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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)

  • The Savage Squirrel says:

    Agree with all of above. Well done on some nice tweaks.

  • RussellH says:

    Two thoughts:-

    1. Have links to the various pages of comments **at the top** of the comments, as well as at the bottom.

    2. Colouring the level of replies – blue for first reply, grey for the second – is abig improvement. Could we not have further colours – say green, pink and mauve – for third, fourth and fifth level replies. Like a decent e-mail program!

  • Alan says:

    Massive improvement 👍👍 Way more readable now usernames not all caps and great to have Gravatars back. Reply on the far right makes much more sense and colour shading makes it less of a boring white too, as well as being more readable!

    No Ctrl-F5 option on mobile but a clear of cache on Android Chrome did the trick nicely.

  • Matt says:

    All of today’s changes seem genuine improvements. Thank you!

  • jc says:

    There’s still a frustrating bug with the reply button on mobile. It triggers as soon as the finger touches it, which means if you happen to scroll with your finger near it it thinks you’re pressing Reply. Virtually every other link on the entire internet only activates if you press and release your finger without a scroll. (Technical: ask your web people to make sure it’s activated on “click” not on “mousedown”)

  • Alex says:

    Only issue I’m having is that on mobile the Gravatar is massive and seems to appear twice side by side which is annoying. Really like the hfp logo to distinguish your responses though

  • Pangolin says:

    I use the DuckDuckGo browser on iOS – there doesn’t seem to be anyway to clear cache, so I’m stuck with the double avatars, CAPS usernames and lack of comment shading 🙁

    • Rhys says:

      It should hopefully change eventually as your cache flushes, although I’d be surprised if there isn’t a way to completely clear the cache?

      • Pangolin says:

        On DDG (mobile version) the only way is to close all the tabs in the browser (clicking the flame icon wipes out everything) but I hate losing all my tabs!

  • Doug M says:

    I like the changes, the shading has definitely improved the over whiteness. Trivial but I do like the return of the gravatars too. Excellent stuff.

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