12/31/17 Update: Frontpage Redesign

post by Benito · 2018-01-01T03:21:11.408Z · score: 16 (4 votes) · LW · GW · 15 comments

Hey folks, Oli just pushed an update to the frontpage, which includes RSS feeds. I'll list the main changes here:

Also, posts on the frontpage are just a link to the post. I found users had issues of intending to click on the post and accidentally going to the author page, or voting on it. Now if you click on it anywhere, it just takes you to the post page.

(That's a lie, there's still a comment button on the far right that takes you straight to the comment section, but that's it.)

That's all folks! Best of skill for the new year, and I'll see some of you at the 80k pillow fight tonight.

15 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Chris_Leong · 2018-01-01T09:32:34.039Z · score: 14 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I decided to post my thoughts about these changes seperately:

  • By default, community, meta and daily are hidden. I would prefer all of them to be shown, but at the least, hiding meta from new users seems like a bad idea.
  • When I visited the daily section, the personal blog post icon was showing up next to every blog post
  • I'm a huge fan of the best content stars and blog titles in recent posts, but wish they showed up in daily as well. It would also be nice if the blog title on the page that displays the post.
  • I tried visited https://www.lesserwrong.com/feed.xml?view=community&karmaThreshold=10, but it didn't seem to contain any entries.

comment by Benito · 2018-01-01T09:50:39.487Z · score: 10 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thoughts:

When I visited the daily section, the personal blog post icon was showing up next to every blog post

Yep, this is a bug, thanks for pointing it out!

By default, community, meta and daily are hidden. I would prefer all of them to be shown, but at the least, hiding meta from new users seems like a bad idea.

I believe it makes the page much more cluttered and distracting, to have all of them. Re meta, I think you're pointing to a model where many users find it difficult to find meta, and thus site changes are not understood and things aren't used. I am surprised to hear the difficulty you had finding meta. I'm curious if you had an initial, false impression as to what the three dots beneath 'frontpage' did? If people generally find it non-intuitive, then this is definitely something to be changed, and I will keep on the lookout for this in future user interviews. Thanks for the datapoint.

I tried visited https://www.lesserwrong.com/feed.xml?view=community&karmaThreshold=10, but it didn't seem to contain any entries.

Well that's definitely also a bug, cheers.

I'm a huge fan of the best content stars and blog titles in recent posts, but wish they showed up in daily as well. It would also be nice if the blog title on the page that displays the post.

Yep, that sounds correct that they should be in daily. Will think about including in the posts themselves.

comment by ChristianKl · 2018-01-01T10:43:26.673Z · score: 14 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with Chris that it would be good not to have community/meta/daily hidden by default. The amount of clutter that those options produce isn't that high and having them not hidden makes it faster for users to navigate around the website and makes them more discoverable.

I think it makes only sense to hide elements that are supposed to be seldomly used and I don't think those qualify for that.

comment by Benito · 2018-01-01T11:21:31.338Z · score: 10 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Hmm, will think about it more. I do feel like it's important to disincentivise the meta section of the site (all sites end up becoming about themselves if you don't push against it, which is why posts about the social community don't get to frontpage). Also I think that I have a stronger intuition that clutter and complexity on a page is really damaging to the average user experience.

Also, note that if you're someone who wants to always see e.g. 'community' when you land on the site, if you're logged in the last one you have open will be stored and saved for you.

comment by ChristianKl · 2018-01-01T11:47:20.447Z · score: 12 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I feel that a clear distinction to keep the meta discussion out of the normal discussion should be enough to prevent the dynamic you want to prevent.

comment by Chris_Leong · 2018-01-01T12:32:51.335Z · score: 5 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"Hmm, will think about it more. I do feel like it's important to disincentivise the meta section of the site" - Well maybe it was better when meta was in the menu then? It was discoverable, but empirically we could see that most of the discussion was occurring on the main page nonetheless.

In any circumstance, perhaps we should only be attempting to discourage meta discussion if the amount of meta-discussion starts to become a problem? The current amount of meta discussion seems completely reasonable for a relatively new site where so much is still yet to be determined.

comment by Raemon · 2018-01-01T20:52:58.587Z · score: 12 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I also think during open beta it might be better to make the meta section more accessible (so people can report bugs and discuss the evolution of the site), and if it feels like we're getting much discussion there, we have a fairly crisp moment in time (switch to lesswrong.com) where it makes sense to say "okay, now that we're done with the beta we're moving back to meta being more disincentivized."

comment by ChristianKl · 2018-01-01T12:04:16.226Z · score: 5 (1 votes) · LW · GW

How about adding a button to collapse the list and remember whether it's expanded or collapsed? That way users who want it to be expanded can have what they want and others as well.

comment by Chris_Leong · 2018-01-01T12:28:39.150Z · score: 9 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The three dots are super easy to overlook. I scanned the page for other locations where meta could located, but I couldn't see anything.

comment by gwillen · 2018-01-09T03:17:45.078Z · score: 7 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I for one did not notice there were dots below 'frontpage'. I didn't know the other options existed until I read this post. (I'm not sure that listing all the options is better; making the dots more prominent might be another option, or changing them to something like "More ...")

comment by Zachary Jacobi (zejacobi) · 2018-01-02T01:24:36.252Z · score: 13 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It appears that there's a bug on the daily page. It looks like you're determining which day a post falls on by UTC (or some other timezone that is ahead of me), but then not showing days in the future based on the users timezone (or some other criterion). As I write this, there are two posts that briefly flicker when I load daily under the heading Tuesday, January 2nd 2018, then disappear once page load is completed.

comment by Raemon · 2018-01-02T02:19:55.251Z · score: 10 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks! Yeah, we're aware of that one, will hopefully fix soon

comment by ChristianKl · 2018-01-01T10:40:16.452Z · score: 10 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Given that now the site is fast enough for things besides performance being worthy of development, how about tackling the issue of comments notifications next?

This means both actually showing a notification and also showing answer to one's comments in the Recent Comments section in https://www.lesserwrong.com/users/USERNAME the way LW does it.

Those are the most important features that are missing to have feature pariety to the Reddit version in my mind.

comment by ChristianKl · 2018-01-01T12:05:14.333Z · score: 9 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The badge for curated is currently called "best content", I think it would be better to rename it into "curated" to make it more clear what it's about.

comment by Chris_Leong · 2018-01-01T09:16:57.069Z · score: 5 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I found this change very confusing. I couldn't find the meta section and I didn't know what to do about it, as if I'm having trouble with the site, I normally check the meta section.

It would be nice if major changes could be pinned to the curated content at some point.