Having reached 10k on Super User a few days ago, I've been heavily using the moderator tools. They are great for efficiently helping the mods and the community.
But at the same time, the tools seem very inefficiently designed. In my opinion, they need a partial redesign, because
- their navigational structure is misleading
- user actions lead to unexpected behavior
- there are redundant links and messages
I decided to break this up in three parts, each with proposals highlighted within a blockquote.
The landing page
Once you access the tools, you get to a page titled "stats". Why do you land in "stats", and why is it the third navigation element?
This breaks a fundamental rule of navigation – shouldn't it be the first in the list if it's the "home" page of the tools?
What can be done about this? Leave "stats" as the landing page, it's very useful. But make it the first element in the navigation list. The reason being that when you go through the tools, it would make more sense to go from left to right, rather than "stats", two tabs left to "review", one tab right to "links", et cetera.
Proposal 1 – Correct ordering of the navigation bar
Arrange the tabs from left to right, or at least make the "stats" landing page the first. Like this:
The "review" button
In the tab menu, there is a "review" button. When you click it, you get to a completely different part of the site. Of course, it's the review tools you know from before.
- Why am I not in the "tools" anymore?
- Why did the navigation menu completely change?
- How do I get back?
- Why are the "review tools" not within the "tools"?
The solution is simple: If reviewing is a different part of the site (as opposed to the "tools"), it should be made a proper top navigation element.
Proposal 2a – Remove "review" from "tools"
- Get the "review" tools back into the top bar, and remove it from the "tools" navigation bar. This allows for better distinction. Like this:
Proposal 2b – Nested menus for the "review" tools
- Leave the "review tools" in the "tools" tab navigation, but make reviewing a properly nested sub-menu. This does not break the navigation structure and doesn't lead to unexpected behavior.
When you click "links", you are welcomed with a "Congratulations!" message.
Now that you've achieved 10000 reputation, you've earned the right to see (and undelete) deleted posts, and vote to delete questions that have been closed for 2 days.
That's neat, but do I have to see this message every time I access the tools? Once could assume that only a user accessing the tools for the first time would read this message.
Proposal 3 – Remove unnecessary messages
- Show this message only once, or link to the explanation in the "Privileges" page.
Anyway, let's take a closer look at the links:
- posts flagged for moderator attention with non-private messages – this links to the "flags" tab. Redundant.
- recently deleted posts – this links to the "deleted" tab. Redundant.
- recently closed questions – this links to the "closed" tab. Redundant.
- recently imported questions – this links to the "stats" tab, which does not make sense. It should actually link to the "migrated" tab. Redundant.
- new answers to old questions – this links to a completely different part of the site, which is neither in the "tools", nor in the "review" part. It looks like a legacy page that is the same as "late answers" from "review", but less functional.
- suggested edit stats – this links to yet another completely different part of the site, neither to be found in "tools", nor in "review".
So, this is quite a mess. What could be done to clean this up?
Proposal 4 – "Links" cleanup
- Remove the "Links" tab altogether. Four out of the six links are either redundant or broken.
- Remove the "New answers to old questions" link. It is the same as "late answers" in the "review" tools (am I correct here?) and does not even have the quick links below the posts (like for flagging), and it does not hightlight tags of interest or fade out ignored tags.
- Move the "Suggested edit stats" to its own tab (like reviewing, with a sub-menu) like this: