But at the same time, the data behind the top bar shows that it does a good job of getting people to register, log in, and use the search tool. Which is great! So why do all these regular users hate it.
Do you remember the profile page redesign? I really liked it. I get the sense everyone did as well. What worked about it? Well, one of the things that worked was the developers realized that there were two different use cases for profile. There were people who were looking at their own profile to keep track of their rep, badges, and content, and there were people looking at other people's profile, who were more interested in seeing a picture and an about me section. Rather than combining these two use cases into one profile, we made two profiles--one for each use case. And it's worked really well.
I get the sense that the top bar has the exact same situation. There are new features that new users really enjoy, but because frequent users have different needs, the features for the new users don't work for the frequent users.
Why don't we make two top bars?