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Firstly, I think the Stack Exchange site was in need of an update, and the update is all around great.

There are just 2 things I find are worse.

  • In this image everything in the red box (i.e. the first visible section) is useless to a logged in user, though probably more useful to new users. So couldn't it be hidden for logged in users? Instead, the hot question are much more interesting.

    Example

  • The other thing is minor, but it does reduce readablity. When viewing the Hot Questions page, the title text is very light coloured, especially compared to the description text. I know the text color is the same around the whole site, but the readability is most noticeable on hot questions where the black description is more obvious than the title.

    Also, why was the rating removed from the left of the hot questions?

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6  
Hotness is still shown if you hover on the #. It's hidden because it doesn't make any sense (really, it's a completely arbitrary "hotness number") and as such is sort of confusing to most people. –  Kevin Montrose Feb 28 '12 at 23:46
    
@KevinMontrose, I guess, but a better replacement would be the site icon, the current tiny numbers aren't that useful and look a bit out of place. –  Jonathan. Feb 29 '12 at 0:01
    
Third, just idiotic, thing - there are old "Tagged question" with pre-existing nice filters?! Let lemmings have fun with "Hot questions", power users are interested in filtered output in their own subjects –  Lazy Badger Feb 29 '12 at 0:53
    
@lazy, I never used the tagged questions on SE, so Im not sure but, isn't that available on the My Filters tab on the hot questions page. (it seems a little misleading that it's under hot questions though)? –  Jonathan. Feb 29 '12 at 8:12
    
@Jonathan. - not fully. Old "tagged", except direct access to list of filters, provided shared (created by others) filters. Now I have access (in interface) only to own filters, which was unnecessary before SE-makeover. And I just don't mention alogical new location of filters –  Lazy Badger Feb 29 '12 at 8:50

2 Answers 2

The first idea seems like a really ingenious one, actually. Hide that information from logged in users over a certain reputation, but display it for everyone else. Solves the clarity/usability problems for first-time users that Nick discusses here, while allowing experienced users to zero-in on the useful content that they care most about.

Second, while not really a big deal either way, if it were me, I'd tweak the brightness/value of the blue color used for links just a little so that it is a little darker and contrasts better with a white background.

Finally, I must say I agree with Kevin's comment. The "hotness number" did seem pretty arbitrary, and rather than trying to explain the precise algorithm to everyone, it seems like a better design in many ways to just let the magic happen. Remember that not everyone on the Stack Exchange network is a programmer or cares about the data behind everything. They just want to see the hot questions. They couldn't care less how you determine which questions are hot or what the precise hotness score is. They just want it to work.

Thanks for fairly evaluating the homepage changes and posting constructive feedback, rather than some of what we've been seeing here on Meta recently.

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The new stackexchange.com homepage is largely catered to people unfamiliar with what Stack Exchange does.

I agree that it's not very useful to a power user, but if we were to hide some sections from logged in users, which would we show? Only the "hot questions" section? The content below that (Blogs/Goodies/Hey!) is hardly useful to a logged-in user either. Even the "hot questions" section is just a toned down version of the full listing on the /questions page.

Since the homepage now functions mostly as a landing page for new visitors, we're hoping that those who were accustomed to hot questions on the homepage wouldn't mind bookmarking and/or heading straight for /questions, which is where the old homepage moved to.

edit: We just darkend the blue link colors a bit, so hopefully that improves readability. Thanks for the feedback.

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The Blogs and Goodies are useful to a logged in user :) –  ChrisF Feb 29 '12 at 16:56
    
@Emmett, I appreciate you want a better way to introduce users, however how many new visitors actually visit stackexchange.com first (or close to first)? Based on what's been said by people like Joel, it would seem most people's first point of entry is a question on one of the sites from a search engine. No offence meant, but it seems a little antiquated to expect users to use a different page themselves when you at minimum make the the Questions page the default for logged in users, quite easily. Thank you for your answer and darkening the link colors :) –  Jonathan. Mar 2 '12 at 19:21

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