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Redesign update: changes to comments and search!

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When we launched the redesign a few weeks ago we said we would be making some changes based on your feedback.

The first update has now been rolled out, and includes changes to the way comments and the search function work.

Changes to comments:

  • Re-introducing gravatars. Although most commenters don’t set any gravatars (you can do so here if you are interested) it can be helpful to distinguish between users with similar names!
  • Increasing the visibility of HfP comments. This includes displaying a HfP logo gravatar as well as giving our comments a blue shading.
  • Making usernames sentence case again, rather than all-caps.
  • Giving comment replies a grey background, which should help to make the site appear ‘less white’!
  • Moving the ‘reply’ button to the right, out of the way of the main comment flow. It should now be less distracting.
  • Making the comment pagination more obvious, so that it’s clear what page you are on. We had a lot of comments saying how hard it was to tell and we agreed!

Changes to search:

  • Adding the ability to search comments and posts, just posts or just comments. Unfortunately there is no way for us to display comment snippets in comment search at the moment, which is frustrating.
  • Added the ability to filter based on relevance or publication date. This should help if you are looking for recent articles.

Hopefully these changes make navigating the comments a lot easier and the search function more flexible. Let us know what you think or if you have any other suggestions. We will be introducing further tweaks across the site in the coming week.

PS. if you can’t see the changes properly, make sure to empty your browser cache! The easiest way to do this is CTRL + F5 on Windows and CMD + R on Apple Macs.

Comments (83)

  • RichS says:

    Looks good. Much easier to read comments now.

  • EwanG says:

    Trying to look at an old article from 2019, I’m getting a ‘too many redirects’ error message in Chrome. Go to https://www.headforpoints.com/2019/03/31/ and the offending page is the Avis one. Other articles from that day work ok (and redirect to a newer article as appropriate). Any chance you can look at why the redirect is broken?

    +1 on the way the reply comments are now shaded, this is a big improvement.

    • Rob says:

      Sorry. We redirected a few old Avis / Avios promo articles to the latest one, but I think we ended up creating a circle by mistake! Will be fixed in five minutes.

      • EwanG says:

        Thanks Rob, not getting an error any more, however…. The original article had 28 comments and it was the content of the comments that I had originally bookmarked it, rather than the article. Is there any way to get back to the original, because clicking on the link for the original article takes you to the newer article with the newer (four) comments!

        • Rob says:

          No, unfortunately. It’s a hard redirect.

          We do this for SEO reasons because all of these articles have similar wording (they are basically clones of each other) and Google has no idea which is correct so it ignores them all. Instead we divert them all to the latest.

  • Andy says:

    Well, since no one else is going to say it, thanks for listening to feedback and acting on it. Shading for HFP replies is a nice and subtle way to reinforce “authority comments”.

    • Rob says:

      Although that’s the reason I was not hugely keen on it, because the only thing you can be sure of in this game is that there is always someone out there who knows more than you on a particular topic. I absolutely don’t want to be seen as the ‘final word’ on any topic!

  • Peter K says:

    Thank you for the clearing cache advice. I could see no changes (apart from double Gravitars) until I did that. It’s great. Thank you!

  • AJA says:

    Well done HfP team. I like these changes based on our collective feedback. It looks fab! It took me a while to work out how to clear cache on my mobile and I had very big avatars blocking the screen but all good now. I especially like the highlighted replies and the Reply button moved to the right. The only thing left from my point of vies is the return of the recent comments link but that is a nice to have rather than a must have.

  • Duncan says:

    This is such a welcome change, and I’m glad to see the return of the Gravatar. It definitely adds a bit more personality to the comments section. 💜

  • Fenny says:

    Looking much better. Thanks for the updates.

  • Anne says:

    Also very much liking the change to clearly show which comment page you are on. The previous iteration with counter intuitive underlining really screwed with my brain!! Thanks Rob and Rhys, I liked the redesign regardless but the changes today are all positive.

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