"Mark as a reviewed" is the most confusing UI element in the iNat interface, it could use better tooltips

I’ve been active on iNat for 2 years and I routinely identify other users’ observations, however I’ve always been confused (and frankly quite scared) by the “Mark as reviewed” button, which—I learned tonight—only hides observations for me but doesn’t affect their identification status or their visibility for other users (thanks @bouteloua for helping me figure this out). It never occurred to me this was the actual purpose of the checkbox, particularly in the context of the Identification page where all controls seem to imply some sort of curation action of other users’ observations. My (naive) assumption was that marking one ore more observations as reviewed would somewhat hide them for everyone from the Identify page.

Judging at other posts in this forum, I am not the only one confused by this feature. While renaming it to be less intimidating would help, I think using more generous tooltips would go a long way in explaining what “reviewed” really means. Some proposed language:

  • Reviewed checkbox, individual observation: “Mark this observation as reviewed to hide it from your identification feed. Other users will still see it.”
  • Mark All as Reviewed checkbox, Identify page: “Mark all observations on this page as reviewed to hide them from your identification feed. Other users will still see them.”
  • Reviewed filter, Identify page: “Hide or display observations you marked as reviewed”

Curious to hear how others feel about the idea of adding these tooltips.

We don’t really use the term “identification feed,” so Maybe “Mark this observation as reviewed so you don’t see it again in Identify. Other people will still see it.”


@kueda yes, I was not sure about the official name for the Identify page but that looks good to me. Anything I should do to formally file this as a feature request or is this sufficient?

This should be sufficient to get it in the pipe. Will it be sufficient for it to come out the other end? We’ll see. Lots of things in the pipe. Many of them unpleasant.