How to make reviewers in Stack Exchange’s low-quality review realise the consequences of choosing a canned comment?


How can the interface for choosing canned comments when opting to delete in Stack Exchange’s low-quality queue be improved to make reviewers more aware of the actual effects of their choice.

Current situation

The current interface faced by reviewers who opt to delete a post in the low-quality queue on Stack Exchange is this:

  1. They are shown the post and then can make their actual choice, i.e., whether they want it to be deleted, want to edit it, etc:

    main interface of the low-quality queue

  2. Reviewers who opt to delete, are presented with a choice of canned comments to be left on the post on their behalf:

    selection of canned comments in the low-quality queue

The problem

Many reviewers never or almost never choose the no comment needed option, even though there already is a comment expressing the same thing on the post (thus making the new comment redundant) or none of the comments applies. Please assume this problem as given for the purpose of this question. If you want to debate this, here is a question on Meta SE where it would probably be well placed.

As far as I can tell, the reason for this is a mix of:

  • A variation of banner blindness that makes reviewers never (re)read the header of the canned-comment dialogue.

  • Users think that their choice in the canned-comment dialogue does more than just leaving a comment such as contributing to some statistics or affecting what happens to the post (e.g., this is a commentary actually effecting comment conversion).

  • Users think that no comment needed is not the right thing to do and may be held against them. (This is is not completely unjustified, because it is actually true, when one of the canned comments is spot-on and there is no equivalent comment yet.)

  • The interface focusses on the reason for deletion (e.g., “This is a ‘thank you’ comment.”), not on the comment that is actually chosen.

My question

How could the interface be improved such that it is more clear that the canned comments are just canned comments and that leaving no comment can be a valid choice?

What I considered so far

The following options do not convince me though at least the first one would be better than nothing:

  • One could add more explanation to the no comment needed option such as a text explaining that “This is a good choice if an existing comment already addresses the post’s issues.” However, I fear that this may be affected by the same banner blindness and will be ignored.

  • One could add another level of dialogue: After opting for deletion, users will be presented with a dialogue that allows them only to choose between no comment, canned comment, and possibly custom comment (explaining these choices) and only presents them with a selection of canned comments if they choose canned comment. The disadvantage of this is that it is yet another layer of dialogue and it is not clear what the choices of canned comments are in the first layer.

  • Remove the bold headings displaying the reason for deletion (e.g., “This is a ‘thank you’ comment.”). This should considerably increase the effort for finding the right comment, when one is appropriate.

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enter image description here

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