Running Lightcone Infrastructure, which runs LessWrong. You can reach me at habryka@lesswrong.com


A Moderate Update to your Artificial Priors
A Moderate Update to your Organic Priors
Concepts in formal epistemology

Wiki Contributions


I think they wouldn't work well for this the vast majority of time. I think if you see all the reviews and can quickly skim them they are useful, but they definitely are not that helpful for deciding whether to read a post. It's either a pretty generic "this post was great and useful", or a really in-depth review that definitely assumes you've read the post and is very hard to parse without having read it. 

By popular demand I have changed it to "Best Of LessWrong" (though I might change it back in a few days if I do like it less).

I did keep the "/leastwrong" URL because it feels like a kind of fun easter egg. 

I guess this isn’t terribly important information to communicate in this particular context, anyway…

I do actually think in user testing, seeing people fill the urge to "fill out the picture" by reading a lot of the content, or at least checking it out, seemed like something that brought people a bunch of joy.

Ah, yeah, we do sure rely on that, and it's really quite hard to work around without moving a lot of stuff into JS, which I wanted to avoid.

(Must you require hover for that, though? I’d make that change unconditionally, frankly.)

Yeah, I might consider it. I do think it makes the initial pageload a lot more drab, and removes a lot of the beauty from the page (and logged-in users who haven't read most of the posts already have much stronger text-contrast).

Note that the selectionchange event will report the currently selected hit for the searched text, not all highlighted hits, so this should not be a problem. (As the user presses Cmd-G [Find Next], or Enter in the search box, the browser will cycle through the highlighted hits, firing a new selectionchange event each time.) Thus, each time the event is fired, you can expand whatever section the currently-selected hit is in (and collapse its neighbors in the row).

Oh, that's great, I didn't realize that's how it works. 

I would also suggest deepening the text shadow, changing it from text-shadow: 0 0 3px #000 to, e.g., text-shadow: 0 0 3px #000, 0 0 5px #000, 0 0 8px #000, which looks like this:

Oh, this is also a pretty good idea. I had forgotten that you can do multiple text-shadows at the same time. I'll give it a try. 

My guess would be that you are one of the few users who has clicked on practically everything in the best of? 

For most random users I sampled during testing there is a very clear and identifiable pattern for read-statuses that users understood reliably, but it becomes less obvious as the percentage you've read goes above 80% or so (and indeed I cannot test on my own account for I have read all posts and so am seeing a pretty outlierish UI state).

Yeah, I also played around a bit with legibility before you posted this, and am likely pushing a change to make it so that when are hovering over something, the text contrast goes up a lot (instead of down). Here is your last screenshot with the new styling: 

The text-legibility here seems a lot better. Will probably push in the next hour, curious about more comments from you after you see that change. 

Well, just for example, I tried to find a post, so I did Cmd-F, and… it didn’t work because the post I was looking for was in a collapsed part. (That is, the browser reported a hit on the search, but nothing changed in the viewport.)

Ah, yeah, that's a solid point. I'll see how easy it is to fix something here (it's a bit more complicated since the visual space of the sections overlaps, so if you search for a word that has a hit in more than one section on the same row, we can't expand both, so I'll have to think about how to handle that case).

Ah, hmm, that's fair, I was worried that would happen with the large click area on the side. I'll make it smaller.

My worry was that having summaries only inconsistently adds a lot of mental complexity to track to the page. Now only sometimes when you hover over something do you see some kind of preview, and if you have ~60 items on a single page, adding any kind of indicator for that quickly makes things very cluttered.

And you would have to redesign the page quite a bit to have a good place for summaries without adding a huge amount of clutter or flashing or movement on the page.

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