It’s not obvious, but it’s quite an elegant system. ☺ — @ev, circa May 21

obvious responses

Responses are a big part of the Medium platform and play an important role in tying our growing network together.

The response system is a means of purposeful expression, which can scale from a shorter reaction to a full-blown manifesto of your own. When you’re reading a story, we surface responses from people you follow on Medium by default, while still providing a way to dive in deeper and explore more.

We’re already seeing the power of this system. Hank Green wrote a great piece expressing his indictment of Facebook’s video strategy, to which a Facebook product manager wrote a rebuttal, and then Green responded back to him.

But a lot of this isn’t obvious at first glance: responses aren’t visible from the stream, and it’s not immediately clear why some show up below a post and others don’t.

Today we’re rolling out some changes to make things more clear.

1/ counts

You’ll see the counts indicating how many people recommended and responded to a post — right from the stream.

spot the icons and counts

2/ response section reboot

We revamped our Responses section to clearly explain why some are initially visible. We also added some information to the top of each response giving a reason why it’s displayed.

There’s an easy way to view other responses that haven’t been written or recommended by people you follow on Medium — simply hit “Show more” at the bottom of the section to keep digging down the response rabbit hole.

3/ simplified post page

We did a little nip/tuck to our post page in order to present the best information at the right time. We now lead with the author to give them more weight at the beginning of the post, and you’ll notice a tighter footer, which helps to make Responses feel more connected to the rest of the content.


4/ better notifications

Finally, as an author, the notification email we send you when your post gets a new response has undergone a killer facelift. The full response content is included in the email, and we added a one-click Recommend button so you can let everyone know a response is worth reading — right from your inbox.

(All of these changes will also be rolling out in our next iOS release, so stay tuned!)

Let us know what you think at

psycho but in a chill way. product @instagram, art & other bullshit online.