I don't like having to click on a few different links, scrolling down, or mousing over different areas to see what has changed.

I spend too much time on SE sites as it is and I feel it takes too long to view all the recent changes since my last visit.

I miss having one location to see

  • Detailed rep changes (breakdown of how I got the rep, not a single lump figure)
  • Comments
  • Answers
  • Favorite updates

I'm going to suffer for posting this, but we're probably not going to get the /recent page back. It's been stated by the Team since the dawn of the display name dropdown (whatever we're going to call it these days) that the page was going to be removed eventually, and was only retained as a measure of "safety blanket" while the changes were being pushed. Even the announcement on the blog post noted that the page will be removed.

If you click on your reputation number in the top, it will provide you that breakdown just as before - no mousing over required at all. It highlights the most recent changes since your last view. And like with the old page, just to the right, you'll see your new responses and revisions, just like on /recent. No comment on favorites, but there are some feature requests for improving that section more, and I agree with them.

Conceptually, this process may feel like more work, but on average it actually represents equal or even less clicks than the old page. It's just on the other side of your name than where the envelope was.

The landing page on /recent was an aggregation of the 5 most recent reputation changes and the 5 most recent responses, within the period of time since you last checked it. So if you checked it recently and went to check again just to see the changes of the day, it'd be blank. Or if there were more than 5 events, you'll need to expand it again. You'd have to change the timespan first, then possibly have to go into the reputation and response tabs in order to get a better readout than the collected page. Maybe also go to revisions and favorites.

In the new system, clicking your reputation immediately brings you to your reputation breakdown, and highlights and expands your "changes since last visit" rather than simply hiding everything else. Then it only takes one click to check out your responses, which are likewise highlighted rather than scoped down. In the case of reputation as well, the default expanded timeline is a full week, rather than just "since last visit", if there are no new events. Less timestamps and trimmed (this is the key point here) collective pages to deal with, which only gets better if you've been away for a long period of time.

As such, when your goal is a detailed breakdown of multiple events (and if you are consistent in using these pages, thus ensuring the highlighting matches your recent views), the profile page often is faster by cutting out the trimmed landing page. As noted in the comments below, this is largely susceptible to the level of activity you expect. If your activity made the trimmed summary sufficient for all purposes, it consequently does take at least an additional click. It's up to the user whether or not the dropdown's recent reputation overview and the global inbox's quick notice make up for this situation.

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  • I still prefer the previous design but hey... even Google went through breaking changes and looking at the big picture, it's for the best. When redecorating the house, some items ought to get misplaced but it doesn't mean they're not there anymore. :-) – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Apr 5 '11 at 13:01
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    Clicking on my reputation doesn't do the same thing. I have different pages (and therefore different links) for Reputation, Responses, Answers, and Favorites. I LIKED having it only show changes since my last visit. I love going to one location and seeing "No new information" in which case I can continue my work, or a snapshot of what has changed so I can review it quickly then continue my work. If I cared to see anything else there is always the Today or This Week link. I don't like having to actually review the data to see if anything has changed. – Rachel Apr 5 '11 at 13:06
  • Let's face it, it just isn't. Unless, as you pointed out, you've been away for a long period of time. But I doubt the aim of the new system is to make users visit the site less often. :) – biziclop Apr 5 '11 at 13:08
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    I feel like they made it more user-friendly for high-rep users, or users who spend a lot of time on the site, while they degraded it for users who stop by here when they need a break from work and that only answer a handful of questions a week. – Rachel Apr 5 '11 at 13:09
  • @Rachel Our experiences differ - on sites where I have little reputation, it's helped me just as much as here on Meta Stack Overflow. I'm comfortable with using the global inbox and the display name dropdown to get the most recent stuff without needing to change my page, but I acknowledge that not everyone is comfortable doing that. I suggest supporting the feature request I linked in a comment to your question, if the aggregation of reputation and responses on a single page is your most desired feature. The chances of getting the old /recent reinstated, though, are pretty nonexistent. – Grace Note Apr 5 '11 at 13:12
  • @biziclop "It just isn't" what? I'm sorry but I'm not sure whether you're targetting the speed claim or something else. – Grace Note Apr 5 '11 at 13:16
  • @Grace Yes, my main goal is to get a summary page back. I'd prefer it if it only showed changes since my last visit by default, however failing that I'd still be happy with a summary page showing all recent activity in one place – Rachel Apr 5 '11 at 13:21
  • @Grace Note Sorry, I reacted to the last line, that it's faster. One can argue that it's better this way, and the cynic in me says it's probably also easier on server resources, but faster it definitely isn't. – biziclop Apr 5 '11 at 13:36
  • @biziclop I should probably qualify that line then. Thanks. – Grace Note Apr 5 '11 at 13:38
  • @biziclop: That's indeed what Nick Craver mentioned in a comment in that (deleted) mother of all Eeeek posts: The /recent page was computationally too expensive. – Hendrik Vogt Apr 5 '11 at 16:07
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    I used RECENT to track responses to my answers and comments, so I could revisit those to see what people have said. So, I bookmarked the RECENT page and it was the first thing I would visit each day, and open tabs on each of the unique items listed there. The dropdown is not bookmarkable, and gives no visual feedback on what you've already revisited. It is also difficult to navigate, as it's too small and you can't tell without careful parsing what's a response and what's a reputation change. FWIW, it seems that the Reputation and Responses pages give me what I need here and are bookmarkable. – David-W-Fenton Apr 6 '11 at 18:17

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