Translation Comments: Help us pick the best UX!

Thanks to our Outreachy intern April Bowler, we’re almost ready to start rolling out support for Translation Comments!

The feature was designed with a great help of several community members over a year ago at the meetup in Paris and documented in the following specification. We’d like to kindly ask you for your help one more time. :slight_smile:

As part of the development process, the idea for an alternative UX was born, which goes against the specification. Hence, we’d like to ask you to take both variants for a spin and let us know which one do you prefer in the comments below:

Variant A (specification): comments under each translation in the History panel.
Posnetek zaslona 2020-02-27 ob 10.02.14

Variant B (new): only summary under each translation, comments in a new panel.
Posnetek zaslona 2020-02-27 ob 10.05.13

Please click on the links above to access each of the variants. To submit comments or translations, you’ll need to log in using a GitHub account.

Please note that some other features in the specification are not yet available in the demos above, namely notifications, mentions and pinned comments.

Updated Feb 27, 11:45 UTC: in this test we’re only comparing Translation comment implementations, i.e. comments bound to a particular translation. The Comments tab works the same in both variants - it is used for comments about the localization of the source string in general instead of a particular translation (e.g. before there are any translations available), and will be later on also used for Source String Comments.


I prefer Variant A since it allows to see the side panel with machine translation and other languages at the same time.

Sometimes the comment could be related to it, like “I like what they did in catalan better, that’s clever” or “don’t use machine translation here, it is a verb not a noun”.

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I prefer variant A too.

Comments for particular translations and comments about the source string itself should be visible at the same time as this helps understand the context. The same goes for the Machinery and Locales tabs.

It should be possible for all users to delete their own comments.

The text in the original comment should probably be replaced with “—Deleted comment—” to help users understand newer comments containing references to the original comment.


Both variant are okay for me, but if variant A is what will be eventually implemented, I’d like it to be more discoverable from the suggestion itself, if possible.
First time trying variant A, I couldn’t find where I can actually see the comments for an individual suggestion. I initially saw the comments in the COMMENTS tabs, and couldn’t understand to which suggestion they belonged.
Only after a few minutes I found the “3 comments” next to the suggestion’s V and X buttons.
Variant B seems more obvious that the suggestion has comments.
But this may as well be just me, being blind for a moment…

I agree with @kappel regarding needing to have an option to delete your own comments, and, for admins, to delete any comments.

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I prefer Variant B, it’s easier to see the comments.

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Would prefer Variant B as it shows the comments in the sidebar.

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Variant A is a good starting point I think. We iterated over it (in Paris) and it has clear and verified spec. However…

It’s true that the list of suggestions (string history) can already become too long, which becomes worse with the comments. Variant B addresses that a bit, reduces the space requirements and also shows the time of the last comment, I like that particularly. What I don’t like much is how the comments are display “over” the sidebar, not actually inside one of its tabs. If the “comments” sidebar tab can somehow show both global and per-locale-and-translation comments, and the variant B provides a way to display and navigate to the right thread there, that would be awesome.


I would prefer variant B but with some improvements:

  • Make the clickable link the same as in variant A to show that the translation has some comments.
  • Ability to switch to Comments panel in the right side and keep it while switching between different translations so it would be possible to use machinery, locales and comments tabs.

We’ve heard this complaint several times already, so rest assured it’s not just you. :slight_smile: One possible idea to mitigate it was to use the Variant B’s “Comment Summary” widget under translations (the one with avatars and “Last comment” info) also in Variant A.

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Nice job! I’d prefer Variant B over A but A works for me too.

My few dollars: If it’s painful not being able to see Discussion and Reference from machinery/other locale in the same time, maybe the comments column can have half(or even variable) height in the rightmost column?


I felt more comfortable with variant B.


  • Both “Add translation comment” and “View Comments” elements could toggle comments on and off, so we wouldn’t need to move the mouse to the X button at the top of the right panel.
  • The same word “COMMENT” for source string and translation suggestion is a bit confusing. What about using, lets say “NOTES” for the source string and “COMMENT” for suggestions only?


IMO, Variant A actually follows the association and doesn’t take the user by surprise from the side panel which is good but the discovery of the comments is not very intuitive.
Variant B is good on the discovery of comments but the side panel hides the other tool which the user might not be expecting as that panel is not associated with the “5 comments” link.

So a mix of both, which is the visibility of link from variant B and opening of the comments directly like in variant A might be more effective.

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Thanks everyone for a very helpful feedback!

We’ve just released the Translation Comments feature:

We’ve decided to go ahead with the iteration of Variant A, which makes it easier to notice when comments are available.