I know 'obvious wins' but of course sticking a giant delete icon next to each comment is going to test better for this particular task. Wether it's an acceptable solution considering the app as a whole and the primary use of that comment screen is another thing.
The styling of the prototype (wireframe) would also highly effect peoples understanding of the UI - particularly for testing a gesture based control which is highly dependent on learned patterns; this one relying on something looking like a native iOS list.
It's dangerous to imply concrete results and detailed analysis from a fundamentally flawed test - even if this is to promote a product.
Hi Adam, you made few valid points. It was asked from one our users and rather than forming our opinion we ran the test.
If you look closely, delete icon was hypothesized as small semi-transparent to that not to shout-out too much to avoid distracting users.
One other option we received is to show delete and other icons when user tap on the comment.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts though. Would love to hear your views on #2
All of Adam's points are valid. His comment wasn't so much about how the delete but looks or should look, but about the danger of making a final deduction or suggestion from a test that doesn't include a major factor of the interaction – which is the styling that is specific to the native iOS list.
While your test does suggest that explicitly displaying the delete icon results in more successful completions of the task in general, it doesn't answer whether this pattern results in more successes when the prototype is styled more like an iOS application.
In other words correlation ≠ causation.
For me, swiping left to delete is a pretty standard gesture, certainly on iPhone; Messages, Emails, hell, even Tinder all use the mechanic.
The only thing I find awkward about Instagram is that reply and delete are both accessed by swiping left, which feels odd, and if you swipe 'too hard' you end up deleting the comment automatically. To me, the potentially broken gesture is the reply one, not deletion.
Sure thing Scott. We too had users asking for this to test out. On iPhone, giving options on swipe left is a standard but it's still a challenge for Android users.
Should we test - "Swipe v/s tap on the comment to show options"?
This UX experiment proved to be quite useful, and that's just what I was hoping to see. I am going to share these results with my mates, once my essay on time is completed. It won't take me that long to complete that essay.
The prototype of the current Instagram UI is missing a pretty critical feature to teach people to learn to swipe, when a comment is tapped it 'bounces' to the left and reveals a portion of the delete button. This is a pretty fundamental part of teaching the interaction pattern and it seems like from the videos people tapped on the comments a fair amount but got no feedback. I'd be interested in the results if that slight tweak was made. I imagine it would still take users longer to delete comments but they would be able to easily learn the interaction.
An alternative design to test that could be valuable would be to have the delete and replay buttons shown on tap of the comment, similar to how the Facebook app treats reporting.
I have to ask: Could this be more compelling if you'd started with metrics for how often people actually delete comments they've made, as opposed to what reads like a somewhat anecdotal scenario? I'm not criticizing; you uncovered some valid concerns amongst the test audience. It just makes me wonder how frequently IG users are deleting comments in the first place, especially considering that a swipe-to-delete gesture is used these days in so many places, and is likely a highly learnable gesture.
Absolutely Michael, even we searched for those stats. Our sample primarily consisted of UI/UX professionals and students for their minimum usage of Instagram app.
It was a question asked from one of our users when he was designing a similar app and we decided to run a test to establish a conclusion.
Next time, we will definitely add some stats before setting up the hypothesis. Thank you for sharing your views.
Were all of these tests actually performed on mobile devices? I either missed note of it or there's no mention. Most people have no idea how to perform a gesture on desktop, let alone feel inclined to do so as it's an awkward motion. Yes buttons are clearer and more obvious, but assuming gestures work and would be used in a prototype is a flawed assumption.
All these views are made in iPhone and Android mobile devices. We missed that info in the post. Let me dig in and update the post with device info.
Thanks for bringing this up.
Deleting a comment on Instagram is really a challenge for the first time when you do not know what to do. I had faced similar friction when I wanted to delete a comment on Instagram. After few unsuccessful trials, of course, Google comes to your rescue!
But, a sticky icon on the comments will be really very helpful for the user. And of course these usability tests prove the hypothesis.