-392

Update 1

I’ve restored the profile age to all and fixed a few bugs y’all reported. I’ll be addressing individual answers as best as I can.

Original post

On our way to a fully responsive Stack Overflow, we just shipped some changes to the user profile. We won’t be enabling responsiveness just yet, but the top portion will be ready to be squishy.

I hope these changes are low impact on our way to a fully responsive profile. Think of this as more a realignment than a redesign.

Some changes that you’ll see immediately:

  1. Basic reach-related stats moved to underneath the avatar near reputation.
  2. Various links and other stats are now under the display name and some stats behind are only viewable by you or a moderator.
  3. We got rid of the “Apparently, this user prefers to keep an air of mystery about them”, instead showing no biography. If it’s your profile and you don’t have a biography, we show a call to action to add one.
  4. We’ve added an Edit profile button under the avatar if you’re a moderator or you’re viewing your own profile.
  5. Biographies now have way more room horizontally, but we still cap to vertical scrolling.
  6. The consecutive visit calendar UI has gone away. This is some super legacy UI that isn’t remotely mobile-friendly. The statistic will continue to be displayed for badge-earning purposes, but I think it’s a potentially toxic metric.
  7. Dropped the profile views metric entirely. It’s a vanity metric and we don’t think it’s worth keeping around.

Before

Profile before

After

Profile after

42
  • 18
    If someone hasn't filled in their profile information, it just looks blank. Would it be feasible to move other information up instead?
    – user
    Aug 5 at 22:14
  • 140
    Why is the consecutive visit calendar potentially toxic?
    – hkotsubo
    Aug 5 at 22:17
  • 212
    I am very saddened by the loss of the calendar! As a moderator on Stack Overflow, I regularly made use of that when investigating potential fraud. :-( Aug 5 at 22:20
  • 106
    @AaronShekey But there are two badges (Enthusiast and Fanatic) that explicitly encourage consecutive visits Aug 5 at 22:27
  • 38
    There's lots of empty space on the right side of the screen now.. You're forcing people to scroll. What's the point of that? Aug 5 at 22:30
  • 42
    @AaronShekey I think you may have been assuming that that statistic could be viewed publicly, and based your decision around that. However, that's never actually been the case (unless the user chose to make the Enthusiast or Fanatic badge their "next badge to track"): it could only ever be viewed by the user themselves and moderators, from the beginning. Aug 5 at 22:31
  • 143
    Why was the length of time the user has been a site member removed from public view? (Why isn't it mentioned in your post?) Aug 5 at 22:51
  • 27
    Do not default my profile to prompting me to add an about me.
    – Kevin B
    Aug 5 at 23:18
  • 57
    @Aaron All the gamification system used on SE sites has the potential to lead to compulsive behavior. I'd say that IMO the "hunt" for rep points and badges has much more potential to do that than streaks - I've seen many cases of those (people addicted to the site), and all were because of rep or other stats (none was because of consecutive visit count). But I guess you won't remove gamification, right? Anyway, please consider the other comments, that point some genuine uses of the visit count.
    – hkotsubo
    Aug 5 at 23:34
  • 42
    @AaronShekey I'm a huge fan of the work you've done on SE (I was wrong and regret having criticized the quote change in my first ever post here). But I just can't wrap my head around this one, seems like a loss for wide screen users. Putting a metric on it, density just got worst (info items per inch) at the questionable gain of a vacuum on the right side.
    – bad_coder
    Aug 6 at 1:00
  • 65
    If you've gone and made this network-wide already, at least make this post featured. Aug 6 at 8:13
  • 22
    Just reading all the comments above now; "This layout is transitional" ...why was this pushed to production if it is only a transitional layout? That means you have another layout planned... but you have internal builds you can use to continue working on this and then just push the final layout to production when it's done. Pushing a WIP to production servers no purpose other than to confuse people and upset them, unnecessarily so.
    – TylerH
    Aug 6 at 16:12
  • 23
    It's so strange to me that y'all think the award dates from some badges that aren't even the ones I would care to showcase is information valuable enough to take up about a third of all the space dedicated to tags on my profile page even though clicking on the tags will display all that information and more, but that the number of people who interacted with my profile is just a "vanity" stat. Why would I care more about your made-up fame-by-proximity "reached" stat more than the number of people who actually clicked on my profile?
    – ColleenV
    Aug 6 at 17:21
  • 28
    I've created a userscript that brings back the 'Member since', 'profile views' and 'Last seen' info: LegacyProfiles
    – Spectric
    Aug 6 at 17:56
  • 59
    "We've actually had quite a few complaints in the past that a "Last seen" indicator public visible is a creepy and intrusive thing to have on a user profile. So I imagine the disappointment will be very 50/50 here" - if it is 50/50 why did you change it then, do you like the other 50% more, are they more valuable, are they complaining louder?
    – luk2302
    Aug 7 at 14:55

45 Answers 45

347
+400

One thing not explicitly mentioned which has also disappeared, at least for now on that screen, is the "Last seen" value. I realize it's only approximate, but I have sometimes found it useful in certain situations, e.g., if I write a comment that I want to be temporary until the person sees it. By checking this "Last seen" value and seeing it's well after my comment, I can then quite easily determine I can delete the comment. I prefer this to doing something else generally less accurate like checking when they last wrote a comment or post, edited a post or some other such activity.

Are there any particular reasons this value was removed? If so, then what are these reasons, and is the removal temporary or permanent? Finally, if it's being removed permanently, are there any plans to replace it with something similar, with this ideally being at least as accurate as the "last seen" value in the network profile mentioned below?

Update: There's still a generally less precise indication of when the user was "last seen" for each site a user is a member of in their network profile page in the "accounts" tab (e.g., mine's this). Although it seems to be accurate only to within about a day, e.g., "today", "yesterday", "7 days ago", "1 month ago", etc., this can still help somewhat with uses such as what I mention above. Thus, I hope that this, at least, will remain available to everybody.

Update #2: Other answers discussing the "Last seen" feature are:

  • Sabito 錆兎's answer requests having a checkbox so users can control whether or not this is seen,
  • blackgreen's answer lists additional reasons this metric is useful,
  • fev's answer explains how seeing this value can specifically be useful when dealing with new users,
  • Mad Scientist's answer gives several reasons to not have this value be shown,
  • Ollie's answer expresses that it's useful when dealing with spam,
  • NotTheDr01ds's answer lays out how this is helpful to reduce the number of downvotes some new users' posts get,
  • GhostCat's answer states this "helps to determine the amount of time/energy to put into a response/comment",
  • Anders Gustafson's answer remarks this is "useful for deciding whether to comment on old answers",
  • Mari-Lou A's answer reminds us of a December of 2018 post about improving the user profile & settings, with most responses saying not much needs to be changed, and none about the "Last seen" value,
  • ColleenV's answer says that if privacy is why "Last seen" was removed, then we should get more control over what's shared instead.
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  • 42
    We've actually had quite a few complaints in the past that a "Last seen" indicator public visible is a creepy and intrusive thing to have on a user profile. So I imagine the disappointment will be very 50/50 here. ;)
    – animuson StaffMod
    Aug 5 at 22:42
  • 84
    @animuson What about account age? As far as I can tell (please correct me if I'm missing something), it's now impossible to tell when another user joined the site, whether they're a ten-year lurker or a newbie who arrived yesterday. User ID provides a hint but no precision. Is there something creepy or undesirable about knowing how experienced a site member someone is? Aug 5 at 22:43
  • 66
    @animuson You're had complaints that it's visible. But you've not had hurray's from all the users that use this to find out if they should allow a user to make edits or just "nuke" their post now. With this change.. you're getting a lot more of not giving other users a change to fix a mistake, because we can't know that they've not seen our comments. Aug 5 at 22:45
  • 44
    @animuson I didn't realize account age was removed too, that's not at all private information, you can find it roughly from post dates anyway, and it's very nice to know if a user joined the site ten years ago, or ten days ago. Aug 5 at 22:47
  • 58
    @animuson Couldn't it just be made much less precise? I agree that showing activity "3 minutes ago" is creepy and almost never useful, but on a "today"/"last week"/"last month"/"last year"/"more than a year ago" level it would still give an indication if the other person is still likely to see comments without providing excessive details. Aug 5 at 22:50
  • 44
    Now we can’t know if a moderator has actually gone AWOL or is just doing stuff behind the scenes when they have no public activity. At least with last seen we could say “yea, mod hasn’t logged in since _____” Aug 5 at 22:59
  • 35
    @animuson I fail to see how this is about user privacy. It's not pii or anything of the sort. Now we have to go stalking on their activity instead. Or just outright assume that they've read our comments as soon as we post them. It's making it harder to be kind to others while curating their content. Aug 5 at 23:07
  • 23
    @Unconsidered Controlling whether others can see your last seen date is a privacy option is almost every messaging app I've ever used. It very much is about privacy. If you cannot see that, then I'm afraid there's just nothing further to say.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Aug 5 at 23:09
  • 75
    I use this all the time to not delete people's post if they've been away (like sleeping for 8 hours) and not seen our comments. Now I just have to shoot blind...
    – Peilonrayz
    Aug 6 at 0:19
  • 52
    I often use the last seen date as a metric when deciding if it's worth the effort to answer an old question. A user who's logged in within the past month is more likely to accept an answer than one who hasn't logged in in five years.
    – ibid
    Aug 6 at 0:40
  • 31
    @animuson In past discussions, it was mentioned as a feature that people could opt out of, rather than going away entirely. Getting rid of it does upset 50% of the folks. Making it optional, I think, could have satisfied a much larger percentage. Aug 6 at 1:05
  • 49
    @animuson while I appreciate the privacy issues, I would like to have some indication if a user is still active, mainly for setting bounties. I like to set bounties on story identification requests over on Science Fiction & Fantasy and I very much prefer to not waste them on questions where the querent is no longer around to provide additional details or answer comments.
    – SQB
    Aug 6 at 9:44
  • 41
    @animuson "there are plenty of people who would also prefer it not be shown" At the moment I write this, this answer has 93 upvotes and not a single downvote. To me that seems like there are plenty of people who want it to be shown and almost nobody who would prefer it not be shown. Aug 6 at 13:02
  • 54
    Seriously, removing the "Last seen" and "Member since" data is a major impediment. That info is the main reason I visit other's profiles intentionally. (I mostly browse on my phone, so I often accidentally visit profile pages when trying to post comments).
    – PM 2Ring
    Aug 6 at 15:39
  • 28
    @animuson What is the user privacy issue with seeing the last time a user logged in, at least down to the day or week? A user's name and location and other PII is under their own control, and you don't (to my knowledge) share IP or geolocation data with 3rd parties. So I genuinely don't see what sensitive information I have gained by knowing "user X logged into this site recently"... and I say that as someone who deals not just with PII but also PHI in my job. Is it really just "we have lots of complaints about it from users"? If so, then an option to toggle it off is a win for everyone.
    – TylerH
    Aug 6 at 16:18
301
+50

Please put back the "last seen" and "member since" metrics


Edit, Aug. 10th: "Member since" has been restored

Edit, Nov. 3rd: a less-granular "Last Seen" has been restored


The "Last seen" metric is very useful for curation activities and to calibrate engagement with other users.

Some actual use-cases that come from my experience with the site:

  • knowing whether a user might have seen my comment, and proceed to delete it safely
  • knowing whether a user hasn't visited the site in a long time. If they haven't, leaving comments to ask for clarifications might be a waste of time. I may also choose to edit a post right away or wait for the OP to take action based on that.
  • knowing whether it's worth it to answer old niche questions. Those questions may have very low views due to their narrow scope. Knowing that at least the OP is likely to see the answer is an incentive to add one. If I don't know that, I might choose to invest my time somewhere else where I'm more likely to actually help someone out.
  • knowing whether deletable questions have a chance to get edited by the OP or not
  • knowing whether authors of poor posts (NAA, VLQ, link-only, undisclosed affiliation) are likely to see or respond to comments. In case they are, there is incentive to try and educate them about usage of the site.

The "Member since" metric is also useful to tailor responses, albeit less so, possibly in combination with the "last seen":

  • new users or infrequent visitors that don't follow the rules may elicit more leniency in comments, closures and delete votes.
  • I may expedite edits on posts of new users, who may not be familiar with the site, and instead leave time to old users to fix their own posts in response to comments

In general, even though we have guidelines, curation activities need a case-by-case evaluation. Curators have to put some thought into what they do. And the more metrics we have to that end, the more our curation is effective, CoC-compliant and actually useful to the community.

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  • 35
    "Calibrate engagement" - especially with moderators. It may not be my duty to do so, but I did notice some spam on a couple of beta sites where at least two mods had been inactive for two months and the third, 2 days. Because of that, the spam lasted for over 17 hours. (I got that information by looking at the "last seen" date.)
    – Ollie
    Aug 6 at 13:35
  • 45
    I'm glad you raised the issue about curation. It's not just diamond moderators who'll miss the "member since" and "last seen" data, but also those of us who dedicate time and effort to curating the sites. Another slap in the face for us from staff who (allegedly) wish to "engage the community". Aug 6 at 21:51
  • 16
    This is quite extremely important for how I interact with the site & users' posts. These infos are useful! Given the MadScientist raised implications for 'privacy' which I do appreciate and the reasons given for design/vanity (which I don't ack in the least), I wish there could be a compromise found between retaining this usefulness & the desired privacy. If those infos simply stay discarded, and I don't get a clue over 'user had a chance to read & react', then more time will be wasted & more harsh blackbox actions without interactions will be the result. Aug 7 at 11:43
  • 4
    Would a good compromise be something like a status tag that says "Active" or "Lurker"? It would indicate whether someone has been on the site within the last [n] weeks/months without telling people they were last seen 3 minutes ago. It seems like that would be enough for the points in your post except the first.
    – BSMP
    Aug 7 at 17:55
  • 44
    The fact that this is now a "feature request", is pretty depressing. Its literally something that we had for 10 years, and now we have to beg to get it back Aug 7 at 19:03
  • 8
    The "Member since" metric is also quite useful in elections to evaluate the experience of prospective moderators. Aug 8 at 21:01
  • 2
    For what it's worth, the feature request to remove last seen was quite well-received.
    – gerrit
    Aug 10 at 13:59
  • For "Member since" it's still easy to see when a user created their account by going to Network Profile > Reputation and looking at what date their reputation graph starts at. For "Last seen" you can go to Network Profile > Activity > All and see when they last did something. That's not as accurate, but it probably works fairly well if you just want to see if someone uses the site anymore. Note that someone earning a badge doesn't necessarily mean they're still active, so you should look for posts, comments or edits. Aug 10 at 17:05
  • 31
    I've restored the "member since".
    – Aaron Shekey StaffMod
    Aug 10 at 18:55
  • 54
    @AaronShekey thanks, that's only half of the work though
    – blackgreen
    Aug 10 at 19:10
  • 2
    Re "at least the OP is likely to see the answer is an incentive to add one." – If I think of adding an answer I also think of all the potential future readers/seekers, potentially years (decades?) from now on, not just the OP. Aug 12 at 18:21
  • 13
    If I see a user that posted something 10 years ago and never came back I'm more likely to try a more risky suggested edit, because 'deviates from author's intent' is mostly theoretical and asking nicely probably won't work. If I see a user who is very active, maybe they will accept a safer edit after some comments back and forth and I'm not as reliant on random reviewers who might not know anything about the topic. It's not a guarantee but it's another bit of information to add to the suggested edit 'meta-game'; there probably shouldn't be a 'meta-game' but it's just part of the platform
    – jrh
    Aug 13 at 17:26
  • Also for "last seen", sometimes I used to like to look at a post from years ago and see if the poster is still around. There's no real purpose to it, other than curiosity over whether that particular user is a lurker 99.99999% of the time, like me.
    – jrh
    Sep 9 at 19:17
  • 15
    We've restored a less granular version of the "Last seen". In its original granularity of seconds, "last seen" was a potential vector for abuse. When discussing with our trust & safety team, we determined that knowing someone used the site within a week is plenty of granularity and should satisfy existing use cases. Now public users can see if the user has participated this week, more than a week ago, more than a month ago, and more than x years ago.
    – Aaron Shekey StaffMod
    Nov 3 at 14:17
  • 5
    @AaronShekey Hooray! This is exactly most of us wanted, I think. Thank you!!! Nov 3 at 16:09
183

Another thing that's been removed (and not mentioned) is account ages. This information is still available, from things like SEDE, but is now missing from users' profile pages.

It's very nice to know if a user joined the site ten years ago, or ten days ago. This doesn't seem like it was removed for privacy reasons, as the age of an account isn't particularly private or difficult to figure out.

Anyone who cares enough will be forced to write or download a script to re-add this information, and everyone else will just have a useful and harmless feature removed.

10
  • 3
    Also, as Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog's comment to my answer states, and I've confirmed myself, you can still also see how long ago a user joined any particular site in that user's network profile. Aug 5 at 22:59
  • Seems to be there for me? edit: Ah, only on my own profile.
    – Kevin B
    Aug 5 at 23:44
  • 14
    Right, you can't see it on other users' profiles. that's ridiculous.
    – Kevin B
    Aug 5 at 23:47
  • 58
    I use this information a lot to tailor comments on questions to newbies ("new contributor" isn't reliable) and returners.¹ It used to be one shift+click away. Now it's shift+click, click, click, go searching through list of accounts. Not a good change. @Aaron, please put it back on the profile. (¹ Why? "Welcome to SO!" is literally welcoming to a new person, but snark to someone who isn't new.) Aug 6 at 9:11
  • 10
    @animuson It also makes it more difficult for site mods and users to find credible evidence of a potential abuser of this site. Asking for privacy when such privacy affords culprits of serial voting , vandalism, etc., amounts to permitting perhaps toxic behavior and protection from detection for such users.
    – amWhy
    Aug 6 at 15:16
  • 15
    Restored the account age for all.
    – Aaron Shekey StaffMod
    Aug 10 at 19:12
  • 8
    @AaronShekey Thank you!!! I noticed this a few minutes ago, the fact that y'all listened to feedback and did this is something I (and it looks like around 150 others) really appreciate! Aug 10 at 19:20
  • @T.J.Crowder So would you say account age stops being useful when they're no longer "new" (after say a few days, or some other period of time) and it would actually serve you better if the "new contributor" banner were more "reliable" (and possibly more specific, like if it said e.g. "member for x days" instead)? Aug 12 at 20:22
  • 1
    @BernhardBarker - Good thought. That combined with telling me whether they have the Informed badge would definitely be useful. But I wouldn't say account age stops being useful after a period of time. If I think someone needs some nudging (say, they post a picture of code) and I check their profile (for account age) and see they've been on for 10 years with 20 0-rated questions, I factor that into the comment as well (still to keep it friendly and non-sarky). But your... Aug 13 at 7:34
  • 5
    ...idea would definitely save me profile views in a lot of cases. If I could see without going to their profile that they'd been on the site less than (say) a year and had/hadn't taken the tour, it would definitely help. How about this: Put the "Member for" thing in the expanded user card when you hover their picture. Aug 13 at 7:40
146

Please add "Member for" metric back

This was a very useful feature to know, not only how experienced someone is with Stack Overflow, but also to catch voting fraud. Not seeing this metric publicly is a regressed feature.

The only people who do not want to show this metric must be the ones that create multiple sock-puppet accounts to commit voting fraud.

5
  • How did you use this information? Multiple accounts created at about the same time? Aug 6 at 13:37
  • 6
    @P.Mort.-forgotClayShirky_q I am not going to disclose details, but for example, to see if the accounts were created at the same time
    – Dharman
    Aug 6 at 13:38
  • 11
    @P.Mort.-forgotClayShirky_q It's a useful metric to know how long someone has been a member for various reasons, whether it is to look for fraud or to determine whether someone ought to know some thing about site operation or not.
    – TylerH
    Aug 6 at 14:42
  • 27
    It's a useful feature when deciding if a 'borderline' post is spam. User since today: likely yes; Member for 10 years; likely no. Aug 6 at 16:33
  • 27
    The fact that this is now a "feature request", is pretty depressing. Its literally something that we had for 10 years, and now we have to beg to get it back Aug 7 at 19:05
132

Suggest to temporary revert this whole change network-wide and instead, do a trial run of it limited to one of "big meta" (MSE or MSO).

This would hopefully catch most painful issues and give an opportunity to adjust things without disrupting workflow of users at main sites.

Preferably, this trial meta run would be followed by gradual introduction of the changes at part of the main sites, like it was done when switching to CommonMark and enabling tables markdown. This would allow to find and address most of remaining issues without introducing pain to all users in the SE network.

4
  • 44
    This is a great suggestion (+1). I would like to add that I would have appreciated some notice they were going to remove various features, including the reasons for those changes, before they did them anywhere. That way, we could have understood better why this was being done, plus possibly given feedback to try to get them to adjust, even reverse, those changes. At the minimum, we would at least know what was coming & why. Also, I realize these sorts of notifications & getting feedback involves more work for the company staff, but it helps to reduce the problems and upset of the members. Aug 6 at 6:05
  • 5
    I agree this is a great idea, and like @JohnOmielan, it is an insult to network contributers and site mods, to post here to tell us (not ask us), what was decided to impost on us.
    – amWhy
    Aug 6 at 15:36
  • 3
    @JohnOmielan one might say that when the company is a for-profit company deriving its value from generations of free contributions that "more work for the company staff" is what should've been the bare minimum of involving the community in the decision-making process. Aug 6 at 15:41
  • 25
    If only they piloted any of the changes before pushing them to production these days...
    – TylerH
    Aug 6 at 16:19
104

Here is how this should have been done, in my very humble opinion.

  1. Featured announcement posted here on MSE with the title "Help us make some changes in profile page".
  2. The changes would be listed, each explaining why it should be done.
  3. Feedback would be gathered, for about a week or two, in the form of answers.
  4. Based on feedback some changes might not be carried out, e.g. a feature that SE staff thought was minor and useless turns out to be really popular and liked by the community.

I'm very sad that this not the way Stack Exchange chose this time. And annoyed, because I liked some of the features that have been tossed away just like that.

It's even more sad because it looked like SE was starting to go forward and cooperate with the community. This is a big step backwards, back to the dark days where the community was ignored and considered just background noise.

13
  • 19
    This answer expresses very well my feelings about what should have been done, and how it was actually done instead. I, too, am disappointed since I thought they were making starting to make progress but, instead, SE is at least sometimes slipping back to their old ways of doing things. I hope this sort of thing doesn't occur too often in the future. Aug 7 at 10:02
  • 12
    @John thanks. Sadly, I'm certain this isn't the last time such thing happens. :( Aug 7 at 10:37
  • 8
    If you’ve been following the recent changes, all changes in the past two years have followed the same path as this one. I don’t quite get the “chose this time” bit. They aren’t interested in our feedback for the change, they only want the free bug catching.
    – Kevin B
    Aug 8 at 3:29
  • 2
    @Kevin I mean, essentially, all the product-discovery questions. Aug 8 at 7:40
  • Stackoverflow has been bought off by Prosus I wonder if this backwardness has something to do with that
    – West
    Aug 9 at 9:02
  • @west no, this isn’t the first time updates related to this project has been rolled out in this way
    – Kevin B
    Aug 9 at 12:38
  • @West I wish, then we had someone external to "blame". Sadly, that's ages old history of Stack Exchange, call it the "Dark Side", which I was hoping they were putting behind them. Well, they're not. Aug 9 at 13:20
  • 4
    FWIW, I did get a response from Philippe on my answer to "what should I do/not do" where I pointed out this as a "what happened?" moment. His response doesn't say much, but doesn't say nothing, either.
    – TylerH
    Aug 9 at 14:16
  • @TylerH interesting, thanks. Aug 9 at 15:20
  • 1
    I read this change on good faith. SE's redesign is refactoring massive amounts of legacy code while implementing new features (e.g. Dark Theme, etc). This change was radical but it comes inline with the ongoing massive Stacks changes. The design team is probably brainstorming every aspect of the site and this change is "transitional" I'm not surprised they rolled out changes experimentally before getting user feedback and discussion. Probably their planning just didn't line up with the announcement calendar. I expect to revert my DV in their time.
    – bad_coder
    Aug 9 at 16:36
  • 7
    @bad_coder no good faith from me. If they would have just moved the cheese around, i.e. placing the stats in different place they deem better, it could be fine even I didn't like the new location. But alas, they took away the cheese, replacing it with... nothing. Nada. Void. And this annoys me more than I thought it would, because they were already going in a good direction. And this is the opposite direction now. Aug 9 at 17:13
  • 1
    @ShadowWizardWearingMaskV2 regarding the cheese (those info stats) from my experience with designers their main thought is minimalism (lots of empty space), while engineers tend to cram info into space. It can be said e.g. the last seen did raise privacy afterthoughts and there were highly upvoted threads saying it (so there was previous discussion) - perhaps a change in granularity could be a middle ground. These are difficult decisions - no way around it. Should they have announced this some other way? Perhaps, but they can still post separate threads calling for broader discussion.
    – bad_coder
    Aug 9 at 17:37
  • 10
    @bad_coder all I wanted is what I wrote in this answer: week or two heads up. This would still be annoying to see them change despite majority of users against it, but at least they would have said before actually changing. That's the top of the "annoyance pyramid". Aug 9 at 17:56
99
  1. Dropped the profile views metric entirely. It’s a vanity metric and we don’t think it’s worth keeping around.

I have to question "vanity" here for the sake of discussion. I always considered this number not as "show off" but as a personal quantification of how many people cared to noticed me.

It gives a feeling of belonging in the sense it indicates how known I am if someone randomly comes across my username.

In that sense I always thought about it as a positive cumulative indicator of being part of the community instead of a complete stranger. I consider it a far more personal indicator than say "people reached" because my profile is the personal presentation I want to give the community.

For new users this can be positive because they know someone cared about them individually by taking interest.

6
  • 25
    Huh. I usually interpret profile views as the people who I annoyed looking through my posts to find something to downvote :)
    – ColleenV
    Aug 6 at 14:21
  • 7
    it's also a metric that's very important if you are using SO (or the SE network) to find a job. How do you know if you are making the right choices in polishing your profile or something like that without this vanity metric?. Also, as someone else said, what's wrong with some vanity for christs sake?, we are volunteers, why can't we have something like that?
    – Lamak
    Aug 9 at 13:03
  • 5
    Hum..., starting to "wonder" in the same "Logic" if the 'Rep' is not also a "Vanity Metric"...!? (Meant as a "semi"-Joke...)
    – chivracq
    Aug 9 at 19:06
  • 1
    yes bad_coder i still remember you! Sep 30 at 3:12
  • 1
    Rather, without this indicator, when I answer something, I don't know if the questioner is paying attention to my attribution. Also, if I'm looking for a job, isn't it an indicator of how many companies have accessed me? The actual offer and how many views i have may tell me if there is room for improvement in the profile. Although the certainty is not a high index, I think this was a necessary indicator.
    – M.M.
    Nov 3 at 3:21
  • 1
    Also give me satisfaction that my bio that I've spent many hours in tailoring, if someone is even looking at it or not :| Nov 18 at 17:05
93

Please provide alternate APIs to see statistics that were removed from view, if reinstating them is off the table

One common use of the calendar UI was to see, if the user's consecutive days reset at some point in the past, what specific day(s) one didn't register a visit the site. Now, however, it's not possible to see that. While one can go back and calculate what was the first consecutive day they visited, they can no longer see if they didn't register visits on just a single day or multiple days, as well as any past cases where their counter got reset. It also would help Meta users out tremendously when responding to questions "why did my counter get reset [x] days ago even though I visited on all days": one can tell the user to open the calendar and see which day(s) didn't count (perhaps they visited on different UTC times, or perhaps they didn't have enough activity for a visit to be registered).

Also, as Martijn Pieters commented, moderators make use of the calendar to investigate voting fraud and for other moderation reasons.

Likewise, for the profile views, while it may be a vanity metric that not many people care about, as at least one user commented, some users do like seeing that. Removing it entirely without providing any alternate shuts it out entirely for those users. (The same thing also applies to the calendar: while it may not be responsive, the possibility for a curious user to see which days they themselves visited the site, or for a moderator to use it as part of an investigation, shouldn't be completely shut out.)

I understand that putting these on the page itself takes up space on the page and makes it harder to make the site completely responsive. However, if there's no way to reinstate them on the page without making it unclean, please provide an alternate method or API to be able to see them.

10
  • 2
    To be honest, we get "my consecutive days streak reset" support tickets all the time and I never open the calendar to see this information. It's really not relevant compared to just giving them information and what counts as a day and some common reasons why it resets. I don't see how providing that information makes anything clearer.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Aug 5 at 22:31
  • 55
    @animuson personally I have used the feature quite a bit as a moderator just to know when a user is likely to be available and when they were last seen... Really disappointed to see it removed
    – anonymous2
    Aug 5 at 22:47
  • 2
    @anonymous2 That's... honestly a bit of a strange use case to me. But if you really need the information, user access history is still available in the user history from the mod menu, by manually filtering to the "User accessed site" history event. It just won't be displayed in calendar format.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Aug 5 at 22:55
  • 64
    @animuson that’s really not nearly as useful as a calendar view. Data visualisation matters. Aug 5 at 23:07
  • 7
    @animuson I figured it was possible somehow but honestly, for myself personally, I don't have so much free time to burn that I'll go fishing in the mod tools to find the info lol. It's just mildly annoying to see stuff become less accessible with unclear benefits. For me it's more of a frustrated shrug than a gasp of horror; I'll have a good cry and come back not much the worse ¯_(ツ)_/¯
    – anonymous2
    Aug 5 at 23:38
  • 4
    ⁺¹, I have used "views" metric a lot, because I refer to my profile from CV, and if I see views metric increased, it may have been someone checking on my profile.
    – Hi-Angel
    Aug 6 at 7:09
  • 36
    @animuson the calendar is one of the most useful tools we have when investigating fraud. Please don't do this. We have repeatedly asked for better tools for this and instead you seem to be taking away one of the few useful ones we have.
    – terdon
    Aug 6 at 8:30
  • 13
    Honestly, having the information in public view so it's clear to everyone these stats were public was OK, but hiding it behind an API and having most users not know that others can view this is very dubious from a privacy perspective.
    – Erik A
    Aug 6 at 10:33
  • 3
    @animuson You seem clearly to be saying very unpopular things. That might be what the SO corporation doesn't care about, but if there is any semblance of actually being responsive to users and site mods, this initiative is way off the mark, if it even matters to you what long-term users and site mods think, and their feedback. Without dedicated volunteers, the SO CO. would cease to exist.
    – amWhy
    Aug 6 at 15:32
  • 7
    @amWhy I think you're drawing invalid conclusions that you want to be true. I pointed out that something in the answer wasn't a valid reason to keep the feature, and other identified more valid reasons for why they were using it that we hadn't considered and are worth more investigating, and afaik the community team is thinking about what could be done for moderators without needing an old unmaintained calendar widget in the profile.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Aug 6 at 16:02
75

As a follow up to John Omielan's answer and this comment from animuson:

We've actually had quite a few complaints in the past that a "Last seen" indicator public visible is a creepy and intrusive thing to have on a user profile. So I imagine the disappointment will be very 50/50 here. ;)

I would suggest adding a checkbox for users to choose if they wish their 'Last seen' to be publicly viewable or not - Like how a user can choose if they wish to disclose their location or not by filling/not filling the location text box.

I would also suggest that this checkbox should be checked by default as it is what people have come to expect because of the old design.

5
  • 4
    Indeed - on many non-SE-related sites where a similar feature exists, there is often the ability to not show yourself as online or not show when you were last online.
    – V2Blast StaffMod
    Aug 6 at 10:43
  • 3
    Related feature request, from long ago: "Last seen" time appears on Google and SE profile pages and should be removed
    – zcoop98
    Aug 6 at 14:19
  • 3
    I guess that's a reasonable compromise. I agree that the checkbox should be checked by default, but I wouldn't be too upset if it weren't. Another option is to round the "Last seen" time to the nearest quarter day or day, or to instead display the "Last active" time, as I mentioned here.
    – PM 2Ring
    Aug 6 at 15:49
  • 4
    I definitely agree that this should be an option. imo it's pretty reasonable that some people would not want minute-level granularity data about when they're online to be public. e.g. random example, artfight has the option to hide last seen as well (and artfight is a site where you need an account to even see user profiles), and anecdotally, I think there's a roughly 5:1 ratio of ppl who have their last seen visible vs. ppl who have it shown as "Hidden".
    – ahiijny
    Aug 6 at 16:30
  • Making it optional defeats the whole purpose of the feature, if you don't want your "Last Seen" to be visible then don't use the site.
    – user692942
    Aug 9 at 8:14
72

I completely fail to see what "fully responsive" has to do with changing the profile layout on those 7 points.

The current layout looks less appealing than the former, that much I'm sure of. Screens are mostly horizontal these days, cramming everything into the vertical only causes more scrolling and leaves unused space.

5
  • 32
    Gotta support those mobile users who are coding on their phones
    – Kevin B
    Aug 6 at 0:31
  • 8
    @KevinB I visit from my phone about 50% of the time I would estimate. Sometimes I do post code from the relative inconvenience of an iPhone 5 form-factor device (though definitely not any longer using the standard IOS keyboard). It should not be hard to find stats to convince you that a significant number of visitors are on mobile, especially on other sites in the network which are not developer-oriented.
    – tripleee
    Aug 6 at 7:32
  • 2
    @triplee Most of my SE visits are from work, where I use my phone to visit while I’m compiling or simulating because I don’t do non-work-related things on my work computer. Frankly, the phone interface is better than on my tablet which has this giant useless gutter on the right compressing the important part of the page for a sidebar that is only a fraction of the length of most meta discussions especially if you ignore HNQs.
    – ColleenV
    Aug 6 at 10:43
  • 2
    When I log from my phone, I use the desktop site. The mobile site is atrocious; all are. Aug 9 at 5:06
  • @KevinB There is a mobile app and it works just fine.
    – West
    Aug 9 at 9:03
65

If the point of this change is to make the site "responsive", it should hardly create a horizontal scroll bar where previously there was none? As far as I understand it, the point of responsive design is to resize or move elements to avoid unnecessary scrolling.

Yesterday, I was able to view my profile without scrolling to the right. Now, I can't, in the same browser window.

Profile page, top of page

This is particularly aggravating in places where a button drifted off into the obscured right margin. (Pardon the black background instead of transparent; IMGUR seems to do that when providing a resized image.)

Profile page, scrolled down

My preference is to view multiple browser windows, terminal windows, and editor windows on the same display. My browser windows tend to stay at roughly the same size after I configure the browser initially, though there is no precise scientific measurement - I just resize them to what feels good with Stack Overflow and a couple of other sites, and then leave them that way; the screen shots here are 2282 × 1588 at 144 dpi, including browser chrome.

10
  • 26
    I understand you younguns are not even aware that you can run a browser non-maximized. You're welcome.
    – tripleee
    Aug 6 at 5:06
  • 1
    "My browser windows tend to stay at roughly the same size, though there is no precise scientific measurement" if you want some thing more scientific: open the browser tools -> go to the settings (top right cogwheel) -> enable "Show rulers" under Elements. Now you'll see the size of the window when you resize the browser. The dev tools have to be open, otherwise it won't show.
    – VLAZ
    Aug 6 at 5:42
  • 2
    No, I mean I have just resized them to what felt good when I started using this browser. I have updated the wording to clarify this.
    – tripleee
    Aug 6 at 6:45
  • 4
    Those instructions are for Chrome anyway; I'm using a different browser.
    – tripleee
    Aug 6 at 6:48
  • @tripleee "Those instructions are for Chrome anyway; I'm using a different browser" considering that if you are using something that isn't Firefox, then you are using Chrome, it was a safe assumption to make.
    – Braiam
    Aug 6 at 10:33
  • 2
    I certainly recognized Chrome from those screen shots in VLAZ' instructions and it looks different from Brave, which is what I'm using. Granted, it's Chrome-based, but it doesn't have this feature. There are many people who want a Chrome-like experience without the attached Google strings and there are several reasonably popular Chrome-based spinoffs which deliver this. (I do switch browsers every once in a while; but right now, this is what I use.)
    – tripleee
    Aug 6 at 10:44
  • 3
    You say "vertical scroll bar" but you talk about scrolling left to right, so I think you mean horizontal scroll bar.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Aug 7 at 6:06
  • 2
    @Catija Oops, #blush, you are so right; thanks for noticing.
    – tripleee
    Aug 7 at 6:49
  • @tripleee Confession: I didn't know. *facepalm*
    – Ollie
    Aug 8 at 22:08
  • 4
    Responsiveness isn't enabled on this page yet. We just got that top portion ready to be: "We won’t be enabling responsiveness just yet, but the top portion will be ready to be squishy."
    – Aaron Shekey StaffMod
    Aug 9 at 13:48
57

About the metrics which indicated for how long someone has been a user and the "last seen" time: were they removed because they were considered private information? Because removing them in order to heal our vanity seems... somewhat unreasonable. If vanity is such an issue, why not give the option to show/hide metrics from other users?

And while I get that metrics is not equal to experience, yet a certain familiarity with the site is expected from older users than from the newer.

Also, I really like the "last seen" option from this perspective, too: let's say a new user lands on the site, asks a dumb question or posts a one line answer, having no idea about how the site works. As a reviewer, you welcome them and point them to the tour of the site and ask them to edit their question/answer accordingly. If they don't edit after a while, or if they don't answer your comment when you ask for clarifications, the "last seen" option comes in handy: if they left the site you know they will take time to get back, and so you will be more patient. You will not misunderstand them as ignoring the given indications.

Are there any chances we will get these back?

3
  • 17
    Some sites get quite a few "drive-by" users. Being able to know when they were "last seen" is the only way to deal with them reasonably. Aug 6 at 16:00
  • 3
    Totally agree! Surely the mods would know that too?
    – fev
    Aug 6 at 16:11
  • 16
    Yes! Said so much better than I could have wished for, the ask-and-run user, a person who posts one question never to return again. When you view their "last seen" date, you can stop hoping they will respond to calls for clarification and details.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Aug 6 at 16:38
53

I've waited a bit to add my voice here so I could see what the staff have said in response to our feedback...

I'm gonna start this by saying that, inevitably, someone had to write a nice little userscript called LegacyProfiles to temporarily revert this change. +1, Spectric.

Second, you gotta start asking for the community's input on important stuff like this a bit more often. I'm not saying you do this every time, but when it comes to UI changes such as line spacing, blockquote color, font changes etc. etc., it's nicht so gut. If you think the reactions are going to be so 50/50, why change it? That looks like a good balance. 80/20 is not.

Third, I've got a problem with the "Last Seen" metric being removed, for a couple reasons. I know it's been said before, but I'm going to give it another shot. That particular metric is really useful in some cases with moderation on newly made beta sites. I don't go out of my way to make that my biz, but it's definitely noticeable when looking at spam in those places and it helps.

In the long run, this wasn't well thought out. Reassurances that things are getting better aren't convincing if you do this. So please, a big : revert this. That will get a good reaction, as it hasn't been done before AFAIK.

13
  • 4
    I think when there is a privacy consideration, the "50/50" matter is less relevant. Let's say 90% of people were ok with abusing the other 10%'s privacy? The majority still shouldn't be listened to. Aug 8 at 2:53
  • 4
    Re "what the staff have said in response": So-called "sprints" ought to end in the beginning of a week instead of at the end. Otherwise, there is the risk of throwing it over the wall and 2-3 days without any response. What does it remind us of? Aug 8 at 11:54
  • 1
    @SteveBennett Fair point. Another case where an option would work.
    – Ollie
    Aug 8 at 13:41
  • 2
    @Ollie to be fair some changes have been reverted after community feedback, like min-reprex and the reactions feature, although for the latter one it was not very clearly explained if switching the feature off was indeed motivated by the negative feedback from the community.
    – Marijn
    Aug 8 at 16:05
  • 3
    @Marijn another good point. I actually had the Thank You feature in mind when I wrote the line, " I'm not saying you do this every time"; perhaps I should've linked it. If this is rolled back, then I do hope it's motivated by our feedback. It matters.
    – Ollie
    Aug 8 at 18:22
  • 2
    @Marijn seems like it was motivated by our backlash (and likely a work of CMs on upper management). Kind of difficult to sustain the mask of "community-driven" network when all one has to look for is an overwhelmingly negatively received feature is not rolled back. So I hope in this case most of it (something tells me that "last seen" is not going to be back, at least in the same form as before) will be reverted soon. Otherwise it will show that the company is no longer interested in rebuilding connections with the community that supplies it with content and curation. Aug 9 at 0:31
  • 4
    @SteveBennett There's no actual privacy issue at stake though; it is just a smokescreen excuse.
    – TylerH
    Aug 9 at 14:19
  • 1
    @TylerH The "last seen" fields leaks information about user behaviour, you might consider this information not significant yourself, but this feature clearly allows everyone interested to determine when a user is accessing the site (and with enough effort to fully map the times a user is active). If I say that this information is nobody else's business but my own, then this is fundamentally a privacy argument. Aug 9 at 15:39
  • 7
    @MadScientist You can say whatever you want; that doesn't make it true. If someone is concerned about tracking metrics, we have two better options already: use the site logged out (OK, three options: or use a throwaway account), or implement an option to hide the metric/obfuscate the metric's accuracy. Even if I know the exact times you're on, that doesn't implicate any privacy concerns unless you have already given lots of information about yourself like your location, your name, etc. I could know down to the minute when you login each day but I don't know who you are or where you live, etc.
    – TylerH
    Aug 9 at 15:41
  • You're asserting the issue does not exist. There is evidence that it does: that people have complained about it in comments on this issue, and that SO staff have reported that other complaints exist. The fact that there are other possible mitigations exist also does not prevent the issue existing (in fact, they are further evidence that it does actually exist). Aug 9 at 23:10
  • 3
    @SteveBennett If complaints were enough evidence for something to occur, this entire change would have been reverted by now.
    – Kevin B
    Aug 12 at 15:23
  • This post only repeats what other posts have already said.
    – bad_coder
    Aug 14 at 14:11
  • 1
    @bad_coder No actually, it doesn't. 1), I have admittedly said a few things about the "last seen" metric, which many, many others have voiced complaints and requests about, but I have linked to some helpful info and given my own reasons for wanting that particular metric to return. 2), look at the timestamps of the other posts - why single this particular one out? And 3), if only a few users complained about a bad change, it would be even more unlikely to be reverted. So, ya know... nah.
    – Ollie
    Aug 14 at 16:37
44

Please drop the "reached" metric.

Previously at least it showed the number of people reached. Now it looks like I can reach 3.6 meters with my arms. What?

This metric is absolutely useless. It does not convey anything, only being there for vanity.

20
  • 20
    You mean you can reach 3.6 meters with your arms? Ha ha ha
    – user1035193
    Aug 6 at 11:34
  • 3
    @Hcaertnit Easy: pngitem.com/pimgs/m/… Aug 6 at 11:40
  • 14
    Joking aside, I fully disagree with this change. I in no way want this to be removed. As for "vanity", well, the profile picture itself is "vanity", is it not?
    – user1035193
    Aug 6 at 12:17
  • 1
    @Hcaertnit Why don't you want this removed?
    – Dharman
    Aug 6 at 12:21
  • 3
    @Dharman because I, for one, look at my reached count every single day. It gives me an overview of who viewed my posts. It also is cool to see an estimate of how many actually viewed the posts of a user. It will be really cool when someone gets up to 1B.
    – user1035193
    Aug 6 at 12:52
  • 18
    @Hcaertnit That's not how it works. The number is an estimate based on the view count of all questions in which you have posted an answer. This doesn't mean that someone saw your post, just that they opened the page where your answer is posted.
    – Dharman
    Aug 6 at 12:57
  • 3
    Yes, I understand that, I didn't mean to put it that way exactly. Does that mean that it's not useful? I don't think so.
    – user1035193
    Aug 6 at 13:00
  • I mean, at a certain point it is useless. It doesn’t change from 3.6m to something else regularly, where as how old your account is changes monthly
    – Kevin B
    Aug 6 at 13:52
  • 7
    @Hcaertnit Do you realize that the view count is "retrofitted"? As in if you post an new Answer on a 10 year old Question that already has 2.5m views, you suddenly got those views added to your account. Even if no one ever loads that Question up again. Aug 6 at 15:36
  • 4
    @Hcaertnit it really doesn't show you anything remotely reliable. Have you looked at how they derive that metric? It's laughable. Let me find you the link...
    – canon
    Aug 6 at 15:38
  • 6
    @Hcaertnit I was initially interested in the proposed metric until we realized that SO didn't have timestamped view information. Nor did they know whether your answer even made it into the viewport when the question was viewed. So, they couldn't properly correlate views on a question with when your answer was posted or whether it could even have been seen. Both of these objections, and more, were raised during the feature discussion. Someone at the top wanted "a number" and they didn't much care how it was derived; so, this is what we got.
    – canon
    Aug 6 at 15:50
  • 2
    Yeah, it makes sense. Just when I start to really like the thing I remember fatal flaws in it like that that you mentioned.
    – user1035193
    Aug 6 at 15:52
  • 11
    I have you beat. I can reach 138 kilometers with my arms. Aug 7 at 1:08
  • 1
    @RokoC.Buljan If "reached" is part of gamification then it only encourages to post answers on questions with a lot of views. What's the point in that?
    – Dharman
    Aug 8 at 23:46
  • 1
    If you find that a popular question does not have the right answer - you're really welcome to post one. If you're happy for your answer to be on page 3 without adding up (in content and quality) to the already posted ones - you're welcome to do that too - there's always reasoning users who will constructively vote, flag, and close such answers. Aug 8 at 23:56
40

In a sense "Member for" kinda gets treated like a low UID would be on slashdot. It is a vanity metric, and while it's not useful 'practically', it kinda means a fair bit to old timers. It would be nice to have that back.

7
  • 19
    Well, it's certainly wasn't without its uses - knowing that a person is fresh to the network or they have been around for ages is a useful metric during interactions. This "member for" stat should definitely be brought back! Aug 6 at 1:16
  • 17
    This was an important psychological indicator (perhaps the most important one) of how experienced a user is on a site. It's disorienting not having that number (kind of like the fact no clocks are visible inside casinos).
    – bad_coder
    Aug 6 at 1:36
  • @bad_coder how does profile age indicate experience? Plenty of people have profiles that have been around for years, yet no specific experience on a site (I do, so SmokeDetector can raise spam flags on sites I have no other participation on). Age does not say anything, and it's certainly not 'the most important one': Experience is gained through participation, so helpful flags, reviews, edits, posts are much, much stronger indications of experience than a vanity metric.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Aug 6 at 8:23
  • 4
    @Tinkeringbell Fair point, but profile age is useful when taken in conjunction with other metrics. If someone has been a member for 5 years but doesn't have much activity in terms of flags, post count, etc, I can safely assume that they are both unlikely to know much about how the site works and that they aren't very motivated to learn how the site works. I give clueless newbies a lot more leeway than someone who's been around for 5 years and is still acting clueless.
    – PM 2Ring
    Aug 6 at 15:12
  • I am hardly surprised that this measure, something that helps identify one-account-per-question 'Member for today' deadbeats/vamps, was introduced without any notification/consultation. Aug 7 at 9:39
  • @Tinkeringbell I'm not gonna do the bibliographical legwork on this one, enough to say every single modern psychological theory integrates the person over time (one random example among many see level 2 here). The same about integrating over time can be said of other fields. Removing the date deprives the community of the one single indicator over which the entire participation (in all the dimensions you mention) can be intuitively timed at a glance.
    – bad_coder
    Aug 7 at 15:28
  • 4
    @Tinkeringbell but worst, it a deprives individual users -by rendering it unimportant- and thus the community, from a sense of personal history and antiquity. It also reduces usability because now you'll have to check the activity history several clicks deep to get a rough estimate of the join date. It's an overall lose for no tangible gain, its impacts on a human level of what makes for a usual experience are broader than any shallow argument and should not be reduced to design or UX alone.
    – bad_coder
    Aug 7 at 15:37
35

While on par I actually agree with some of these changes (and by "some" I mean "yay, progress towards a responsive profile" and "okay fine if the calendar is really legacy I can live without it"), perhaps this is a learning moment.

The consecutive visit calendar UI has gone away. This is some super legacy UI that isn’t remotely mobile-friendly. The statistic will continue to be displayed for badge-earning purposes, but I think it’s a potentially toxic metric.

Had you just left it at "this isn't mobile-friendly", there wouldn't be any personal feelings about this feature that You™ removed without talking about it. As a recovering web developer, I know if things aren't supported, they're just not supported. Keeping it less about your own personal opinions and making the sentiment neutral is preferable.

Dropped the profile views metric entirely. It’s a vanity metric and we don’t think it’s worth keeping around.

Another sentiment where it's Your™ opinion injected here. The rationale might be valid, but it's not pleasant to hear it enforced from the top down, if you know what I mean.

Ultimately I'm looking forward to a responsive profile, but the reason that there's friction is that the profile we've had has always been what we've known. Yes, moving it to responsive is the prime objective, but this communication sorely lacks the kind of benevolent dictatorship-style of communication, which elaborates why you chose to make the decisions you did in clear, neutral and objective language.

So again - I'm not opposed to the change. I see Stack Exchange more on my phone than I do on the desktop. Just don't suddenly yank components of the UX that the community has come accustomed to or actually enjoys Just Because.

We were told that we would be getting a reactive profile. This is a refactor. If you want to also introduce changes to the way things work, that expands the scope of this to not just being about making the profile responsive, which needs better communication and planning than this.

5
  • 10
    Yeah, while I do disagree with your non-opposition to the changes, I do agree with the rest of what you've said, so have my upvote anyway.
    – Ollie
    Aug 6 at 15:11
  • 12
    You are the first person I have seen that uses SE more on their phone than on the desktop. That aside, a +1 for calling out the very troublesome personal reasoning behind what are probably most of the network UI/layout changes lately. "Just Because [the company wants this]" is even preferable to "Just Because [I Want This]".
    – TylerH
    Aug 6 at 15:46
  • 3
    @Ollie: After a bit of thought I revisited what it was that I was okay with. Gonna say out loud that I have absolutely no faith that the company is going to listen to feedback since the initial rollout is so very out of touch with any kind of sensible feature rollout they've done to date, and I'm going as far back as Stack Overflow's new home page.
    – Makoto
    Aug 7 at 3:10
  • 3
    The word "nonobjective" seems out of place here; did you actually mean "objective" / "nonsubjective"?
    – tripleee
    Aug 7 at 6:53
  • 3
    Or in other words: "Don't smuggle in personal preferences with a sensible cause as a front. If that's not the case, it was communicated poorly.".
    – Passer By
    Aug 7 at 16:07
35

When users have an especially long biography, to the point when it has a scroll bar, it pushes the "Communities" and the "Top Meta Posts"/"Top Network Posts" pretty far down, even on a larger screen. This also leaves a "hole" of empty space in the left side bar. From my profile:

empty space on profile

Would it be possible to sticky the Communities section (and the ones below it) below the profile picture/stats, rather than have it aligned with the new badges UI? Alternatively, could the vertical space dedicated to the biography be reduced to allow the Communities section (and friends) to be more obvious?

3
  • 8
    I was only touching that top row. Collapsing layouts like that is shockingly difficult, and is often referred to as a masonry layout. It's not impossible with the latest CSS grid spec, but could be addressed in follow-up work. There is still so much profile here to realign.
    – Aaron Shekey StaffMod
    Aug 5 at 22:37
  • 4
    @AaronShekey Could another solution be just to make the layout two columns since the avatar, Communities, Top Meta Posts, and Top network posts are all in the same column? Aug 6 at 0:01
  • 1
    @AaronShekey Surely jQuery is the solution? ;) Aug 6 at 16:42
34

Like a lot of people I am still not blessed with a widescreen monitor at work and use 3 1280 x 1024 monitors. This change, which should be good for smaller screens, has not been kind to those of us on them. Compare the pictures below, left old taken yesterday after the badge UI release and right new as of right now:


Click images to enlarge.

The two aren't quite comparable as I removed the left column for the old profile. Notice how there is a lot more information available before scrolling in the old view. This seems to be mostly caused by point 2, why this information was moved when there's a perfectly good space on the right is beyond me.

However, this does seem like it could mostly be alleviated if the line items for point 2 were spaced out horizontally and not vertically.

To go through your points:

  1. This is a nice change, I like it!
  2. As above this seems mostly pointless for now and makes less use of the real estate available
  3. I like the latter half of the change for the current user but I'm not sure about it for other users. It is a bit strange just seeing an empty white space with nothing in it and nothing to indicate what should be there (beyond just knowing what should be) and the top links do float strangely.
  4. Another nice change, making this easier to find for people is good.
  5. I don't like this, as above really. The more room horizontally has come at the expense of giving other stuff more vertical space which results in less information being visible.
  6. I'm not sure why it's toxic but I don't really have much of an opinion on this one.
  7. I know people like this one but it doesn't really matter either way for me here.

And for the hidden items:

  1. Last seen was removed - This was actually incredibly useful and I used it all the time. Has User A seen my comment, yep they've been online, okay I'll delete it. Or nope, lets leave it around for a while longer. This has even more uses for a moderator as well and some others for a normal users.
  2. Account ages has been removed - This is again incredibly useful so it's easy to tell how much guidance a user may need. Not all users that need guidance will have the "New contributor" indicator and not all "New contributors" will actually need guidance. Account age is one metric in determining this.
1
  • “Has User A seen my comment, yep they've been online, okay I'll delete it.” — Honestly, I don’t think you can always be sure of that. Sometimes, I have too many notifications to read in one go, so I’ll delay reading them until I have more time. In this case, I’m online without reading my notifications. Deleted comments are then simply lost… Aug 9 at 20:24
33

Removal of "Last Seen" goes against Stack's attempts to be "welcoming to new users".

I've noticed a substantial uptick in downvotes on new user's questions and answers, and I'm assuming it's for the same reason I'm having to downvote earlier.

Previously, I would FIRST provide a comment suggesting a change to the question -- For example, a nicely-worded heads-up that it was off-topic, with a recommendation to delete it and move it to the correct site. I'd wait a day or so, and if I still saw the question in my "Watched tags" list, I'd check to see if the user had been back online to see the comment.

I would previously be able to wait to have some (not complete) assurance that they had seen the suggestion. If they had still failed to take action, then I might downvote.

Now, without the ability to see when the user last visited, I just downvote automatically after a certain period of time. The new user may come back to find that their question has 3 or 4 downvotes before they even had a chance to take action.

That's not very "welcoming", and is likely to drive away new users.

Please bring back "Last seen", make it opt-out, and then new users can decide at some point (if and when they become regular users) whether or not to turn it off.

8
  • 4
    What would you think about an attribute (comment text color, etc.) that indicates if the OP has revisited the post since you commented a specific comment? Would something even like that be a reasonable compromise rather than showing when the user was last online? Aug 8 at 21:24
  • 2
    Being "welcoming to new users" and downvoting posts should not be connected together. You can downvote the post as soon as you read it. Don't look at the author and don't hesitate to cast your vote. That's not what welcoming is about.
    – Dharman
    Aug 8 at 22:10
  • @PimpJuiceIT Yes, I was thinking about that as well. That would certainly work, but seems like it would be a lot more development effort for the Stack developers. Aug 8 at 22:20
  • @Dharman I know we can downvote immediately, but I do like to give people a chance to fix their mistake first. I really do this regardless of the age or rep of the account. Even experienced users (dang it, even I) goof up from time to time. But for new users, my understanding is that the Stack algorithm will penalize the account at some point for "bad behavior". Aug 8 at 22:23
  • 1
    If they fix the mistakes, then you can change your vote. They had all the time in the world before posting the question. Why should we give them more time? It's a waste of my time if I have to wait for the author to improve the question, which should have been done before they posted it.
    – Dharman
    Aug 8 at 22:26
  • 14
    @Dharman new users can be more receptive to feedback and more willing to act on it when their post is not downvoted. This is partly because the site does not explain clearly how voting works and partly because of the psychological effect that downvoting inherently has, no matter how well you explain it. So if you want to increase the total amount of decent quality site content overall (by making it more likely that new users fix their mistakes) it is beneficial not to downvote immediately.
    – Marijn
    Aug 8 at 23:05
  • 3
    A compromise for hiding the "last seen" field time value for privacy reasons could mean the Stack developers may need to put in more effort helping appease to some of these logical reasons the community uses the attribute values. If they omit the value entirely and still have a way to allow to identify the other 'reasons' the community says are logical reasons they use it (not to invade someone's privacy), then they should listen to and consider putting such effort in place. I am willing to compromise on things so it may not be as easy to just undo like many of us want per "privacy". Aug 8 at 23:48
  • @Marijn Thank you so much for articulating that. You said it better than I did, but yes, that's exactly my thought process. Aug 11 at 17:33
29

If a user hasn't filled out anything in their profile, the space to the right is completely blank:

enter image description here

It would be nice if the rest of the profile page (badges, tags, etc.) were pushed up when there's no profile information filled out.

11
  • 3
    This was also true prior to this realignment.
    – Aaron Shekey StaffMod
    Aug 5 at 22:58
  • 2
    @AaronShekey Can that be improved now, though?
    – user
    Aug 5 at 22:59
  • 7
    Not when I'm only touching that top row. I'll see what can be done when I move beyond this bit.
    – Aaron Shekey StaffMod
    Aug 5 at 22:59
  • 12
    Well, it had stuff on the right before.
    – Ryan M
    Aug 6 at 2:18
  • 27
    Let's put a placeholder: "Apparently, this user likes to keep an air of mystery about them." Aug 6 at 5:25
  • @StevenPenny It's not his fault if he isn't allowed to touch anything other than the top row. I do dislike the removal of the calendar and other stats, but again, it's not as if Aaron Shekey unilaterally decided to remove those. Though those changes were not great, now that SE has feedback from the community, they'll probably only improve the profile page and not "improve" it.
    – user
    Aug 7 at 19:23
  • 3
    @user and I am pretty sure no one is attacking Aaron personally here, but since they lead the UI team, it is not unlikely that it was their decision. Plus, it happens to be their announcement, so lacking other company representatives, the frustration is obviously directed towards the person making the announcement. P.s. Which all could've been avoided should the change be discussed first. Aug 7 at 19:34
  • @OlegValter I completely agree that the change should be discussed first, and I was unaware that Aaron Shekey leads the UI team, but I don't see how making this request could hurt.
    – user
    Aug 7 at 19:38
  • 1
    @user ah, I have no issue with your request :) Just pointing out that others have good reasons for believing it has been Aaron's decision or that through them they can make their disgruntlement with the change heard by those up the decision-making chain if it wasn't thiers. Aug 7 at 19:47
  • Just judging by the way this change was implemented (no discussion beforehand, then afterward ignoring strongly negative feedback), which matches the same manner of many changes over the years, I think we have a Monkeys Paw situation here. I would be careful what you ask for Aug 7 at 19:47
  • 4
    @StevenPenny true that. Just hope that this is due to the weekend - Aaron has shown willingness to revert the changes after backlash recently, so I am very cautiously optimistic on the perspective of that actually happening. But if not, it should clearly show what the company's true stance regarding the community is. Aug 7 at 19:51
29

Some changes that you’ll see immediately:

I saw immediately (after learning about this change): "this feels like 2019 again".

You know, instead of following your new approach where you ask for feedback before making changes, you make the change and then hope a large enough fraction of the users finds them helpful.

And yes, for me, as a curator, no longer having the "last seen" with "enough granularity"; I find that bad, as that was one (among others) metric that helps to determine the amount of time/energy to put into a response/comment.

28

Hey, wasn't there a recent survey conducted about the profile page?

In December 2018, @Donna, Community Design Lead and Principal Product Designer, asked the MSE community

[emphasis in bold not mine]

Help us improve the user profile and settings

[…]

With the launch of Teams, we have yet another set of use cases that the profile & settings has to serve, and it does so in a mediocre fashion. We want to change that. Not just because Teams needs a better profile, but because Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange have needed a better, fully responsive profile for a long time.

We need your help

We’re kicking off these changes by conducting user research about what people like and dislike about the profile, and how it might be improved. […]

The number of profile views, the calendar, the date someone created an account and the last seen elements were not issues for anyone three years ago. With 204 upvotes and one downvote the highest scored answer by @ArtofCode asserted

I think the profile is actually one of the most well-thought-out parts of Stack Exchange already, and I'd question whether it actually needs much changing. I can certainly see the argument for wanting to get Teams to feature in profiles, but I'd much rather see that get worked into the existing profile in some of the free space somewhere than a whole new profile page get built.

This answer by @hat suggested that security issues were close to their heart, but no mention was made about the “member for” or “last seen” metrics; overall they too liked the profile page.

Please don't make any big changes!

I like the SE profiles. The flow is logical and compartmentalised; the organisation works well for me. If I want to check up on rep, I can go to the reputation tab with one click. If I want to see reviews I have completed, I can browse through them without too much distraction.

For the same reasons I opt for separate profiles for each site. I like to have everything in separate "areas". The current profiles are almost integrated already, anyhow; if I want to check up on another profile, it is only a click away, in the menu. However, it is a real pain to have to log in to all sites individually. For security reasons I clean cookies regularly, which forces me to log in to every profile. If logins were network-wide I would be happy.

In the quest to make profiles fully responsive, @Aaron Shekey could have looked at the results of that research and determined that features such as “last seen” and “member for” were not highly valued by users and would not be missed. In fact, "last seen” is not even directly mentioned in the company's announcement.

[emphasis in bold, mine]

  1. Various links and other stats are now under the display name and some stats behind are only viewable by you or a moderator.

In case this needs reminding, using a site is not only about posting and voting on contributions, it's about curating a community, about helping newcomers learn the ropes, explaining why their question is considered off-topic, asking the OP for clarification, encouraging authors to improve their posts, but as a user myself with nearly 9 years of experience I want to be sure I'm not wasting my breath, so I visit a person's profile and check when they last participated or logged in. This is one of the reasons why it's important to consult a spectrum of people who actively and continuously use a site–not just Stack Overflow–before making significant changes to the site.

On the other hand, in a comment, animuson ♦ said: We've actually had quite a few complaints in the past that a "Last seen" indicator public visible is a creepy and intrusive thing to have on a user profile. So I imagine the disappointment will be very 50/50 here. ;)

I've been thinking about this privacy issue a bit and apart from the argument that it's “creepy”, I've not read anything that convinces me why this statistic should be hidden from public view.

For example, I now know that the last comment by @Yxxxx was posted 18 hours ago. What do I do with that information? Do I write them a personal email? Contact him or her via LinkedIn. Do I search for a developer with that name in the town they live? I suppose I could message them on Twitter (if I had a Twitter account). In actual fact, I could do any of things at anytime thanks to the links a user chooses to post on their profile.

I have free access to a great deal of information about many users because of what is written on their profile pages not because I read they were "last seen" 18 hours ago.

If someone desires to keep secret the time they last logged in there are many workarounds, especially for a developer, to use.

Supporters for removing the "last seen" statistic argue:

  1. The "last seen" fields leaks information about user behaviour, you might consider this information not significant yourself, but this feature clearly allows everyone interested to determine when a user is accessing the site (and with enough effort to fully map the times a user is active). If I say that this information is nobody else's business but my own, then this is fundamentally a privacy argument
  1. It's a creepy metric - I don't want people to know when I was last here, and there are many people with even stronger, more visceral and life changing reasons for wanting it gone.
  1. I think removing the "last seen" field is a good idea, …[it] simply leaks too granular information and allows a sufficiently determined person to track detailed access patterns for a specific user.

People who wish to remain anonymous are free to choose whatever username and avatar they please, some go a step further and use a fake user number. They leave their biography box empty, they don't chat, they don't participate on meta sites, they do very little, if any, interaction with other users. Stack Exchange allows users to set up multiple accounts and hide their accounts in their network profile, e.g. a user appears to have one account on their network profile when they may have joined 80 communities using multiple accounts, which SE allows users to create. And finally, SE allows users to lurk, to stop posting for years, and to create throwaway accounts. In fact, on Stack Overflow there are millions of accounts that are lying idle. So, if I am serious about guarding my privacy, i.e. it's nobody's business what I do in my work/spare time, SE gives me plenty of tools to do precisely that. I know nothing about computing so think what a developer is capable of knowing and doing if privacy is a security issue for them.

  • Can someone please give a real-life scenario why the "last seen" feature is an invasion of privacy or poses a serious threat?

How is that type of data different from posting an answer or a comment which comes complete with edit and time stamps?

11
  • 2
    Real-life scenario: A neighbor or colleague looks over my shoulder and sees my user name, next Friday night I'm having drinks and working on a programming answer from the privacy of my house he can tell everyone I was up at 3AM instead of being a sleep. (Not that it's anyone's business, but that's how people controlling others work.)
    – bad_coder
    Aug 10 at 12:25
  • 12
    @bad_coder That paints an uglier picture of the neighbour or colleague than you not sleeping at 3 am. So, not knowing the time you logged on protects your privacy more than knowing who "bad coder" is in real life?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Aug 10 at 12:28
  • 4
    @bad_coder If you posted that answer, the “last seen” stat being hidden doesn’t help. Here’s a better, actually-happened scenario. A user got obsessed with another user and stalked them across the network. The last seen metric was just one way they could tell they were online, but they could tell they were active even if they didn’t post, so they would start pinging them in chat, comments, etc with vile messages, sometimes deleting them so they would be in their notifications but unflaggable. The root problem was not the last seen metric though. It was the inability to have a private profile.
    – ColleenV
    Aug 10 at 13:47
  • 11
    Complaining about the privacy issue of “last seen” when users have to have all of their interactions on the network public is basically rearranging deck chairs on the titanic. If we really cared about creepy people stalking us, we would demand the option to make our our profiles private. Moderation requires that posts exist long enough to be flagged, but if a stalker knows you are currently active, they can get their message to you and delete it faster than the community or moderators can protect you from it. The only solution is to not visit the site until your stalker is dealt with.
    – ColleenV
    Aug 10 at 13:59
  • 3
    Privacy doesn't require that I prove that it causes me harm if that information is public. Some information is simply nobody elses business, I don't need to justify myself if I don't want that information public. The "last seen" field is essentially an activity tracker for passively visiting the site, with very high time-resolution and per-site resolution as well. When exactly I read which site is nobody elses business. Aug 10 at 14:04
  • @ColleenV not replying to taunts and taking screenshots of hurtful comments also help. Gather your evidence... and eventually a bully always shows their true colours.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Aug 10 at 14:04
  • 3
    @Mari-LouA I wasn’t the victim, and the messages weren’t taunts. They were scary and horrible and no-one should have had to read one word of them. But stuff stays in your inbox even if it’s been deleted as rude/abusive. Maybe we should fix that instead of getting rid of vanity metrics and “toxic” encouragement to visit every day.
    – ColleenV
    Aug 10 at 14:10
  • 3
    I agree; I haven't yet seen a good argument either as to why this "passive activity tracking" is something to be guarded. We're not talking about real locations, and the abuse vector is extremely limited. Obviously less information given = "more privacy", but I still don't find any of the reasons presented so far by that camp as compelling in any meaningful way.
    – zcoop98
    Aug 10 at 14:10
  • 2
    There's been a feature request to remove last seen for nearly 12 years, and this feature request was well received; so it's not entirely true that they weren't issues for anyone.
    – gerrit
    Aug 10 at 14:10
  • 7
    @MadScientist It is IMO inarguably true that no-one has to justify wanting to keep something private; the one wanting to know it needs to justify why they need it. Privacy is a human right. That said, the issue is the lack of control over what is private and what isn’t. I should be allowed to share that information to get the benefit that provides, not be limited by what someone else thinks is private and what isn’t.
    – ColleenV
    Aug 10 at 14:18
  • 1
    Given enough time, all popular tech sites reveal that they do not care about user concerns. Survey data cannot influence this behavior.
    – gone
    Aug 12 at 14:25
25

There're no source strings to translate for "reached" and "Edit profile". Checked via https://ru.traducir.win

unable to translate

2
23

If the profile picture is not large enough it is not scaled to fit the width and the gray background area overlaps with the stats area. Well, it looks ungraceful to me.

enter image description here

6
  • Apparently, the grey background is applied to the image (??). I expected it to be applied to the image container (.gravatar-wrapper-* class) Aug 6 at 0:11
  • 2
    @luk2302 That's why there's a saying: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The agenda here however seems to be fond of leaving bugs around while breaking what was perfectly fine :D
    – LoremIpsum
    Aug 7 at 22:11
  • 3
    @LoremIpsum oh, I think that's how modern frontend development works :) Change for change's sake. Granted, it is also hard to convince your employer that you are doing something if not much changes visually, so here we are with a bunch restyles/layout mangling/you name it. Aug 9 at 0:18
  • 1
    There are also problems if the picture has the wrong aspect ratio: i.stack.imgur.com/5yM4R.png
    – Nick
    Aug 9 at 14:30
  • 1
    Got a link to this profile? Struggling to reproduce this one.
    – Aaron Shekey StaffMod
    Aug 10 at 19:28
  • 3
    Ah got it, it's when the profile image is teeny tiny. I was worried about them being too huge.
    – Aaron Shekey StaffMod
    Aug 10 at 19:51
23

I’ve given this some thought and I think I can articulate why I have such a strongly negative reaction to this change.

My profile is my avatar on the Stack Exchange network. It’s the only place the community can’t edit and the only place “fluff” is allowed. Y’all are treating changes to my page and what information is displayed there like it is just about the UI and your server performance. You took away information I liked on my profile without giving me any warning or input and then essentially called me silly for caring about “vanity” stats in a place that is supposed to be all about me. The justification for some of these changes is (very patronizingly) what you imagine is “for our own good” instead of a data driven decision that I might not like, but could accept because it’s based on something rational.

If removing “last seen” was really about privacy, you would be working to give me more control over what was shared on my profile and what wasn’t. Do you think David is proud of the Stellar Question badge earned on one of the worst scored posts on Meta? Shouldn’t he have a choice of whether that badge is showcased on his profile? If “last seen” is so creepy, why can’t I choose to hide my reviews from my activity? No-one needs to know when I’m in the queues.

Profiles are not just another page on the site that needs to be made responsive; they are personal and y’all should have more sensitivity to that. You should not be changing them arbitrarily. We should have input to the changes, and the reasons for the changes should be supported by data and facts, not someone’s opinion about whether a badge for a login streak is toxic.

2
  • 8
    And I do understand that it’s simply not feasible to collect data for every decision, but it is a good idea to verify hunches about things that are highly visible externally. If you feel that the calendar display is encouraging behavior that causes a negative user experience, then verify it. You may learn something surprising that you could leverage into providing a positive experience, not just getting rid of a negative one.
    – ColleenV
    Aug 10 at 19:14
  • 1
    I support you. Had to sort by old and go to the very bottom to see the new answers from reasonable people. It's that bad
    – parsecer
    Aug 21 at 3:34
22

Why is the calendar on click of consecutive visited days removed?

Enter image description here

I think it was a good feature to see my present days and not present days.

4
  • 12
    Dang, I never realised there was a calendar-on-click!
    – MrWhite
    Aug 7 at 11:43
  • 2
    @MrWhite It's was really nice on sites you don't visit often. I envy your "bliss of ignorance". Aug 7 at 21:32
  • 3
    That was an actual calendar? 8 years on SO and never thought that had a click event :facepalm:
    – Camilo
    Aug 9 at 8:35
  • 6
    @CamiloTerevinto there is a saying that you never know what you had till it's gone - never thought it would be so ironically applicable to SE, though Aug 9 at 8:44
19

As the eyes get used to it, it is normal for each change in the UI to get negative reactions at first. As developers, we know the situation well due to our customers. Perhaps people can get used to that profile UI after a while. But I think you should ask us about similar changes with a poll or whatever before you implement it.

By the way, you dropped the views from the profile, but we can see it with this query from SEDE:

select Views,* from Users where Id=UserId

At least I can see my actual value :) Please don't remove this field from the query page.

18

A minor detail, but the tilde (~) was removed from the People reached count on your main profile. It's still on the main activity page, though.

1
  • 1
    Yeah, not to mention that it's not even close to being precise! It's a sum of total question views, not the views since you've posted an answer on them...
    – EvgenKo423
    Aug 9 at 10:01
17

If the user hasn't set any details, the time details aren't aligned

If none of the location, website, etc. links/info is set, the (you and mod) info with membership time etc. floats unaligned in a weird looking way.

enter image description here

3
  • 3
    How are you able to see "last seen"?
    – GoodDeeds
    Aug 5 at 23:02
  • 14
    @GoodDeeds I'm a mod. We get special powers :) Aug 5 at 23:02
  • 18
    Ah ok, wish it was still available to regular users.
    – GoodDeeds
    Aug 5 at 23:04
16

The 'Last seen' was useful for deciding whether to comment on old answers. Before if I saw an old answer to a question and wanted to leave a comment asking for clarification, I could look at when the user was last seen to get an idea as to how likely the user was to reply to my comment and how long I might need to wait for a response. I mean if the user had for instance been last seen that day I could more reasonably expect a response than if the user had been last seen 3 years ago and leaving a comment would be more likely to be worth it in the former than in the latter. Now if I see an answer to an old question and am confused about something the user says in the answer I'm less motivated to comment asking for clarity as its harder to know if my comment will actually be worth it.

5
  • 4
    ... or to answer old questions.
    – MrWhite
    Aug 10 at 9:00
  • 2
    @MrWhite I thought Questions were for everyone. Answering one would be for everyone. Not just for the Question author, no? Aug 10 at 9:48
  • 3
    @Unconsidered Unless the question has high views or the OP is a frequent visitor any new answers rarely get a response, so the incentive to spend time answering is reduced.
    – MrWhite
    Aug 10 at 10:28
  • 1
    I second @Unconsidered and add that the same applies to comments to both Q and A: They are for everyone. There's always the potential – 24/7/365/<years from now on> – that another user comes round and has something valuable to say to your comment which is helpful for ... everyone again, completely independent of the OP or Answerer. Aug 12 at 18:42
  • cont'd: Q.E.D.: I stopped working on an answer recently since the OP refused to follow conventions. On the next day I could link to this answer in a comment to an other question from an other user. Aug 13 at 9:02

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