LW Update 2019-04-02 – Frontpage Rework

post by Raemon · 2019-04-02T23:48:11.555Z · LW · GW · 8 comments

Since LW2.0 launched, the frontpage had become very complex – both visually and conceptually. This was producing an overall bad experience, and making it hard for the team to add or scale up features (such as Q&A, and later on Community, Library and upcoming Recommendations)

For the past couple months, we've been working on an overhaul of the frontpage (and correspondingly, the overall site design). Our goal was is to rearrange that complexity, spending fewer "complexity points" on things that didn't need them as much, so we could spend them elsewhere.

Frontpage Updates


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comment by MakoYass · 2019-04-04T00:48:26.458Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Moving the library out of the way is probably a good idea. A friend had mentioned in the past that greaterwrong just immediately showing a bunch of article titles of the articles did a better job of catching their eye with something they could read quickly.

The titles seem to have very little room before getting cut short. If you want to encourage conscious usage patterns, you want to enable descriptive titles. You don't want a user's rapport with the site to resemble a person's rapport with an advent calendar. I think more text should be shown, maybe in a smaller font.

Replies from: Raemon
comment by Raemon · 2019-04-04T00:55:30.008Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yeah. I have a lot of mixed feelings about the new post item. We're looking into some options to expand the titles at least somewhat but I'm not sure it'll really solve the problem.

Do note that the new tooltip hoverover shows you the full title (and some description) which I'm hoping to at least somewhat counteract the concern you mention, once people adapt to it.

comment by Chris Leong (chris-leong) · 2019-04-03T04:53:12.011Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

What's happening with regards to meta? Are they just going to be personal blogposts now?

Replies from: Raemon
comment by Raemon · 2019-04-03T05:12:49.026Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

We didn’t actually finish deciding that as a team. (So take this with a grain of salt).

My guess is that Mods will still append the meta flag to new posts for which that makes sense, but functionally they were already the same as personal blogposts in terms of appearing on frontpage, and it didn’t seem worth the complexity of trying to explain the distinction. So from a user perspective, you just create a post and the mods will decide what flags to apply.

I think it makes most sense to think of meta as a cosmetic tag rather than a broader classification.

Note that you can still view posts with the meta flag on the archive page

Replies from: Chris_Leong, Pattern
comment by Chris_Leong · 2019-04-03T07:16:48.825Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

That seems like a reasonable approach. The volume of posts on meta is low, so people generally don't need to look at it from day to day. When they do, going through archive seems reasonable. I agree that reducing complexity is worth it in this instance as it was sort of confusing before.

comment by Pattern · 2019-04-05T01:34:20.325Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

What about a Sequence? It's a collection of related posts.

Replies from: Raemon
comment by Raemon · 2019-04-05T02:09:53.935Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

We've already got the infrastructure for tagging posts meta, so most likely sticking with that.

(It did occur to me recently that the difference between a sequence and a tag is mostly cosmetic, kinda mulling that over as a concept)

comment by Ben Pace (Benito) · 2019-04-03T20:23:54.327Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I am especially interested to hear about any strong positive/negatives from mobile and tablet users.