Comment Improvements

Comments on Behance projects have developed a reputation for being off-topic and self-promotional, which has had a negative effect on the Behance community. I worked closely with Behance’s Community Team to improve the quality of comments by making them more relevant to project owners.

To begin, we had to define the types of comments we wanted:

  • Comments about the process behind the project , like tools, colors, type, visual execution, techniques used, or the utility of the project.
  • Questions about the project that aren’t addressed in the project description.
  • Providing personal thoughts or considerate critique of the project.

Therefore, we decided to block self-promotional comments, links, and blatant spam. (Self-promotional comments are different from outright spam in that they are usually not created by bots and the author may not have malicious intent.)

We discovered that many users did not realize that it is wrong to self-promote on other users’ projects. Self-promotion is great in some contexts, but not acceptable in situations where it might negatively affect another user.

I worked closely with the community team and an illustrator to create the Comment Guidelines to educate the community on the behavior expected from a good member of the Behance community.

The Community Guidelines are shown to all users before they comment for the first time. They have to acknowledge the guidelines before commenting.

In addition to designing a new comment state to show to users when they attempt to post disallowed content, I also designed a prompt in the comment field to encourage on-topic comments. These designs launched together with an updated word and phrase blacklist and an updated moderation strategy from the Community Team.

We noticed that the self-promotional comments were most common on projects featured in Best of Behance, Curated Galleries and in Most Appreciated projects. Because they are the projects on Behance that get the most traffic, it is more likely that users would try to promote themselves there.

After the launch, we have seen that self-promotional comments have decreased significantly.

This is an ongoing project.

Justyna Stasik — Illustration
Zach McCullough — Principal Design Manager
Roxanne Schwartz — Head of Community
Jess Lissy — Software Development Manager
Steve Davis — Software Development
Bryan Packman — Software Development
Ian Sugerman — Product Analyst
Pamela Wong — Project Management