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Every time I go to share a question I forget there are twitter and facebook links and do it manually. This is because the links are written in plain text beneath the entire thread rather than using the well-known "tweet" and "recommend" buttons that each network provides, and placing them in the area I'm likely to expect them (by the question).

The current situation:

The status quo for sharing links

The icons beneath the favorite button to the left don't seem to work on me because:

  • They look completely different than the official buttons
  • They're located in a position where I don't expect them, off to the side
  • They're just icons and don't include words I scan for like "tweet" and "like"

We can improve on this with the following changes:

  • Move the tweet/facebook links to the area below the "mod link edit ..." links by each question, still within the vertical whitespace created by the post author avatar badge to the right
  • Replace the plain text with the tweet and recommend buttons provided by Twitter and Facebook

Proposed solution:

Proposed solution

It would be worth A/B testing to see whether a new, prominent position using official buttons has a higher sharing conversion than the current customised ones.

PS. From a UX standpoint this is a bug but I'll tag it as feature-request for convenience's sake ;)

Update

It looks like part of this suggestion was implemented; there are now more obvious calls to actio beneath questions for posting to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, although they're still "styled" and not default widgets.

  • 1
    pssst, what are those 2 icons underneath the voting controls and favorite star? – Rebecca Chernoff May 30 '11 at 19:22
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    Wow. I guess that validates my post even further :) – Rahul May 30 '11 at 19:28
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    I think this is a great suggestion. It would be awesome to have the abbreviated "15 ^" (people like this) next to the "Recommend", too. (Use the button_count option, see this screenshot) – Nicole May 31 '11 at 16:38
1

So apparently I'm blind and they're right there on the left. However, now I'm curious whether other people miss them as well, since I looked for them, print screened a screenshot of the page, edited it in Photoshop, uploaded it into my question and still didn't notice them.

Is the affordance of the standard buttons so great that I'm blind to any adaptations?

  • I would suggest the F becomes the thumbs-up-fist instead? – jcolebrand May 30 '11 at 19:32
  • @drachenstern If you just saw the thumbs up without text would it be clear? – Rebecca Chernoff May 30 '11 at 19:36
  • At this point in time with all the places on the web it's seen, I think so. – jcolebrand May 30 '11 at 19:40
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    I don't think the thumbs up alone is enough; the button in its entirety is what my eyes go looking for, so it's the thumb in combination with "like" or "recommend" and the shape those two make together that I associate with the Facebook button. – Rahul May 30 '11 at 19:41
  • I guess this is another opportunity for the A/B testing you mentioned. Try the Sharing buttons as they currently are on the right, or with your proposed buttons below the Mod | Link | Edit... links. (Either way I still don't really use those sort of things. I'd just copy the URL and post directly. Otherwise it involves the 'authorise this site to use twitter' malarky. However that's just my personal preference). – JonW Jun 1 '11 at 14:30
  • I would strongly suggest the style of "Tweet" "Like" ect buttons you posted as those are how the vast majority of users share content to those sites via links. Looking to news sites and such there's always the familiar box of Tweet, Like and occasionally now +1. The circles we have now don't look like the links users are used to sharing with, and I don't even know if they report how many times a link has been shared (maybe no one just ever has...) – Ben Brocka Sep 9 '11 at 13:41
  • I missed these entirely I was just about to post the same question. – Lisa Tweedie Jun 20 '12 at 11:04
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The sharing options only seem to display (in text) when there are no answers to a question. However surely people sometimes want to share their answers? Or am I missing something.

I tend to agree with Rahul that using the well understood icons would help.

  • It appears that the icons have been totally removed, one of the SE devs went on a crusade about the "share your answer" functionality being useless and appears to have ditched the share question ones too – Ben Brocka Jun 20 '12 at 20:42
  • Bit of a pain! Turns a one click job into at least three... grrr. – Lisa Tweedie Jun 20 '12 at 22:14

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