Vote on Comments

September 5, 2008

Discussion in contests can at times get heated and often the really useful comments can get lost amongst the noise. We have talked about lots of different ways to add moderation around the site, and we keep coming back to the same idea, everyone should be moderators. As a first experimental step, we have added voting on comments.

You will notice a thumbs up and thumbs down button on comments. Everyone can vote on comments, either rating them as “good” or “poor”. When a comment reaches 5 down votes, it gets minimized. The one exception to this is Contest Holder comments can’t be hidden, but they can still be voted on.

We would love to hear what you guys think of this system. It’s really a bit of a social experiment, but we have high hopes!

30 Responses to “Vote on Comments”

  1. pegatinas Says:

    It’s a good idea but it should be 3 strikes. Also, I have to horizontal scroll now. I don’t like how it was implemented.
    I LOVED how the contest holders comments were in a gray box. Anyway to go back to that?

  2. Paul Annesley Says:

    Hi pegatinas – what do you mean you need to horizontal scroll? That sounds worrying. I’ll email you for more details.

    As for highlighting the contest holders comments – they’re still highlighted, but with a purple bar instead of a gray box – variety is the spice of life!

  3. pegatinas Says:

    It’s just me Paul. I’m still using a 640 x 800 screen resolution, so hence the sideways scrolling. Don’t laugh. I’m so use to it. I squint when I go to the higher resolution.
    Yes, I like the purple bar for contest holder. And I like purple. I’ll get used to it.


  4. pegatinas Says:

    Wait! I don’t see the “thumbs up/down” icons. Do I have to use Firefox?

  5. Any browser created within the last 7 years will work fine. If you are using IE6 I would recommend an upgrade.

  6. Paul Annesley Says:

    No problem Mary :) I won’t laugh – but I’m not sure we can do anything about horizontal scroll at 800 pixel screen width, sorry!

    We’re looking into showing alternate rate up/down controls for Internet Explorer 6 – but like Lachlan says, it’s definitely time for a browser upgrade :)

  7. pegatinas Says:

    Okay! Time for a change! :-)
    Thanks so much!

  8. SDStduio Says:

    Great Idea!!! now we can vote on the CH comments lol that going to be fun!!!

    keep up the great work :)


  9. Nadia P Says:

    So if a designer sees the following beside their name:
    Score O, this means no votes,
    Score 1, means one thumbs up vote
    Score -1 means one thumbs down vote

    Is that the way it works??

  10. A thumbs up gives the score +1, a thumbs down gives it a -1.

  11. Nadia P Says:

    Thanks Lachlan :-)

  12. ZZZzzz Says:

    Wow i just get up from bed and saw new impovments,great job…you done great work.
    Since Adam come to team there was lot of improvments,i like it and thanks :D

  13. simonbun Says:

    Good update, although I haven’t seen that much abuse or other bad comments on 99designs.

    Some minor remarks though:
    – I preferred the old font used for comments. If I’m not mistaken, The font size was increased but the leading remained the same. I think readability will be improved if the leading was increased as well.

    – I also preferred the way CH comments were highlighted before. Yes, the header is marked now, but it’s not as obvious to pick out CH comments as before. Also preferred the gray over the purple.

    Other than that, keep up the good work guys.

  14. Nadia P Says:

    On first look, it’s a good idea and may help with abusive type comments.

    However, I can see this being open to abuse also – there should be some accountability here so that this feature cannot be used as a ‘payback’ towards particular designers etc., being able to see who gave negative feedback (thumbs down), would ensure that this isn’t used unfairly….

  15. Hi simonbun,

    Thanks for your feedback:

    Good catch with the lack of leading on “Designs by user” pages. They’re supposed to have the same leading currently applied to Contest pages (line-height of 1.5) — not sure how this discrepancy occurred. I’ll roll a fix into the next site update.


    As for Contest Holder comments now being on white (with a purple header) as opposed to grey, we’ve been discussing the change here at 99HQ and are interested to hear if others are similarly hoping the grey will return, or if they think the white is more readable?

    Thanks again.

    Update: Fixed.

  16. @Nadia P: As Lachlan mentioned in the above blog post, this is kind of a social experiment and we are certainly watching and listening. As an aside, if you suspect the site is being abused (in any way) please sing out.

  17. Nadia P Says:

    I like the purple (rather than the grey) in the CH’s header, but to completely differentiate it from the designers’ comments I’d suggest that the whole CH box be also given the same bg colour or even a lighter shade of the purple. It certainly wouldn’t cause any readability issues I don’t believe.

  18. ZZZzzz Says:

    Hmm i think light blue would be nice but gray was ok too.
    Could you make simple style swicher with maybe 3-4 colors and make evryone happy :D

    btw i vote to reaturn highlight for hole comment and not just header…more readable that way.


  19. Serdar Says:

    I cannot see the point of voting a comment in the “designs page”, by anyone except the designer and the contest holder. Others should not be allowed to vote there.

    For example, only Netraam (Designer) and JSZao (Contest Holder) should vote in the page below:

  20. Serdar: Our approach with these comment ratings is to have them on all comments initially and see how they get used. If comments are viewable by anyone, it seems fair to let them rate them. I suspect what might happen is we will allow rating of comments, but won’t hide comments by the CH or the designer in a feedback page.

  21. genpix Says:

    While this works in Safari and the new Google Chrome, many of your Javascript tools don’t, like zooming popups for design thumbnails and star ratings for designs. Both Safari and Chrome are based on the same rendering engine, so fixing it for one would probably fix the other.

  22. Ben Says:

    Would rather see friends ratings on designs. Is this useful for other designers?

  23. Lori Says:

    I was one of probably many contest holders that had suggested a moderation system. I’m not sure that the comment scoring is doing the trick. The issue I have with the wall posts on the contest is that it turns into a bickering page — and while scoring let’s the designers know that I’m not happy with their comment… it doesn’t stop the bickering. I’m just trying to get a logo designed – I don’t really feel like babysitting egos ;)

    I’ll definitely use the comment scoring for now.. maybe I’ll warm up to it. I like what someone said above regarding “three strikes, you’re out” :)

  24. I actually like this feature. There has been way too many arguments & drivel on the contest threads & this will definitely help clear some of it up. I think 5 votes may be a bit too extensive though, 3 sounds like a better # to hide a comment, to each their own though.

    I’ve already put the comment scoring to use, however I have noticed not many others are taking the time to vote on comments. :( Maybe it will catch on in a few months or so, hopefully. :)

  25. genpix Says:

    I haven’t seen a -1, but I saw a -2 and it was minimized. Did you change the setting from -5 to something else?

  26. Paul Annesley Says:

    genpix: we’re experimenting to find the best balance with this system. Currently comments with a score of -2 are minimized, but that might change in future.

    Keep in mind that if you see a minimized comment which you think should not be minimized, it can still be voted back up.

  27. ansys Says:

    I also liked the grey box for the CH’s comments as it was easy to differentiate the comment between CH and Designers.

  28. Rodney Says:

    I agree with Serdar that on the “Designs By” page it doesn’t make sense to have the comments voted on by others.

    I really don’t see a reason for the CH to vote there either, but I *guess* it could help give quick feedback to let the designer know which comment was helpful and which wasn’t helpful. Text could do the same just as fast though.

    On the main “wall” page is where the real “heated” discussions happen, which was what I thought this new feature was trying to address.

    Overall though, I like the idea of adding *some* way of moderating the main wall comments. Should be an interesting experiment.

  29. BombardierBob Says:

    This is ok but more a waste of time and little to no
    value what so ever. You need a report feature cause now
    we have people spamming the thread with advertisements
    for other sites.

    User: qtdziner

    Seems like some of the new features are just a way for 99design staff to kill time when they have nothing better to do when they don’t much in the first place.

  30. You’ve certainly got us pegged Bob. Thank you for your insightful feedback.

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