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After 2.5 years of being almost entirely unchanged, we're thinking about redesigning

http://stackoverflow.com/users

This page is kind of underutilized real estate at the moment:

  • It is rather monotonous, since it always shows the same list and Jon Skeet is always on top. (Although to be fair, we do link to the reputation leagues on it.)
  • The tabs it offers are not particularly relevant; when was the last time you clicked on the "oldest" tab for example?

We are in the process of redesigning this page, and I wanted to get your input on a few things.

  1. If we were to show a few more bits of info about each user, other than the standard user card, what would you like to see?

  2. What tabs and sort orders would be helpful and interesting to see here, that would make this page more fundamentally useful?

Be advised that our first pass on this will make the weekly rep leagues essentially the default view here, with an option to show monthly and quarterly. But we think other views and orders might be even more helpful as a default.

Mockups and ideas welcome!

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15  
Hmm, I have never clicked on the "oldest" tab until just now. I never even noticed the tabs. –  raven Feb 25 '11 at 20:30
6  
Blasphemy! How dare you declare a page with Jon Skeet on top as monotonous? :) –  LeakyCode Feb 27 '11 at 2:11
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36 Answers 36

I've always wished the 'Type to find users' text box returned results based on any part of a User's name, not just the beginning.

For example, if I want to find the User page of a guy I heard of with the last name 'Skeet', I couldn't just enter 'skeet' and get it.

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it's also annoying that it doesn't paginate if your search has more than 35 results (like if you search for "josh" on SO, for example) –  Kip Feb 25 '11 at 20:05
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This is only an issue on Stack Overflow, where the number of users is so high. On all of the other sites, it will search on any part of the name. That said, it may be an opportunity to refine it. –  Grace Note Feb 25 '11 at 20:15
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Yes, that is super annoying. I could have sworn it used to work that way and at some point they broke it. Am I just imagining that, or can someone back me up? –  raven Feb 25 '11 at 20:31
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@raven It was changed in August. –  Grace Note Feb 25 '11 at 20:40
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waffles really improved the search here, the search anywhere is back. Bonus, it works from the querystring as well: stackoverflow.com/users?search=skeet –  Nick Craver Mar 3 '11 at 12:47
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I'd like be able to see just users who've answered my question and/or users whose questions I have answered.

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13  
So "Users I've interacted with"? –  jcolebrand Feb 26 '11 at 3:49
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What would you say to including (optionally?) "Users I've competed with" - users who have answered the same questions as you. –  Phrogz Feb 27 '11 at 1:59
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Don't forget comments –  Joel Coehoorn Mar 1 '11 at 15:25
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I'd love to see a stub with location and tags just like we have in chat.

Chat stub image

It's not much extra realestate if you only do the top 3 or 4 tags, but should add quite a bit of information at a glance about where the user participates...

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2  
This has now been implemented. –  Tshepang Mar 2 '11 at 6:15
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I'd like to see on what other sites in the network the user is active. Maybe wherever they've earned over X reputation points (X being 500 or 1000 or some other moderately high number) or the top three sites where they participate.

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Just show all associated accounts, it's public information isn't it? –  Ivo Flipse Feb 25 '11 at 21:30
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This was my first thought as well, but... I don't really ever care about this information when I'm on the users page - it's more interesting once I'm looking at a specific user. How do you see this being beneficial (vs noise) in the great and grand list of users? –  Shog9 Feb 26 '11 at 0:25
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Seeing users reputation gain for today is fun! (for me at least)

Reputations for Today

Note: the image is not today stats, I have taken few days ago when I post my greasemonkey script on stackapps.

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6  
This is more clutter, not a fan. –  Moshe Feb 28 '11 at 0:48
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I'd like to see some location based sorting. I'm fairly new to programming and being able to view/follow local geeks and see what they're interested in and where their expertise is would be pretty powerful.

While the current list brings insight on who is the most helpful, I'd at least like to see what kind of stuff (tags) they help with the most.

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The problem is, users don't have to enter their location. Are you suggesting they try to infer it from your IP? That's not so good either, as those accessing the site via proxies could taint the results. –  raven Feb 25 '11 at 22:05
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-1: Stackoverflow is not a social networking site. –  BalusC Feb 26 '11 at 0:30
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@BalusC - We're not talking about changing the overall site here, just improving the /users page. That page is specifically about the users on the site, so why not use the location information people provide to provide another perspective on the site's users? It's not like we're wanting to friend or direct message them. –  Brad Larson Feb 26 '11 at 14:29
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Sorting by badge count instead of Rep would be interesting.

Possibly:

  • Total Badge Count

and/or

  • Sorted by Gold Count, Silver Count, Bronze Count
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I like this idea, but raw count or weighted by gold, silver, bronze; and if weighted how? –  dmckee Feb 25 '11 at 20:00
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@Nick, total badge count is much more interesting to me than weekly badge count. –  jzd Feb 25 '11 at 20:03
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Yeah, I don't know that a weekly badge count would be interesting. Total, yes, possibly weighted by gold/silver/bronze. A monthly leaderboard might be interesting. –  Dougal Campbell Feb 25 '11 at 20:39
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If were to show a few more bits of info about each user, other than the standard user card, what would you like to see?

I liked the percentile information (i.e.: "This user is in the 90th percentile for tag X") that was shown (briefly, it appears to have disappeared at the time of writing) for your liked tags on the Careers 2.0 site. As such, it would be a nice addition to view users/sort based on such percentiles.

That said, it would also be a nice addition if this was shown on the user profile pages as well.

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To expand a bit on this, the first change will be rep leagues on the main /users view, when landing on /users you'll see the top users by reputation...this week. With these options they'll be new sub-tabs (like the user activity view in the profile for example) with options the same as the stack exchange rep leagues:

  • week (default)
  • month
  • quarter
  • year
  • all time (what the current view is)

Another section (top level tab) will be activity, we have some ideas around what goes in this, but would like to see feedback here first. I'll post screenshots that better describe the above when they're ready.

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Are you sure you aren't making this change just to showcase that you overtook Jon in the rep leagues for 2010? :) stackexchange.com/leagues/1/year/stackoverflow/2010-01-01 –  Dexter Feb 26 '11 at 4:44
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@Dexter - damn, they're on to me! –  Nick Craver Feb 26 '11 at 11:17
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Sometime I look for users who asks interesting questions, so sort by reputation can be broken down into two sub categories one is reputation earned by asking questions and other is by answering questions.

There should be a feature of listing users for a particular tag. like who all are interested in PHP or asks PHP questions or answers PHP questions and those can be sorted based on recent activiy/reputation etc.

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+1 for breaking down rep earned by questions vs answers. –  fretje Feb 26 '11 at 0:44
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  1. Bury users that haven't customized their avatar.

  2. Default view should magically show interesting people based on my preferences and use. For example: populate it with high-rep people involved in questions I care about (followed, answered, commented, or asked questions). Also populate it with people deemed experts in tagged fields I care about (C#, Rails, etc.)

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+1 for high-reaching-but-not-unattainable goals. –  Phrogz Feb 25 '11 at 21:15
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-1 for burying users that haven't customized their avatar. I just don't care enough to change it, and even if I did I don't really have a "professional" avatar –  TheLQ Feb 25 '11 at 22:47
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To amplify TheLQ comments, what you'd get on implementing that rule is a whole lot of stoned, gummi-unicorns courtesy of balpha. –  dmckee Feb 26 '11 at 3:30
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I'd be more in favor of burying users who haven't customized their user name. The whole mess of "user103803583" folks. –  Cody Gray Feb 26 '11 at 12:45
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It would be nice to have tabs with period

  1. Day
  2. Week
  3. Month
  4. Year
  5. All time

but it would be nice if I can filter those by tags, some of tags, not all,

  1. C#
  2. PHP
  3. JAVA
  4. Ruby
  5. etc

This would help me to find one to follow and listen. Hope this could help you to improve this already good QA site.

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Add a tag filter to the reputation league so you could look at rep just from a single tag. Then you could point the "top users" link under the tags to the reputation league and just have to maintain one page.

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I'd like to be able to see newest user with unanswered questions. Theres nothing better than having your first few questions answered to get you hooked. Currently you have to go to newest users and scroll through trying to find one with a badge or two and clicking on their profile to find out if they have a question and what it is.

There's almost no point in seeing newest users unless they have actually done something more than created a profile.

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This has been somewhat discussed here, but since it should really have been here, here goes:

  • week should become last 7 days. I don't care if this is updated once a day, but it's far better than starting 1st second of Sunday.
  • month should become last 30 days.
  • Do something similar with quarter and year.

[sidenote] If we can choose numbers like last 10/50/100... days, it would be perfectly fine for me, because my proposed scheme nullifies the need to limit ourselves to weeks, months, and quarters.

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Instead of (or in addition to) tabs sorting by join datetime, how about an "Active" tab that either filters by those users seen within a particular time period, or at least sorts by how recently they were seen? (Sorted output would need to be coupled with my other suggestion to display how recently they were active.)

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I had some suggestions for extra info that could be shown similar to what middaparka suggested regarding the tag percentiles:

  • Display the 2 to 3 tags from which the user has earned the largest percentage of their Rep, and color the tag based on the highest tag badge they have earned for it: gold, silver, bronze, or the default bluish color if no badge has been earned. You could even put a star or some other indicator on the tag if they are the top user.

  • Allow listing of top users by tag or tag combinations. This would replicate to some degree what you see for the top user page for a tag, but it would be a longer list and would give the user the option of easily switching back and forth between viewing top users for different tags.

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I'd like to see you take a leaf out of Apple's book:

"Users don't know what they want." :)

Can you set up some A/B experiments, showing different pages to different random subsets of users, and see what happens?

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Last 7 days instead of This Week would be nice. The problem with This Week is that the first two day of the week, ranking does not reflect real involvement of users.

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I think it would be nice if the default, users page listed users that you are more likely to encounter as you use the site. That is, make it more likely to see users who are particularly active (or was most recently active) in the tags you use (much like the interesting tab works for questions on the home page). That way, if you wanted to find a person, you won't get bombarded by a list of people you probably don't have any interest in seeing when you start. Of course, this would only be done if the user is logged in.

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I see 2 main reasons for this page to exist, so the answer depends on which one you want to enforce.

  1. It can be about flattering some egos so that these talented people continue contributing at an incredible pace. I believe that's what the current page is about, reputation leagues as well. It looks a bad purpose but it is simply and smartly leveraging human nature. In that case some fancy graphical display of users pictures could be nice (something like http://nmap.org/favicon/) with maybe a way to show "you are here".

  2. It can also be about building a community, in that case the most useful information is currently users' web sites. Social media accounts (especially twitter and linkedin) could also be added to user profiles and displayed here. Then some searching / filtering on tags would help finding people in your domain of interest.

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If weekly reputation leagues will get more exposure, it would be nice to not take into account reputation for associating accounts. It is not an issue for high volume sites, where reputation 100 is easy to get, but for lower volume sites it can send a wrong message. I am attaching screenshots, since the situation will change eventually.

Here is the current (2011-02-28 10:07 GMT+2) ranking: enter image description here

And here is the user page of the highest ranked (by some margin as you can see) user: enter image description here

In greater scheme of things this is not that important, but it might send a wrong message for new users, since there is nothing in faq about gaining reputation without asking or answering questions.

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The new page looks perfect to me, its shows most active users regardless of their total rep.

I would like to see "Newest" and "Oldest" tabs back.

"Newest" - In beta sites pro tem moderators and active participants invites their colleagues and local user groups to join. I would like to see newly joined users and see whether there are any familiar faces and invited people, so that I can ping them to say "Hey, thanks for joining the beta, let’s make it live".

"Oldest" - We don't want to forget those who are the first participants and active contributers, who made each stackexchange site a big success in the community. Just like keeping "good old memories"

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Get user's page preview on mouse over on a user's name instead of clicking it. Like if someone mouse over the name Jon Skeet and can see preview without clicking on it. So a user can look at a lot of users details without navigating to the page and come back to the users page for another user.

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I like the idea about Gold/Silver/Bronze badges, as an alternative tab group which would contain - [Badges] / [Rep]

But what I would really like to see is more graphs. The league is a great idea giving the /users page some currency rather than being static. We have a graph in /users/{x}/{name}?tab=reputation which is really great, it would make the leagues look more interesting as well to see the periodic intertwining among the users currently showing.

Another idea is to be able to arbitrarily add users to the "currently showing list". To elaborate

  • When you "Type to find users" it currently replaces the entire list with the matches
  • Add a new "Type to add user" which runs "Type to find users", but in a popup to choose one (or more) users, which gets added to the list [do we need to limit how many users can be added to the view - I would think not since this is rendered and graphed (see above suggestion) on the client browser]
  • possibly even an option to mark users as a favourite view
  • or to mark a group of added users as "default add", which may or may not include oneself. these users will get added to any view [okay if we go here, there would need to be a limit]

One last thing to do is to enhance "Type to find users" so that it can do left/contains/right matching, probably controlled by a checkbox so as not to confuse new users.

Type to find users: [ ] Advanced [X]

Hover over Advanced to see

      Use Name to find "Name" exactly
      Use Name* to search for names starting with "Name"
      Use *Name to search for names ending with "Name"
      Use Name (or leave unticked) to find "Name" anywhere in the name
deleted on account of http://meta.stackexchange.com/q/60947

Final, really last item for few more bits of info about each user

  • the last 3 (or N) name changes, if any
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How about a flag indicating if the user is online "right now" (seen in the last x minutes). It would be interesting to see how many of the top users are online (especially if we could filter by badges for particular tags).

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6  
I suspect that what you really want to see is when is Jon Skeet offline, so that you can answer questions in peace :) –  Goran Jovic Feb 25 '11 at 21:27
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How do you measure online? Because I keep tabs open all day long, even if I'm not around. Besides, some might complain they don't want their boss 'to find out' that they're online –  Ivo Flipse Feb 25 '11 at 21:32
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@IvoFlipse As stated above, it would be determined by "seen in the last x minutes", which is already calculated. If the boss problem is really an issue, then a) Stack Overflow would be complicit in a (small) ethically-sketchy situation, and b) this would only be "security through obscurity", as the information is already available simply by looking at the employee's profile. You, for example, were "seen 17 minutes ago". –  Phrogz Feb 25 '11 at 21:46
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I think if you want this you should be on chat.stackoverflow.com where such a feature is standard. –  Jeff Atwood Feb 25 '11 at 22:33
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I think your proposed "active" sort is a whole lot less misleading than this. Even if it were possible to determine if a user is "online right now" (and it isn't), that sorta sends the wrong message anyway - you really shouldn't be planning your interactions with SO based on when someone else is online (vs. chat, where as Jeff notes this is not only desirable but already available). –  Shog9 Feb 26 '11 at 0:21
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I would like to be able to filter the list of users based on some or all of the users attributes. It could be some of the following.

  • Reputation range (for example, 760 - 4500)
  • Age range (for example, 50 - 65)
  • Location (By partial match. Or by specified state, country, region, or continent). Like jtp8419's answer.
  • Views range (for example, 200 - 700)
  • Number of questions range (for example, 200 - 9999)
  • Number of answers range (for example, 10 - 50)
  • Some function(s) of the distribution of votes on questions and answers. For example, highest voted non-CW answer in the range 20-40. Or median value of votes on non-CW questions.
  • Time range for all of the above that depends on time (that is, not for age or location), effectively giving the rate of change for an arbitrary time. For example, date range 2010-06-05 to 2010-08-27 (views, questions, answers, etc. for last summer). (Except for reputation this may be difficult to implement).

Not all of these may be useful, but those deemed most useful could be included in the filter.

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Instead of the standard user card I'd quite like to see the profile that is generated when using StackFlair.

Views:

  • The reputation leagues would be the best view along with the search box.

  • An enhanced view based on the Top New Users that exists on the reputation league for the Month.

  • Ability to search for users based on reputation so for example all users between the 50K & 60K or all users less then 1K

The search box should return a user with any part of the name not just the start.

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How about highlighting users by recent reputation gained?

Like the way YouTube does trending videos, rather than going by hits, they give more weight to recent hits. Similarly you could showcase users that have large amounts of recently gained rep.

I think Jon Skeet will still be on top all the time though.

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This is pretty much what Jeff says will happen right off the bat, via the use of weekly rep league data (and... it ain't always Jon) –  Shog9 Feb 26 '11 at 0:24
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One suggestion - not just for /users but for any display of rep score across all the sites is a split of Q:A scores, which can be displayed on hovering over the rep score.

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