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Grading page interface
Thread poster: Kirill Semenov

Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:16
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Oct 8, 2004

Many times and at many forums proZians complained that askers often selected a wrong or not-the-best answers. Now I start to think that a probable reason may be not very user-friendly interface of the grading page which is simply hard for unexperienced or occasional askers to comprehend. In other words, I think it's not askers' fault, and we have to blame the interface.

I came to the conclusion after noticing that in many cases such "strange grades" are given to the very first answer in the list (even if it has several disagrees and others answers have dozens of agrees). You may think different, but me personally I do not find the existing interface of grading page very convinient. There were cases when I started to write my thanks not in that field where I intended to (when you get 5-10 answers, it's easy to make a mistake).

Let's see what happens in practice: an asker receives an automated reminder proposing him or her to grade the question. Following the link in the reminder, the person sees the grading page which looks quite busy. I just cannot remember if there are short and clear recommendations on grading questions on this page. Even if there are, they are not "visible". So an unexperienced asker may even do not understand what "grading" means; (s)he may not know that only one answer has to be selected, (s)he may want to thank each answerer separatedly and mistakenly push "grade" button, and so on. Or, maybe, (s)he selects the only thing (s)he sees: the very first answer, especially if it's short and fits the screen entirely. Peer comments and other answers are "hidden" below and need scrolling to become visible. Add to this situation the fact that in many cases askers grade their questions in a hurry -- and the chances of a mistake grow even higher.

To summarize this all, I think that the grading page interface needs improvements. I do not know how specifically it should look, but right now it may be really inconvinient and misleading for unexperienced askers (who, I believe, are in most cases well-intentioned and not "stupid" at all).

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Local time: 21:16
Turkish to English
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I agree Oct 8, 2004

I totally agree that the grading system is sometimes confusing if there have been a lot of answers.

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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:16
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
I agree too Oct 8, 2004

I answered a question today post-grading (the selected answerer had agreed to a peer comment explaining what was wrong with the answer), and the asker, wanting to comment on this, could only do so by filling in the Decline box. I am not complaining about his comment, which was quite complimentary, but it seems an odd way to have to do it.

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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:16
Member (2004)
English to Polish
My suggestion... Oct 8, 2004

... is as follows:

The question page as seen by the asker would have an "accept" button under each answer. It would not clutter the interface much... Under all the answers would be a separate decline button. I think it might be a good idea to make the buttons active only after some time.

Pressing the "accept" button would take you to another window, where only the selected answer would be displayed together with the acceptance text box, grading scale and some instructions. The final OK button should be preceded with something like: "Are you sure this is the most helpful answer of all given?"

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Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 23:16
English to Russian
+ ...
Yours is a very appropriate and much needed improvement! Oct 21, 2004

Hi Kirill,

I concur with you 100% on every single point.

My idea of an improved interface would be this.

A vertical list of answers (like in the summary windows in the ungraded Kudoz question page), each with a grade button beside it (to the right of it).

After you select the most helpful answer, THEN you could enter a comment to the answerer and/or add the term to the glossary.

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Stuart Allsop  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Me too! Oct 23, 2004

Excellent idea, Kirill. Makes a lot of sense. A couple of times I've caught myself about to grade the wrong answer, and one or two might even have slipped passed my attention. Something needs to be done.

And I also totally agree with putting a miniumu time limit on grading, making it impossible to close a question prior to 24 hours. I have seen this suggested time after time in the forums, and usually knocked down with a "but I already choose the answer and delivered the translation" comment, implying that it is too late. However, it is never too late: the whole purpose of the excercise is to generate good quality answers in the glossaries, not just for the asker's job. 24 hours would give plenty of time for people around the world to answer and offer their opinions on answers. Just this morning in one of my language pairs two automotive questions were asked, answered incorrectly, graded, and closed within less than 30 minutes. In both cases only one answer was given, and in both cases it was the wrong answer. Of course, I gave the correct answer anyway (and got several agrees), knowing full well that I won't get any KudoZ for it. KudoZ are not the point: quality translation is the point, and the current "wham ... bam!" question / answer system is not conducive to arriving at quality answers.

In any evemt, I agree with Kirill 100%: the grading system needs revamping, to make it easier to use, less confusing, and more conducive to producing high quality answers.

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