One of the things I really dislike about the new top bar is that I find it difficult to differentiate between the six buttons to the right: notifications, fake internet points and badge notifications, review tasks, the Stack Exchange multi-collider, moderation notifications, and flag notifications. The buttons are:

  1. A dull gray, which makes them hard to see.
  2. The same dull gray, which makes it hard to tell one from the other.
  3. Non-standard symbols: how the heck am I supposed to know what the review icon looks like?
  4. All in a row with no spacing in between them: this means that instead of knowing, OK, notifications are on the left, review is on the right, I have to spend two or three seconds trying to figure out where the notification icon is on the row or five-six icons.
  5. Their position varies according to what site I'm on; I can't even remember that the multicollidor is always on the far right of the top bar, because on the site where I moderate, that position is taken up by the moderation inbox.

  6. On the very far right of the top bar, which coincidentally is the area of the Stack Exchange layout that I look at the least--other than these new icons, there isn't really anything worth looking at other there, because it's mostly whitespace. This means every second I waste trying to figure out which icon I want is also a second as far away as possible from everything else on the page that is important.

I am starting to find the 1-2 seconds I spend trying to figure out which icon I need to use annoying. Apparently I will "get used to it", but it's been several days now and that has not happened. In fact, it's been more than several days; whenever I was on Stack Overflow I had the same problem and I never was able to "get used to it". Perhaps, rather than the problem being my unwillingness to adapt to new interfaces, the problem is that the design of this interface makes it very hard to use efficiently.

I've actually gotten so annoyed by the top bar that I've decided to disable the icons on the sites I use, at least until I find a way to move some of them to the left. (This has also been an experiment to see which of these buttons are the ones I actually use; it turns out that I don't need the review icon or the achievements icon). I really don't like having to use userscripts and the like--I like to keep my browser as minimal as possible--but the design of this layout is leaving me with little choice.

  • 2
    Whole lotta text and comments over four icons. dodges a milk bottle Okay! I'm off your lawn now! Jeez... – Won't Sep 21 '17 at 17:31
  • In addition, the speech bubble that is the review button would make way more sense as the inbox (i.e. Other people talking to you). – Kevin Sep 25 '17 at 7:06

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