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I already wasn't too keen about the new profile interface when I saw it being tested out on meta.SO, and I was hoping it wouldn't have to be rolled out to here. Alas, that was not to be, for now it is a nuclear dashboard that is gracing my profile and everyone else's.

Is there any user setting available that allows us to see profile pages the old way?

Can we please have a user setting that allows us to see profile pages the old way?

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  • $\begingroup$ What's wrong with it? $\endgroup$ – user7530 Nov 23 '11 at 7:31
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    $\begingroup$ @user7530 I am not sure about J.M.'s objections to the new profile interface but one objection I have is that it is now more difficult to see the questions and answers of various users on this website. For example, I am not sure about others but I can see only five of my answers at a given time in my profile unless I click on "view more" (under my five answers). I feel that since this is a question and answer website, the questions and answers of each user should be emphasized rather than other information (which is interesting but not the focus of this website, in my opinion). $\endgroup$ – Amitesh Datta Nov 23 '11 at 8:11
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    $\begingroup$ As long as they're rearranging the UI and not adding aggressively harmful new features, they're still a step above Facebook... $\endgroup$ – user7530 Nov 23 '11 at 13:13
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Short answer: No.

Long answer: No, I'm afraid there is not. Once the new profile format has been rolled out across the network, it becomes the profile format - supporting multiple pages for the same purpose is a waste of resources.

If you have suggestions for improvement, please post them as s here on Meta.

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    $\begingroup$ "(a) user setting ... that allows us to see profile pages the old way" would have been my suggestion for improvement, you see... $\endgroup$ – J. M. is a poor mathematician Nov 23 '11 at 8:41
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    $\begingroup$ @Shog9: The problem is that the new profile page contains significantly less information then the older one, and requires more clicking to navigate. I know I can click "see more" to see all of my questions, tags, badges, or answers, but this leads to 4 different pages, and I would have to look at them separately. Previously, I could browse all of these menus from the same page, which is why I think the new profile is fundamentally worse. (The addition of the reputation bar is better, but the above described lack of information and utility is so much worse) $\endgroup$ – Eric Naslund Nov 23 '11 at 10:50
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    $\begingroup$ @Shog: Usually changes try to increase utility, and and make it easier for users. For example, removing the envelope icon was a great thing to do. I am not sure why people complained about this, it was completely unintuitive for new users. I think the addition of the reputation to the user page, and the reorganization of profile information is for the better, but having to visit different pages to look at different parts of the profile that I use to be able to see in the same place is not the best decision. $\endgroup$ – Eric Naslund Nov 23 '11 at 11:07
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    $\begingroup$ @Eric: see, this is why I preemptively suggested posting [feature-requests] - because I figured folks probably had specific complaints or desires they'd wish to share. The developers tend to be very receptive to constructive criticism, but putting it in comments on an answer isn't the best way to get their attention. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Nov 23 '11 at 14:55
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    $\begingroup$ @Eric: People complained about the envelope because people do not like major changes without notice. Google lets you know when the design is going to change and offer you to use the new layout earlier than the official release date. SE just changes without much notice. It would be best if there was this "Upcoming UI changes" (or any major functionality change, not just UI) which will notify in advance about this sort of changes. Much like the blog link in the header. This way people will be able to tell when new features are about to be deployed and not find out about them later. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Nov 23 '11 at 16:25
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    $\begingroup$ ...and before it gets brought up: no, not all of us like to have to visit meta.SO just for the express purpose of finding out what changes are afoot. Laziness? Maybe. But I would imagine an announcement banner (linking to the appropriate meta.SO thread) is not too technically difficult to do, no? $\endgroup$ – J. M. is a poor mathematician Nov 23 '11 at 17:01
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    $\begingroup$ @Shog: The point is that the announcement precedes the deployment. Not the other way around. Finding the right tuning about what to announce takes time and feedback. Just like finding the right tuning of "what to put in a user profile page". Doing that would be a good start. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Nov 23 '11 at 19:08
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    $\begingroup$ @Asaf: Please. You don't like the new user page... So of course anything that would have delayed deployment would have been to your advantage. But sooner or later, it still would have been deployed. In about a week, the MSO post has had 1.7K views, with 102 votes on the proposal and 30 on the critical answer. I have a hard time believing it would have changed much if we'd splattered a banner across the front page of this site. Design by committee is slow, costly, and rarely-effective; constructive criticism rare. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Nov 23 '11 at 19:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Shog9 If we were meant to be able to meaningfully vote on the proposal and/or answer on that completely separate site, it would have been awfully nice if the amount of rep needed for downvoting weren't 125 > 100. $\endgroup$ – user7530 Nov 23 '11 at 20:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Shog: Oh, I'm not saying that. I can see how the new user page fits the mentality of other SE sites, and I understand this change. I do think that not forcing everyone to join MSO just for the sake of knowing what might happen in the software is a good thing. My suggestion was to set a banner for any "major" change (change in a commonly used feature in a significant way, e.g. the user page) about a week in advance. When you start this, you will slowly get feedback from the communities what features should have been notified and what features should not have been (but were, of course). $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Nov 23 '11 at 21:53
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    $\begingroup$ @Shog: While you're getting rid of the banner, get rid of the blog banner. I mean, how many people visit the blog? How many people even bother to post comments or read it? How many people even care? $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Nov 23 '11 at 22:09
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    $\begingroup$ @Shog: Not once I saw the red "New!" notification for feature requests. If they were put on the blog it was always "too late" in the sense that I would only see that when things are deployed. I should also add that I am near the point of obsession for math.SE and I spend about half my day on the site. So I would know to click the blog link and run through it (even if not reading every word - and yes I hate it). I did not hear about the new user pages until this thread on the meta.MSE site. What is the link on the footer? I never saw any notifications there, not even on data.SE which I love $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Nov 23 '11 at 22:38
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    $\begingroup$ @Asaf, if you have a concrete suggestion for improvement, please don't let me stop you from posting it. The frequent changes to the UI should be proof enough that we do listen. If I'm coming off as obstinate here, it's because I've spent half my life developing software, and I've seen it both ways: folks arguing endlessly about changes when they aren't consulted first, and when they are. I've spent weeks in meetings trying to agree upon a color palette, for pete's sake... There cannot be a field where the old advice about asking for forgiveness instead of permission is more practical. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Nov 24 '11 at 8:23
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    $\begingroup$ @Shog: I have made several suggestions on this meta, none of which were addressed by any diamond user. I prefer to put my energy into things that might also be productive to myself. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Nov 24 '11 at 10:16
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    $\begingroup$ @Ben: Rep changes have always been publicly accessible, even with the old pages. The thing is, before this entire mess that is the new profile page, it was not so blatantly spread out for public gawking, and one had to click on a tab on the profile page to reveal rep changes. But it seems we're stuck with this... bleh. $\endgroup$ – J. M. is a poor mathematician Nov 24 '11 at 23:12

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