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The question Why did clicking on a tag take me to a nonexistent tab? reported this behavior as a bug; a moderator suggested posting it as a feature request, but the questioner never did that. I'm doing so now. (I didn't see a post where someone else did so.)

To summarize:

  • I clicked on the "c" tag, then selected the "featured" tab.
  • Then I went back to the front page and clicked on the "bash" tag. Since that tag currently has no featured questions, I got:

You are on the Featured tab.

There are no questions with an active bounty at the moment.

Perhaps you'd like to select a different tab?

Well, yes, I certainly would, but I can't easily do so. From that state, the only way (edit: or so I thought) to get back to the "bash" tag is to:

  1. Go back to the front page
  2. Go to a tag that does have a "featured" tab (like "c")
  3. Select the "newest" tab
  4. Go back to the front page
  5. Go back to the "bash" tag

I understand that tabs are sticky, and that not showing tabs for a tag that doesn't have multiple tabs is a deliberate feature, and both features make sense. Perhaps the tabs should be shown if you manage to end up on a tab that doesn't exist.

When the "Perhaps you'd like to select a different tab?" message is shown, it should provide a simple way to select a different tab.

EDIT: Ok, the feature I originally requested already exists. I think there's still a problem, though; the message suggests selecting a different tab, and the tabs are there, but they don't look like tabs.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who's been confused by this.

So my suggestion is this: If the currently selected tab doesn't exist, do something to make the other tabs look more like tabs. My thought is to add a light dotted rectangle around each fo the tab names, but maybe there's a better way. (I see someone removed the tag on this question; I'm not sure whether it should be re-added.)

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2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted
+50

The other tabs are still shown even though the featured tab isn't (since it isn't applicable):

tag tabs

All you need to do is click on newest directly on this page instead of a jog back to the home page and another tag.

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1  
Argh, you're right. I didn't notice that because there's no tab-like graphic associated with them unless one of them is actually active. I hope this question is useful to others who are an unobservant as I am. –  Keith Thompson Sep 25 '11 at 4:26
5  
So, maybe we could show the featured tab, if we are already on it, so it would be more obvious that there are tabs? –  Paŭlo Ebermann Sep 25 '11 at 18:16
    
@PaŭloEbermann: Yes, that would work. Currently, if there are no featured questions, the featured tab is nonexistent; instead, treat it as an existing tab that happens to be empty. (If desired, it could still be omitted if you're not currently on it.) –  Keith Thompson Sep 26 '11 at 18:35
    
this, to me, is the most obnoxious and brain-dead part of the stackexchange system right now. see how you had to put a bright red ring around some light grey text to show us where to click? why not do that with the actual design! see how the "Perhaps you'd like to select a different tab?" prompt is color-coded to match the Questions tab? any user not intimately familiar with the system is going to believe they need to select a different one of those buttons, except they're pretty sure (and they're right) that they want the QUESTIONS tab, and they shouldn't care about clicking "newest". –  rymo Mar 14 '12 at 21:11

I just stumbled upon this myself, take a look at the screenshot here:

tag featured tab problem

Notice that it also has the 'info' there. Until I found this question I just didn't think of those as being tabs, but of being the standard buttons you see in a tag interface, and since I never clicked on anything but 'info', I just glossed over the other words. Seems like it would be a small thing to make those words look like words on a tab (which they individually do if you press one).

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1  
I like Paŭlo Ebermann's suggestion in another comment that the currently selected tab should always be shown in the tab bar, even if it has no content. That would actually keep the tab bar looking like a tab bar, and not just a random list of links. –  Ilmari Karonen Dec 30 '13 at 2:03

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