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EDIT Dec 4 - We're doing it live! Please post bugs or concerns as questions tagged [top-bar]

We have rolled out our 95% completed top bar for feedback.


  • We are still adding a few final features, so if you have a request for a feature that is not there you might hold off on that for a day or two
  • Yes, the bar is black1. Also give that a day or two to sink in.

I also want to specifically address the meta/main/chat links.

I'm very aware that many of you like having the links at the top of the page and that this new version is different.

The thought process behind moving these links is that the "site switcher" should be an automatic place to go when you are on a site and want to go to another one. If you haven't already developed the muscle memory for these links, getting between them required a bit of a cognitive load: You must first decide that you want to switch sites and then you have to decide which area to go to to switch.

Also, we find that less familiar users aren't entirely clear what a standalone link that says "main" or "meta" actually does... Not to mention that it hurts my UX sensibilities that we are dynamically changing links in an element that should be fixed.

It is true that we have added a click in the process, but we have also removed a lot of clicks for other common actions that are much more frequent than switching between main and meta.

All I ask is that you give it a few days and see if the new "switch sites at the top left" paradigm grows on you.

What do you think?

1. Jin points out that technically it's not quite black.


locked by Jeremy T Dec 4 '13 at 19:11

This question exists because it has historical significance, but it is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site, so please do not use it as evidence that you can ask similar questions here. This question and its answers are frozen and cannot be changed. More info: help center.

Little bit of a shock initially :-). – ben is uǝq backwards Nov 14 '13 at 22:32
Where's the hot questions? – Mysticial Nov 14 '13 at 22:33
Inbox is missing a tooltip; I assume that's coming? – Monica Cellio Nov 14 '13 at 22:35
I.. I... I am in love with it. thank you – Adel Nov 14 '13 at 22:37
nvm, found it. Boy is that dark... it's like a shadow of a shadow. – Robert Harvey Nov 14 '13 at 22:40
That is an envelope? I thought it was a headset at first :P – Travis J Nov 14 '13 at 22:40
@TravisJ you're both wrong, it's actually a literal inbox in perspective. – David Fullerton Nov 14 '13 at 22:41
On a whole, this is awesome! Thanks, Jeremy/Jin/Laura! – Manishearth Nov 14 '13 at 22:48
It's pretty sleek but it would be nice if you could filter on achievement types, badges get drowned in rep – Mathias R. Jessen Nov 14 '13 at 22:55
Fix to the list of sites is good, but only 4 of them? I would like at least ten before it switches to the alphabetical order remainders. Or probably "everything over 200" like the rep graph does. – Kate Gregory Nov 14 '13 at 23:10
I'd prefer my username make a comeback and replace the teeny tiny gravatar. You can't really see the image very well anyway. – WendiKidd Nov 14 '13 at 23:19
Wait, will this be (off-)black on every site? Even established sites whose color schemes were carefully decided upon long ago and for which a black bar is quite jarring? – Chris White Nov 15 '13 at 0:06
I liked the older, cleaner one. – Dimensio1n0 Nov 15 '13 at 5:34
Can we make it a little less-black to match the overall theme of MSO? – R.J Nov 15 '13 at 6:36
Is top bar color configurable ?? if not then please change its color to lighter side not this dark .. it is very hard to see the icons in the back color – Dhaval Nov 15 '13 at 8:56

64 Answers 64

Please add back the profile-hover-quick-view thingy:


I actively use it to monitor the day/week/month rep, rep breakdown, and UTC time. The quick link to privileges is nice too, when I need to check/link to them.

Note: there is a "workaround" by manually navigating to http://[site]/users/profile-link-stats e.g. but it's not formatted very nicely.

I doubt the dropdown will be coming back - the other dropdowns are intended to replace it. But we do need the UTC time somewhere. – Adam Lear Nov 15 '13 at 0:20
Just remember that touch screen users can't "hover". – chue x Nov 15 '13 at 0:52
@AnnaLear what about the vote count? I find that pretty handy... – davidsleeps Nov 15 '13 at 2:13
@chuex No, but you can tap the triangle. I still use it on my tablets. To be fair, it's not a big hit target. – Kevin Nov 15 '13 at 3:12
@AnnaLear: Then where is the link to the priviledges? – Martin Schröder Nov 15 '13 at 10:55
@AnnaLear I see now that there is rep-by-question in the... right-most left-hand box, but it would still be nice to get the day/week/month summary, maybe on top of that pulldown. – Kevin Nov 15 '13 at 13:19
@Kevin We'd like to be able to do that, but the way we had to aggregate across sites it's just not possible for us to get the day/week/month roll ups with the performance we would need. – Jeremy T Nov 15 '13 at 23:25
@AnnaLear This is a better place for either the rep changes or the badges. They shouldn't be in the same "menu", as the rep changes drown out the badges. – Izkata Nov 16 '13 at 20:19
@MartinSchröder Privileges are relatively handily linked from the help center. – Adam Lear Nov 16 '13 at 20:44
@AnnaLear "relatively" being the key word there. – Kevin Nov 16 '13 at 22:06
Loss of real-time vote count is a huge problem for me. – Ward Nov 19 '13 at 6:33
Please, for the love of god, put this back. I can't believe the two main posts requesting this dropdown be added back have both been dismissed as "doubt[ing] the dropdown will be coming back." – Michael Irigoyen Nov 20 '13 at 13:44
At first I wanted too. After several days with the new design I got used to it and it's actually... cleaner. – Shadow Wizard Nov 21 '13 at 9:27
@davidsleeps see the edit, your counts are still available. :) – Shadow Wizard Nov 25 '13 at 13:12
@AnnaLear I see you added UTC time in the top right of Achievements box - nice! :) – Shadow Wizard Nov 28 '13 at 14:47

Can the sorting of the sites be by title first, then description?

When I start typing "Physics", I would expect Physics and Physical Fitness to top the list, not Astronomy. Most of us would search by site name, not description:

enter image description here

Sure, it takes a few extra seconds to type, but it could be improved :)

Update: This also completely excludes Ham.SE from the search if you type "Ham" and not "Amateur Radio".

Perhaps it should filter by site name and URL only? Or at least give sitename/URL matches priority?

I think it is done this way, at least in part, because of Cross-Validated (which will come up if you type in "stat"). It works the same way as the Moderator Migration dialog's search. Nobody searches for "cross" if they're looking for a statistics site, unless they already know the name of the site. – Robert Harvey Nov 14 '13 at 23:09
Also "apple" for "Ask Different." – Robert Harvey Nov 14 '13 at 23:11
@RobertHarvey Then do it by the site name+url. That's an easy fix. This script of mine did just that. – Manishearth Nov 14 '13 at 23:13
It already does that. You can search for "Ask Different". So you just want a re-sort of the results? I can get behind that, I guess. – Robert Harvey Nov 14 '13 at 23:14
@RobertHarvey Yes, a re-sort would work, but it currently doesn't sort by URL, it sorts by name+description. Case in point: Search "Ham". – Manishearth Nov 14 '13 at 23:16
Why would you sort by the URL? – Robert Harvey Nov 14 '13 at 23:18
@RobertHarvey Why would you sort by the description? Same reason, just that the URL seems better to me since the description has more (possibly irrelevant) words in it. And again, case in point, Ham.SE. – Manishearth Nov 14 '13 at 23:20
Y'know, if you'd finished typing the s on the end of that search, we wouldn't even be having this lovely conversation. :) And the "ham" example could be solved by putting "ham radio" in the description. – Robert Harvey Nov 14 '13 at 23:21
@RobertHarvey LOL. That works, though the issue really is there for phys too. Ideally p or ph should bring it up but somehow the English language seems to like that letter combination :P – Manishearth Nov 14 '13 at 23:22
I think the main idea behind this is that matches in the title should be given a higher priority than matches in the description. – poke Nov 16 '13 at 1:17
No, you cannot. You really want to go to Astronomy. – called2voyage Dec 2 '13 at 22:14
This is fixed by a build rolling out now. – Nick Craver Dec 5 '13 at 2:00

I wish my face were a little bigger. (On my avatar, not in real life.)

It makes me happy to see it staring at me up there, but it looks squished, and like there's probably room to expand a few pixels in each direction?

small avatar

Could it be embiggened?

big avatar

Also, using a white background on my meta image worked for the (white-backed) profile page, but ends up being a little white box in the header. – Shog9 Nov 14 '13 at 22:33
@Shog9, my thoughts exactly :) – Frédéric Hamidi Nov 14 '13 at 22:34
That, definitely. Also, a very faint border, glow or shadow to distinct it better from the underlying background. – Madara Uchiha Nov 14 '13 at 22:45
You could probably do away with the icon entirely, if you had to. I already know what mine looks like. – Robert Harvey Nov 14 '13 at 22:46
Yep 18 pixels are way too tiny by all means. Better off without it, can't see anything in such a small scale anyway. – Shadow Wizard Nov 14 '13 at 23:00
That might look ugly for some. Though if you give it a small border, that would work. Then again, what Robert says makes sense, the only reason I would want to see my gravatar is so that I am reminded of which sockpuppet I'm browsing with. (Well, TBH the icon is good UX from the new user POV) – Manishearth Nov 14 '13 at 23:04
I like your face too! The icon isn't meant for making out what the picture is. You know what it is. It's your gravatar after all. Even if we made it full height of the top bar, it may not be adequate enough for some users' photos. The small gravatar here is a replacement for your user name, a way to show that you're in fact logged in and a hit box to link to your user profile page. – Jin Nov 14 '13 at 23:49
You have green face. – Shadow Wizard Nov 15 '13 at 0:20
Embiggen; it's a perfectly cromulent word. – j08691 Nov 15 '13 at 3:37

Can you PLEASE put the "main" link back on top?

I always switch between "main" and "meta" using it, now I'm at a great loss.

OK, found it:

But still, I have to perform a full mouse click to reach it! :(

Edit by Undo: For the time being, I've created a nice little userscript to add the main link back in. It's available on GitHub here.

(Repeating my comment here) Try getting used to the site switcher. After playing with it internally for a few weeks, I think it's much easier to have all the site switching links in one place. – David Fullerton Nov 14 '13 at 22:40
@DavidFullerton that involves an extra click that is not needed... – amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Nov 14 '13 at 22:40
@DavidFullerton: I'd argue with that. It's a lot harder to find now, especially considering that the like in the switcher doesn't even say main or meta. – Linuxios Nov 14 '13 at 22:41
@David same mistake Microsoft made with Windows 8 by hiding the Start button away. You know how it ended. :) – Shadow Wizard Nov 14 '13 at 22:46
FWIW, I didn't find it difficult to find—I like the cleaner top bar... – Andrew Cheong Nov 14 '13 at 22:47
@DavidFullerton The site switcher take 5 seconds to load; it has an extra POST request attached to it. – Manishearth Nov 14 '13 at 22:49
@Shog9 Precisely! People complained about the start button missing, and that's what Microsoft fixed. What they were really complaining about was the start menu. – Aaron Bertrand Nov 14 '13 at 22:51
@David, Shog - the site switcher was super convenient on a tablet. One tap instead of tap, wait, process, mis-tap, back button, repeat. Maybe you could bring it back for tablets? – Pëkka Nov 14 '13 at 22:51
@Shog9 seriously now, did you by chance record the usage in the "main" link, maybe be analysing the referrer? If you say less than 10% of users ever used it I'll silently bow my head down and accept my fate. :) – Shadow Wizard Nov 14 '13 at 22:54
I want my main back! – EverythingRightPlace Nov 14 '13 at 22:57
From an answer that was deleted as a dupe (simultaneous post, but not the same): We have trouble getting people to participate on per-site metas to begin with (at least on some sites) and this change (removing the link) makes it that extra bit more obscure. Plus, I use it all the time (because I do participate on per-site metas). – Monica Cellio Nov 14 '13 at 22:58
Real-time forking of a beta feature. I like it. We should have just called this post "Who moved my cheese?" – Robert Harvey Nov 14 '13 at 23:17
Coincidence that @Undo did the undo? – EverythingRightPlace Nov 14 '13 at 23:23
@DavidFullerton: It's hard to know how well I like the new site-switcher to togglgle between meta and main until there are both meta and main sites using the new site-switcher... – Flimzy Nov 15 '13 at 1:07

SE top bar: drop-downs vs. links

… but they look the same.

The top bar consists of three different kinds of "actions":

  • drop-downs (staying on the same page)
  • links (leading to a different page)
  • input form (leading to a different page)

The StackExchange drop-down has this little triangular icon, which makes it obvious that it’s not a link but a drop-down. But such an indicator is missing for the two other drop-downs (inbox, recent reputation).

Possible solutions:

  • add a triangular icon for the inbox and the recent reputation actions, too
  • change the style (or at least the hover style) for the two links (user avatar, help), making it look more like links instead of drop-downs
  • make the links drop-downs, too (e.g., quick user menu links for the avatar; help page links for the help)
We've had long, long conversations about these issues. I'm convinced there's no perfect solution, but the triangle on the logo is necessary because usually the logo goes to the homepage and isn't a drop down. I've generally oppose adding triangles to the two other icons strictly from a aesthetics perspective. The help link will soon be a drop-down also, but I don't think we need a triangle there because the user won't really need to know that he gets additional choices until he clicks. Basically, nobody is going to skip over it because there's no triangle there. – Jeremy T Nov 15 '13 at 23:33
@JeremyTunnel: Yes, I wouldn’t recommend adding a triangle to every action. If the help link will become a drop-down, then there is only one link left: the avatar+rep+medal thing. Make it a drop-down, too, so that every "link" in this top bar behaves in the same way. – unor Nov 16 '13 at 0:41
@JeremyTunnel I just hope whichever option you end up with that it will be consistent, all drop downs have a triangle or not, having a mix seems the worst solution. The logo drop down isn't special in any case and one would expect other drop downs to have one if that one has one. – Jonathan Drapeau Nov 18 '13 at 15:47
Or, maybe make the dropdown triangle fade in on hover, that way at least it will look consistent while the top bar isn't being used. – gitsitgo Nov 18 '13 at 16:38
Seeing what the UX folks say… – Jeremy T Nov 18 '13 at 19:04
@JeremyTunnell I bet you saw this while there :… – Jonathan Drapeau Nov 18 '13 at 19:34
I think "make the links drop-downs" is a bad idea. I don't want to click twice just to watch my profile. – totymedli Nov 19 '13 at 23:59

The link to the list of sites, which I use very occasionally, is about 140 pixels wide and in a nice accessible location near the left margin (though for some reason not flush left).

The link to the inbox, which I use very often, is about 35 pixels wide and awkwardly located in a middling location.

The inbox also suffers from being an unrecognizable graphic (how about making this a mailbox? or an envelope?) when there are no unread messages, though I suppose users will quickly get used to its location.

This is backward. It's a major drop in usability from the former inbox access which had the inbox as a nice wide button and the first thing on the left (though for some reason not flush left either) whenever messages were pending.

left part of the top bar

Please make the inbox button wider. It really needs to be wider than the site list since it's more useful, at least when there are unread messages.

I'm unsure about the achievements button (which also has an unrecognizable graphic — is that a bar chart? What does this have to do with achievements?) since I don't know yet what use that list is.

On a similar note, the inbox has a worse contrast than the achievement list. I see the reputation thingy tick away with three characters (soon 4) in bright green that seems poised to assault me, while the inbox is usually a lonesome digit and is in a darkish shade of red that seems to try to stay lurking in its dark alley.

inbox vs achievements

An envelope, you say? – Shog9 Nov 14 '13 at 23:19
@Shog9 It's more evocative than a… a… a gray thingy. – Gilles Nov 15 '13 at 0:03
IMHO, it's become one of those things like using a floppy to represent "save" that folks recognize the purpose of without having to recognize what it's meant to be. That said, it was an envelope in the mockups, so I have to assume there was some rationale behind changing it - perhaps this one's a bit more distinct between "read" and "new" states? – Shog9 Nov 15 '13 at 0:07
“What does this have to do with achievements?” – Rep are not achievements. And the bar chart actually makes sense. – poke Nov 15 '13 at 0:07
@poke But the title of the rep/bar chart box says achievements, and it also displays badges there. – WendiKidd Nov 15 '13 at 0:10
@poke The hover text says “reputation changes” but the title when you click on it says “achievements”. – Gilles Nov 15 '13 at 0:10
@Shog9 Floppy disks are used to represent save today because they were used to represent save yesterday. I've never seen that gray thingy to represent incoming messages before. – Gilles Nov 15 '13 at 0:12
You’re right… it really does say “achievements”. Meh, it shouldn’t do that :/ – poke Nov 15 '13 at 0:12
I was comparing the envelope to the floppy disk, @Gilles - IMHO, the letter tray is a less familiar anachronism. – Shog9 Nov 15 '13 at 0:35
@Shog9 I see envelopes if not every day then at least several times a week. Letter trays, I'm sure I've seen one in my life, but they aren't exactly common, and I don't remember seeing one as an icon. Also, is the inbox icon supposed to represent a letter tray? If so, it needs work: it isn't recognizable even if you know what it's supposed to be, unlike typical floppy disk icons (you can always tell that they're 3½" floppies and not 5¼" or 8" — they're that recognizable). – Gilles Nov 15 '13 at 0:39
There's hover text for the rightmost icon, but not for the inbox icon. Surely I'm not the only that hovers over unknown icons before I click them? – Joshua Taylor Nov 15 '13 at 2:49
@Gilles I'm seeing the letter tray more and more online. Confluence uses it for their notifications too. – Matthew Green Nov 15 '13 at 10:01
For some reason, the messages and achievement icons were completely intuitive to me. Although I'm not sure about the usage of the word "achievement". Maybe just leave it as reputation - badges can count as "reputation". – Cory Klein Nov 15 '13 at 17:39
I thought the Inbox icon looked like 3D goggles or perhaps a crop-top or sports bra. – Amicable Nov 18 '13 at 9:31
@Amicable It looks a bit square for a bra, but I kinda want that to be its official name now. – Gilles Nov 18 '13 at 10:16

I miss the mouseover from the portrait that shows recent reputation activity. I know there is a dropdown that shows all of the reputation activity for the whole exchange, but it requires a click to open, and is a small area to target with my mouse.

Please bring back the mouseover popup that showed recent reputation when I hover over my portrait.

If at all possible, it would also be nice to see my user name again. I feel a little too anonymous.

So in that spirit, I would like to see my user name show up (user names in general) in this fashion

travisj username

And hopefully with this user's support (he had the longest name I know of)

travisj username

Please restore our names, everyone will be waffle endebted


After using a script to show my user name next to the gravatar I can understand how both can seem to be clutter. Which would you rather have, a username or a gravatar? I am unsure, but I seem to prefer the username. Here is what that version looks like:

username only

+1 for user name, don't miss the reputation on mouseover that much. :) – Shadow Wizard Nov 14 '13 at 23:01
The new achievements popup is a direct replacement for the old user one, so we're not really bringing it back as it was. You should instead suggest the specific things that you used in the old popup that you would like added to the new one. – David Fullerton Nov 14 '13 at 23:15
@DavidFullerton - In retrospect, I think the main thing I enjoyed was the large area to target with my mouse, and that the area was centered to the screen. The convenience was hovering to open it. The new reputation breakdown is really quite nice in comparison. – Travis J Nov 14 '13 at 23:25
However, I miss my name the most. var d = $("<div>"); d.css({display:"inline-block",verticalAlign:"top",paddingTop:"10px",color:"#aaa"‌​}); var p = $(".profile-me:first"); var t = p[0].children[0].title; d.html(t); p.prepend(d); ahh, brings back memories... – Travis J Nov 15 '13 at 0:42
Touch screen users dislike the hover since we can't hover... – chue x Nov 15 '13 at 0:49
+1 for mouseover to see recent reputation activity. Clicking on the name brought up your profile page before too, so no improvement there. – Michael Kjörling Nov 15 '13 at 8:20
I say leave the username out, it keeps the bar uncluttered and clean looking. But then again, I use the site enough that I have an image specific to me that isn't auto-generated. Maybe newer users would be confused not knowing what the image actually is. – Cory Klein Nov 15 '13 at 17:36
@GabrielePetronella - forked .. The light side. Preview Image - SFW – Travis J Nov 19 '13 at 0:30
I like the light style! Two concerns: the foreground color is probably only suitable for [meta]; I kinda liked the avatar next to my name, as in this preview – Gabriele Petronella Nov 19 '13 at 0:34
@GabrielePetronella - I updated the script to show both now. – Travis J Nov 19 '13 at 0:39
A major advantage of the username is that you can use it as a target for quick find, I find that more convenient than memorizing shortcut keys. – Gilles Nov 21 '13 at 23:08

Add the 10k suggested-edits-pending indicator back in!

I just noticed that 10kers don't get the nice little pending suggested edit indicator anymore... can we have it back?

Some mockups, in order of what I think looks best first:

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

Yes, totally agree! Was just about to ask if it's removed and if so to put it back. Maybe it can become even smarter e.g. showing other queues as well, each with a different color, but that's a different story. – Shadow Wizard Nov 17 '13 at 15:17

I like the new style, but I'm wondering whether the Hot Questions tab is gone for good.

I happened to like losing hours of my time wondering through interesting questions over the SE network!

enter image description here

Wait for a week... – hims056 Nov 15 '13 at 6:24
@hims056, thanks I totally missed it through the myriads of comments! – Gabriele Petronella Nov 15 '13 at 6:25
@hims056 but that sounds like it's only going to get hot questions from one site. Or is it going to pull from the entire network? That's the part that I like, learning about new things that aren't necessarily in my brain box. – mikeTheLiar Nov 15 '13 at 14:07
@mikeTheLiar it will be the same hot questions from the entire network – David Fullerton Nov 15 '13 at 14:34
@David then +1 full steam ahead! – mikeTheLiar Nov 15 '13 at 14:45
@David CC on this. Thanks. – Monica Cellio Nov 15 '13 at 15:11
@MonicaCellio You've got a legitimate use case, but it's just really low-frequency. In aggregate, our users just don't use the recent badge list. In all honesty, it's probably going to disappear, but I'm committed to making sure that it comes back somewhere. We are throwing around ideas for the /users page – Jeremy T Nov 15 '13 at 18:23
@JeremyTunnell, I just care that it be available. It doesn't have to be on the front page in particular. I'm not sure how you're measuring (non-)usage, but it is something that mods and "senior" users on at least some sites use for community-building purposes, so I hope you'll be able to find a place for it. Thanks for considering the request. – Monica Cellio Nov 15 '13 at 18:35
@JeremyTunnell can I ask whether you guys considered to put tabs in the new dropdown? Hot Questions could be a second tab next to Explore our sites and this would solve the issue of rearranging the side bar. – Gabriele Petronella Nov 15 '13 at 18:37
@JeremyTunnell What about here? (as for the badgers... I have a script running) – doppelgreener Nov 17 '13 at 2:53
These are now live in the sidebar of each site's home page. – Jarrod Dixon Dec 4 '13 at 18:11

It seemed odd to me that in the (awesome) new site switcher dropdown, you have to aim quite precisely to hit the correct link.

As you can see, the pets element had it's hover state enabled while I took the above screenshot and the area marked by the freehand red circle is just dead space.

Could we please make the entire element clickable?

I don't mind having the reputation link to my profile (that's quite useful), but the rest of the element should be clickable as hinted to by the background's hover effect.

We will be making the hit box as large as possible, just didn't make this build...styling is tricky on that one. – Nick Craver Nov 15 '13 at 23:25
This is done - all other dialogs also have this treatment. – Jarrod Dixon Dec 4 '13 at 18:12

The Site Switcher was fixed to show our sites correctly - and that's great! Apparently it shows our top 5 sites by rep, plus the 'Main' for the site we're currently on.

However, it could be improved: The sites at the top of the Site Switcher should be the sites we use most often.

The sites I have high rep on are not necessarily the ones I'm using frequently. For instance, Board & Card Games is at position #8 on my sites sorted by rep. On UX, I have only 103 rep. They're being crowded out of the Site Switcher by Programmers, Arqade and Code Review - I might have a lot of rep in those sites, but I haven't used those in over a year or two, so there's no value in having a quick link to them.

Rather than listing the top 5 sites we have by rep, it should do one of the following:

  • List our top X sites, sorted by how frequently we've visited them. (For me, this would show: Meta, RPG, B&CG and UX. Wonderful!)
  • Let us pin and unpin sites from the longer list that we actually want quick links to. (I would pin the above)
What about "sorted by last visit"? Would that be too dynamic? – Jan Dvorak Nov 14 '13 at 23:40
@JanDvorak That would definitely leave the list jumbling around a lot. Something more steady would be better. – doppelgreener Nov 14 '13 at 23:41
I can't find the comment, but giving the users the power to modify sort order is in the pipeline. – Manishearth Nov 14 '13 at 23:46
We're later on going to allow you to edit the order of sites (and which you see) there, exactly how the Android app does it now:… – Kasra Rahjerdi Nov 15 '13 at 0:43
@Kasra Wonderful! Thank you! :) – doppelgreener Nov 15 '13 at 0:47
Maybe a bug: it does not actually show my top 5 sites by rep. For whatever reason, area51 isn't there for me (despite being my #2 site). I guess it's not worth fixing if this manual sorting thing is going to replace the autosort soon. – Frank Nov 15 '13 at 3:51

Can you PLEASE put the chat link back on top?

I always go to it to get to chat easily.

Now it is an extra click to get to chat which seems like too much.


Try getting used to the site switcher. After playing with it internally for a few weeks, I think it's much easier to have all the site switching links in one place. – David Fullerton Nov 14 '13 at 22:31
Hope you don't mind me copying your template! ;) – Shadow Wizard Nov 14 '13 at 22:33
Haha nice one @ShaWizDowArd ^_^ – amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Nov 14 '13 at 22:34
Must be pretty hard to press that mouse button. Maybe you need a new one. – Robert Harvey Nov 14 '13 at 22:49
Ehhh. But I like mine... :-( – amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Nov 14 '13 at 22:50
@DavidFullerton It may be easier for devs who monitor many different sites. But 95% of my SE experience is via Physics Main, Physics Meta, and Physics Chat. Surely I'm not the only one who spends a majority of my time in one particular corner of the SE Network. – Chris White Nov 15 '13 at 0:00
@RobertHarvey I didn't use the "chat" link much, but the "main" link (mentioned above) I could reach by typing "main", which autosearched for the text, hitting escape (to leave the link highlighted), and hitting enter (to follow the link). Now I can't get to chat or main by doing that. As much as I like the ThinkPad's trackpoint, it can be much easier to follow a predictably named link by typing rather than hitting "Home" (to get to the top of the screen), moving a hand to the mouse, pointing, missing, pointing again, etc. – Joshua Taylor Nov 15 '13 at 2:46
@RobertHarvey This doesn't apply to all the stack exchange sites, but StackOverflow is intended for professional and enthusiast programmers; I think that that target audience is probably one of the most keyboard-centric that will be found, and it probably make sense to cater to them (at least on SO and Meta). – Joshua Taylor Nov 15 '13 at 2:48
@JoshuaTaylor: So you're saying, provide a keyboard shortcut? – Robert Harvey Nov 15 '13 at 16:18
@RobertHarvey Sort of, except that in web browsers, textual links are already pretty functional keyboard shortcuts. Grumpy programmer want typey, not clicky. :) In all seriousness, though, I don't know of many websites that use keyboard shortcuts all that effectively (GMail comes to mind as one that does). Unless there will be plenty of keyboard shortcuts, I don't know that the odd one here and there will be all that helpful. – Joshua Taylor Nov 15 '13 at 16:37
Here's a userscript that adds the 'main' and 'chat' links. – Keen Nov 15 '13 at 21:51
@DavidFullerton I'm with ChrisWhite on this one; I spend more like 98% of my time on SciFi.SE, switching between its main/meta/chat, only occasionally venturing out to the other sites. At the very least, please keep that trio directly in the topbar as well as the menu... – Izkata Nov 18 '13 at 4:22

Could we have a colour scheme that doesn't burn my eyes?

Pretty much anything that isn't black (or just off black)

(Edit to add by Benjol, my answer with this got deleted as a duplicate)

I could get used to the blackness here on meta, but I don't like the StackExchange in colour: and I can't help thinking it's going to clash on other sites.

And applying it across all sites? What about Programmers, where the top bar is part of the design? Surely you're not going to sacrifice that on the altar of uniformity? And on Photography - where it's already black, but nice and sleek and thin, not chunky and imposing like the new one.

I like the black. I like the blue. Together? Not so much. Maybe the blue wouldn't burn quite so much if it wasn't the absolutely only thing on the page with that color. – Geobits Nov 14 '13 at 22:45
What burns your eyes soothes someone else's. And Vice magazine versa. Also, like what colour? – random Nov 14 '13 at 22:46
@random Something that doesn't divide the page into BAR and NOT BAR quite so heavily. The light grey colour scheme felt like it respected the rest of the page, was an addition to it. This hits you in the face, saying "I am the most important, don't look at the questions, they are not ME" – Richard Tingle Nov 14 '13 at 22:49
I think the real problem here is the light-colored rest of the page. Just think how great this is gonna look on Science Fiction & Fantasy! – Shog9 Nov 14 '13 at 22:53
@Shog9 True, are the rest of the site's design going to change to compensate as well? – Richard Tingle Nov 14 '13 at 22:57
Not unless you request it and garner a ridiculously massive amount of support. I, for one, would really dig a light-on-black MSO... (but I doubt that too many others would) – Shog9 Nov 14 '13 at 23:02
@Shog9 It'll probably be much worse on Android/TeX/MiYodeya, etc... – Lorem Ipsum Nov 14 '13 at 23:08
Can we change the bar background from #212121 to #313131? That seems like a small change, but it already makes a huge difference to me. – poke Nov 14 '13 at 23:17
@Shog9 Maybe using some sort of secondary color on a per-site basis for the coloring? Either that, or finding a more moderate color which fits them all? – Nightfirecat Nov 15 '13 at 10:20
@random We need a color picker for it. Metro FTW! – ɥʇǝS Nov 16 '13 at 19:02
Here's a very simple theme that I feel doesn't cause much pain. Although I don't know what one would do with the different sites and their unique top banners. – Makoto Dec 2 '13 at 2:33

There used to be direct link to when opening the Stack Exchange™ MultiCollider SuperDropdown™:

Now I can't find direct link anywhere.

Can this please be added somewhere?

One option using the current design as-is is make the "Explore our sites" link to

The first one isn't implemented yet. But if we click on site switching icon (i.e. Stack Exchange) while the page is loading, it will redirect to – hims056 Nov 19 '13 at 9:03
@hims056 that's a "noscript" fallback, meant for those with JavaScript disabled (the raw HTML source simply has the link and JS code replace it with the awesomeness). Not really acceptable workaround. :-/ – Shadow Wizard Nov 19 '13 at 9:10
Ohh.. I didn't know that thing. :) – hims056 Nov 19 '13 at 9:12
Blasphemy! There's only one name for it and it's SuperCollider. Just like god intended. – Adnan Nov 20 '13 at 7:43
@Adnan Multi, not Super, unless you can prove otherwise? :-D – Shadow Wizard Nov 20 '13 at 7:45
@ShaWizDowArd Oh there are millions of us. We are the right ones! Unlike you, the followers of the false name. We shall rise! – Adnan Nov 20 '13 at 7:49
@Adnan sorry but MultiCollider bringd back 146 results while SuperCollider only 30 results. I win! – Shadow Wizard Nov 20 '13 at 7:55
+1 for "Stack Exchange™ MultiCollider SuperDropdown™"! I agree, though. I often used that link, and I want it back. – The Guy with The Hat Nov 20 '13 at 14:58
How about a variation: making "our sites" clickable, in the first line of drop-down text: "Explore our sites". (Personally, however, instead of the link to the Stack Exchange home page, I'd prefer a link to that WONDERFUL right-brained variable-block-size representation of the sites :) – Doug_Ivison Nov 22 '13 at 15:48
@Doug_Ivison thought about that too, it would be fair compensation. :) – Shadow Wizard Nov 22 '13 at 18:37
This is done in the next build. – Jarrod Dixon Dec 4 '13 at 18:13

Is there any chance of making the Inbox/ Achievements models wider? It all looks quite cramped for me @ 375px, with so much more width available on the page. Many items flow onto multiple lines.

Below, for example, shows it @ 500 px.

enter image description here

See also this answer about changing the height. – unor Nov 15 '13 at 15:15
Wow, that looks a lot better. An alternative would be to clip the length of the titles rather than wrapping them (this was the behavior in the old rep drop-down). – Shog9 Nov 16 '13 at 0:13
@Shog9: Or a combination of both... wider and clipping lengths for those extra-long titles? – Matt Nov 18 '13 at 9:15

As I wrote before, I find the number of votes I've cast today to be useful information, and I want to access it quickly as this is quickly-changing data. It was available before when hovering on the user name. Please restore it.

The number of favorites change would be good to have too. Where are favorite changes gone? I neither want them nor see them in the inbox, where they'd be clutter. I neither see them nor see them in the achievement list, where they'd be drowned in the mass.

On the other hand, the list of badges changes very slowly. It doesn't belong in the top bar, really. Removing that would be a nice way to make room for more useful information.

Missed your answer, thanks! – davidsleeps Nov 17 '13 at 22:34
Gee, I miss the shortcut to Favorites a lot. Now, we are two clicks/screens away from it. – brasofilo Nov 21 '13 at 21:57

Feature-Request to the "Recent reputation & achievements" button in the topbar beta.

The reputation changes are awesome e.g. +25, +4, etc. with the corresponding question/answer post. But, for the badges there seems to be no such thing. The following pic will make this clear.

enter image description here

Notice the highlighted "You've earned the Civic Duty badge." line, we could show the badge colour of this achievement before it.

I would like to propose the showing of the corresponding badge colour in the left column (where the reputation changes +25, +4, etc go) for the respective badge earned.

We've considered this, but there are a few problems with that: it's a lot of icons, and the badge icons are not consistent one site to the next, so we'd have to either a) pick a new and different badge icon (very confusing if it's not like your most used site at all), or b) load the CSS and sprite files for every site (crazy complicated and expensive). – Nick Craver Nov 16 '13 at 0:23
You may try filling colours? If not, the new topbar is still fantastic! – Ashish Nitin Patil Nov 16 '13 at 4:30
@NickCraver How about one sprite file for the network with one row per SE site, and columns of bronze/silver/gold badges? Even if there were 50 sites it'd only be about 15-20kb. Whenever a new site leaves beta, just add a row to the sprite. If in future you want a new element shared between sites, just add a column for it. etc etc – user568458 Nov 21 '13 at 15:05
@user568458 the badges are different sizes is the issue there, the top bar is supposed to be consistent. The sprite for all SE sites is planned, as both a performance booster to favicon loads and lets us do retina versions way easier. – Nick Craver Nov 21 '13 at 15:24

Could we have reputation sums next to more items in the achievement list?

Currently, only today's reputation is summed. At the very least, yesterday's sum would be interesting to know:

sum of all fears

Today is only summed if there's only 1 site with rep today (since a single site icon + total is a huge space waster and adds no value). It was not the intent to sum all sections. – Nick Craver Nov 15 '13 at 16:11
What OS and browser were used to take this screenshot? The top bar of the menu is going out more than the rest of the dropdown, similar to what I have under Ubuntu and what is also showing in OSX. – Jonathan Drapeau Nov 15 '13 at 16:22
@JonathanDrapeau Windows 7, Firefox 25. – Duncan Nov 15 '13 at 16:33
@NickCraver It wasn't until you posted that comment that I realised it was showing reputation gains across all sites :-) – Duncan Nov 15 '13 at 16:38
I like this idea, but we can't do it for technical reasons. – Jeremy T Nov 15 '13 at 19:15

I find the font used for the text, especially the numbers, is too difficult to see. Can it be thicker/bolder/have more contrast?

Light grey on white shows you how hip the site is – random Nov 14 '13 at 23:28
If you're talking about the inbox item text, I just pushed a fix for it. Before we had an opacity of 0.8 on "read items," dark text for new items. now all the text are the same dark text. We'll be adding a new visual treatment for "unread items" later – Jin Nov 14 '13 at 23:40
No, I'm talking about the font used for reputation points and badge counts, for instance. – Al E. Nov 14 '13 at 23:44
@jin You know what it needs? Some bold. – Kevin Montrose Nov 15 '13 at 4:58
Bolding the rep points (or something else to make them stand out - maybe just bump the font size slightly?) seems like a good idea. The other tweaks that were made seem to have sorted out the readability issues, at least for my eyes and monitor :-) – voretaq7 Nov 16 '13 at 3:09

I want to know about votes on my answers/questions after reaching the rep-cap.

The achievements dropdown is simply fantastic. I really like the idea that you can see you rep changes network-wide. There has always been something that irritated me even with the old top bar; you cannot know about votes on your answers after hitting the rep-cap. You see, it's very nice, you hover over the old one and it used to tell you what answers got upvoted. But after hitting the rep-cap, you're left in the dark.

Probably something along the lines of:

enter image description here


I have a weird display error with the network drop down in Firefox. The width of both the header and the actual content box is bigger than the wrapper around which restricts the size and also makes the drop shadow. The header is actually even wider making it look very weird:

Before and after

On the left you can see the box how it is currently displayed for me. The gray header is actually wider than the rest of the box. If you look at the drop shodow at the bottom, you can also see that the scroll bars are actually partially outside of the box. The screenshots are both cropped at the same position, so you can see the difference in width.

Removing the width: 100%; from both .topbar-dialog .header and .topbar-dialog .modal-content fixes this.

It looks like they missed the -moz- prefix for box-sizing: border-box;, that's why it looks good in Chrome, but not in Firefox.

.topbar-dialog .header {
    background-color: #f0f0f0;
    width: 100%;
    box-sizing: border-box;
    -moz-box-sizing: border-box; /* Important bit */
    padding: 10px 10px 4px 10px;
    position: relative;

.topbar-dialog .modal-content {
    width: 100%;
    box-sizing: border-box;
    -moz-box-sizing: border-box; /* Important bit */
    padding: 10px 7px;
    overflow-y: auto;
    overflow-x: hidden;
    max-height: 300px;
It's not just Nightly - this is occurring in Firefox 24 as well – doppelgreener Nov 15 '13 at 0:01
Happening on Firefox 25.0 as well – Willem Nov 15 '13 at 0:49
Slightly embarrassed to say I didn't notice this when I opened it up originally, but I can confirm (again) on FF25. – Nightfirecat Nov 15 '13 at 10:18
They just forgot to add the -moz- prefix for box-sizing: border-box; that's why it looks OK in Chrome, but not in Firefox. – apaul34208 Nov 15 '13 at 14:48
Even on Firefox 25.0.1 – R.J Dec 2 '13 at 9:44
Sorry this one fell off the radar, a fix will go out in the next build. – Nick Craver Dec 4 '13 at 18:09

The box in Firefox on OS X is broken. Somehow it doesn't like that padding there.

Broken Box

(Newest Firefox, OS X 10.9 (Mavericks).)

It's not an OSX bug, but a firefox one - we'll be sure to give Firefox from love today. I guess it's obvious now that we develop mostly on Chrome :) – Nick Craver Nov 15 '13 at 11:41
Windows Firefox (Win 7, Firefox 25.0) doesn't seem to have these problems – Richard Tingle Nov 15 '13 at 11:48
@NickCraver So, it is a firefox bug, especially created for OS X it seems :-D – bwoebi Nov 15 '13 at 11:51
Not only OSX, under Ubuntu 13.10 with gnome 3.9.90, I got a similar bug, the top of the dropdown is going way out. – Jonathan Drapeau Nov 15 '13 at 15:55
A fix for this is rolling out in a bit. – Nick Craver Dec 4 '13 at 18:09
@NickCraver nice, looks fine :-) – bwoebi Dec 4 '13 at 19:06

The achievements dropdown is really confused a lot of the time when leaving a Meta page open.

The achievement box doesn't reload the drop-down after further achievements are gained. If you leave a page open, gained reputation, and opened the drop-down once, the next time you gain reputation the green rep counter shows your gained points, but clicking on the dropdown then shows old, now stale information.

Here I gained an accept:

ah, rep gain!

but the dropdown shows old, stale info; I am at +260 by now really:

but, wait, I already had +230 today

After closing the dropdown, the green label disappears, but after opening a new page, the count is back and opening the dropdown gives:

hey, I am at +260 really

adding in the most recent two events (one of which I had not yet seen).

Note that the achievements counter didn't clear properly either. I opened a new page (or I could have reloaded the current page), and the same green reputation gained count showed up again, creating more confusion.

Can the achievement handling be updated to continue to work properly when one page (a questions list) remains open for a prolonged period of time? After gaining more reputation, the dropdown contents should be reloaded and the server updated that I have seen the reputation gain properly.

The same problem largely applies to the inbox as well. The unread messages number doesn't stick like the green reputation delta does, but the dropdown is not reloaded on new messages. This is rather irritating, having to open a new page just to read the message and have a click target. This was reported in a separate Meta post as well.

I've also seen it report the total reputation gained for the day so far, intermittently, showing a +230 after I had already opened the dropdown. I'm putting that down to a temporary glitch for now.

Is this the same as the bug I noticed with the inbox? I haven't opened my achievements box since the first day, so I didn't check that. – Gilles Nov 20 '13 at 12:36
@Gilles: Could be, I've seen some inbox weirdness as well. I'll keep a close eye on that. – Martijn Pieters Nov 20 '13 at 12:39
achievements have been intended to be much more understandable than garbage that is currently shown to you: "The big green number is how much rep you've gained since the last time you checked." – gnat Nov 20 '13 at 12:39
@Gilles: the inbox is working fine for me at the moment. Both your comment and gnat's showed up separately and the count cleared properly both times. Opening a new page doesn't show the inbox counter again. – Martijn Pieters Nov 20 '13 at 12:42
@gnat: Yup, which is why I am reporting it here. – Martijn Pieters Nov 20 '13 at 12:49
@Gilles: Okay, I have to take that back. This applies to the inbox as well; the number updates properly but the dropdown itself does not reload. I am looking at a stale inbox with the new message not listed. – Martijn Pieters Nov 20 '13 at 12:52
We now cache and de-cache this appropriately, it was waiting on a rather large JS refactor. – Nick Craver Dec 4 '13 at 18:10

I'm just wondering how this will fit into Ask Ubuntu, they already have a top bar that needs to match up with a specific aesthetic.

enter image description here Adding the all-new almost all-black top bar would seem wrong somehow. At the top it would interfere with the Ubuntu top bar and it would be equally bad (if not worse) where the old bar is right now considering it's black.

Heh, me too...I had to make that damn thing pixel perfect with the other Ubuntu properties :) – Nick Craver Nov 29 '13 at 10:25

I really like this - although it will take some getting used to. Two feature request though, one related to one I asked some time ago:

  • Can the order of sites in the drop down please be user configurable, perhaps with options for sort by rep, most recent visit, alphabetical or possibly drag to sort?
  • And can we set how many sites we want before it goes to the general view. Most days I look at my top 12 sites, but also another couple that are of extra interest but that I still have low rep on. I'd like to have them all easily and quickly available through the drop down.
The order of sites will be user configurable yes, not at first release but it will be. I'm not sure what the limit will be on this. – Nick Craver Dec 4 '13 at 18:11

When registering on a new site and you receive the 100 reputation bonus, the 100 will be added in the reputation box, but no information on where or why you got the reputation is added to the list.

This item is now in the list, along with several others. We provide the site icon, text, and a link to the help article explaining why you got the bonus. – Nick Craver Dec 4 '13 at 18:12

I keep clicking this text thinking it's going to bring me to the all sites page.

enter image description here

IMO, it's intuitive that it should. And I'd like it if it did, because I've grown accustomed to accessing certain sites by navigating first to the all sites page (if only because that page is pretty :-).

In any case though, can we at least add the CSS property cursor: default on it so the cursor doesn't change whilst hovering past that text? 95% of the time we toggle that dropdown, we're gonna have to cross that text to click on any of the links. No one will ever need to highlight that text.

I agree, that would be a great place for the all sites link. – Travis J Nov 21 '13 at 17:39
This will be a link in the next build. – Nick Craver Dec 4 '13 at 18:12

When hovering over a site in the "Explore our sites" list, why not display the site links "chat", "blog", "meta"?

SE top bar: site links when hovering

It wouldn’t "hurt" in any way. Everyone hovering over these site links either wants to visit the SE’s main site or wants to visit a sub-site (meta, chat, blog) of it, by clicking at the main site first, and then opening the StackExchange menu again and clicking at the sub-site link. So it would save 3 clicks and a site load.

A different solution would be to display a little icon (e.g., a triangle) right from the site name, which, when clicked at, opens a little menu with the sub-site links (similar to Google’s Cache link).

Duplicate of me... oh, wait. We can't close answers. – Jan Dvorak Nov 15 '13 at 11:04
@JanDvorak: Pardon me? Duplicate of what? – unor Nov 15 '13 at 11:56
@unor Congratulations, you have successfully duplicated an entire person – Richard Tingle Nov 15 '13 at 13:00
I don't really want hovers everywhere. Tooltips are fine, but I think this might be a step too far. – Jeremy T Nov 15 '13 at 19:23
We also plan on making the site hit box as large as possible, that wouldn't yield some counter-intuitive behavior and introduce trouble clicking. – Nick Craver Nov 16 '13 at 0:56

Can we have a little clicky drag thing (my brain isn't working tonight, I can't remember what they're called) to drag and change the height of the inbox? It's a minor thing, but I don't like that it goes so far down the page. This is my personal preference, so rather than changing it for everyone, it would be nice if we could drag to adjust the height ourselves (not the width, obviously, but the height.) And if it would remember what we'd done previously, that would be great :) Obviously this isn't a hugely important request.... My eyes can travel a bit further down the page if they must :) But it seems odd to me for a header element to go so far down the page, so it'd be a nice-to-have for me to be able to adjust the height to my own preference.

You mean something to resize the window? – Josh Crozier Nov 15 '13 at 0:44
@JoshC Yes. What are those things called? – WendiKidd Nov 15 '13 at 0:45
I'm pretty sure the technical term is "grippy resizing thingamajigs". – Shog9 Nov 15 '13 at 1:01
See also this answer about changing the width. – unor Nov 15 '13 at 15:15
@Shog9 yummy! ;) – Shadow Wizard Nov 17 '13 at 15:21

The 'activity' link seems to be gone. I use it quite often to keep track of posts I've voted, commented or answered on. Now I need to go to my profile first and then click on the tab.

Perhaps a menu in the style of 'Inbox' and 'Achievements' could be added?

Yes please! I use that link too. I could just visit my profile and click the activity tab, though - but I'll upvote this since I'm a regular user of the existing link. – doppelgreener Nov 16 '13 at 3:56
This is my most used link as I use comments as a way of keeping track of what questions I might need to revisit... losing this means soo many more clicks. – ben is uǝq backwards Nov 17 '13 at 13:57
I think inbox is proper place to add an "activity" link. – hims056 Nov 19 '13 at 5:58

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