I am glad to notice that the massively annoying refusal of the 10k flag counter to disappear when I'm not needed has been appropriately dealt with via the extreme decapitation method of simply eliminating the 10k flag queue. As of a few days ago, the orange-ish counter on the top bar now links to the /review page and displays some measure of the pending review tasks on the site. Overall I find this to be a Good Thing, but in its present state it also has a massively annoying feature.
- The counter can be nonzero in situations where there are no actionable review tasks.
This came up recently in Physics, and it turns out it is status-bydesign. The rationale, as Shog9 explained there, is that even if I have completed all the review tasks that are actionable by me at a specific point in time, I should still be worried if there is a large number of review tasks to be done (e.g.: ahem).
Now this is a patently reasonable thing to say, but it confuses two aspects of the user-interface utility of this counter, and this confusion is much to its detriment. The counter is primarily a call to action, and this new feature adds an informative aspect. In other words, it is now acting as both a dial and a warning light.
This is to the detriment of the UI feature, because if the big bright orange number does not reflect the fact that there are actionable tasks for me, I am much less likely to jump in whenever it says there are things to do. A warning light is not useful if it is turned on all the time. This actively diminishes the utility of the counter. Fortunately, though, this has an easy* solution:
- Dim down the color of the counter, preferably to some shade of gray, when there are no more actionable posts for me.
Once you do that, the counter retains its 'dial', informative usefulness, and it regains its 'warning light', call-to-action usefulness.
*Yeah, yeah, I know, performance and so on. Work something out, cache if you need to. It's worth it.