I only got into the iOS app beta a couple of days ago and my first reaction was "Do people really look for other users on the site that often that it deserves to be a main navigation item?"

I know that the feature also exists on the site but I never use it myself. Do other people use it that much?

I bet there is something more useful that we can put there. Maybe questions that have a bounty? I use that much more than I look for users. Or what about reviews or other moderation tools?

I'm not saying that the feature shouldn't exist. I'm just saying in my opinion it belongs in the hamburger menu to the left.

To be clear, I'm talking about this thing:

enter image description here

  • Downvote probably indicates disagreement. Personally I see your point; the users tab is only really trivia (who is the jon skeet on this site) and I don't use it very often. But equally it incentives being the jon skeet of the site Apr 14, 2014 at 20:00
  • 1
    @RichardTingle Thanks for the clarification. I'm still not used to MSO Apr 14, 2014 at 20:01
  • 1
    Finding the contributions/profile of a specific user is arguably a necessity, far more than trivia.
    – Pekka
    Apr 14, 2014 at 20:02
  • @David it does take some getting used to; it's very different to the rest of the network Apr 14, 2014 at 20:02
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    @Pekka, the only necessity I can think of is as it relates to a particular post. You can tap the user on the post to get to the profile...
    – mhlester
    Apr 14, 2014 at 20:03
  • 3
    Counter-question: As an entity, are users really that much less significant than the other entities in the system (like questions, tags and badges), that they don't deserve their own tab?
    – user102937
    Apr 14, 2014 at 20:04
  • 3
    @RobertHarvey Maybe not less significant but in my opinion certainly less frequently used. Apr 14, 2014 at 20:06
  • Perhaps the real problem is that there's not much functionality in that page.
    – user102937
    Apr 14, 2014 at 20:06
  • As for your Edit #2, the menu to the left is for global, outside of particular sites, so I don't think it makes sense there. Maybe there's room for a fifth tab button? Or maybe we could finally have a way to search for bounty questions?
    – mhlester
    Apr 14, 2014 at 20:07
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    Do you really only find this a problem in the iOS app? Then maybe add a (partial) screenshot of that? (I only noticed that tag while editing, so I gave that some more emphasis.)
    – Arjan
    Apr 14, 2014 at 20:45
  • @Arjan, it's a problem in the iOS app because there's not enough real estate for every choice. There are four tabs: Questions, Users, Tags, Ask
    – mhlester
    Apr 14, 2014 at 20:55
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    Yeah, @mhlester, that's what I expected. I'm afraid though that many readers (downvoters) of the first revisions might not have realised it was about that app. A screenshot would make that very clear... :-)
    – Arjan
    Apr 14, 2014 at 20:59
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    @David, this is sort of status-completed in the latest beta!
    – mhlester
    Jun 18, 2014 at 17:04
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    @mhlester spoilers ;) Yeah, this view should be a lot more user friendly soon. Jun 18, 2014 at 18:12
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    Since I implemented the editable tab bar almost a year ago, I should have probably marked this a status-completed a lot sooner. Apr 13, 2015 at 4:24

4 Answers 4


Do people really look for Users that often that it deserves to be it's own tab?

I don't know, but it arguably deserves a position as prominent as "questions" and "tags".

While it may not be relevant for you, it is for others. All the arguments that can be made against the "users" page can be made against every other page up there.

Possible uses for the "users" tab include:

  • looking up what/how a specific user is doing.
  • looking for an interesting contribution where you only remember it was from a specific user.
  • looking for the contact info of a user you had been in contact with.
  • monitoring a problem user's recent activity.
  • Trivial stuff like seeing who is on page 1, what countries people there come from, etc.
  • 5
    ... finding out who is selling genuine Gucci Handbags.
    – user102937
    Apr 14, 2014 at 20:19
  • @Robert would like my baseball many free gucci selling now online cheap www.goochee.com
    – user206222
    Apr 14, 2014 at 20:23
  • @RobertHarvey They're not genuine. They're discounted.
    – Mysticial
    Apr 14, 2014 at 20:36
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    @Mysticial Discount Gucci Handbags can be genuine and discounted. Please remove your comment or my lawyers will be in touch
    – Pekka
    Apr 14, 2014 at 20:37

You know, there is room to have your cake and eat it too:

enter image description here

Or do like the Music app does, and provide a ... on the right for choosing the buttons you want to see.


So like it or not, this looks to have been implemented exactly as my second suggestion:

enter image description here
SE iOS app beta

It's got some bugs to work out, and new tabs will be needed, but the key framework is now there.

As for finding featured questions, I've given that more thought. I think that actually makes the most sense as a sort/filter selection within the Questions tab, as it would need to be within whatever tags you're viewing.

  • There is already a hamburger menu in the top left. I don't think there is any need for a "..." menu as well. Apr 14, 2014 at 21:03
  • are you talking about the sidebar where you choose a site?
    – mhlester
    Apr 14, 2014 at 21:04
  • Yes. I know that they would have very different functionality but it would look ridiculous with two "more" menus on the screen at once. Apr 14, 2014 at 21:05
  • The problem is the sidebar is used for network-wide items. specific to the site you're pretty much limited to the tab bar.
    – mhlester
    Apr 14, 2014 at 21:06

I use the "users" page a lot, for (among things):

  • answering questions like "who here can actually cast delete votes?" and "who's close to such-and-such privilege who we should be ready to guide?"
  • seeing who's rising in reputation, both lately and overall
  • as a shortcut to the moderators' user pages
  • seeing who our newest users are; these are the ones who might need a little extra guidance
  • finding a specific user for one of the reasons listed in this answer

On large sites maybe none of this matters, but on small sites -- and, I would think, any beta site -- being aware of and building the community is important.

  • 1
    "it's the "featured" tab on the questions view." Are you really talking about the iOS app now because I can't find it? Apr 14, 2014 at 20:53
  • Oh, sorry -- missed the tag! I'll remove that part. (What I said is true of the web site.) Apr 14, 2014 at 20:55

As currently constituted, I don't think it is necessary. It only takes me a little while to find myself on the list (but I'm lucky). I can't see how to find another user by searching, or how to scroll to a new page, or how to see this week's reputation vs this month's etc.

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