It is confusing to follow a thread because when people reply without quoting you don’t know who and what they replied to. The interface in the editor shows the who the reply is responding to as well as gives the impression that this information will be public, but there isn’t a good indication on the live site.
While replies can be expanded on discussion or answer threads (I’m not sure which):
- This doesn’t seem to be the case for both discussion and answer threads/comments
- It clutters the thread.
- Even if replies were only shown when expanding replies, who they are replying to without user manually tagging is still unclear.
- Discourse doesn’t seem to support nested replies, but I’m not sure about this.
Automatically including the tag of whoever is being replied to in the editor would mitigate users forgetting/not doing this as well as easily allow people to reply to multiple people without heavy changes to the interface.
Ideally, and likely discourse also doesn’t support yet, the editor interface would work as it does now, but include the post number with the recipient as well have a way to add recipients and/or associated posts in the thread to reply to. Then the live/thread interface would show that x replied to y’s post #123 with a short snippet of the first sentence of the post and replied to z. The intent that the interface would be getting across is x replied to y’s specific post and generally mentioned z. Perhaps include profile picture for each profile name. x would link to x’s profile. y would link to y profile. post #123 would link and jump to the post but also allow hovering on the link and seeing more post context, ideally the whole post in a hover bubble/popup, and z would link to z’s profile.