Once upon a time there was a feature called new navigation. Its goal was to help our most active users find the questions they can answer. "New nav" never made it out of beta and that beta only ever made it to Stack Overflow users. Several months ago we gave new nav a sad, but overdue burial.
As we promised, we've been working on a replacement for new nav, and now it's time for us to start rolling it out. We're calling it custom question lists and we are really excited about its potential to help all users get at the questions that are most interesting to them.
While we hope what we've built hits the mark for many of you who have requested a feature like this (e.g., 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), we know how difficult it is to make something complex simple. So, we are rolling this out in beta to gather feedback from you and iterate on it. (Don't worry, we promise to actually release it this time.) When it's live later you'll be able to opt-in to the beta by turning on a new account preference. This will enable the feature for Stack Overflow, Meta Stack Overflow, and Meta Stack Exchange. It will be available for all network sites when the beta period is over.
This feature will roll out in four phases:
- Phase I: Filter and sort controls to let you modify a question list view (Julyish)
- Phase II: Saved custom lists (coming in August)
- Phase III: Notifications on custom lists (coming in September)
- Phase IV: Final fixes and official release (after September)
Phase I: Filter and sorts
We'll add filter and sort controls to question lists. This does two things:
- Clarifies the definition of built-in views - Naming is hard and short names can't always describe what a view is showing you. By exposing the filter and sort controls it is more obvious.
- Introduces the ability to create new custom views - This won't be super useful until we add the ability to save the views to the UI (phase II). Until then you can bookmark the URL and get back to your views.
Question list with new controls
Views drop down
Phase II: Saved custom question lists
In this phase we will add the ability to save your custom questions lists.
Create custom list
In our current design, a dialog will be pre-populated based on the filters and sorts you're currently using. Give it a name, confirm your options, and click save.
Accessing your saved lists
When you save your custom lists they will show up in the "More" drop down for question list views. Additionally, you can add them to the left navigation bar for easy access (see image below).
Phase III: Notifications
For phase III we'll enable indicators for when new items are available in a custom question list. When you pin a question list to the left nav you can see a dot on any list with new items.
As usual, we're interested in your constructive feedback. This is a work in progress and, as mentioned, will be rolled out in phases. You can provide feedback on the concepts now based on the information in this post and provide feedback based on the working elements as they are released.