Redundancies in navigation December 14, 2014 1:20 PM   Subscribe

There are currently some links on the front page menus that seem a bit redundant.

Popular, titled 'Popular Favorites', and Popular Posts, titled 'Most Favorites Posts in the Last...'

A lurker friend of mine was looking for the latter page, because she likes to visit weekly and sort by the best, but she kept ending up at the former. The latter is found on a subtle, light grey third menu which I honestly didn't even notice until I started looking for that page for her.

Then I realized that in addition to that, there's also a "Favorites" on the green user menu on the top of the page, and a 'My Favorites' on the same grey menu bar, which seem to have the same point but appear on different pages.

Anyway, I dunno if this is a feature or a bug or what, but I know that it caused problems for my friend so I thought I'd bring it up here.
posted by BuddhaInABucket to Bugs at 1:20 PM (9 comments total)

Yeah, we do get that bit of feedback every so often, the difference between front page tabs that say popular vs. the "popular" page, and without having to come up with a different name for each, we should think of a better way to present those two similar, but slightly different views.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:24 PM on December 14, 2014

I use both for different reasons (mainly the 24hr view on one and the comments view on the other), but I'd agree their features are complementary and could be consolidated. Please just merge them though. They both have nice details missing from the other.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 2:27 PM on December 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

post needs tags: redundant, redundant.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:40 PM on December 14, 2014 [5 favorites]

Please just merge them though.

How do you do that? The popular page can be limited by subsite, but the popular tab on front pages is posts only for that subsite, with varying options on time.

Do you envision still keeping a "popular" link subnav option but making the output of the page also have the same time options as the front page to "merge" them?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:06 PM on December 14, 2014

How do you do that?

I think what I would do is eliminate the subsites' popular tabs and give the main popular page more dropdowns: subsite, posts vs. comments, timespan, and number of results. I'd also accept an RSS parameter to generate those results as RSS, and redirect the existing RSS URLs to parameter-based feeds. I'm not sure, but off the top of my head and without really re-studying them, I think that covers their differences, except for the fact that the subsites' popular tabs show both total favorite counts and favorites within the timespan, which would be reasonable to add to the general page.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 5:12 PM on December 14, 2014

Oh, I'm sort of assuming all those dropdowns' parameters would show up in the query string for navigating to the page, so in principle, you could do more with them, e.g. make the subsites' popular tabs be links to the general page with a site= parameter set. But honestly, I think this is one of the very, very few things in MeFi's interface that is more complex than it needs to be, and I'd nuke the tab links. If the subsites really need an instant link to their own popular content, you could make their main Popular link have the site= parameter.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 5:39 PM on December 14, 2014

How do you do that?

I use both popular pages quite a lot, and I think they could be merged without any loss of functionality by having three drop-down menus, so it reads

Showing all popular [posts/comments] from [all sites/specific subsite] in the last [day/week/month].

Whilst we're asking for ponies on the popular page, could you add a link to 'remove this feed from popular posts' in the same way that you do for recent activity? It's just that sometimes a mega-thread pops up which attracts loads of favourites and clogs the feed up (things I've noticed which I'd rather avoid are U.S election stuff, big U.S national news stories and slap downs in long contentious threads).
posted by Ned G at 4:24 AM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I think we could get both pages inline with each other by improving the /popular page to offer more options like the front page tabs, but then I guess in the end, I'd wonder if we should remove the front page tabs, remove the popular nav option, or keep both (if they're basically leading to the same page anyway).

could you add a link to 'remove this feed from popular posts'

Nope, that'd require maintaining preferences on the output of the popular page for each user. The Recent Activity is generated for each user based on their activity, so it's easy to customize on the fly. The popular lists are shared among everyone viewing the page and tweaking it for thousands of people would be a huge drag.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:01 AM on December 15, 2014

When I was describing the extra options, I was imagining it in a situation where one of the links had been removed, though I don't have an opinion on which one should go.

Nope, that'd require maintaining preferences on the output of the popular page for each user.

Ok, that makes sense, cheers anyway.
posted by Ned G at 1:32 AM on December 16, 2014

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