What are your first impressions of the public beta?
First, I appreciate the work people have done to make LW 2 happen. Here are my notes:
I don't know if there is a Schelling point for providing feedback, so I made this thread.
Speaking for myself, my reaction to LW 2.0 could be summarized as: "This is so confusing and so difficult to figure out, that I'll just... leave it for later." Before I get to the individual complaints, here is the meta one:
If you want to change dozen things about a website, don't change them all at the same time. For the user, some of them will feel like an improvement, and others may feel like an opposite of improvement; but all of them feel like an extra cognitive burden. So even if of those dozen changes 7 are in the positive and 5 in the negative direction, the overall impression may still be negative. Also, consider loss aversion; people will be more annoyed by losing a feature they liked.
Now the details:
The font seems to be bigger, and the spaces between lines also seem bigger. (I didn't actually measure it; this is my impression from looking at the page.) As a result it feels like there is much less content on the screen, which makes it more difficult to perceive as a whole, reduces my efficiency of speed reading, and makes me push Page Down more often. In general it creates w... (read more)
I made a pair of Stylish themes (for use with the Stylish browser extension, for Chrome, Firefox, etc.) that address some of the appearance / usability / typography concerns that people have been mentioning, in this thread and elsewhere. Here they are:
(There are two versions of the theme: the first version uses a serif font, the second uses a sans-serif variant. Pick whichever you like, they're identical otherwise.)
What these themes do:
UPDATE: The latest version of the themes adds the... (read more)
It turns out that the Stylish browser extension is, since January 2017, basically spyware. Firefox has just blacklisted it. LWers who, like me, installed it at some point to experiment with Lesser Wrong or Greater Wrong CSS should seriously consider uninstalling it. There's probably nothing you can do retroactively about having had every single URL you visited since installing Stylish sent off to SimilarWeb's servers (and from there presumably to SimilarWeb's customers).
I love that the attempt is being made and I hope it works. The main feedback that I have is that the styling of the comment section doesn't work for me. One of the advantages of the existing LessWrong comment section is that the information hierarchy is super clear. The comments are bordered and backgrounded so when you decide to skip a comment your eye can very easily scan down to the next one. At the new site all the comments are relatively undifferentiated so it's much harder to skim them. I also think that the styling of the blockquotes in the new comments needs work. Currently there is not nearly enough difference between blockquoted text and comment text. It needs more spacing and more indenture, and preferably a typographical difference as well.
As has been mentioned a couple times already...I don't know how I'm supposed to use the site.
I go there and then I'm just like "now what?".
It looks like there's different places I can go to read different subsets of all available posts. How do I know I'm not missing any posts?
When I go to lesserwrong.com, there's a huge section at the top of stuff I've already read and it's always there. I have to scroll below the fold to see new content.
So the first section I see when I scroll down is called "Featured Posts". What makes these posts featured?
Next section is "Recent Frontpage Posts". What's a "Frontpage" post? Am I missing some sort of non-frontpage posts by just reading this section?
Under the "Frontpage" posts heading there's a couple of links that look like they're supposed to filter the posts. Maybe I should be reading the "see all posts" link. Does that mean all "frontpage" posts and leaves out non-frontpage posts? I dunno.
I find it very difficult to find and follow discussions on the new site. The content is very slow to load for me (on various devices) and I've given up rather than trying to work my way down.
The scoring system doesn't make sense to me but this may just be a matter of getting used to it / users settling into some kind of routine. Anyway easy enough for me to select "most recent" and squint past the scores based on other users' ratings for now.
I'm also embarrassed by the term "Sunshine Regiment". I can see what you're trying to do but it has an incredibly strong negative impact on me whenever I see it.
You say impressions, but I'm assuming this is just the "things I want changed" thread :)
Vote button visibility and responsiveness is a big one for me. Ideally, it should require one click, be disabled while it messages the server, and then change color much more clearly.
First time, non-logged in viewers should probably not see the green messaging blob in the corner, particularly on mobile.
I agree that some kind of demarcation between comments, and between comments and "write a new comment", would be nice. Doesn't have to be 2009 internet boxes, it can be 2017 internet fading horizontal lines or something.
Hi, over here at the LessWrong Survey team we've also been collecting reactions to LW 2.0:
I feel like the site is not well laid-out. It's not easy to tell where to click to see the ongoing discussions. The grey font (as opposed to black, and also the post layout) and lack of clear demarcations is not visually pleasing (to me), and it's also not as readable as it could be.
One feature makes it worth it on its own: People are posting stuff without worrying as much about if it's "good enough" or fits the theme as well (suddenly we're getting posts from everyone again).
The site itself is kind of annoying though, so my main interactions are reading the article in my RSS feed, opening the page, voting, then closing the page.
I like the bigger font size, but agree that might be excessive (16px seems about right to me).
Commenting needs some serious UX attention. The comment box doesn't look like a comment box and the text ... (read more)
I haven't posted on LW for a while now, but after posting to LW2.0 I got banned (till 2021) very quickly. My posts were also deleted. I was not told why I was banned, although I assume it was because I entered a fake email (I was annoyed that the new site required an email and not just a username). I asked why I got banned, and received no response.
Well, I'm sorry for using a fake email. I wasn't trying to spam, or sockpuppet or anything, but I think a 3 year ban without any sort of warning or explanation seems a little excessive. I'm happy to provide an email that works if required. I also considered setting up a new account with a real email, but I don't want it to seem like I'm sockpuppetting.
The "Daily" page seems to be the one that is most useful to regular users (it's the one I bookmarked), but it's relatively hidden. I think it should be linked directly on the top navbar or somewhere else on the front page instead of hidden inside the hamburger menu in the navbar.
One obvious thing I really like is that the site is responsive! On this current site, I can't read the text when I make the window half the size of the screen (13 inch laptop).
I posted there 3 comments and got 6 downvotes which resulted in extreme negative emotions all the evening that day. While I understand why they were downvoted, my emotional reaction is still a surprise for me.
Because of this, I am not interested to participate in the new site, but I like current LW where downvoting is turned off.
I made a userscript (for use with TamperMonkey or a similar userscript manager) that makes content on LessWrong 2.0 take up the whole browser window, rather than being confined to a fixed-width column.
(Aside: a fixed-width, short-line-length text column is best for slow, in-depth reading, but it is sub-optimal for skimming or scanning for specific or new content, such as one might do when re-visiting an already-read post to skim for new comments, or when looking for specific bits of... (read more)
There's something about reading the new style that makes me uncomfortable, and prompts me to skim some posts that I would have read more carefully on the old site. I'm not too clear on what causes that effect. I'm guessing that some of it is the excessive amount of white, causing modest sensory overload.
Some of it could be the fact that less of a post fits on a single screenful: I probably form initial guesses about a post's value based on the first screenful, and putting less substance on that first screenful leads me to guess that the post has less subst... (read more)
Trying the site right now from work using Chrome, Firefox, and IE 11:
Something I'm noticing: almost all the feedback in this thread is easy stuff. UI changes and etc are all pretty easy. The problem that I expect is that the dev team won't get to the easy stuff because the hard problem of making the page load fast will take their attention.
Interesting. I realize comments here may be selected for disliking the new site, so I'll just chime in that I'm pretty happy with LW 2.0 so far. I want it to be faster, but otherwise I'm pretty happy with its greater vibrancy and more scalable post promotion scheme.
What are the plans for the Wiki? If the plan is to keep it the same, why doesn't Lesser Wrong have a link to it yet?
LW 2.0 is a good example of trying to fix something that isn't broken and ending up breaking it further.
I can't get a rss feed specifically for featured posts right now can I ?
My vision is not great and I simply cannot see the difference between quoted text and normal text in comments.