Mid-2017 TeamDAG started publishing monthly updates. This post will continue that effort into 2018. (See 2017's updates here.)

Updates are posted at the beginning of the month. They cover what was done last month, what is still in progress and new work that will be started in the current month.

Updates:

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    Great effort to meet the needs/user-friendliness of users with better/reliable quality! – Pandya Jan 12 at 14:36
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    Can we get the recent updates added to this thread, too meta.stackexchange.com/questions/59445/… Or some clarity on which one of these threads will be maintained as "the" thread for updates, moving forward? I'd hate to see fragmentation here on what few release notes we currently get. – TylerH Jun 6 at 13:25
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    @TylerH This post is the official source. I update this monthly for TeamDAG work. The other thread is updated by community members and collect more minutia. We have had a conversation about having a single change list across all teams (Q&A, Teams, Jobs, Engagement aka ads, etc.) but nothing is in the works yet. That could definitely replace the other post. However, this post is a bit more of a narrative about what we have done and what we are planning to do. It serves a slightly different purpose. Also, it is primarily focused on bigger investments. – Joe Friend Jun 6 at 15:32
up vote 40 down vote accepted

November (+ September & October) 2018

So sorry for the multi-month delay in getting out the update. Summer vacations, sickness, team meetups and other things got in the way of our progress on many projects, but that's no excuse for not getting out an update. This update will cover the work we completed in September and October as well as our plans for November. So, with that, let's jump into the details.

Done

Welcome Wagon

Left nav and site themes: Released the new design for all sites using the base theme + many new designs in beta or live for all. See Catija's post for a full list of sites that have been released. Also, we added support to the Enterprise product for unified theming.

OpenID removal: Finished removal on all sites including Area 51 & Stackexchange.com.

Responsive design: Editor improvements for images and links. Moved help and error states inline so they work better at smaller viewports. Miscellaneous bug fixes.

Custom question lists: Fixed bugs in Phase I.

Campaigns: Launched campaigns for Stack Overflow's 10th anniversary and the new Salary Calculator

Bugs: We implemented a new bug tracking system and team bug process 🎉. Okay, that isn't so exciting to most folks, but this resulted in us fixing a bunch of bugs the past few months.

Vacations were enjoyed.


In progress

Welcome Wagon

  • First question email: We are planning on sending an email to first time question askers. This email will congratulate them and give them some tips for engaging with the community with a positive outcome.
  • Planning for on-boarding: We are continuing our research and planning into on-boarding. Our goal for November is to narrow down to a short list of improvements that we think have high impact for new users.
  • Ask a Question wizard: We hoped to have this out already, but plans change. We are really close to turning this on as an experiment.

Left nav and site themes: We have roughly 30 sites left to transition. Our goal is to wrap up this phase of the work in November.

Responsive Design: Working on designs for improvements for right side bar and font sizing.

Custom question lists Working on ability to save custom question list and notification infrastructure. Ability to save custom question lists is targeted to ship in alpha in November. Notifications will follow.

OpenID removal: Need to decommission http://openid.stackexchange.com and remove completely all dependencies on it.

Network-wide site satisfaction survey: We've changed approaches several times, but think we have it nailed now. We are planning to begin running a regular site satisfaction survey for Stack Overflow before year's end.


Starting in November

Each of the items below describes some work that is planned for the coming month. As needed, we will directly engage the community to help shape the work.

Winter Bash: planning for this year's festivities are under way.

Responsive design: We are beginning our planning for profiles and review queues. These are big projects, so don't expect them tomorrow.

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    "Vacations were enjoyed." haha :) – Clonkex Oct 29 at 23:16
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    My favorite part is in the last paragraph. Winter Bash!! – Nog Shine Oct 30 at 3:45
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    "Planning for on boarding" sounds very promising. Will some of the ideas be discussed on here before being rolled out? And please please please, can the work include a redesign (with user testing!) of how the 'Ask a question' page is presented to new users so it looks like something from a site with high standards, doesn't look like an average forum, and actively prompts the kind of details we expect in a good question? Or is that what you mean by "Ask a question wizard"? – user568458 Oct 30 at 12:45
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    @user568458: The Ask a Question wizard is pretty much that. Or at least, a good start with it. – Nicol Bolas Oct 30 at 16:17
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    @NogShine Funny, that's my least favorite. I hope this year they make winter bash opt-in instead of opt-out. – TylerH Oct 31 at 15:49
  • Nice 10 year anniversary site but there's a MSO post (meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/374617/…) that says we'll have the opportunity to nab some SO swag. But there has been no activity on that post for over a month. Any updates on the SO swag? – ryvantage Nov 8 at 13:03

January 2018

Done

Ask a question template: We launched an AaQ template experiment on 2017-12-01. That experiment is done. We will post a summary of the results this month and will continue work in this area with a second experiment that we are still designing.

Review Queue Indicator improvements: We added some optimization for better review queue notifications on lower traffic sites and we reduced false flags by making sure that you're not notified about review queues that need attention if you don't have access to them at your rep level.

Response to top bar feedback pt 1: We fixed a number of small, but annoying issues with the top bar including:

  • Made the top bar the same height across all sites (including SO)
  • Fixed middle click behavior on the icons
  • Added relevant links to inbox and review queue menus
  • Brought back the bounce to the indicators on the icons
  • Toned down colors to reduce emphasis on the search box
  • Omnipresent help icon

Winter Bash: The hats are now all back in their boxes. You can take them out and admire them, but you can't put them back on.

Site theme standardization investigation: As the investigation on navigation improvements and responsive design progressed, we realized that the current level of theming for some graduated network sites creates a lot of fragility. While most sites have limited theming, a few sites are extensively themed. We evaluated some approaches to theming last month and this month we will engage with the community the future of theming on network sites. The short version is we want to continue supporting individual site themes, but we need to pare down what can be customized so that we can have a consistent experience, a single code base with less fragility and a quicker path to deploying core improvements across the network. We will be communicating later this month more details on the impact and timing of the next steps in this area.


In progress

Response to top bar feedback pt 2: We are wrapping up the final top bar fix based on your feedback. Soon the Inbox, Achievements, Review queue and site switcher menus will progressively render so that people on slow connections have a better experience.

Channels features: TeamDAG is working on a variety of features related for our Channels product. This includes ask a question experience, optimizations for question list views, navigation, channel newsletters, and a long list of other enhancements that will make Channels work well. It is worth a note that while some of this work is only for the private channels experience, many of these features will find their way to all public Q&A sites as well.

Tag subscriptions: We're done specing an improved tag subscription experience that was inspired by our Enterprise product. We will start building this feature so that the public site, enterprise, and Filtered questions functionality can be unified into one coherent experience. Coding will start this month.


Starting in January

Each of the items below describes some work that is planned for the coming month. As needed, we will directly engage the community to help shape the work.

Responsive design: We are wrapping up this investigation and moving into the coding phase. We have a nice prototype that will guide our work. There is an amazing amount of work required to do this right and it's easy to break things. This work will be done in phases starting with the most commonly used experiences. This effort is connected to our navigation improvements and channels work. (Check out what is responsive design for more background.)

Facebook auth updates: Facebook is updating their auth requirements and we need to comply. If everything goes right you won't notice a thing.

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    Re "Site theme standardization investigation" - is the TL;DR that sites with nice customised designs like Science Fiction & Fantasy will have to lose some of their distinctiveness? :-( – Rand al'Thor Jan 9 at 19:58
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    Will the responsive design get onto the moderation pages, even those used by little people (thinking mods & 10k users)? – Vogel612's Shadow Jan 9 at 20:47
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    @Randal'Thor The "fancy" custom themes have cost in terms of design resources and fragility. On the design side, we haven't been able to support custom themes for a long time. So, few sites have them. The goal here is to create a more flexible and sustainable system. The cost is that the few sites with beautiful themes will have to change. The upside is that the majority of sites with a stock theme will get an improvement. And, the overall SE Network will be less fragile and be able to absorb new features and updates better. More details to come. – Joe Friend Jan 9 at 20:50
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    @Vogel612'sShadow Ultimately all pages will be redesigned to be responsive. Some pages (e.g. mods, reviews, profiles, etc) will require more work. It will take a while to get everything done. This is a project we will be working on throughout the year. It will just keep getting better and better. – Joe Friend Jan 9 at 20:52
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    @JoeFriend could you say a little more about what makes a custom theme? For example, it doesn't seem to me (not a designer!) that the mere presence of an artistic header like SF&F or Worldbuilding would be a problem, but designs that move elements in the header around (like EL&U or Mi Yodeya) might be affected. I'd like to understand what kinds of customizations are problems, and I promise not to hold you to it if in answering casually you forget something. :-) – Monica Cellio Jan 9 at 21:37
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    @MonicaCellio We will be posting more details this month, so I'm going to avoid expanding too much on what I said above. I'm working with Tim on that post and hope to have it out soon(ish). – Joe Friend Jan 9 at 22:51
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    Will you be adding in requested features that were rejected? Like "DAG investigated this, but aren't doingit for reason XYZ"? – Pureferret Jan 10 at 9:45
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    I concur with @Vogel612'sShadow, it would be great if the 10k tools become a first-class feature. I take a look at it sometimes, but the current UI is discouraging. – Stijn Jan 10 at 13:42
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    @Stijn Totally agree. In order to make any of that functionality responsive we will have to undertake a redesign. It will take time for us to get to it, but I strongly desire to put some time in there. – Joe Friend Jan 10 at 17:57
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    @Randal'Thor wow, that site makes my eyes hurt. Thank you for pointing out what TeamDAG meant by needing to unify the experience across sites. shudders. 3 different font types being thrown at you at once...whoever came up with that should pay a visit to ux.stackexchange.com. Sorry. – Steffen Winkler Jan 11 at 8:23
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    @SteffenWinkler one man's eye sore is another's home. – Pureferret Jan 11 at 9:41
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    @JoeFriend Wait, you guys don't even have an internal issue tracker? – TylerH Jan 11 at 17:19
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    @TylerH We do for our internal use. But other teams that I've been on have a issue tracker (e.g. Uservoice.com) that is in some way exposed to customers so they can give input on features/bugs that they want fixed. SO uses meta for that. – Joe Friend Jan 11 at 20:31
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    That template still makes SO look like a bug fixing service. It will only attract more questions from people who don't want to think about what they're doing. – jpmc26 Jan 12 at 2:34
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    @Howdy_McGee Getting an answer is not a good measure for whether a question is a good one. Some questions, like this one, are easily answered but are bad questions due to poor research. That one is even highly upvoted, as is the answer given. But it's an exact duplicate, with much of the title's exact wording yielding one of the possible targets. – jpmc26 Jan 17 at 2:24

July 2018

Done in June

Ask a Question wizard: We release a sandboxed prototype for community feedback.

Left nav and site themes: Left nav, responsiveness and new themes are up and running on SO, MSO and MSE. We also have rolled out community driven enhancements and bug fixes including:

User satisfaction survey: First round of user satisfaction survey invites were sent to Teams users this month.

OpenID removal: Emails went out to impacted OpenID users. If you have any issues or concerns, the please contact us.


In progress

Ask a Question wizard: We will have an experiment running on SO by end of month.

Left nav and site themes: We will be posting the first 10 site designs for feedback early this month. Next step is to release those 10 designs including an update for all network sites with "stock" theme. Later in the month we will release an additional 10-20 designs for feedback.

Tag watching improvements: These will be live on SO, MSO, and MSE this month and will roll out to other network sites in conjunction with the new themes.

Custom question lists (aka replace "new nav"): Improved question list experience with filter and sort controls is set for a beta release this month. Ability to save custom question list will be coming later this summer.

Responsive design: We will finish up Ask a Question, improving mod tools on the question page and a variety of other features/pages.

OpenID removal: Onsite notices will go out to impacted users early this month. Final email will be sent on or around July 11th. OpenID support will be turned off on July 25th.


Starting in July

Each of the items below describes some work that is planned for the coming month. As needed, we will directly engage the community to help shape the work.

Welcome Wagon (aka the inclusive project)

  • Code of Conduct rollout: We've posted a draft version of a new CoC. After we've responded/incorporated the feedback, we will make sure that all users are aware of the new policy and incorporate it into our user sign up and on boarding.
  • Comment flagging improvements: To align with the new CoC we will be making various changes in how comment flagging works.
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    Can there be an option for hiding the flag on comments? it adds a lot of visual noise. I'd much rather it be only shown on mouse over. – Dragonrage Jul 18 at 21:50
  • It seems this fixed the (extremely annoying) comment-box-too-flat issue described here (although not the similar flag-comment issue that was added to the post later). Feel free to write an answer and collect the bounty. – chirlu Jul 19 at 9:34
  • @Dragonrage You can do this. – Alex L Jul 20 at 14:48
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    @AlexL i can do that at home, but my work pc doesnt allow for me to install that – Dragonrage Jul 20 at 15:05

June 2018

Done in May

Tag watching (aka favorite tags): These experience updates will ship to SO and the entire network in conjunction with the left nav and theming. I'll be posting more information with an overview of the changes later this week.

GDPR: TeamDAG helped out with several tasks for GDPR compliance. If you have no idea what GDPR is then I'm honestly jealous. Check out Brace yourselves: The GDPR is coming! for more info. We <3 the EU.


In progress

AaQ wizard: We have run some early usability session on this and are planning to release a sandboxed prototype for community feedback by mid-June. We hope to have an experiment running on SO by end of month.

Responsive design pt5: Releasing to MSE any day for user feedback and testing. Next is to finish up Ask a Question and a variety of other features/pages. Once we are deployed to MSE we will release new features as they are ready. Other sites will get responsiveness with the left nav and theming.

Left nav and site themes: Got the MSE theme ready and it will launch any day. Next objective is releasing left nav on SO/MSO by mid-June. Folllowed by releasing to network sites with "stock" theme and 5-10 other sites by the end of June.

Custom question lists (aka Custom favorite searches): Improved question list experience with filter and sort controls is underway and the new target for release is late June/early July. Ability to save custom question list will be coming later this summer.

User satisfaction survey: These were delayed and will start going out to Teams users in mid-June. We are planning to start running them for public SO users as well and will then extend to other Q&A sites.

OpenID deprecation: This work was delayed, but is on track for this month. We pushed out the deadline to August.


Starting in June

Each of the items below describes some work that is planned for the coming month. As needed, we will directly engage the community to help shape the work.

Inclusive project: As a part of our work on making Q&A sites more welcoming and inclusive we are investigating a variety of work including enhancing comment flagging, better supporting users in their early interactions, upgrading our Be Nice policy into a formal code of conduct and many other ideas. We will be sharing more about these efforts in future meta and blog posts coming your way soon.

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    I thought the official position was that the be nice policy is a "formal code of conduct". What's the difference? Ticking some checkbox? – Nemo Jun 6 at 7:13
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    To be honest, it would be great if the very basic, "No question is a bad question." policy were implemented. Ideally routed to an appropriate process for the level of detail or intricacy the question involved. Everyone lacks intelligence until they figure it out!! – htm11h Jun 6 at 14:22
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    @htm11h i mean... that policy is already in effect, has been since the removal of too localized. But questions still have to be presented such that they don't fall under one of the remaining close reasons. – Kevin B Jun 6 at 15:43
  • What are the security policies introduce in accordance to GDPR? I think the Sitecore Analytics might get offended with GDPR policies. #JustSaying – Sitecore Sam Jun 8 at 12:05
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    @Nemo currently the "Be Nice" policy is just a page in the Help Center. People can refer to it, people can follow it, but it's not anything close to formal code of conduct. Not sure where such formal code of conduct would appear, but surely something more visible than a single help center page. And I believe it also means punishments will be more severe for those not following that policy. – Shadow Wizard Jun 10 at 10:59
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    @ShadowWizard there is no definition of "code of conduct" where some specific threshold of visibility or harshness is required. The policy may not be mentioned in stackoverflow.com/legal/terms-of-service/public but that's ok because CFAA means one could be jailed for decades for any kind of violation. Do you think the policy should be as visible as the AUP or more? – Nemo Jun 10 at 15:01
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    It might just be me, but I feel the "We <3 the EU." comment is a bit inappropriate in an otherwise neutral announcement. – Just a student Jun 12 at 9:07
  • @Justastudent the tone seems similar to that of " Brace yourselves" – Nemo Jun 13 at 8:44
  • Maybe I'm misinterpreting the statement @Nemo, but I read "Brace yourselves" as a very positive message (be it sincere or not), while I read the "We <3 the EU." comment as very sarcastic. Just wanted to let Joe know in case he wants to edit that out. – Just a student Jun 13 at 9:20
  • I wish we could have the decision to switch between the two designs. To me the top nav bar was just perfect. The new nav bar is a 100% waste of space with absolutely no benefit. – mrt Jun 13 at 9:46
  • @Justastudent I thought it was just a silly, lighthearted way of saying they support their EU users. Though perhaps Joe is totally fed up with the GDPR stuff and it was indeed sarcastic. – Clonkex Jun 13 at 23:33
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    @Clonkex "silly, lighthearted" is spot on. GDPR is both a PITA (to implement) and great for users. So, there may have been a tiny bit of sarcasm too. But really, we <3 the EU AND all it's users. – Joe Friend Jun 13 at 23:35
  • Can you make a success video showing how well enterprises are using SO Teams? – James Wong Jun 14 at 4:29
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    @JamesWong Interesting idea. I'll pass it along to the PMs for Enterprise and Teams. – Joe Friend Jun 14 at 4:37

August 2018

Done in July

Welcome Wagon (aka the inclusive project)

Left nav and site themes: Posted designs for first ~10 sites. Prepared to push designs live (this slipped into August). Worked on an additional ~20 site designs.

OpenID removal: All communications were sent to impacted users (email and onsite notification). We actively worked on removing support for Open ID but got hung up on SE.com and Area 51 where an old sign in/up flow is used.

Custom question lists (aka replace "new nav"): Released phase I question list experience with filter and sort controls. See details in this post.

Tag watching improvements: Rolled out to all network sites.

Improved mod tools: We released improvements to the embedded mod tools on the question pages.


In progress

Ask a Question wizard: We will have an experiment running on SO by early September (this was postponed from last month).

Left nav and site themes: Released designs on Apple, Super User, Server Fault, Math, TeX, Ask Ubuntu, Unix & Linux, and Code Golf (stock theme test). We are actively working on bugs and feedback from those sites. Continuing to design next ~20 sites and will release designs for feedback and push more sites live.

New contributor indicator is coming soon. Check out the details.

Custom question lists Working on ability to save custom question list and notification infrastructure. This work will continue into September for sure.

Responsive design: We will finish up Ask a Question and a variety of other features/pages.

OpenID removal: Finish removal.


Starting in August

Each of the items below describes some work that is planned for the coming month. As needed, we will directly engage the community to help shape the work.

Network wide site satisfaction survey: We are planning to begin running a regular site satisfaction survey. This will build on the work we did for Teams and will cover SO, Jobs, Teams and network sites.

  • 10
    Prediction: Your satisfaction survey will tell you what you already know. Namely, your users are not happy with your redesigns. I hope the purpose is to use those survey results as a bludgeon to ram down the throats of dismissive designers and decision makers who don't read answers and comments on Meta; otherwise I don't see the point. – Wildcard Aug 23 at 0:36
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    @Wildcard it has been made abundantly clear since the inception of team DAG that the team doesn't care about what the users of the service think or want. They only care about people who don't use the service for one reason or another, and how they can get those people to start using the service. It's all about getting as many new users in as possible, with absolutely no regard for the users who have been here helping make this service into what it is. – Diminutive Colossus Aug 24 at 16:02
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    @DiminutiveColossus Sorry you feel this way. You couldn't be more wrong, but I understand how you got there. We have absolutely sent some signals that this was the case (huge sign up banner) but we are working to tone that down and focus on user needs, new user on boarding/education (so they can contribute/ask well), and other Q&A specific work. – Joe Friend Aug 24 at 16:28
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    Did the network wide side satisfaction survey already start? Did I miss it? – Rakete1111 Sep 15 at 16:02
  • @Rakete1111 Nope. We are still working on it. It will launch first on Stack Overflow and then on the rest of the network. – Joe Friend Sep 19 at 15:39
  • @JoeFriend Ah thanks! It's been a month that's why I was wondering if I missed anything :) – Rakete1111 Sep 19 at 15:42
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    @Rakete1111 You've missed nothing, that's the problem. ;) Seriously, just a lot of competing priorities and life interrupting work. We are still on it. – Joe Friend Sep 19 at 15:47
  • @JoeFriend: Now it's been almost two months since the last update. – Nicol Bolas Oct 7 at 16:26
  • @NicolBolas Sorry for the lack of updates. I'll get one out this week. – Joe Friend Oct 10 at 16:30

February 2018

Done

Newsletter infrastructure update: You may have noticed that control of your newsletter subscriptions have moved to your local profile from SE.com. (see newsletter settings image) This is a part of moving most SE.com functionality into the core code and enabling these same features for channels.

Improvements in sign up flow: We made a change to our sign up flow. The job status question is now required. The result is that everyone declares their interest (actively looking, open, not interested) and we don't bother folks who aren't interested in jobs.

Documentations rep freeze: The sun has completely set on documentation. Any rep you received is frozen which means we are removing documentation code including the code that calculated rep. Removing unused code is a good thing. We're doing a lot of that these days to make our lives easier. Move along now. Not much to see here.

Channels features: Most of you won't see these changes yet, but we rolled out a number of improvements for our Channels alpha users including improvements to help provide better context for when you're "in" a channel, mobile skin support for channels, ability to retarget a question to your private channel versus public Stack Overflow, and so much more.


In progress

Responsive design: We are actively implementing responsive design for question pages and question list pages. One of the first steps was to remove the tables from the comments on question pages. Comments are now list items. Sorry if the rapid changes break userscripts but it's for the better.

Tag subscriptions: Last month we wrapped up some architecture work for this feature, finished our UX specs and gathered feedback in some user research sessions. This month we will get it working for channels and hopefully test the changes on one of our public communities.

Response to top bar feedback pt 2: We are wrapping up the final top bar fix based on your feedback. Soon the Inbox, Achievements, Review queue and site switcher menus will progressively render so that people on slow connections have a better experience. (This work was postponed from last month)

Facebook auth updates: Facebook is updating their auth requirements and we need to comply. If everything goes right you won't notice a thing. (This work was postponed from last month)


Starting in February

Each of the items below describes some work that is planned for the coming month. As needed, we will directly engage the community to help shape the work.

Question list improvements: We are doing work to unify the various question list views based on data from actual usage. This will provide a solid foundation for us to work from so that we can reintroduce some form of the functionality that used to be called New Nav.

User satisfaction survey: Understanding user satisfaction levels based on quarterly user satisfaction survey is an important data point for most sites. In the past we have relied exclusively on anecdotal feedback to evaluate satisfaction. This month we will be building an automated system to randomly select users and prompt them via email to fill out a survey. This system will be tested on channels alpha users and will be expanded to others over time.

Ask a Question template v2: Read about the results from our AaQ template v1 experiment. We are sketching and prototyping a few approaches inspired from community feedback and hope to start building a version 2 experiment to run later this month or early in March.

Channels features: TeamDAG continues to add a bunch of features for channels including improved themes, channel health dashboard, tag improvements and cleaning up a variety of features from public SO that aren't needed in channels.

  • 1
    General question, though prompted by question list improvements: when you gather data from actual usage, do you have ways of recognizing different "modes" by the same user? That is, I don't view questions the same way on every site, so it's not just "this user likes X". On some sites I want to see everything; on some sites I want to see the newest questions; on some sites I follow specific tags and ignore the rest; etc. Assuming I'm not an unusual freak (hey, let's go with it anyway, ok?), I'm wondering whether my usage informs or pollutes your data. – Monica Cellio Feb 6 at 23:07

March 2018

Done

Responsive design pt1: Implemented question pages and question list pages. One of the first steps was to remove the tables from the comments on question pages. Comments are now list items. Sorry if the rapid changes break userscripts but it's for the better.

Facebook auth updates: Facebook is updating their auth requirements and we need to comply. If you haven't noticed anything by now, we did it right.

Question list improvements: Finished work to unify the various question list views based on data from actual usage. This will provide a solid foundation for us to work from so that we can reintroduce some form of the functionality that used to be called New Nav. (NOTE: This work is done but not yet deployed to public SO. We will roll this out along with coming nav changes and Custom fav searches (see below))

Teams (aka Channels) features: Most of you won't see these changes yet, but we rolled out a number of improvements for our Teams alpha users including team themes (works on mobile skin too), top bar now shows your team rep when you're on a team page, improvements for question lists, and a bunch of clean up work so that features are appropriately contextualized for Teams.


In progress

Responsive design pt2: We are cleaning up the long tail of issues on question pages and question list pages. Next up are Ask a Question experience, tags, users, and search.

Tag subscriptions: Almost done with this work for Teams and will be extending the improvements to public SO. Release will be in April.

User satisfaction survey: Understanding user satisfaction levels based on quarterly user satisfaction survey is an important data point for most sites. In the past we have relied exclusively on anecdotal feedback to evaluate satisfaction. This month we will be building an automated system to randomly select users and prompt them via email to fill out a survey. This system will be tested on Teams alpha users and will be expanded to others over time.


Starting in March

Each of the items below describes some work that is planned for the coming month. As needed, we will directly engage the community to help shape the work.

Custom favorite searches: We are in the design phase on this one. Goal is to reintroduce some form of the functionality that used to be called New Nav.

AaQ dupe finder: We are working on a prototype that redirects a question asker to look for existing question/answers first. We are working on rolling out the prototype in an experiment. This idea came out of the Ask a Question conversations earlier and replaces the "Ask a Question template v2" work for now, though we will come back to that experiment in the near future.

Teams features: TeamDAG continues to add a bunch of features for Teams including improved tag management, activity indicator, Teams product page, improved Teams emails.


Postponed

Response to top bar feedback pt 2: We will pick this work back up after Teams is out the door. To Do: Inbox, Achievements, Review queue and site switcher menus will progressively render so that people on slow connections have a better experience.

Ask a Question template v2: Read about the results from our AaQ template v1 experiment. We are sketching and prototyping a few approaches inspired from community feedback and hope to start building a version 2 experiment to run later.

April 2018

Done in March

Responsive design pt2: Speced out the changes for Ask a Question experience. Implemented search, tags and users pages. Also, worked out how what adjustments need to be made to support ads with our responsive design.

OpenID deprecation: Announced the deprecation plan. Removed the ability to create new accounts with external OpenID providers (Yahoo, AOL, Blogger, Live Journal and Steam). Added the ability for existing users to add email/pw login option for their current account. Fleshed out the rest of the plan through July end of support date.

Teams features: We rolled out a number of improvements for our Teams alpha users including improvements for tags, emails, new question notification, and team newsletter prefs.

Quack Overflow: April Fools has come and gone, but Quack Overflow will live on in our hearts and this Rubber Ducking Wikipedia page (thanks for whoever did that!).

Top bar for Enterprise customers: Moved the SO top bar to Stack Overflow for Enterprise.

Sponsorship pilot: DAG provided support for the sponsorship pilot that was announced last month.


In progress

Responsive design pt3: Implementing Ask a Question page and support for ads. Fixing lots of bugs. Target is to release to Teams users.

Tag subscriptions: We are almost done with this work for Teams, really. Should launch to team's users real soon now. This month we will begin making sure it will scale to SO.com.

Custom question lists (aka Custom favorite searches): Finished spec and designs for adding support for filter and sort controls to all question lists and the ability to save custom question list views. Ran user testing on the designs. All clear to start implementation. Goal is to reintroduce some form of the functionality that used to be called New Nav.

User satisfaction survey: Understanding user satisfaction levels based on quarterly user satisfaction survey is an important data point for most sites. In the past we have relied exclusively on anecdotal feedback to evaluate satisfaction. This month we will be building an automated system to randomly select users and prompt them via email to fill out a survey. This system will be tested on Teams alpha users and will be expanded to others over time.


Starting in April

Each of the items below describes some work that is planned for the coming month. As needed, we will directly engage the community to help shape the work.

Network site themes: As mentioned in the ch-ch-ch-changes post we are simplifying our themes. Goal for this month is to get the infrastructure plugged in, design themes for 10+ of our most highly themed/highly traffic sites, gather feedback from those communities and lock down the roll out plan for the May/June.

Teams features: TeamDAG continues to add a bunch of features for Teams including Left nav improvements, inline mentions, testing automation, a ton of clean up items and Teams product page/launch support.

AaQ dupe finder/question wizard: We made limited progress on this front, but things are picking up steam and we are planning to have a prototype ready for community feedback this month.

May 2018

Done in April

Responsive design pt3: After a ton of work and testing, this is rolling out to Teams users (see post with details).

Tag watching (aka favorite tags): This shipped for Teams with a new name and new user experience. Coming soon to SO and the network.

Tag Divergence is a funky "little" feature that Teams users will see. When asking a question on Teams you can reuse tags used on public Stack Overflow and you can also create tags that are unique to your team. Tag divergence (don't love that name) makes sure you know which is which.

Image showing tag divergence in action

Teams product pages: TeamDAG built the beautiful pages you see for Teams, Enterprise, and Pricing. It was so much harder than it looks and involved a cast of thousands (well, not thousands but you know…). Lots of user research went into building effective pages. And, they're responsive!

Teams core Q&A cleanup: There were lots of little tweaks that we made to the system to make Teams work. Lesson learned, our Q&A system is complex.


In progress

Responsive design pt4: We are continuing work on responsive with a goal to release to MSE for user feedback and testing this month.

Network site themes: We are a bit behind on this one, but are still moving forward. Later this month a new theme will be deployed to MSE (along with responsive and the left nav). While we gather feedback from the community, we will start working on site themes for a small group of the network sites.

AaQ wizard: This project has moved to the front burner as a part of the inclusive project (see below) and we are planning to have a prototype ready for community feedback this month with a release as an experiment in June.

Tag watching: Working on scaling out our Teams changes to SO and the entire network. You likely won't see this until June or July.

Custom question lists (aka Custom favorite searches): Finished early user research for some of the core concepts. Improved question list experience with filter and sort controls is targeted for this month. Ability to save custom question list will be coming later this summer.

User satisfaction survey: These will start going out to Teams' users mid-May.

OpenID deprecation: Emails will go out to anyone who is impacted later this month. Shortly after this goes out those same users will see a banner on the site notifying them of the same.


Starting in May

Each of the items below describes some work that is planned for the coming month. As needed, we will directly engage the community to help shape the work.

Inclusive project: TeamDAG will be working with folks from our research, design, data science, and community teams as we begin to idenitfy the next steps to address friendliness and inclusiveness on Stack Overflow and across the network. See the blog post for an overview of this project.

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