I prefer the older tag page. What do you guys think?

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    Everyone is negative about the new designs. Not only on SE, though. Also the Twitter app, Facebook, Xcode 4. Appearantly, redesigns always suck? – rightfold Mar 11 '11 at 5:33
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    Now I am scared of so many changes in short period of time. – Naveed Mar 11 '11 at 5:43
  • Bad subjective. «it is a rant disguised as a question: “______ sucks, am I right?”» «there is no actual problem to be solved: “I’m curious if other people feel like I do.”» «real questions have answers, not opinions» etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. – badp Mar 21 '11 at 18:24

I prefer the older tag page. What do you guys think?

Well I like it, but then again I wrote a fair bit of it.

The new tags page includes interesting statistics about the tag, I can tell how active it is this week,month,year.

There is a great little link for editors to directly edit wikis from there, which should save lots of time and help populate wikis.

The excerpt is not too obtrusive and does not take up to much space.

Overall I see this redesign as a big win, we now have the huge tag link as a destination, not just a link you click when you are searching for a tag. All the old functionality is maintained.

  • @waffles: There's one thing I find really strange. It says e.g. "15 month, 93 year" in the last line. From your answer I understand that this is the activity, but that didn't come to me at all when I saw it first. My first thought was "SO hasn't been around for 93 years, has it?" – Hendrik Vogt Mar 11 '11 at 10:27
  • @Hendrik, I just added a tooltip, any other suggestion to improve this? – waffles Mar 11 '11 at 10:54
  • @waffles: Definitely better; I had tried hovering the mouse already and got disappointed. No other suggestions, sorry. For my part, that line could just go away, but that's my personal opinion; the info there is of no use to me. – Hendrik Vogt Mar 11 '11 at 10:58
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    @waffles: What about 15/month, 93/year? I like the info, but the first time I saw it it looked like a grammar error and was confusing. – Jan Fabry Mar 11 '11 at 13:24
  • I don't want all this information. It's the same as the users page. You're throwing gobs of information at us, most of which we don't care about, and it's overwhelming. I'm sorry, I do hate to dump on the work you guys are doing but it just isn't a good design. The edit link (which only shows itself when you mouse over) is the only part that I do like. – Aarobot Mar 11 '11 at 16:44
  • @aaro you could install a user script to modify the page to your tastes -- see stackapps.com/?tab=scripts – Jeff Atwood Mar 12 '11 at 6:05
  • Ugh, not the user script workaround again. That's fine for Stack Overflow but surely you can't honestly expect the Cooking or Photography communities to go for that? This is like Desktop Linux all over again. – Aarobot Mar 12 '11 at 15:55
  • @Aarobot ... is this really that bad? how often do you visit this page? is it better for new users? what do you do when you visit this page? ... personally I think you are overreacting, I barely ever visited the tags page, and when I did it was just to look up a tag. – waffles Mar 12 '11 at 19:58
  • Is it the worst thing I've ever seen? No. Is it noticeably less usable than the original version? Definitely. There's no regard for the way people scan pages with their eyes; it's really, really hard to parse all the information when there is information, and obviously when there isn't information it just looks silly. I would frankly consider the information overwhelming especially for new users - you could have accomplished roughly the same thing, but much more readable, with a vertical 2-column table like the badges screen. – Aarobot Mar 12 '11 at 21:03
  • Does SO collect statics on any of the changes? For instance after this change the only time I hit the "tags" is by accident. If the general population doesn't like a change they will use a feature less often, and this should be quantifiable. – Rook Mar 21 '11 at 23:37

It looks "OK" to me on Stack Overflow where most of the top tags have wikis (I'm not saying I like it, just that I can tolerate it) but it looks pretty brutal on Stack Exchanges, where the whole page is almost nothing but white space.

Maybe this could revert to the default view if fewer than 75% or so of the tags have descriptions?

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    or, maybe the community would be incentivized to fill out tag excerpts for the first page? – Jeff Atwood Mar 11 '11 at 2:44
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    @Jeff: Artificially making the page look like a dog's breakfast when it looked perfectly fine before is a highly inappropriate way to "incentivize" that. I was even going to pre-emptively point that out but honestly didn't think that could possibly be the motivation here. – Aarobot Mar 11 '11 at 2:46
  • @aaro it is, so your community can fill the excerpt, or I will do it for you. Either way works for me.. I'll spend all weekend on it. – Jeff Atwood Mar 11 '11 at 2:50
  • @Jeff and what about people who click through to the second and third pages, and so on? You do realize that 9 out of 10 (maybe more) people who go to that page have no interest in doing that? Are you personally going to fill out excerpts for all the tags on every site? I'm all for encouraging people to fill in tag wikis and I liked the gentle nudging of the badges and tooltips... but this is basically trying to force people and that is aggressively user-hostile behaviour. – Aarobot Mar 11 '11 at 3:12
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    @aaro I will personally fill out all page 1 tags excerpts on all sites, yes, for those that aren't yet populated. Unless you have a good idea of some machine-generated thing to put there instead? – Jeff Atwood Mar 11 '11 at 3:16
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    Exactly, it's just not reasonable to expect that every tag is magically going to end up with a wiki within a few days of a change like this. What's actually going to happen is that it looks like crap for weeks or months or indefinitely as new tags get added and shift around the list. On a site that gets 10-20 questions a day, there are going to be very few people who bother with wikis. You've got to assume that for the purposes of this page, many tags aren't going to have wikis, and make the design accommodate that. – Aarobot Mar 11 '11 at 3:53
  • @raven this discussion is why we did it; we wouldn't be having it otherwise, and tag excerpts could be safely swept under the rug and forgotten forever as they have been in the past. It emphasizes the importance of the tag wikis, at least for page 1 tags that describe what a site is. – Jeff Atwood Mar 11 '11 at 4:01
  • @aaro all I care about (and all the vast, vast majority of users will ever see) is page 1. I have no problem assisting to make sure all page 1 tag excerpts are set on all sites. – Jeff Atwood Mar 11 '11 at 4:20
  • @Jeff: Have you determined that the tags page is where a significant number of people form their opinion of a SE site? I would think it would be the sites root or questions page. By the time they get to exploring the tags page, aren't they already hooked in? Don't they already know what the site is? – raven Mar 11 '11 at 4:23
  • @raven the tag excerpts go a long way toward educating people about what the site is, and what the tags mean. I'm very happy to put them front and center. Just editing them to get into shape here on meta is quite illuminating. – Jeff Atwood Mar 11 '11 at 6:29
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    @Jeff: the people who need the tag wikis are never going to visit the tags page. You're lucky if they happen to hover over a tag and notice the description that pops up. You've made the tag wiki page ugly just to spite the users who already know the value of tags. I really don't understand how this is a good thing in any sane universe. – Marti Mar 11 '11 at 7:04
  • @Jeff: On the main sx sites, I think I'll learn to prefer the new design. However, on meta.tex.sx, we have hardly any tag wikis, and I don't think they're that important. Maybe for the mod tags, yes, but we should fill out all the tag wikis on the main site before bothering about meta. In short: For meta.tex.sx, I don't like it at all. – Hendrik Vogt Mar 11 '11 at 9:50
  • @hendrik we'll be pushing all the common meta tag wikis to all meta sites, so don't worry about that. It's the main site page 1 tags that should be quite good (and to a lesser extent page 2) – Jeff Atwood Mar 11 '11 at 9:56
  • @Jeff: Thanks a lot for the info. That would be very helpful indeed. On tex.sx, the page 1 tags are quite good already; page 2 is still nasty. – Hendrik Vogt Mar 11 '11 at 9:58

The only thing I ever used the old tag page for was searching for tags. Since that still works just fine, I have no problems with it being changed.

That said, the last line of long summaries is cut in half on Stack Overflow and looks lousy - that should probably be fixed. But even with it broken, it's no worse than the old page (which didn't show summaries at all.


I don't really see the point of the redesign of that page except to make it match the new Users page design.

  • For me at least, showing fewer tags means showing less information. This also means a lot more paging if people are actually browsing through the tags (something I've never done; not to say people don't do that).

  • When searching for tags, especially a broad search, the result tags themselves are very spread out on the page visually, making it more difficult to consume the results.

  • I find the new page order (changed from [top-to-bottom, left-to-right] to [left-to-right, top-to-bottom]) quite annoying because I expect the page to be a list of information. (I realize the same thing happened to the Users page, but it's less annoying there somehow.)

  • If I'm a programmer, on Stack Overflow, do I really need to see what the C# tag means right on the page? We already have the tag popups which show the same information (more, actually) if users are curious. Yeah, the popups aren't really obvious, but they tend to pop up so aggressively that they're really hard to miss.


Yeah, Its crowded, and some descriptions are not intended to fit in the ~100 chars, so some are cut off, becoming not-so-useful descriptions.

But I believe they are still working on it at the moment. It might not be final page yet.


I preferred the old tab page, but I can see the usefulness of displaying the descriptions. I see two problems with this, however.

First, many descriptions are truncated. It looks silly. Either the character limit for the excerpts should be reduced to avoid truncation or the design should be changed to accommodate longer excerpts.

Secondly, when you get past the first few pages on most sites (i.e. not Stack Overflow), you end up with a lot of unnecessary whitespace. It's not really aesthetically pleasing. Even if the goal is to encourage the creation of tag-wikis, you can't reasonably expect little-used tags to have a wiki.

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