Please Get Used to Hitting "Reply"
If you intend to reply to one specific posting in a discussion, please hit the "reply" button beneath that posting. By doing so, you assure that your posting will be tied to the posting you're replying to.
If you post via the "post a reply" box at the bottom of each discussion, it will be hard to know which posting you're replying to. It will look, for onlookers, like you are replying to the first posting in the discussion.
If you intend to reply to that first posting, the "post a reply" box is fine to use.
Is it possible to move the add your reply button to the right of the page? Then it would be in the same location as the reply link on posts. My DH was having problems with this.
Report this post should be to the far left on both the OP and all the replies. Add your reply should be to the far right right on the OP in the same location as the reply link on the replies. Then people would get in the habit looking in the same part of the screen for the same activity.
My DH was cursing up a storm because he was not replying to the right person.
Having the large reply section on the bottom was confusing to him. The reply box should appear only if a button or link is clicked on. It would eliminate the problem you mention
I don't think posting instructions here is going to solve the problem -- probably 95% of posters to the site will never look here. I think you need to change the functionality/design/layout of the page in this regard.
Possibly a radio button choice just above the text entry box that reads "Reply to the discussion in general" and "Reply to the post above".
Or maybe just a 2 line warning above that text entry box?
Or maybe change all the "reply" links in each post should read "reply to this specific post"?
'Zactly. If a large number of users aren't using an interface properly, then there's something wrong with the interface. Maybe the top reply thing needs to be smaller, or moved below all the existing replies, or maybe the tiny "reply" links at the end of replies should read "reply to this". Or something.
(How ironic, by the way, after all the years of struggle to assemble a new board system that performed quickly enough to handle the site's volume and peculair needs, that the new board software would be written in Ruby on Rails, which is a joy to develop in but runs slower -- hardware dollar for hardware dollar -- than many of the things rejected over the last few years. The site looks great and I love how quickly it's shaping up, by the way.)
yrs. truly, &c.
-- The user formerly known as s.m. koppelman but hobbled by the no-periods-in-usernames-thing at the moment
Guilty as charged. We just have to train ourselves to remember what the little tiny text box is for and what the great big text box is for.
I've caught myself typing in the wrong reply box, copied the text, backed up, then pasted it in the right box. Sometimes, though, I notice it just after I've posted. I've wanted to copy the text, put it in the right box and then delete the baddie, but tehre is no way to do so. If "edit" included a "delete" option, it would be easy to clean up our own messes.
re: Gary Soup
It is funny, but I accidently replied to your message in the wrong box. If it doesn't get deleted, it is a good example.
When you remove the text from the incorrect box, key the word Delete. Then use the 'report this post' link to ask the moderators to delete it.
Posters don't have to waste time reading a message that may now be in two places.
I use the radio button 'vulgar/inappropriate' because I posted in an inappropriate box.
The title could also be changed to the word delete.
Maybe the 'great' radio button could that be changed to 'other'. Another suggestion would be to add the word 'other' to one of the other radio buttons so that if the reason doesn't fit into one of the other categories it would be clear which to use. Maybe you could change spam to spam/other
I am going to leave my delete message without notifying the moderators just this once because it might make what I just wrote clearer.
This post is updated. I was confused and the first post was replying correctly. I added an example.
Not to be argumentative Jim, but several people have reported having problems with being able to reply to a reply, and I have had this problem a couple of times, even though we've tried to follow the protocol. Perhaps it's a kink that needs to be worked out, but I don't think it's the posters' faults most of the time.