4

The left-nav is great - I like it, users who don't can disable it. Perfect world. Now it's stickied it's always there too, which is really useful.

When I'm navigating in areas not directly linked to in the left nav and have scrolled down, I often want to re-use the other navigation. This means scrolling up. Which is fine, of course it's how websites work.

However, if the left-nav had a "Top" link which took the user to the very top of the page it would be great for getting back to specific contextual menus and things that are not linked to in the left-nav.

For example, if I'm viewing questions on a specific tag and I've scrolled down, I sometimes want to get back up to the top to remove a tag, or change from "Latest" to "Featured" etc. Although clicking the "Questions" link in the left-nav takes me back to the top, it removes the tag(s) I was searching with.

There are other use cases where this would be useful, like long questions and answers (Etc). So I think a "Top" link in the left nav would be very useful.


I think this is different to the proposed dupe question as it doesn't mention the left-nav, and my question is suggesting this idea because we have a good place to put it and it'll be a useful addition to the left-nav.

  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Back to Top Button – Floern Aug 13 '18 at 20:08
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    @Floern Note that circumstances have changed quite a bit since that request was filed. I think the older one should be closed as a dupe. – Sonic the Bracketed Hedgehog Aug 13 '18 at 20:12
  • @SonictheInclusiveHedgehog maybe, but the answer is the same. – Floern Aug 13 '18 at 20:15
  • @Glorfindel On Meta, that restriction doesn't exist; you can close any question as a duplicate of any question, even an unanswered one, here on MSE. – Sonic the Bracketed Hedgehog Aug 13 '18 at 21:13
  • Gahh I don't know why I didn't find that dupe - EDIT actually it's not about the left-nav, so I think this one is different in that it has a good place for it to exist, the other question is just asking for it anywhere on the page. – James Aug 13 '18 at 21:50
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    FWIW this is one of the features of my Stack Overflow Extras (SOX) userscript if you're interested in having that button somewhere :) (although I do understand it's not as useful as it being native! and it's not in the left nav) – ᔕᖺᘎᕊ Aug 13 '18 at 21:53
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    @ᔕᖺᘎᕊ It's not the same but still useful, especially while we don't have one officially - I'll take a look thanks :) – James Aug 13 '18 at 21:55
  • @SonictheInclusiveHedgehog ah, right, stupid exceptions :x Thanks! – Glorfindel Aug 14 '18 at 6:14
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The left nav isn't a "catch them all" placeholder. It should contain only navigation links, which were previously on the top as tabs.

Starting to add more things will just clutter it and harm the overall look and user experience, in my opinion.

I agree a "back to top" link/button is useful, but not in the left nav. Floating button somewhere on the page is what most sites are doing, and it can fit here as well, if and when SE will agree to add it.

  • I agree that "starting to add more things" (plural/multiple) might make it cluttered, but my suggestion is one more thing (singular). Also, adding this proposed thing should be measured on it's own merit with the current given scenario, not based on a potential future cluttering of the nav :) if that happens the issue was with more future things not this one – James Aug 14 '18 at 15:26
  • @James it always starts with one thing. Then others will see it done, and ask for more. But the main point is that such a link isn't really related to navigation. – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard Aug 14 '18 at 15:30
  • People ask for things all the time, if it's not viable then it's refused, and that includes if a nav that had something else added that seemed useful is now deemed full up because of that extra thing added. "Back to the top" is "navigation". Navigation doesn't necessarily mean going to a different page. If I scroll up to some text or links I've navigated to it. If I click an arrow and JS opens some options I've navigated to those options. – James Aug 14 '18 at 15:49

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