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(This is a general question and isn't specifically asking about one particular change.)

In the current times, quite a few radical changes are being made to the Stack Exchange engine, such as the question list changes and user profile changes.

Recently, there was one such UI change made which I strongly dislike, as it either:

  • breaks my workflow
  • is hard for me to use and understand
  • de-implements some feature that I use quite frequently
  • is bad for [other reason X]

I (or other users) have filed feature requests asking for changes to be made to better suit my workflow, but these changes have either been:

  • declined or marked as by design
  • not responded to in a long time
  • given a staff response agreeing with the request (e.g. a marking as planned or deferred), but no action has been taken on them in a long while

I've also made repeated attempts to get used to the new UI, but after a long time, I'm still unhappy with the new UI and would strongly prefer the old UI.

I understand that it's important that SE update these pages so that they fit into the ultimate goal of having a completely responsive design. However, I dislike the current implementations of those updates and would prefer to go back to the old UI while I wait for these issues to be resolved and hopefully implemented.

How can I make a request for the team to either:

  • revert back to the old design, temporarily or indefinitely, or
  • provide a way to switch back to the old design temporarily (as was done with the 2018 site design changes)?

Also, what are the chances that such a request will actually succeed?


I've noticed that many of these recent changes are quite negatively received, with extremely low vote scores: several of the bottom 20 scored questions here on this site are announcements for recent feature changes. This question, once answered, is intended as a resource to help users make stronger arguments for making such a change, so they'll be more likely to be actioned by the team or at least result in some adaptation.

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    I'm pretty sure once the current set of changes are solidified or maybe before, someone's going to throw togetjer a userscript to revert all the changes
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Jan 25 at 0:42
  • 1
    @JourneymanGeek see Legqcy Questions
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Jan 25 at 6:33

1 Answer 1

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Can I ask for a recent feature change to be reverted in whole

You certainly can... but let me rephrase your question:

Should I ask for a recent feature change to be reverted wholly?

Well, if:

  • You were not notified about it before it happened, or
  • You were notified, but were not afforded enough of an opportunity to voice your objection, or
  • You objected, but your objection got no serious rebuttal

then - you most definitely should.

and what are the chances of such a request succeeding?

I would guess they are low. That does not mean it is not important to voice your objection.


Also:

I understand that it's important that SE update these pages so that they fit into the ultimate goal of having a completely responsive design.

Please dis-understand this. I'm not sure what a "completely responsive design" is, but if getting there means making parts of the site annoying to use, then maybe we can tweak that ultimate goal a little.

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    In this context, "responsive" = "works on mobile without needing two different UIs."
    – Kevin
    Jan 25 at 6:54
  • 2
    I don't think getting there necessarily means making the UI worse; in fact, it could make it better, and the goal itself is quite reasonable (but of course any change can make things worse, as seen in a couple of recent examples).
    – tim
    Jan 26 at 17:53
  • @tim: I did say if. As for the goal being reasonable - goals which include terms like "complete", "total", "without exception", "every single" - are suspicious/scary to me. I'm not necessarily against them, but I would need a lot of clarity before I support that kind of rhetoric.
    – einpoklum
    Jan 26 at 18:38
  • @Kevin In that case if it messes up desktop use then responsive is a very bad thing. Desktop and mobile are different so why not have two different UI - Attempts to combine them by people with more resources than SX have failed e.g. Microsoft
    – mmmmmm
    Jan 29 at 9:11
  • @mmmmmm: Because developer-hours are expensive and the cost (in dollars) to SE, Inc of maintaining two UIs greatly exceeds the cost (also in dollars) that they incur as a result of users being unhappy with said UI on desktop. That's capitalism. shrug
    – Kevin
    Jan 30 at 21:09

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