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Having reached 10k on Super User a few days ago, I've been heavily using the moderator tools. They are great for efficiently helping the mods and the community.

But at the same time, the tools seem very inefficiently designed. In my opinion, they need a partial redesign, because

  • their navigational structure is misleading
  • user actions lead to unexpected behavior
  • there are redundant links and messages

I decided to break this up in three parts, each with proposals highlighted within a blockquote.


The landing page

Once you access the tools, you get to a page titled "stats". Why do you land in "stats", and why is it the third navigation element?

stats-landing-page

This breaks a fundamental rule of navigation – shouldn't it be the first in the list if it's the "home" page of the tools?

What can be done about this? Leave "stats" as the landing page, it's very useful. But make it the first element in the navigation list. The reason being that when you go through the tools, it would make more sense to go from left to right, rather than "stats", two tabs left to "review", one tab right to "links", et cetera.

Proposal 1 – Correct ordering of the navigation bar

Arrange the tabs from left to right, or at least make the "stats" landing page the first. Like this:

stats-landing-page-first


The "review" button

In the tab menu, there is a "review" button. When you click it, you get to a completely different part of the site. Of course, it's the review tools you know from before.

Unexpected behavior:

  • Why am I not in the "tools" anymore?
  • Why did the navigation menu completely change?
  • How do I get back?
  • Why are the "review tools" not within the "tools"?

The solution is simple: If reviewing is a different part of the site (as opposed to the "tools"), it should be made a proper top navigation element.

Proposal 2a – Remove "review" from "tools"

  • Get the "review" tools back into the top bar, and remove it from the "tools" navigation bar. This allows for better distinction. Like this:

review-top

or alternatively:

Proposal 2b – Nested menus for the "review" tools

  • Leave the "review tools" in the "tools" tab navigation, but make reviewing a properly nested sub-menu. This does not break the navigation structure and doesn't lead to unexpected behavior.

review-inline


The "links"

When you click "links", you are welcomed with a "Congratulations!" message.

Now that you've achieved 10000 reputation, you've earned the right to see (and undelete) deleted posts, and vote to delete questions that have been closed for 2 days.

That's neat, but do I have to see this message every time I access the tools? Once could assume that only a user accessing the tools for the first time would read this message.

Proposal 3 – Remove unnecessary messages

  • Show this message only once, or link to the explanation in the "Privileges" page.

Anyway, let's take a closer look at the links:

  • posts flagged for moderator attention with non-private messages – this links to the "flags" tab. Redundant.
  • recently deleted posts – this links to the "deleted" tab. Redundant.
  • recently closed questions – this links to the "closed" tab. Redundant.
  • recently imported questions – this links to the "stats" tab, which does not make sense. It should actually link to the "migrated" tab. Redundant.
  • new answers to old questions – this links to a completely different part of the site, which is neither in the "tools", nor in the "review" part. It looks like a legacy page that is the same as "late answers" from "review", but less functional.
  • suggested edit stats – this links to yet another completely different part of the site, neither to be found in "tools", nor in "review".

So, this is quite a mess. What could be done to clean this up?

Proposal 4 – "Links" cleanup

  • Remove the "Links" tab altogether. Four out of the six links are either redundant or broken.
  • Remove the "New answers to old questions" link. It is the same as "late answers" in the "review" tools (am I correct here?) and does not even have the quick links below the posts (like for flagging), and it does not hightlight tags of interest or fade out ignored tags.
  • Move the "Suggested edit stats" to its own tab (like reviewing, with a sub-menu) like this:

suggested-edits

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6  
Congrats on the 10k! –  Ivo Flipse Jul 31 '11 at 19:34
2  
Congratulations on breaking 10K! :) and awesome feature request post, one of the best I've seen, +1! –  studiohack Aug 1 '11 at 1:00
    
For reference, the changes have been implemented here. –  slhck Aug 22 '11 at 11:07
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2 Answers

The landing page

I don't find stats being the third option particularly confusing, but I don't really care where it is, so moving it first seems fine if people find it confusing where it is

The "review" button

Putting "review" under tools doesn't make sense -- it's not a 10k tool, it's accessible to everyone. In theory "review" isn't in the top bar anymore because the top bar needs to stay a certain size; adding "tools" means something else needs to go, but since "about" is also removed when you hit 10k I would think "review" could still fit

I believe one of the tools tabs points to "review" to give it greater visibility, since it does have the same utility as some of the other tools; it aggregates posts likely to need certain actions. It probably makes more sense as a link on the links tab though. Embedding review inside tools looks really bad, and I'm not sure it's possible with the way navigation is set up; that nested tab structure doesn't appear anywhere else on the site

The "links"

Links used to be the default tab, so you did see that message all the time; it's buried more now that you start on "stats". I'm all for getting rid of it though

At the moment all the "recently X questions" links are useless; they used to point to different pages until the new tabs came about, and there used to be more. It seems like the tab can be eliminated except for "suggested edit stats", but again; I'm not a fan of embedding one tabbed page within another. In this case suggested edit stats actually is 10k only though, so it could be converted to use the standard sub-tab style (e.g. "week", "month", etc. on this page)

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks for the answer. To address your points: 1) I found it highly inconsistent that "review" was accessible through "tools", but not actually within "tools". 2) Yes, the sub-navigation might not be ideal (I must admit, that was two minutes of photoshopping), but at least logically it would make more sense. Maybe there are some other ideas on how to fit it in there. –  slhck Jul 31 '11 at 19:38
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The recently deleted posts used to have good functionality, since you could see all the deleted posts ever, if you were willing to click your life away. Instead of improving it, they just got rid of it. The deleted tab has a known bug as documented here.

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I don't know much about the functionality, and my proposal wasn't really targeted towards that -- thanks for the background though! –  slhck Jul 31 '11 at 21:35
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