialog_scaled.png

  • 1
    I lot better, but I still prefer the old version sans explanations. What is the size of screen your dump is from?
    – nb69307
    Feb 8, 2010 at 19:54
  • I resized the window to 1024x768 (though viewport would be slightly smaller on an actual screen at this resolution due to additional window manager chrome) - click to view unscaled.
    – Shog9
    Feb 8, 2010 at 19:55
  • 1
    Still a big no-go for mobile devices. Ugh.
    – Pollyanna
    Feb 8, 2010 at 19:58
  • I suspect if SO ditched the embedded tables in each list item, a mobile stylesheet could simply hide the descriptions and shrink the entire dialog.
    – Shog9
    Feb 8, 2010 at 20:00

I agree, that is a big wall of text.

Maybe we need an 'expert mode UI' setting in our profiles so that folks who have (say) 6k to 10k rep, and have got the hang of things, can revert to the minimal look and feel.

  • 3
    You need 3000+ rep to be able to vote to close, so I don't think 1000+ is enough to have got "the hang of things", at least not concerning closing.
    – fretje
    Feb 8, 2010 at 13:35
  • 10
    I was going to suggest 10K. People who have just hit 3K are exactly who need to read the long dialog. Feb 8, 2010 at 13:56
  • 6
    I would suggest 6k - 8k. But then I don't have 10k rep and I don't feel I need the explanation every time I vote anymore. 6k means at least two weeks of seeing the detailed dialog. I must say the explanation would have been very good when I crossed the 3k boundary.
    – HAL 9000
    Feb 8, 2010 at 14:52
  • Doh...had a blonde moment there with the rep. But yeah, somewhere between 6k and 10k....
    – Kev
    Feb 8, 2010 at 16:01
  • 3
    I'm not too worried about the "big wall of text" effect when dealing with 3K+ users who are trying to moderate. If it scares people off, we probably wanted them scared off. Feb 8, 2010 at 16:07
  • 1
    I prefer the other of Neil's recommendations -- less about rep, more about number of existing closures (though I would add, "that were successful"). So maybe after 50 successful closures, you have the option to revert to minimal mode if you want. I may never crack 10K rep (well, OK, on Meta I will), but I've probably contributed to at least a few hundred closures on SO main anyway.
    – John Rudy
    Feb 8, 2010 at 16:21
  • @State - gotta admit I'm not a big closer, mostly I guess I've been lucky with the stuff I'm answering. Doing by close rate may encourage the wrong behaviour. Any which way, it'd be nice to have the mean-lean look back again. That big box is so out of style with the rest of SO's UI.
    – Kev
    Feb 8, 2010 at 17:11

Greasemonkey to the rescue:

Edit: Now with "floaty description box appear as the mouse pointer wanders tantalisingly down the screen" as suggested by @CodeByMoonlight.

Edit 2: A screen shot (& to make sure I hit my free hand circle quota, I've indicated where the cursor was, since print screen doesn't capture it)

compact question close dialog

Teh codez:

(function() {
    function GM_wait() {
        if (typeof unsafeWindow.jQuery == 'undefined') { 
        } else { 
            $ = unsafeWindow.jQuery; letsJQuery(); 
    function letsJQuery() {
        var popup = $("<div></div>")
                position: "absolute",
                border: "solid 1px #000",
                display: "none",
                background: "#FFD",
                width: "200px",
                padding: "5px",
                textAlign: "left",
                zIndex: 100,
                "-webkit-box-shadow": "2px 2px 5px #666",
                "-moz-box-shadow": "2px 2px 5px #666",
                "box-shadow": "2px 2px 5px #666"
        $(".post-menu").bind("DOMNodeInserted", function() {
            $("ul.close-reasons").closest("div").css("width", "auto");
            $("ul.close-reasons tr:odd").each(function() {
                var text = $(this).text();
                    .mousemove(function(e) { 
                        popup.text(text).css({top: (e.pageY + 15) + "px", left: (e.pageX + 15) + "px" }).show();
                    .mouseleave(function() {

(Note: it uses the DOMNodeInserted event, which I'm not sure is supported by all browsers... tested & working in Firefox 3.6 though, which I'm guessing is where most greasemonkey is run from anyway)

  • right, you've successfully reverted it to the previous version. :) also, why popup when you can just do a title="tooltip" ? Feb 9, 2010 at 1:22
  • 3
    @Jeff - I assume the reason that it was changed from tooltips in the first place was that no one hovers their mouse there long enough for it to appear. Therefore they never notice the tooltip, let alone bother reading it. This version will show the message instantly & it will follow your mouse around, making it much harder to ignore. :)
    – Alconja
    Feb 9, 2010 at 1:44
  • 2
    no, the problem is that a lot of users never see/read tooltips -- period. No matter how they're implemented. We still use them a bunch of places for incidental info, but for important stuff, it has to be in their face or it doesn't exist. Feb 9, 2010 at 3:19
  • 9
    @Jeff - agreed about most users never reading tooltips. However, I'm not convinced that you'll get any more people bothering to read it when its presented as a wall of text either... it would be an interesting usability study though. Although I suppose the group of people who don't read tooltips can be split in two: A) those that can't be bothered reading instructions and B) those that simply don't notice that they're there. The new solution won't help Group A (then again nothing will), but it will at least potentially help Group B, at the expense of annoying people who already get it.
    – Alconja
    Feb 9, 2010 at 4:30
  • @Jeff @Alconja - actually this is better than the old version; the mouseover popup works better than a tooltip for catching the user's attention. (well, it does for this user, anyways.) Feb 10, 2010 at 18:11
  • @Aconja agreed, wall of text = fail.
    – alex
    Feb 12, 2010 at 14:19

At the very least it needs to pop up in a place where I don't have to scroll to read it or press the buttons on a 21" panel.

  • 7
    This is going to kill modding on my HTC Hero...
    – Ivo Flipse
    Feb 8, 2010 at 18:25

FWIW, here's the new huge close box, as it appears on my usual size browser on my 13" MacBook laptop (my browser is not quite maximised). Yes, the whole thing doesn't even quite fit vertically.

  • 3
    And that's even after scrolling down. Normally, the "Close" button won't be at the top of the page when you click it.
    – mmyers
    Feb 8, 2010 at 19:16
  • er, based on the scrollbars, the question page doesn't even fit Feb 9, 2010 at 3:23
  • @Jeff: That's right, my browser is optimally sized. Feb 9, 2010 at 6:19
  • Have you proven so? Optimality isn't easy to claim correctly
    – Vinko Vrsalovic StaffMod
    Feb 12, 2010 at 17:57
  • @John: Luckily, there are only a finite number of choices for browser size. I tried them all and chose the best one. Feb 12, 2010 at 19:20

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