Just want to say how great the optimisations put on the StackExchange™ SuperUserMegaDropDown™ is, especially with the addition of the click to view profile and hover to preview, I really like the last rep received section.

The last earned badges section may be slightly unnecessary as it doesn't update that often (in my case anyway) maybe a new comments section instead?

Anyway, great job and just wanted to post up my appreciation for the good work that has gone into it!

Please use this question to add other comments/suggestions for the new interface.

Proposed new layout based on comments:


  • +1, much required discussion! :) – Shadow Wizard Mar 14 '11 at 10:21

What I found most useful about the recent page was the reputation change view:

enter image description here

It allowed quickly responding to votes received (like, checking whether something's wrong in case of a downvote) and opening questions that had slipped off one's radar.

I would like the drop-down to display the same information. Preferably:

  • Show the top 5 or top 10 reputation-changing events

  • Colour code the events

  • Make it easy to distinguish between received and cast downvotes

  • I agree - see OP for a mock up. – Myles Gray Mar 12 '11 at 18:37
  • @Myles I like! - – Pëkka Mar 12 '11 at 18:37
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    ok, now I discovered who has downvoted me on Sending a mail using PHP – systempuntoout Mar 12 '11 at 20:12
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    @system Oh no! I knew that was a sock puppet of yours! – Pëkka Mar 12 '11 at 20:13
  • The real key is that it show from when you last checked it, like the Recent Activity page did. – Lance Roberts Mar 17 '11 at 23:22

I much preferred the interface on the recent activity page over the new interface. Please restore the Today/Yesterday/This Week/... buttons for viewing activity, including the summary information in the tab header. It's much cleaner and simpler than having to scroll (and read/parse the dates) to see when things happened. As much as I hate to say it, I even prefer the "button" display of the votes/reputation earned over the new totals, but I could probably get used to that. The popup adds really no value to me; the amount of information contained is too small to be of use and so it simply becomes a distraction when going to the information in the profile.

I also don't get why the tabs on the profile are organized in two groups. Is that a mobile-friendly feature? I understand the desire to reduce the overlap between recent activity and profile, but I think you recognize that you have two sets of information -- information about me and my account and information about my activities. If you are going to use two separate tab groups (I'd probably go back to two separate pages as it reduces the visual clutter and simplifies the interface), I'd arrange them as Info/Prefs/Favorites/Accounts (about me) and Stats/Reputation/Activity/Responses (about my activity).

I applaud the effort to clean up some long standing redundancies, but you've thrown away some good with the bad and added some complication where it's not needed.


This is going to sound negative, so I'll start off by saying it's good that you're actively trying to improve the site. I wouldn't want to think you were sitting still and letting it run itself. And now that the change has settled down a bit, I'd say it's actually quite a good feature and it looks to be well written.

So with that all said, lets move on to the constructive criticism...

It's replaced the envelope icon linking to the "recent activity" page, which I think is a retrograde step for a number of reasons:

Firstly, the envelope gave good visual feedback when something had changed which I hadn't previously seen. The new feature doesn't; I have to actively pull up the drop-box to see the recent changes, and even then it doesn't show me what's changed since last time. And I haven't yet worked out what the definition of 'recent' is in this context.

Secondly, the box is too small to usefully show large amounts of changes. I haven't had many changes to worry about since it showed up, so I don't know exactly how it would handle it, but if I did have more than a handful of recent changes, either the popup box is going to grow to a silly size or it's not going to show everything. Either way, it's not going to be ideal.

Thirdly, although the recent comments feature of the envelope is duplicated by the Stack Exchange popup on the left hand side of the toolbar, the envelope was always significantly quicker at reporting new comments. Presumably this has something to do with the Stack Exchange popup having to check all sites and so maybe doing a whole round-robin before reporting anything? Whatever, it's a lot slower, and I like seeing and replying to comments while they're still fresh.

One thing in general about the hover popups that have been implemented here recently: they can get annoying when they pop up when you're not expecting it. The tag info popup is particularly bad for this, since tags can appear anywhere on the screen, but I had it just now with the new profile popup as well. It's also not consistent - I've found that most of the time it just pops up, but occasionally I need to click it to make it pop up. Plus, it's inconsistent with the Stack Exchange menu on the left, which always needs a click.

Finally, I would like to comment on the way this has been handled. I'm all for agile programming and "release often/release early", but the number of votes and comments on the "Eeek" thread says a lot. I don't believe there was any need to remove the envelope icon prior to implementing this new set of features. The envelope is small enough that it could have been left in place while the new code was bedded in. It would have given people time to adjust and find their feet with the replacement features. You might also have been able to see (by continued clicks on the envelope icon) whether and when your new features had succeeded in making the envelope redundant.

  • I'm glad I'm not the only one annoyed by the tag pop ups. They're almost as bad as the pop up ads on text keywords on some sites. – tvanfosson Mar 12 '11 at 21:47
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    +1 yes yes yes. I much preferred the envelope icon. Can we get that drop-down to turn yellow when something has happened? I'd also love to see comment activity on the dropdown as well. – Byron Whitlock Mar 14 '11 at 19:17

All I ask is to have the link to the recent view (that the envelope used to link to) somewhere there.
Having this, I'll be happy. :-)


Now that we can open the profile again by clicking on the name and given that we can access the privileges page by clicking on the reputation, are those two links really necessary?

profile box

I would prefer a link to the activity page. I often go to it and have a look again at the questions or answers I commented on to see whether new information is given. I know you get notified about comments addressed to you, but not every comment with useful information for you is addressed to you ;)


profile box suggestion

Apert from that, I like the information that is given in the box :)

Update: It seems activity is there now. Thank you very much @all-who-worked-on-that :)

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    Linking the rep value to /reputation rather than privileges would make more sense to me. Privileges doesn't feel like such a priority link, do people look at it other than when they earn a new privilege? – Rebecca Chernoff Mar 12 '11 at 18:36
  • @Rebecca Chernoff: True, I seldom look at it and yes, it would make more sense to link to one of the reputation pages. But I actually meant a link to activity instead of or in addition to profile privileges. – Felix Mar 12 '11 at 18:41

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