LW Update 2019-04-02 – Frontpage Rework

by Raemon1 min read2nd Apr 20198 comments


Site Meta

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

  • Tooltip oriented design.
    • It's easier to figure out what most things will do before you click on it.
  • Navigation Menu
    • Helps establish the overall site hierarchy
    • Available on all major site pages (not Post Pages, where we want people to read without distraction)
    • Improved mobile navigation (shows up as a tab menu at the bottom)
    • Eventually we'll deprecate the old Nav Menu (still available in the header) and replace it with a collapsible version of the new one.
  • Home Page streamlining
    • Moved Recommend Sequences and Community over to the Nav Menu, so there are only 3 sections to parse
    • Post Items simplified down to one line.
    • Latest Posts now only have a single setting: "show personal blogposts", instead of forcing you to figure out immediately what "meta", "curated" and "daily" are.
    • Post List options are generally 'light cobalt blue' – not too obtrusive, but easier to find when you want them.
  • Questions Page now has two sections:
    • Recent Activity – simply sorted by "most recently commented at", so if you respond to an old question it will appear above the fold.
    • Top Questions – also sorted by "recently commented", but filtered to questions with 40 or more karma, so that it's easier to catch up on updates to highly upvoted questions.
  • Community Page
    • UI updated to match Home Page.
    • The group section now shows 7 groups instead of 3, and has a load more button.


8 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 10:46 PM
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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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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)

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