For the month of November, we're going to try an experiment with how favorites are displayed. [Note: if this whole experiment is driving you crazy, here's a note on reverting the changes.]
posted by cortex to Feature Requests at 12:02 PM (2725 comments total)
43 users marked this as a favorite
One of the recurring discussions about favorites is whether or not it's a good idea to display favorite counts on comments. There have been a few proposals over the years to modify how that works, and we're going to try putting some of those ideas into action for the month of November to see how things feel.
Here's what we're going to do:
1. We're removing the number-of-favorites indicator from comment bylines.
2. We're replacing the word "favorites" with "faved" for those comments that have one or more favorites attached to them. This will link to the list of favorites for a comment just as the traditional "x favorites" link always has. [After a bunch of feedback, we've changed "faved" to "has favorites". -c]
3. We're including the favorite count invisibly in the byline still, so that those who specifically want to use that information or to write/modify scripts affected by it can do so.
4. All other aspects of the system will remain as is, so various less-visible parts of the site that deal with favorites should be unaffected.
And that's the plan. Here's where we're coming from on this:
We've talked about how to do this for a while now behind the scenes (and in previous Metatalk threads), and the plan above feels like the best compromise we could think of to address some of the concerns folks have expressed over the years while retaining what we see as the considerable utility of the favorites system itself.
Removing the count is the key thing. It's an attempt to address the concern that visible favorite counts on comments may be interpreted as voting system, while still keeping the transparency-of-favoriting function of a visible marker and a favorites list link intact.
We're not removing the favorite counts from posts; the concerns about the effects of the favorites system have almost universally been regarding comments, and so we're just focusing on that for this experiment.
The change from "favorites" to "faved" is in part a change just to make it clearer that there is a change, for folks who may not be as attentive to Metatalk or site UI details. We've also tried to come up with something shorter than "favorites" just to reduce the byline length a little bit, while keeping it clearly readable and clickable. If folks have suggestions for alternative link text to "faved", we're happy to hear ideas.
This change will probably break various scripts that depend on specific formatting of the byline, which we're aware of but don't have any real help for. At the end of the day, we need to reserve the right to tweak the site's UI. However, by including the favorite count information in the source, any script that needs access to it can be modified to get at it, and any script that doesn't need access to that info can just be modified to work with the new layout. (And given that this is an experiment, any changes to scripts should probably be treated for now as just an experimental fork.)
We think a month is long enough for folks to get more or less used to the change and develop an opinion about whether its a net improvement or not and whether there are any serious unintended consequences, etc. We're going to go ahead and launch it in the next 24 hours, and we're happy to hear feedback and suggestions in this thread now and throughout November.