community June 17, 2020

Saying thanks: testing a new Reactions feature

We’ve heard from our users that the inability to say “thank you” is frustrating—especially for new users who don’t have enough reputation to upvote or comment. Even when users gain these privileges, they still want to say “thanks.”
Avatar for Lisa Park
Product Designer

We’ve been seeing people share their gratitude for the Stack Overflow community and its great answers on other social channels for years now. As it exists today, Stack Overflow doesn’t provide a way for users to just say “thank you” and show others appreciation for taking the time to answer their questions.

We’ve heard from our users that the inability to say “thank you” is frustrating—especially for new users who don’t have enough reputation to upvote or comment. Even when users gain these privileges, they still want to say “thanks.” 

When it comes to answers,  “thanks” appears in 1 of 6 comments. Although it’s less common on questions, the percentage of “thanks” comments have continued to slowly increase over the last few years.

Based on this data and user research, we’ve decided to test a simple, clutter-free way to say thanks—a reaction button on answers across Stack Overflow. 

This is available to any registered user, regardless of reputation. On the left of the answer post, you’ll find a hands icon underneath the usual voting controls. By simply selecting the icon, you can share your thanks to the post-author. As reactions are added by users, a count of the reactions will appear below the icon. 

We’re testing two versions of “thank you” hands (see below). We’ll be monitoring usage and other data throughout the test period and will use those results to inform how we may move forward with this experiment. 

We hope that this test will have a positive impact on our community and reduce:

  1. Friction for users whose comments are deleted,
  2. The burden on moderators, and
  3. The time active users spend flagging/deleting comments

Getting into the spirit of the new reaction, all of us over here want to give a big thank you to all our users and visitors. Thank you for making Stack Overflow and the Stack Exchange sites such incredible communities and resources.

Tags: , ,
Podcast logo The Stack Overflow Podcast is a weekly conversation about working in software development, learning to code, and the art and culture of computer programming.

Related

Wooden figures standing in a circle facing each other
the-loop May 26, 2020

The Loop, May 2020: Dark Mode

We received a bunch of requests to share how we use our feedback framework on specific features. We got excited about this, and given that we just released Dark Mode (and “Ultra Dark Mode”), we thought this was a great opportunity to show how we arrived at our solution.
Avatar for Sara Chipps
Director of Product, Community