There is much discussion (linked below) about the pros and cons of the Agree buttons in various parts of the iNaturalist interface. Please don’t rehash any of that here – visit the related linked topics instead.
Instead I want to suggest a set of related solutions to the issues, which to me boil down to
- People often misunderstand the expected usage of the Agree button, and
- Agree buttons are highly available (good up to a point), but sometimes with too little context to promote and support the expected usage, and with too much potential for redundant IDs coming from different parts of the interface.
Proposed solution package:
Eliminate any redundant Agree buttons, for example https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/limit-available-agree-buttons-specifically-in-the-activity-feed/6574 (please discuss details there)
Prevent duplicate identifications (please discuss details there)
Prompt a user who tries to add rapid serial IDs to the same observation. What is rapid? I suggest within 60 seconds of their previous ID, but that’s up for debate. Prompt? Something like:
You just identified this observation as [Taxon name 1]. Are you sure you want to change your identification to [Taxon name 2]? (Yes / No)
Delete instead of Withdraw very recent ID by same user on same observation when they add a new ID. How recent? I suggest a little longer than the time above for rapid serial IDs, maybe 2 or 5 minutes. The assumption would be that serial IDs happening this fast are most likely inadvertent mistakes that the user would want to delete anyway, not based on new research by the user, and would needlessly clutter up the ID history. EDIT: still Withdraw instead of Delete if there is an ID comment associated with the previous ID.
Rename Agree to something that better promotes the expected usage (already recommended in responses to some other posts). This is the hard part – finding an alternative that still fits readably on a small button. And also something not subject to unintended nuances of meaning when translated into other languages (which I suspect might be affecting current usage of the Agree button to some extent). Some initial thoughts:
"Make my ID"
"Add this ID"
There are gaps in some of the above solutions taken in isolation, but together as a package, I think they would eliminate a lot of existing issues with Agree buttons (and ID workflow in general).
Other relevant topics: