Blog comment design is a frequently underestimated aspect of blog aesthetics. Most often, comments are tucked away at the end of a post, unnoticed until a visitor has formed an opinion about your website. They primarily serve a functional role, so why spend extra effort in refining their appearance?
However, superior comment design can make your blog stand out from the crowd. Investing effort in crafting your comment section and the associated form can leave a lasting impact on your regular audience. It subtly indicates that you value their insights and encourage active discussions on your platform.
In this article, we highlight best practices and showcase examples that will inspire you to design a captivating comment system for your upcoming blog projects.
Styling Comment Displays
How you design your comment section can significantly influence your blog’s overall impression on visitors. A well-styled comment area signifies that you truly value your readers’ feedback, making their remarks stand out in an aesthetically pleasing and navigable manner.
Should You Opt for Threaded View or Flat View?
Choosing between threaded comments and a chronological arrangement can be challenging. Here’s what to consider when making that decision:
If the goal is to foster active discussions among readers, threaded comments are effective, especially if you receive numerous comments. It promotes better interaction among visitors.
However, threaded comments have their downsides. Some users might reply to the earliest comment in the thread with unrelated content just to have their feedback appear near the top. While moderating can prevent this, it does add another task for administrators.
If the intent is for readers to respond primarily to the content rather than each other, flat comments are more appropriate.
Both configurations have advantages and disadvantages. It’s essential to consider the pros and cons before deciding.
Top Guidelines for Comment Styling
Explore these suggestions to craft more engaging comment designs.
Highlight Author Responses
While designing your comment section, differentiate author or admin comments from the rest. You can achieve this by incorporating a distinct icon or opting for a different background shade.
Such distinctive styling helps readers quickly identify replies from the author, promoting more extensive discussions.
Seeing faces adds a personal touch to discussions. By incorporating Gravatars, you streamline this aspect, encouraging more interactions.
Pro Tip: Offer a unique Gravatar image for users who haven’t set their own, instead of the typical geometric or monster visuals.
Distinguish Between Comments and Trackbacks
Trackbacks shouldn’t mingle with regular comments as they aren’t a part of the immediate discussion on your platform.
Allocate a dedicated space for trackbacks, placing them either above (if comments usually outnumber trackbacks) or below the other comments (if trackbacks are more frequent).
Implement Meaningful Design Elements
When fine-tuning your comment section, opt for design elements resonating with your content’s nature. Features like speech bubbles, quotation marks, minimalistic borders, and alternating background shades can amplify the appeal of your comments and enhance readability.
Opt for Comment Pagination
For blogs that consistently receive over 20 to 30 comments per post, integrating pagination can uplift page load performance.
Additionally, paginated comments can give an illusion of abundant interaction. Switching between pages often gives the perception of more content to users.
Enable Direct Linking to Individual Comments
Embedding anchor links to each specific comment facilitates easier sharing by visitors.
For instances where readers engage in insightful discussions within your comment section, they might wish to invite peers. Direct links to their latest feedback or the relevant comment thread simplify this process.
Examples of Elegant Comment Designs
The Hickensian, Hicksdesign
Design Considerations and Best Practices for Comment Forms
For an engaging blog, it’s essential that your comment form is approachable and prompts visitors to join the discussion. While a well-designed comment form might not flood you with comments instantly, an uninviting design can deter readers from engaging.
Designing your comment form requires thoughtfulness. From implementing spam deterrents to deciding on reply structures, there’s a lot to contemplate. Here are some insights to guide your choices.
Placement of Your Comment Form
The positioning of your comment form is crucial in defining the commenting experience. Should the form sit right beneath the post or trail the comments? It’s a choice between nudging readers to engage with the post directly or encouraging them to join ongoing discussions.
If you’re aiming for the former, position the comment form immediately after the post, but before the comments. If the latter, have the form succeed the comments.
Even with spam filters like Akismet, integrating an extra layer of spam defense on your form can minimize unwanted comments.
You have a couple of prevalent strategies: captchas, which at times can be tough for users to interpret, and question-based barriers, which might require users to solve a basic math problem before submitting a comment.
Login Requirements and Alternate Login Options
For those inundated with spam or disruptive comments, mandating users to create an account before commenting can be beneficial. Alternatives include allowing sign-ins via existing accounts such as X (formerly Twitter), Facebook Connect, or OpenID.
This login mandate not only makes commenters more responsible but also potentially reduces spam or offensive comments. However, be mindful that such a requirement can also diminish comment volume, as some might find it cumbersome.
Managing Comment Replies
For blogs that allow users to directly reply to comments, it’s crucial to determine the reply process. You can opt for an inline comment form that surfaces when the ‘reply’ option is selected or simply redirect users to the existing comment form.
The former is often perceived as intuitive, ensuring users that they’re responding to a specific comment rather than making a general observation.
Organizing Form Fields
The arrangement and labeling of fields within your comment form significantly influence its usability. Dive deeper into this topic with this comprehensive article from Usability Post.
Guidelines for Form Completion
Facilitate the commenting process by highlighting mandatory fields. It’s also essential to assure users that certain data, like their email address, remains confidential.
Feedback on Submission
Once a comment is submitted, provide a confirmation to the user. If you’re moderating comments, ensure that users are informed that their comment is awaiting approval. This will prevent them from posting repeatedly under the assumption that their initial comment failed to upload.
Offering a Comment Preview
Providing a preview feature can enhance user experience, a detail that many blogs neglect. This not only ensures clarity in the comments section but can also elevate the quality of discussions, as users often refine their responses before final submission.
Comment Form Showcases
Doc4 Advertising Agency