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Currently when a user goes to SEDE they must first pick a site for which to run their query. Only then can they browse the available queries or compose one of their own.

Seeing that the queries are the focus of the site I think it'd work better if we allowed them to browse/compose queries first and once they have the query then allow them to switch what site they want to query on the fly.

So at http://odata.stackexchange.com/ users would see what's currently the queries page.

The Queries and Compose Query buttons are both visible on every page (just like SO's navigation buttons).

Once they select a query or hit the compose button I'm thinking they see a page that looks like this. We can switch the radio buttons out for something better looking if necessary.

alt text

We default to the SO database but if the user selects one of the others we save their preference for next time. When they click Run Query they get the results for whatever site they have chosen.

I know this messes with the routing scheme (and permalinks?), but fixes the confusing navigation issue on the non query pages and gets rid of the "Select a site" page/click they have to go through every time they visit the site.

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Jason, I will reply to this properly, just trying to formulate a solution, I need to make sure it scales and will allow for a time when there are 20 SE sites ... –  waffles Jun 2 '10 at 13:32
    
Hmm...I didn't think about that. Radio buttons would be stupid in that case. I hate picklists too but if you're dealing with 20 sites maybe that's the only answer. I'll put some brain cycles into it. –  Jason Punyon Jun 2 '10 at 14:08
    
can I close this now in light of the major changes I made? –  waffles Jun 8 '10 at 11:16
    
@waffles: I think so. The only thing I wonder is if "Home" should be changed to "Choose Site". –  Jason Punyon Jun 8 '10 at 11:40
    
I'm not sure about that, it will be a bit too fat at the top. –  waffles Jun 8 '10 at 12:12
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1 Answer

Well, I think I managed to make it kind of intuitive.

  1. There are no longer magic disappearing menu items, they all show up always
  2. On first visit we assume you want to look at "Stack Overflow" data, if at any point you change sites, it will be remembered
  3. You can change sites from the front page or by clicking a link
  4. We always show what site you are on in the query list

I am fairly comfortable with this, I think it is fairly easy to figure out.

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