Inconsistent Preview/Post buttons February 5, 2013 1:11 AM   Subscribe

The position of the Preview and Post buttons is inconsistent.

This is a small usability issue, but when posting a comment the buttons are:
[Post comment] [Preview]

Which is fine and you get used to it, but then when creating a new MeFi post or AskMe question the buttons become:
[Preview] [Post]

I don't really mind which way around they are but could we make them consistent?
I think this would reduce the number of people who press the wrong button from force of habit.

Also [preview] is the smaller button when posting a comment but then becomes the wider of the two buttons when posting a new thread, this does makes some sense as the wider button is probably the most used option in each case, but it does make for an inconsistent UI.
posted by Lanark to Feature Requests at 1:11 AM (43 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

Huh, right you are. Maybe it's got something to do with live preview: when posting a comment you're already looking at what will be posted, so "classic" preview is arguably less important.

But I'm not sure. You're correct though, it is inconsistent all the same. I'll ask pb to weigh in later when it's morning in the western U.S.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 1:44 AM on February 5, 2013


"Inconsistent Preview/Post Buttons"
-- The Musical Phenomenon --

In 21st-century America, pb has has been hunted by the ruthless Inspector Lanark for decades after he breaks parole in order to code a piece of bread. After making a new life as a respectable MetaFilter moderator, pb agrees to care for a factory worker's daughter, goodnewsfortheinsane, rather than fix the position of the Preview and Post buttons. The fateful decision changes their lives ... forever.

Starring Hugh Jackman as pb ... Russell Crowe as Inspector Lanark ... Anne Hathaway as Susan Boyle ... Amanda Seyfried as goodnewsfortheinsane ... and Sacha Baron Cohen as the Inconsistent Preview/Post Buttons.

posted by the quidnunc kid at 3:16 AM on February 5, 2013 [23 favorites]


There - out in the darkness!
pb is sleeping:
Fallen from God
Fallen from grace
God be my witness,
I never shall yield
Till the preview and post buttons
Are in their right place!

He knows his way in the database -
Mine is the way of user ergonomics!
And those who follow the path of the consistent
Shall have their reward!

And if pb fails to rectify the UI inconsistency -
The flames, the sword!
posted by the quidnunc kid at 3:32 AM on February 5, 2013 [8 favorites]


There is a MeTa thread on a cloud,
I like to go there in my rest,
Aren't any bug reports or user protests,
Not in my MeTa thread on a cloud.

Every post is full of joy,
There are a hundred boys and girls,
And quidnunc kid is not allowed,
Not in my MeTa thread on a cloud.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 3:35 AM on February 5, 2013 [8 favorites]

Look for the narwhal
To preview post or comment
No more confusion
posted by Rhomboid at 3:35 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

posted by .kobayashi. at 4:00 AM on February 5, 2013

Guys, bug reports and interface suggestions provide valid feedback to the admin team about user experience. Inspector Lanark is only doing his duty, so there is no need to go singing the songs of angry men. On the other hand, it is the music of the people who will not be slaves again. So there is that.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 4:29 AM on February 5, 2013 [5 favorites]

Dammit, now I've got "Mathowie of the House" stuck in my head.
posted by zarq at 4:48 AM on February 5, 2013 [5 favorites]

Put differently, when I'm crafting an FPP I find I use the Preview button a *lot*, and when commenting I will use it almost never. So I can see how one would take precedence over the other in different usage contexts.

Also I wonder about how much of a problem the misclicking is in practice. We certainly don't get a lot of reports from folks hitting the wrong button, I don't think.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 4:49 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Furthermore, when posting you always need to preview first before the posting button becomes available, while with commenting any inadvertent post instead of preview click can be put right with the edit window (as long as they're tyops, natch).
posted by MartinWisse at 5:15 AM on February 5, 2013

quidnunc, at last! We see each other true
Vote #1, but it won't be for you
posted by SpiffyRob at 5:49 AM on February 5, 2013 [5 favorites]

Hell, just eliminate the post button. You know all you want to do here anyway is see your infinite wisdom on the screen of the metafilter, and you can do that with the preview button (and spare the rest of us your idiocy, not naming names)... it'll be a lot more peaceful in here and the mods could get some sleep.
posted by HuronBob at 5:51 AM on February 5, 2013

I dreamed a dream of posts gone by
When hope was high and life worth living
I dreamed my words would never die
I dreamed the mods would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And thoughts were made and used and wasted
Only five dollars to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted

But the trolls, they come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your posts apart
As they turn your words to shame
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:55 AM on February 5, 2013 [11 favorites]

I've noticed this and always figured it was intentional. A post should probably be thoroughly read for errors/whatever at least once, probably twice, because everyone sees it and it requires mod intervention to correct. A comment is seen by many fewer people, and now that we have the edit window, he stakes for screwing up a comment are pretty much nil.

I'm one of those people who does a lot of her clicking by muscle memory, so it would make sense to me to have the main page posting button default to preview.
posted by phunniemee at 5:59 AM on February 5, 2013

was I too harsh up there?
posted by HuronBob at 6:12 AM on February 5, 2013

Hell, just eliminate the post button.

One post more!
Another day, another destiny.
This never-ending path to legacy;
These mods who seem to know my crime
Will surely delete a second time.
One day more!

It did not live until today.
But will it live once it is posted?

One day more.

Tomorrow is a page away
And yet right now a thread has started!

One more day all on its own.

Will they ever fave again?

One more day with folks not caring.

(Deleted) "OP needs to get a clue"

What a life it might have known.

And so we begin anew.....


One more day to post a new one. Will they nip it in the bud? I will start a thread in Meta. The mods will wet themselves in dread.

One day more!
posted by zarq at 6:16 AM on February 5, 2013 [7 favorites]

I've noticed this and always figured it was intentional.

It is intentional. We've always differentiated between posts and comments in a few different ways on the site. Force preview for posts, edit window for comments and not for posts. I hear what you're saying Lanark, but I'm not sure if we are seeing people using the wrong button.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:45 AM on February 5, 2013

I was always curious, so I googled and found an interview with Herbert Kretzmer (PDF):

SHEAHEN : In “I Dreamed A Dream” how did you come up with the line “But the
tigers come at night…” Does it mean anything other than what it implies ?

KRETZMER : Late one night, working on the lyrics in Basil Street, the phrase
about the tigers leaped into my head and would not be dislodged. It is a
mysterious line but it seemed right to me and was instantly accepted by the team
without question. The line refers of course to the dark forces, alluring and
seductive --“with their voices soft as thunder” – which can creep up and destroy
the lives of the unprepared. Also, there may be an unconscious reference to
William Blake’s poem about the tiger “burning bright in the forest of the night.”
posted by SpiffyRob at 7:08 AM on February 5, 2013 [3 favorites]

so much depends

a [preview] butt

in 12-point hel

beside the [post]
posted by googly at 7:13 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Meanwhile, on the mod IM service ...

>pb, we need you to take a look at a MeTa feature request.
>oh ok. sorry, i was asleep. what's the problem?
>Well there's this thread about the preview and post buttons ...
>sounds simple enough
>yeah, but it's taken a "Les Miserables" theme, so you have to reply in the character of Jean Valjean.
>who am i?
>You're Jean Valjean.
>you know, i really don't understand this fucking place sometimes
posted by the quidnunc kid at 7:37 AM on February 5, 2013 [10 favorites]

I've set the bugbears on them.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:09 AM on February 5, 2013 you have to reply in the character of Jean Valjean.

Hear my prayer.
When posting,
The Preview button has always been there.

By design
by the need,
let it rest
Heaven blessed.
Post is home.
Post is home.
Post is home.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:22 AM on February 5, 2013 [43 favorites]

But seriously, as Jessamyn mentioned this is by design. Previewing is much more important on posting. We're ok with inconsistencies in the interface when the two actions are very different things. When you make a post the focus should be on previewing as many times as possible. When you're writing a comment you have the option of looking at Live Preview, which makes the full HTML preview less important.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:22 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

You couldn't possibly know how much I needed to start my online day with a Metatalk thread full of Les Mis themed MetaFilter parodies. But it was a lot.

I haven't been this embarrassed to be near tears since...seeing Les Mis in the movie theater Christmas morning.

Thanks (even though explaining what exactly was so funny to my mother-in-law was pretty impossible)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:34 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Who is this man
What sort of mod is pb
To reply in a song
To a user's pony
posted by Solon and Thanks at 11:00 AM on February 5, 2013 [4 favorites]

Before you say another word, pb
Before you close this thread like the one before
Listen to me! There is something I must do.
This woman sent to me an animated gif
There is no other way to show my feels
In Mercy's name, this tag is all I need.
Then I'll log off, I pledge my word
Then I'll log off...
posted by specialagentwebb at 11:13 AM on February 5, 2013 [9 favorites]

There's a grar that can't be spoken.
There's a JRUN error goes on and on.
Empty posts with empty comments
Now my sockpuppets are dead and gone...
posted by blue_beetle at 11:38 AM on February 5, 2013 [5 favorites]

specialagentwebb: "Then I'll log off..."

You must think him mad!
posted by zarq at 12:03 PM on February 5, 2013

*is French in France, sings in English*
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:08 PM on February 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

The version of "Master of the House" starring Jessamyn and Cortex as the Thernardiers that's playing in my head right now is amazing.
posted by Diablevert at 12:22 PM on February 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

Okay, that's two of you alluding to "Master Of The House" - let's see the filks!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:29 PM on February 5, 2013

Flamed out, flamed out
Our IPs banned for life;
Flamed out, flamed out
Can't pay another five...

I've done no wrong!
Mathowie, hear my prayer!

Flamed out, flamed out-
Mathowie doesn't care.

I blame the chicks-
The site's gone all P.C.

When you flamed out
No one seemed to agree.

American hip hop has spread over world like a great stinking wave of diarrhea, dissolving native expression and replacing it with the stylizing barking shallow emotional cripples, stripping the joy from youth, figuratively turning young men into stiff, repressed robots, and fresh young women into desperate, ass-jittering cattle. Liberals and humanists have been silent, as this, this most blatantly and monstrously misogynistic collective expression took hold in America, and its fetishization of wealth, guns, cruelty, anal rape, pimp culture, drugs and murder became mainstream culture, and its coarsest examples made themselves at home in the bedrooms of every 12-year-old. Decent people stood by as the 150-year effort to defeat ugly racist stereotypes and create a life-enhancing African-American culture were crushed by the rap and hip-hop's massive promulgation of the most demeaning racial stereotypes ever launched into the mass media -- characterizations of African-Americans so grotesque, so dehumanizing, so cruelly unfair that they make the caricatures of previous eras -- the eras of lynching, segregation and Jim Crow -- look gentle, and dignified and even desirable. Rap has been a spiritual catastrophe in America, and now we're supposed to stand up and applaud as the rest of the world hurries to corrupt itself in our image. American feminists and liberals are frankly terrified by this army of crotch-grabbing, ape-walking, gun-waving, gold bedizened reactionaries, with their aggressive and violent promotion of the most conservative social vision imaginable, and its imperialist spread around the world. Cowardly liberals and feminists would rather take on some poor jerk in an Uncle Sam suit at a teabagger convention, than then these scary rap exploiters who might actually hurt you if you threaten their wealth, territory or harems.

posted by Iridic at 2:46 PM on February 5, 2013 [7 favorites]

The position of the Preview and Post buttons is inconsistent.

For some reason, I read this the first time I looked at it as "The position of the Preview and Post buttons is insistent."

I like it better my way.
posted by dersins at 8:05 PM on February 5, 2013

If pb is Valjean, shouldn't it be...

And so Lanark, you see it's true
That button's more post than preview!
Who am I?
User 191!

posted by maryr at 8:35 PM on February 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

So it's not an A/B test?
posted by medusa at 10:21 PM on February 5, 2013

The different button positions, I mean.
posted by medusa at 10:21 PM on February 5, 2013

Had you read this tonight
You would know how I feel
Les Miz themed comments
A source of endless delight

pb's Valjean was a joke
Now it's real
Responding to what's wrong
By pointing out it's right

Posts must be made with care!

Should I eat it? Do I dare?

A pony for us all!

It's more professional!
posted by Lush at 5:57 AM on February 6, 2013 [3 favorites]

This discussion won't be complete unless Roger Dodger shows up.
posted by tzikeh at 9:16 AM on February 6, 2013

Well, I can get us started. Ahem:

Welcome, newbie.
Sit yourself down.
Only 5 bucks,
Same as in town.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:25 AM on February 6, 2013 [2 favorites]

As for the grey
All of them bark,
"Show me the ponies!"
And snark in the dark...

Seldom do you see
Coders like pb
posted by misha at 3:54 PM on February 6, 2013 [3 favorites]

A web monkey of the hot keys
Who's coding to please

Matthew of the Haughey
Serving up the site
Ready with the titles
And handling the fights.
Soothes the ruffled feathers
Stirred up by the change
Mefites don't appreciate when something's strange.
posted by misha at 4:14 PM on February 6, 2013 [2 favorites]

Glad to customize profiles
It doesn't cost him to be nice
But nothing gets you nothing
Everything came for one price.

Matthew of the Haughey
Keeper of the Blue
Gets his help from
jessamyn and cortex too
Lobster_Mitten, also taz
Restless_nomad's got the weekends
And that helps to spread the pain.
posted by misha at 4:22 PM on February 6, 2013 [2 favorites]

Everybody loves Matt Haughey!
Everybody loves the Mods!
They deletes 'em as it pleases 'em
Jesus, what a bunch of sods.

[Not really! I just can't think of a better rhyme. Someone else take over now?]
posted by misha at 4:28 PM on February 6, 2013 [2 favorites]

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