JFYI w:ru:Википедия:Форум/Технический contains a lot of short but informative one-line replies - with the signature they remain only one line. With Flow, that would look ugly. Thought I'd mention that for your next design work to succeed.
Topic on Talk:Structured Discussions
On design for one-line messages.. more compact...
For example, we really need to avoid wasting three lines for short comments like the one above (the problem would be the same if instead of "+1" I had written a short answer)
Can you take a screenshot of this thread and move things around in a painting program until a point you like it? You can upload to Commons.
one line reply (see, it's 3 lines here)
From a quick look at a Twitter page and a Reddit page (bah, its design scales well ; those are social networks that quickly come to mind), I think this issue has to be solved by
- grouping nick and time together
- making the message text clearly black
- making the reply/etc buttons a bit pale and (as mentioned) small, but bold
- grouping stuff like nick/time/reply button closer to the message and leaving margins between messages
- not using borders (they clutter)
Some other things to try:
- a "[-]" button at the left of nick collapses a message and its children
- "+/-" (up/down) are small arrows at the message left (enableable per-namespace)
- please use serif font for the topic title!!!!!1
some minor notes pictures... :
Gryllida: I like this view. Whitespace can also be saved in the title, as you imply in your screenshot.
Another possibility: replacing second/minute/hour/week/month/year with s/m/hr/wk/mo/yr would be reasonable and could fit the attribution into the same line.
one line reply Gryllida 1 minute ago (33 seconds ago) Reply Edit ...
Note that I also dropped the "Edited". If there are two timestamps then you don't really need to say it's been edited.
I'd also like a more compact design, with username and time stamps together, as well as actions grouped together and not taking even one more line.
I like the username and time stamps below the message, because I feel that the content is comparatively more important than its author and time (I see this as a major difference between collaborative working and social networking).
What about indenting them from the post text, to better distinguish this meta-information from the actual content?
What about moving the actions to the right "margin" (that huge white space that's still totally unused after so many month of Flow experimentation and development)? We could have "reply" at the level of the last line of the post content, "thank" at the level of the line containing the username and time stamps, the dots triplet (= other actions menu including permalink, hide, edit...) between those two.
Moving the actions to the right "margin" would even allow for the username and timestamps to be right-aligned instead of just indented. That would be my preferred option because I like to focus on content (arguments and replies), with meta-information being readily available without actually interfering with the content as I feel it does right now.
Perhaps a +1 button, incrementing a counter field in the title?
"+1" is indeed a common type of very short answer. However, I think that reducing it to a counter increment has several drawbacks. For instance:
- We would not have meta-information at all: we wouldn't be able to distinguish between "+1" from a serious contributor and "+1" from a usual spammer...
- It would not be possible to change mind. Unless having also a "-1" button.
- It would be possible to "+1" (or "-1") several times.
So, in my view, such a basic counter would be totally useless. If you have other ideas, maybe you could explain how such a counter would effectively work?
NB: A more sophisticated counter mechanism for sure makes sense in some other workflows than the basic discussion ones, e.g. voting workflows that Flow will probably support one day.