The new top bar is very unintuitive. Sure it works for all of us, because we're used to SO, but new users will be extremely confused by this new, less featured design.

New additions should add features, or remove unwarranted/deprecated features. This addition has removed many useful features, does not match the site layout at all, and is absolutely sure to increase the number of confused new users.

IMHO it should have many many more features in all of the empty unused space, not less. Use the space you have to your advantage.

EDIT: This is not a duplicate, we were specifically told to start new questions with the tag in the original Meta post. Which is what I have done.

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    Personal note from me: please move the chat link back to where it was! – Sterling Archer Dec 4 '13 at 21:59
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    That is your own opinion. If you hate it then just contribute something. Don't just blatantly say "I hate it" – Naftali aka Neal Dec 4 '13 at 21:59
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    New users would see this as their normal. Old users are the ones confused by change – random Dec 4 '13 at 21:59
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    @amanaPlanaCAnalPAnaMA that's exactly what he's doing - discussing it here in meta. Not very gracefully but saying "Cool Story Bro" seems rather moot imo. He dislikes something so he came here to talk about it - this is how this site works. The only complaint is - where was he when it was discussed extensively in meta this last month. – Benjamin Gruenbaum Dec 4 '13 at 22:00
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    @random I'm not confused by it. It's legitimately unintuitive when you remove all text from a menu bar that has ample room for said text. Little, uninformative buttons are a bad trend forming in the world of technology. – DJSpud Dec 4 '13 at 22:03
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    Yes. That simplified, metro interfaced task bar with 3 buttons or so is very, very unintuitive. – ʞunɥdɐpɐɥd Dec 4 '13 at 22:03
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    I'm not worried about downvotes. No problem. I just want to point out that small uninformative buttons are a bad thing. We shouldn't be moving backwards, which is what the new top bar is, a step backwards. – DJSpud Dec 4 '13 at 22:07
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    I have to agree, I'm not very good at multitasking my accounts (I didn't even know what meta was until a couple weeks ago), yet I had no knowledge on SO that the header would change (personally, I don't care, but I'm just saying I've been online almost everyday for the past 3 months and I heard nothing of it until today) – Sterling Archer Dec 4 '13 at 22:08
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    How is the menu unintuitive because it doesn't use all available real estate? Sites that try to fill up every bit of space with links to something or another are the ones that tend to be more unintuitive; you can't find the links that are really important through all of the clutter. Content that was actually used frequently is now more prominent; links that tended to not be used much were either removed, or are an extra click away. That greatly improves usability for new users; it is only really an issue for people used to the old system who just need to get used to something new. – Servy Dec 4 '13 at 22:16
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    @Jhawins Now that we got your point, what feature is missing exactly ? – ʞunɥdɐpɐɥd Dec 4 '13 at 22:25
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    Disagree. I like it, except the location of the logout button I think it is a great improvement. People always fear and loathe change; otherwise, it wouldn't be so hard to get things done. Buck up: in another month, you'll be off complaining about the new Facebook wall and saying, "What new StackExchange nav bar?" – Chris Dec 4 '13 at 22:25
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    @Jhawins That comment makes it pretty clear to me that you just aren't used to it yet. There are actually several features that were added, some moved, and others removed entirely. I suggest you take some time to get used to it; find out where some of the moved items were moved to, discover some of the new features, etc., and then consider providing some feedback. If/when you do make that decision, you should really make an effort to make your post more constructive; it will greatly improve it's reception by others. – Servy Dec 4 '13 at 22:25
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    @Jhawins This is an incredibly simple change .. according to who ? Also might I re-ask what the missing features are ? With such a promising title, I expected a little content. – ʞunɥdɐpɐɥd Dec 4 '13 at 22:37
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    @Jhawins Can you please develop ? I created my account almost 2 years ago and I don't see the missing features. – ʞunɥdɐpɐɥd Dec 4 '13 at 22:48
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    Well, regardless, the thing is still as ugly as sin. – The Dark Avenger Dec 5 '13 at 4:54

Issues with new bar:

  • It now takes two clicks to get to reputation, clicking on reputation number should still allow you to access more specific information.
  • It doesn't allow filtering of categories of information in the inbox. This makes it hard to navigate if very active. There should be filter options provided when it expands.
  • Inbox records are too narrow and each individual item is too tall. Not enough information can be displayed on the screen at a time for the inbox which makes it very difficult to check on what activity has occurred since I was last on. There should be an option to condense the Inbox text or to resize the amount of space it uses when open.
  • Accessing meta and chat should not require two clicks, these should at least optionally be able to be put back on the bar, particularly since there is a ton of unused space on the bar.
  • Reputation drop down is an interesting idea, however an option to sort or filter it by site would greatly increase the usefulness. Having my reputation intermixed based on when exactly it arrived isn't really helpful.

On the good side:

  • The ability to easily switch between sites from the StackExchange drop down is great.

Overall, the new bar feels like it lacks a lot of polish and doesn't feel like a lot of thought went into its design. It is clearly going for a very minimalist feel, however, in doing so it increased the difficulty of use and made it less intuitive. Simplistic interfaces are only helpful if they are simple to use and the new bar is anything but. It did make one very nice and sorely needed improvement, but overall the cost of all the lost functionality makes it a strong net negative.

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    There has always been the ability to switch between sites using the StackExchange dropdown. :P Thank you for adding to this discussion with your own personal opinion. – DJSpud Dec 4 '13 at 22:55
  • @Jhawins - sure, through all sites, but it now groups the sites you actually use. Before it was always easier for me to simply type the URL or go through my profile page. – AJ Henderson Dec 4 '13 at 22:56
  • Sweet. I hadn't seen this option. I agree there are good things about it as well. What I suggest is honestly giving the user an option, because we all love options, and it's non-invasive to the rest of the sites functionality. The only thing adding an option would do is give us the option, no downfall. – DJSpud Dec 4 '13 at 22:58
  • Yeah, visually it isn't bad, it just needs more polish and options. – AJ Henderson Dec 4 '13 at 22:59
  • It's one click to meta if you scroll to the footer. Not everything needs to be loaded into the header. – random Dec 4 '13 at 23:12
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    @Random - yes, because scrolling all the way to the footer is so much easier than making two clicks at the top of the page. Footers are near useless when you have 20 to 30 questions to a page. – AJ Henderson Dec 4 '13 at 23:30
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    Hit the End key and you're there at the bottom of the page – random Dec 4 '13 at 23:31
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    @Random - still two clicks then and with different things. Still not as easy and still harder than clicking twice on the header. – AJ Henderson Dec 4 '13 at 23:34
  • @AJHenderson The old "All Sites" list put the sites where you've earned rep. at the top, so yeah, it grouped them as well... Other than that, I pretty much agree with everything here. Some of it is easily fixable with userscripts/user styles, but not all. – Izkata Dec 5 '13 at 13:01

If your question is not a complaint then it must be seeking a discussion. I think the new users will see the new toolbar as something really cool. I remember when I first joined Stack Overflow. There have been multiple features that required me to dig a bit deeper to get to know them. Trust me, there still are a few bits here and there which seem new to me.

The point is that new users will not know the old bar, they won't know the difference - so they're left with nothing to compare to (except a few screenshots on meta, not the point though). People who visit Stack Overflow not so frequently will be the ones that are confused by the new look.

This has been discussed multiple times and first was applied on meta about 2/3 weeks ago. There was a discussion about the new toolbar, which is the reason why some people may consider your enquiry as a duplicate.

If I could give you one advice, please have some backing arguments next time you want to discuss something - do not just throw a "I HATE IT!" on us without any sensible/constructive reasoning.

  • I am seeking discussion for sure. Also, the comment of hating it was removed. – DJSpud Dec 4 '13 at 22:27
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    Cool, maybe, whatever. But it's missing features. Also, suggesting to contribute to a locked thread is not constructive. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Dec 4 '13 at 22:27
  • Jhawins, you seem to be complaining but not being objective and not demonstrating your opinion constructively. If I were you I would spend a few minutes going reading a few highly upvoted questions on meta to get a feel for meta. @Gilles, please point them out. – user221081 Dec 4 '13 at 22:29
  • @mehow I and others did in meta.stackexchange.com/questions/207420/… – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Dec 4 '13 at 22:30
  • @Gilles yes you're right. But look on the right hand side and see milion of related questions – user221081 Dec 4 '13 at 22:30
  • @Gilles I did not read every single answer in there... I am not sure you'll find one person who read it all – user221081 Dec 4 '13 at 22:31
  • @mehow read the original question please. It clearly states to open new questions with comments or concerns, which is why I did so instead of participating normally in that thread like usual. – DJSpud Dec 4 '13 at 22:35
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    For the record: the original question is now locked. You can no longer discuss things there. At the top it states: EDIT Dec 4 - We're doing it live! Please post bugs or concerns as questions tagged [top-bar] – Martijn Pieters Dec 4 '13 at 22:37
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    @mehow I'd expect some of the SE employee's to have read it all. There isn't much point in asking a community for feedback if you're not going to look through it. I wouldn't expect most casual readers to read through the whole thing though, of course. – Servy Dec 4 '13 at 22:39
  • well, in the UK, last time I checked I was still at work. It was more than 3 hours ago and the post just got locked 3 hours ago so this is why I didn't realize it was locked! – user221081 Dec 4 '13 at 23:06
  • @Mehow no one is responsible for you not knowing but yourself. It was posted multiple times before you put this up. – DJSpud Dec 5 '13 at 22:03
  • @Jhawins alright alright just calm down bud – user221081 Dec 6 '13 at 10:07

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