I'm curious why they removed the username from the top bar?

I actually like it so others can't see your name, but wondering if that was the reason?

  • A bunch of things were removed to "declutter" the bar and allow the space for additional menus to consolidate the features available from the bar
    – Flyk
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 16:46
  • 6
    Because this is actually a possibility. (Trivia: last year's WinterBash script had to include a bit of logic to shorten the displayed username if it was too long, else it wouldn't have been able to show up for everyone)
    – Shog9
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 16:54

3 Answers 3


The limit for user name length is rather generous, so while the typical user name is reasonable short, there are quite a few really, really long user names. The design of the top bar has to take the maximum length into account (it could shorten user names a bit, but that would also be rather messy).

This came up a few times when more links were requested for the old topbar, and it prevented the space on the topbar from being used efficiently.

Using the avatar instead of the name circumvents this problem entirely, as the avatar is the same small size for every user.


The top bar real estate space is expensive: Why would you want to waste space with displaying your user name?

It's not as if you need a constant reminder! If you really do need it then why not affix a post-it note to your monitor?


Apparently the top bar was too cluttered for users with mod abilities and long user names. It was discussed at length in various places in this post: The new top bar is out on meta. Consider it a beta

Most notably,

We had a length problem with some people's usernames - Jeremy Tunnell ♦ Nov 14 at 23:20

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