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The "You are on the Featured tab" is especially confusing to new users because the decision to purposely hide the Featured tab when there are 0 bounties on the selected Tag visually conflicts with this very message; inexperienced users are left hunting for a non-existent "Featured tab" so they can click on whatever shows up next to it. There's a better way!

Why the current behavior is confusing:

  • There is no other instance of the word "Featured" on the page ("Featured tab? where?")
  • Styling of "Perhaps you'd like to select a different tab?" (class="hot") causes it to be visually associated with the Main Nav bar (and if user re-clicks Questions "tab", their Tag selection is abandoned)
  • Capitalization of "Featured" reinforces false relationship to Main Nav (actual tabs are all lowercase)

UX Alternatives:

  1. Temporarily Show the Featured Tab

    Show a selected (class="youarehere") Featured tab along with the "You are on the Featured tab" message, then hide it again when the user navigates elsewhere within the non-featured Tag. This firmly establishes where the tabs are located.

  2. Highlight the Tab Area

    Use the brief flash of color to highlight the tabs when this page is loaded, just as questions/comments/sections do when they're directly linked. Something like:

    $('#tabs a').animate({ backgroundColor: '#fec' }, 400)
                .animate({ backgroundColor: '#fff' }, 2000, function() {
                    $(this).css({ backgroundColor: '' });
                });
    

    (roughly stolen from help.js)

  3. Make the Message Clickable

    Link the "select a different tab" prompt to a suitable default, such as "newest". If there can be no consensus default/redirect location, maybe re-purpose the same mechanism that delivered the user here (the cookie that remembered they were on the Featured tab) to track which tab they click next, and send them there next time they would otherwise arrive at this message

  4. Redirect/Merge Message

    Instead of showing this page at all, redirect the user to something immediately useful. Maybe an alternate view of "unanswered" with the addition of "There are no questions with an active bounty at the moment, but here are some unanswered ones". Or maybe show this message as a FancyOverlay just the first time. Perhaps preserve the Featured sticky for later, or not.

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