Easier tabbed browsing? February 27, 2007 7:15 AM   Subscribe

When browsing via the tabs up top, would it be possible / desirable to keep the tabs in session and redirect when you hit the home page? [more inside]
posted by graymouser to Feature Requests at 7:15 AM (13 comments total)

I find myself using "Recent Comments" on MeFi a lot, and it'd be nice when I view a post and then go back to the front page, to still be on the "Recent Comments" tab. I don't know if this would be confusing or helpful to most users, but it's something I've noticed.
posted by graymouser at 7:15 AM on February 27, 2007

I realize it doesn't address the pony, but have you considered opening links off the Recent Comments page as new windows?
posted by cortex at 7:34 AM on February 27, 2007

I used to do it via a pull down, but it tended to confuse some people.

I'd say just bookmark the tabs and use them as a jumping off point.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:56 AM on February 27, 2007

cortex -

I can & do use FF tabs when browsing around, but it gets really messy after a while. I guess I could just put the recent comments page in my bookmarks toolbar, though.
posted by graymouser at 8:10 AM on February 27, 2007

No, when I aim for the homepage I want to see the default view. To achieve the result you want, I would use the 'back' button in my browser. I think any change would reduce flexibility and become confusing.
posted by nowonmai at 8:14 AM on February 27, 2007

Your pulldown menu also used to remember the setting not only within the session, but from session to session. I miss that.
posted by Dave Faris at 8:26 AM on February 27, 2007

Potential opt-in user config options aside, I agree with nowonmai—the default view should always be the good ol' front page.
posted by cortex at 8:28 AM on February 27, 2007

graymouser, I'm not sure I'm understanding your request. Here's a use case which works for me:

1) from the homepage, click the "recent comments" tab
2) look at the luscious list of them
3) click into a thread, read around
4) click "back" in my browser
5) I am still on the recent comments page

Are you winding up on the default view of the homepage in #5?

Or do you want to hit www.metafilter.com when you come back from the bathroom and see the recent comments tab?
posted by scarabic at 9:08 AM on February 27, 2007


Well, here's why it might not work this way.

1. Click "Recent Comments" on the homepage
2. Click into a lengthy thread
3. Click on the link to the last post, and refresh the page to see if there are more posts.
4. Comment on the post.
5. Click back on "Metafilter" logo to get to front page

It'd be nice to be back on "Recent Comments" at that point, and I was wondering if anyone else felt the same way. Seems like the answer is "no."
posted by graymouser at 9:12 AM on February 27, 2007

Personally I would use my browser's tab features rather than using MeFi's. Control-click (or whatever) into the lengthy thread etc etc etc then just close the new tab to get back to Recent Comments.
posted by bcwinters at 9:43 AM on February 27, 2007

the way i use metafilter is always to visit a main page and then middle-click every thing i'm interested in reading.
posted by empath at 10:30 AM on February 27, 2007

Your biggest problem seems to be that the tabs disappear once you get to viewing a single post, graymouser. I'm not sure why they go away at that point.

The way this site is organized, individual posts make up the bottom of the pyramid. Once you've drilled down to one and read it to your satisfaction, you're kind of at an endpoint.

The lingo I've heard WRT this is "horizontal navigation." Once you've drilled down to the single-content-unit level on a site, that endpoint, you need ways to get somewhere else without starting over completely. It sounds like what you want after reaching this endpoint (where you've consumed your unit of content) is to hit the tabs for more options.

I guess making the tabs disappear from the single post view makes some sense, structurally. Those tabs offer options for weeding through posts, sorting them, discovering posts to read. Once you find a post to read, they are less necessary. And they take up some 30-40 pixels of vertical space.

But for folks who've come to a cul-de-sac in their browse, they remain useful points at which you can dive back into the site and find more to do.

They're always 1 click away so it's not a huge deal. But if it was me, I might consider keeping the tabs visible at all times. They're good stuff.
posted by scarabic at 1:45 PM on February 27, 2007

posted by quonsar at 5:31 PM on February 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

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