The main message textarea has this nice feature that after the user starts writing in it, it displays a quick reference of the syntax of the main markdown formats. ( bold, italic, strike, code, quote and a link the the main markdown help page)
This is a great feature that lets users unfamilier with markdown use the basics, but the way this help is displayed makes it looks a lot like the quick format buttons that you see on most forums (including this one), and I found myself trying to click the help more than once.
Since the ergonomy of a formatting bar is already here, why not make it one ? The help text of each format could double down as a button adding the formatting characters around the cursor, or around highligted text if there is some.
- Useful to users who really can’t get into Mardown but are used to forums quick format bar
- Helps accessibility for users on visual keyboard
- Users could simply not notice the existence of the feature if is integrated without visual change
The quick reference could double down as a forum-like formatting bar.