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There's a great new feature where users who haven't seen the about page yet are shown this banner:

enter link description here

However, it takes two steps to get rid of -- once you click the minimize button, you get:

enter link description here

Which can then be dismissed.

It seems like new/users/visitors are shown the first banner (which is collapsed by a two step process), while veterans are shown the second one. Some users aren't shown the banner at all (has to do with network rep it seems).

Is it really necessary to show the second box to new users if they've already seen the first?

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I don't think it's about showing the explanation again, it's about keeping the "tell me more" button available when they shrink the banner :) – Rachel Apr 2 '13 at 13:23
I was just now wondering WHERE this banner should be displayed. Never seen it, nor on Stack nor on SharePoint. – SPArchaeologist Apr 2 '13 at 13:33
@SPArchaeologist: open in Incognito. I can't get it anywhere when logged in either. – Manishearth Apr 2 '13 at 13:35
I think it depends on whether you have earned the informed badge – hjpotter92 Apr 2 '13 at 13:37
@hjpotter92: I thought so too initially, but that's not the case. – Manishearth Apr 2 '13 at 13:39
@SPArchaeologist Per Oded, they've disabled the new banner for a bit. (I made a MSO post about it and when he left that comment I deleted it because I figured it was a pretty localized question) – Rachel Apr 2 '13 at 13:54
@Rachel - well, guess that if it comes around again I will just have to slice it in two. Yorula may be a bit to much, I guess that some Grease Monkey script will suffice. – SPArchaeologist Apr 2 '13 at 13:58
@Rachel: Perhaps it's in AB testing right now, and the two banners are just A and B. Which explains why it's so hard to figure out who sees it. – Manishearth Apr 2 '13 at 14:02
@SPArchaeologist This bit of CSS will hide the banner (both large and small versions): /* Hide 'what is this site?' blurb */ div#herobox-mini, div#herobox { display:none !important; } – Keen Apr 9 '13 at 18:53
@Keen thanks for the advice. It will come in handy if I start to see the banner. Until now I never saw it, so let's just hope it stays this way. – SPArchaeologist Apr 10 '13 at 7:15
@SPArchaeologist I browsed to a few SE sites yesterday that I'd never gone to before, and saw the thing on every single site. A couple minutes later I had that CSS running. :) – Keen Apr 10 '13 at 14:38
@Keen - I'll wait until it dares to show up on my commonly used sites - but thank you for the point out. – SPArchaeologist Apr 10 '13 at 14:43

1 Answer 1

up vote 10 down vote accepted

In the next few days, we are going to be rolling out some new features that will only affect anonymous users. This is one of them.

The goal is to try to give users who are not familiar with our sites a soft landing with the "site at a glance" and an additional link to the new pretty about page.

We made it dismissible so that you can get down to business when you've got the point. The smaller banner was originally supposed to be persistent, but after internal discussions we decided to make it dismissible also.

We are, in fact, split testing this and will probably make some tweaks.

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How about putting it in the sidebar ? (and making it persistent there) It will be there when for users to see, and wont directly impinge on screen real estate. – AsheeshR Apr 2 '13 at 15:25
Makes sense(I was just confused with it being double-dismissable) . Thanks for this awesome feature! – Manishearth Apr 2 '13 at 15:33
@AshRj Well, it used to be in the sidebar, but I think we had a tendency to just throw everything there, resulting in sidebar blindness and reducing the usefulness of helpful things that we put there. We're making a concerted effort to clean up the sidebar. Also, I might add that since it's dismissible, it doesn't take up any real estate if you don't want it to. – Jeremy T Apr 2 '13 at 15:38
@AshRj: Nobody looks at sidebars :/ – Manishearth Apr 2 '13 at 15:38
Accessing Physics while logged out, I see that the newsletter link takes up half the sidebar. Wouldn't new users first want to learn how a site works rather than sign up for a newsletter from a website, whose working they may not even understand in the first place ? Or alternatively, wouldn't showing users the sites basics be more desirable than asking them to sign up for a newsletter (which I think is pretty unlikely to happen) ? – AsheeshR Apr 2 '13 at 15:44
@AshRj: "A right sidebar is full of crap" is more or less ingrained in the minds of folks on the Internet. Putting the about link on the sidebar is a step down from the current system in testing. – Manishearth Apr 2 '13 at 16:00
@Manishearth If the sidebar has just 1 or 2 elements, then that argument doesnt hold. If there were in fact a lot of elements, then yes I agree with you. I am suggesting replacing the newsletter sign-up option with an even smaller About link. That isn't adding to the clutter. – AsheeshR Apr 2 '13 at 16:26
@AshRj: There are other things in the sidebar as well. Removing it all just for the About link? (and it will still be ignored). The sidebar is for the less important stuff on a site. Banners are for intro stuff. I (and most others) never look at a sidebar when I fist visit a site. (This may be a good question for User Experience). – Manishearth Apr 2 '13 at 16:31
An "even smaller" About link would never be looked at. I learned that the number of views on a page was in the sidebar just three months ago. In the end, the current banner is way better. It only needs to be seen once, so it can afford to be slightly in-your-face. – Manishearth Apr 2 '13 at 16:33
@Manishearth There is another combination then :) A dismissable banner and a persistent sidebar link. We wont reach a consensus here. User Experience is probably the place for this. – AsheeshR Apr 2 '13 at 16:34
@AshRj: why do you want it persistent in the sidebar? There already is an about link on the top of the page (persistent till X rep). The newsletter, on the other hand, rotates with various other ads. (Ah, I see your edit, ending discussion :P) – Manishearth Apr 2 '13 at 16:35

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