I like jumping around between Stack Exchange sites. I enjoy World Building, English, Physics, etc.

Sometimes I like to browse to see what other subjects there are.

It seems that I have to make unnecessary steps to do so.

WARNING - A little lighthearted sarcasm follows. No offense meant.

Example

[sarcasm]

I'm on World Building, and I'd like to go to English Language & Usage

  1. In the top left corner I see a link to Stack Exchange. It looks good. I click it.

  2. I'm presented with a dialog box asking "Visit Stack Exchange", well duh. Why did you think I clicked that link?

  3. I click the redundant box and now I'm presented with a selection of questions. I really don't want to see what random people are asking on random sites. I want to find my site.

  4. I search around for what to do next. At last I spot All sites. Great!

  5. I land on a very pretty looking page - excellent! The only trouble is, the boxes seem to be arranged in order of usage. I don't care what others are doing. In the least.

  6. Sadly the boxes are in no useful order. Alphabetical would be nice. Maybe a simple table of equal boxes.

  7. I use Ctrl + F to search for the subject I'm interested in. If I'm lucky I find it.

  8. I click there - Uh oh. I have to click again to prove I meant it.

  9. I finally arrive.

Now, if you find that boring to read then you will understand how boring I find it to actually do it.

[/sarcasm]

Am I merely missing the fast lane?

If not, could something be done to streamline things?

Can we remove the unnecessary clickage?

  • 1
    Bookmarks. Use bookmarks. – Kevin B Nov 29 at 21:03
  • @Kevin B - Do you mean browser bookmarks? I'm not aware of any in SE. – chasly from UK Nov 29 at 21:09
  • I still find the thing about clicking on things and then being asked to confirm my choice as infuriating. For a new user it must all be very confusing and time-wasting. – chasly from UK Nov 29 at 21:12
up vote 13 down vote accepted

The site switcher is conveniently located in the upper right corner of the top bar:

Site Switcher, extended to show favorite sites and search bar

You can choose your favorite sites to appear there permanently for easy access using the "edit" button on the right side of the grey "Your Communities" bar. You can add or remove sites, reorder them, or reset the list to your default.

View of site switcher with edit menu open

You can also search the entire network by keyword to find any of the 170+ sites on the network or just scroll through the full list (which is in alphabetical order, even!).

Site selector showing the search function with "Science" in the search bar, revealing sites with that term in their description or site name

It also has a convenient link to the meta site of whichever site you're on (though that doesn't apply to this site, which doesn't have a child meta).

Site selector on Science Fiction & Fantasy, showing link to meta site.


As to your specific points:

  1. I'm presented with a dialog box asking "Visit Stack Exchange", Well Duh. Why did you think I clicked that link?

There's some history here. That icon used to be where we housed the site selector before we changed the top bar about a year ago, so users were accustomed to it performing much like what I've described above. So, at that time, having that link immediately navigate a user somewhere was problematic to users who had the muscle memory of going to that icon for the site selector. The current implementation was intended to be temporary but it's remained the way it is. We may be able to change that behavior now that this has been the status quo for a while.

  1. I land on a very pretty looking page - excellent! Only trouble is, the boxes seem to be arranged in order of usage. I don't care what others are doing. In the least.

You can change this by clicking on the list view button here:

View switcher for All Sites page

The default for users is the pretty "Grid View" but once you switch over to the "List view", it remembers your preferences. This gives you the ability to sort by a variety of factors, including alphabetical (Name):

Sort options in list view on the "All Sites" page

  1. I click there - Uh oh. I have to click again to prove I meant it.

You don't have to click twice if you're in list view.

  • 2
    Best answer ever. Answered every point. Aaaah, what a relief! – chasly from UK Nov 29 at 21:45
  • 1
    Best answer ever ... from here it is all downhill .. ;) – rene Nov 30 at 8:24

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