Redesigning the comments area

Facebook is a great place to stay in touch with friends, manage business pages, spy on your ex ;), and much more, But the most emotional thing we do there, which is to discuss, to argue, or as Facebook calls it: to Comment, looks like this:

We took a human activity with so many emotions, and erased any connection between its experience in the real world and its experience in the digital world, the comments area at best takes 20% of the page, surrounded by a lot features and runs more or less like an upgraded WhatsApp. So I took a week and tried to redesign this entire experience.

Introducing: Facebook .

The idea is that from every post you can enter a whole area dedicated to discussing this specific post. The general goal is trying to get as close as possible to the real world experience of discussion.

So in order to create an interface that will encourage the emotional involvement that exist in a real discussion, I decided to go look for inspiration in the places that do it best: FPS (first person shooter) games.

In a lot of cases I saw the same layout: the battlefield situated in the middle (the comments), combat aids situated in the sides (the original post and general view on the discussion), and the weapon in hand (keyboard).

I decided to focus on two main issues regarding the UI:

Look & feel

  • The interface won’t be too distant from Facebook current design.
  • Keep it serious and mature, although I have taken a lot of inspiration from computer games, discussing issues such as lowering the cost of living or Trump’s foreign policy should be conducted with more seriousness and respect.


  • In reality, an argument consists not only of words but of facial expressions, gestures, awkward silences and Etc. How is possible to bring all this into the digital world, and more than that how to show it in a 100-person debate simultaneously, so I decided to go for a very minimalist design that will be the basis for many delicate micro-interactions that will occur all the time on the screen, the user sees all the interactions of other users with their comments and feels that the discussion is alive and happening right now.

As with any discussion in the real world, there are people who are more involved in the discussion and there are people less involved, some people have more interesting and innovative opinions, and some people have no idea what they are talking about. The challenge here is how to create a system that rewards participation in the discussion but at the same time gives the power to the users to decide who is right / Interesting / funny, who leads opinion and his opinion should be exposed to more people and who should be less

Each user starts at level 0, to level up you have to gain experience points There are two ways to get xp’s:

Write a comment
The xp’s that you get from a comment depends on the number of positive responses you received to the comment and at what level the persons that commented are situated. (the explanation is below)

Respond to a comment (Likes, emojis, gif’s, etc.)
Gives you a little bit of xp’s each time.

Levelling up gives the user three things:
His comment is exposed to more users
– His impact on the discussion is increasing (for example, if a user of level 30 gave me a like I would get more XP’s than if a level 5 user gave me a like)
– The user unlocks more unique reactions and emojis.

In conclusion
Maybe it sounds naive but I believe that if we want to change the way we interact with each other on the web, we have to start with a user interface that encourages real discussions, an interface that adds value to arguments and tries to convey a feeling as close as possible to the experience in the real world.

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