Daily Mail Comment UX Update

The Daily Mail are testing an update to their Comment UX.

It’s easy to ignore comments, and their usefulness, but take a look at a few of the Daily Mail’s articles, count up the number of comments & the number or ratings on those comments, make an estimate as to what percentage of people bother to rate comments, and it very quickly dawns on you that they make hundreds of thousands of pounds for the Daily Mail every year.

Here’s an example 24 hour snapshot of their comment ratings:


ie. They regularly get 2.5 million comment ratings in a day. Another way of looking at that: they’re close to a billion comment ratings per year. Therefore, whereas a change to comments style on most sites would be a trivial tweak, for the Daily Mail it can have a big effect.

Old vs New

Here’s the same set of comments in their old style & their new style (click for larger images if you like):

Old Style:


New Style:


The main differences here are:

  1. Inclusion of headshots where available.
  2. They now split out ‘positive’ & ‘negative’ comments, rather than just showing the aggregate.
  3. The text is much larger.
  4. Username leads now, and is clickable through to user’s profile.
  5. Times are relative to the current time, rather than being timestamps.

The more prominent profile info, and the headshot are quite telling. I wonder if at some point they will do a bit more with profile pages themselves? There’s a big opportunity for newspaper sites to get ‘user generated’ news commentary right.

Extra Social Prompts:

Move the mouse over the comments & you get two new extras.

  1. Top right is a small down arrow that allows you to report abusive comments.
  2. Below the comment a block of prominent ‘share’ icons appear.

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The Daily Mail have an interesting issue in that their articles are hugely commented on, but surprisingly ‘undershared’. This may help address that a little.


The’ve also tacked a little call to action to visit their ‘stats’ page onto the end of comments:


 If you’ve never visited their stats page before, it’s very much worth a look: http://dailymail.co.uk/stats. If you were a sensible competitor, you’d have been following their stats for the last few months and would be able to see whether this UX update has increased/decreased the likelihood of users leaving and rating comments.

Not Provided Kit

Download the free ‘Not Provided’ kit.

Since October 2011, Google has gradually hidden away data about the keywords used by people to find your site.

The “Not Provided” Kit is a set of simple add-ons for Google Analytics (put together by me – @danbarker) to help you understand what’s happening now that data is absent. It won’t fix the problem, but it may bring other insight around ‘not provided’ visits.

Kit Contents:

  1. Your Current Percentage: A single-chart dashboard showing your current ‘not provided’ percentage (ie. how much open data remains).
  2. Full Dashboard: A full dashboard of trends for ‘not provided’, including graphs, metrics, and breakdowns by browser, device, etc.
  3. Detailed Report: A more detailed custom report showing full landing page info for not provided traffic.
  4. ‘Not Provided’ Segment: An advanced segment allowing you to see any Google Analytics reports for just‘not provided’ traffic.
  5. ‘Keyword Known’ Segment: An advanced segment showing any report only where Google organic keyword data was known.
  6. A ‘Not Google’ Segment: This ‘Non-Google’ organic search segment shows you data only where you dohave perfect keyword data from other search engines that you can act on.

» Install the Google Analytics ‘Not Provided’ Kit Now.

(Click the above link to add all/some of the 6 addons to any Google Analytics account)

Feel free to drop me a note on Twitter (@danbarker) with any questions, feedback, or requests for additions.


  1. ‘Not Provided Other Search Terms’ Segment: This only works if your account has ‘visitors segments’ enabled. If users visit your site via ‘Not Provided’, but have also visited the site at another time using known keywords, this shows those. Install this.
  2. Not Provided Other Channels’ Segment: again, this only works for accounts with ‘visitor segments’ enabled. This shows data where users have visited your site through other channels where they have also visited via ‘Not Provided’ at some point. Install this.

Even More Extras: