Improve ID function and name of Agree buttons - a modest proposal (not!)

Just to clarify… good reason to do this on a single observation? (Like, multiple IDs within a few seconds of each other, by the same identifier, on the same observation?) I’d be interested in knowing more about those reasons. I agree that an identifier needs to be able to move rapidly through a series of separate observations during the ID process, but I can’t think of why I would ever want to rapidly add multiple IDs to a single observation, unless a previous ID was a typo I’m trying to correct. I don’t think typos need to be preserved in the ID history.

Definitely agree here. Again, though, I’m talking about IDs within a few seconds of each other on the same observation by the same identifier, when the most likely explanation is that they are either trying to correct a typo / selection mistake, or are just hitting all of the available Agree buttons on that observation for the different IDs present (which I’ve seen happen a lot). In the latter case they are probably misunderstanding the Agree button as a “thank you” button, but if there is a good reason to allow that, I can be persuaded…

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I mostly use the website version, where accidental misclicks seem less likely compared to using a phone. I occasionally add multiple IDs in close succession, and thought others do occasionally too. For example if I ID a family but then quickly realize I know a genus or species ID, or if I ID a species but then realize there’s another similar species I can’t exclude. It often occurs if I’m IDing somewhat quickly, but as far as I know many people ID quickly at least occasionally. In those instances though only a few seconds do pass, so even 10 or 60 would seem like a long wait.


Fair enough. I guess I’m just not convinced that this rapid-fire momentary thought process is worth permanently documenting in the ID history. If I’m changing my mind a day later, or even a few minutes later, then I definitely leave the previous ID in the history, and explain what changed my mind. But for changes within a few seconds I tend to just delete my old ID, as I am still in the same thought process, and don’t feel the need to document my “thinking out loud” as a series of IDs. But maybe others do…


Okay. I’d actually be fine with a previous ID becoming deleted if another was added rapidly, although I do prefer that IDs can be added at any time without a prompt or required delay (re: #3).

That happens to me automagically. Slow. Overloaded. Internet.
Click. Nothing happens. Click again … now it is there twice! I delete the automagically withdrawn ID - but it isn’t the user’s fault. Or intention. Infumigating :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

Reading thru the earlier comments again.
Making the Agree button a setting we have to earn (as the Forum makes us work to earn ‘privileges’)
Choose My ID - makes it clearer that it is a deliberate and considered choice by the identifier, not yah thanks next.

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I agree that changing the name of the Agree :laughing: button might make it more intuitive. Confirm ID makes sense to me given my language bias.

However, I think the fundamental issue you are trying to address is knowledge deficit about how the site is meant to work. No small phrase can overcome that, especially on a global site.

I looked at the idea of a pop up that would appear when pressing agree on one’s own observation. I think something like this would be helpful without being overly problematic for high volume users (because they probably aren’t agreeing with IDs on their own observations in high volumes).

As someone who clicked the Agree button too much before I knew better, I think I would have responded to this type of education (especially if it was delivered on repeat). If something like this is possible, perhaps “Just in Time” training could be inserted elsewhere into the site.

Is there a reason you left this idea out of your proposed package?


In general, because adding pop-up dialogs has been seen by many (including staff) as a non-starter in other feature requests, the perception being that another step/barrier to interaction with the site is unlikely to be enough of a net-positive to be worth the development effort to implement.

But your point is well-taken that the limited pop-up discussed in that other thread would be targeted to situations most in need of some “slowing down” without affecting other uses of the Agree button. So I could definitely see it working well in concert with a re-named Agree button.

My current favorite: Add Same ID. Describes what the button does, without implying anything it does not do or represent. Hopefully it would also translate well into other languages.

EDIT: or, maybe just suppress the Agree button(s) on one’s own observations? Might have the same effect as a pop-up without adding an extra read and click.

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Popup is fine.
But it must have a
Don’t Show Me This Again to click.

I really like the idea of removing the agree button from one’s own observations, better than having an additional pop-up window.


I fear this would really become an issue in many languages.
First, to translate the meaning accurately, and second, there might just not be the possibility to have it in such a compact form, so the button might cover a considerable part of that ID window.

As someone who translated a large part of the website, my experience is that English is very effective in conveying precise information in both few and short words - I can hardly think of an (alphabetic) language with a more compact appearance


This reply is intended as information and context and comparison to another app with a version of an “Agree” button.

Just for context of how a “recently” developed app (iPhone) handles a somewhat related function:

When you record a bird sound on Merlin, the app lists the suggested bird identification. If you expand the bird suggested (toggle), the bird’s calls and songs are listed for the user to verify that the app was accurate. Listening and verifying are not required, just offered without any prompting to take another step. At the bottom of all the Merlin-supplied audios of the suggested bird is a button: “This is my bird!” Clicking it then offers to send the user to ebird to report the sighting or to save the sighting natively in Merlin; in other words, the button is to confirm–with an implication to perform due diligence but no prompting–that the observer agrees with the identification.

“This is my bird!” is a fairly large button relative to :heavy_check_mark:Agree

Would the iNat equivalent be: This is my organism!

Merlin is probably a US app and not global, and the punctuation’s conveyed enthusiasm might not translate to all cultures or to iNat’s ethos.

Again, none of this is intended as a suggestion. Just information and context and comparison to another app with a version of an “Agree” button.


I have been using iNat since 2017, but I wasn’t really paying attention to the forum until recently (~August 2022). I also didn’t stay on top of any communications about changes, and am honestly just blind sometimes to features I haven’t used.

So, sorry if this is inappropriate hijacking of the thread, but I just realized the mechanics of one of the Agree button workflows. Probably everyone else already knows this and maybe this is what they are talking about with the problematic agree buttons.

I was thinking it would be nice if there was a way to check off receipt of notifications in the Dashboard. I took a harder look (edit: to make sure this function wasn’t already in place) and noticed the “Agree” button on notifications under “All Updates” and “Your Content”.

I tested the button on one of my observations under “Your Content”. The effect of clicking this button is an agreeing ID and when you go back to “Your Content” that ID has moved to the top (potentially now with a nice little Research Grade green flag for positive reinforcement).

I think this specific agree button should be removed, at least under “Your Content”. I don’t think users can fully evaluate the merits of the recommended ID from this location. It also can be confused with an acknowledgement-like functionality for the uninitiated (even though it doesn’t really work that way). I’d be curious if there is a case for it under “All Updates”. Joined with subscriptions to taxa, that seems like a recipe for high volume Agrees with minimal review.

We should keep the agree buttons on prior IDs in the Identify pop up and Observation pages because those locations are designed to support a thorough review.


I am wary of clicking agree there, as if there are various IDs on the obs, iNat seems random in interpreting WHICH ID you are agreeing to. I open in a new tab and make sure iNat and I agree which ID I thought I clicked for.

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I learned recently that agreeing on an observation, instead of on one particular identification in that observation, adds an ID for the current observation taxon (the taxon shown on the top line of the observation page - which may or may not be the same as the current community taxon). Unfortunately this is not always visually apparent when multiple different IDs are available in the observation for agreement. But now I know where to look to see what I am “agreeing” to.