Changing or removing the last poster avatar highlight

(Adam Capriola) #22

The new box shadow is difficult for me to pick up on when scanning the topic lists. The gray blends in too much and is inconsistent with other visual indicators. The highlight should stay blue since that’s the color associated with “new” stuff:

(Or you could make a case that the latest poster isn’t very pertinent information and should be camouflaged – but I think it being blue at least gives the illusion of forum activity, which is good. )

(James Cook) #23

@Moter8 apologies if it came across that I was personally attacking anyone. I didn’t mean it to. That was more of a hypothetical question.

I was just expressing my opinion that I don’t think it looks very good.

(Jacob) #24

Please revert the shadow it does not work well at all.

(Jeff Atwood) #25

The last poster highlight shadow is just an experiment… @AdamCapriola has a good point that the blue is associated with “new” in our color scheme. I can also see @sam’s point that it “unflattens” the design as well.

I wonder if a blue bezel would be preferable to the glow.

(Jacob) #26

I think a solid color ring around the avatar would look good. I’m on mobile otherwise I would make a mockup.

(Dave McClure) #27

Here’s a mock of a solid outline…

.topic-list .avatar.latest:not(.single) {
  box-shadow: 0 0 0 2px #0aadff

and one of something in between that and what we had before:

.topic-list .avatar.latest:not(.single) {
  box-shadow: 0 0 2px 2px #0aadff

(Kris) #28

You’re being a bit obtuse and presumptuous. My comment wasn’t about the shadows. It was about round avatars.

I think I’d lean towards the blue outline versus a shadow, personally.

(Jeff Atwood) #30

I think the flatter outline works better anyway. I agree that blue = new is a good association too, and last poster has a lot to do with newness.

Going with McWumbly v2 and we’ll see what we think of that.

edit: scrolling down a whole lot of topics, it seems that in practice the last poster is almost always the first poster or the last poster anyway… I can’t even find an instance where the last poster is one of the other 3 avatars (frequent posters). Can you? Even on! Even on!

(@Mittineague you have some crazy local style going on, that has nothing to do with us.)

(Jeff Atwood) #31

Hmm based on the data above, I am just going to remove the style. It’s info-porn. Not sure if it was even working (except for topic creator and last poster on the far right…) The tooltips and css will still be in there of course.

edit: I see the bug. The last poster is shifted to the far right no matter what, even if they are actually one of the 3 top posters in the topic. But we’ve had this bug since forever and nobody noticed, so highlighting the last poster was effectively a 50/50 flip between topic creator and far right avatar. Meh.

(Mittineague) #32

Sorry, I tend to forget about my tweaks, but yes the border: 7px solid #5bb; is my doing.

But even with my customizations removed the black “point” is still missing

I still recognize it as the System avatar, so if it doesn’t go against your ideas of “branding” it’s OK by me.

When moving posts, links/quotes (that were moved too) don't get updated
(Dave McClure) #33

That wasn’t by design? It makes complete sense to me that the last poster would be shown… last.

Unless they were first too, of course.

In any case, I’m in favor of removing the extra styling.

(Sam Saffron) #34

That not a bug, its by design, the design has always to put a blue outline on last poster, without it I have no way of telling who the last poster is when the poster is the OP

The order is OP, 3-4 frequent posters, Last Poster (unless last is OP).

(Sam Saffron) #35

I really don’t understand this, having the UI removes all cues that indicate who the last poster is, is severely wrong. I object to this about 1000%

also, how has this discussion about round avatars been derailed so bad.

(Dave McClure) #36

I made an observation that was related at first:

But yeah, feel free to split the topic if that helps.

(NomNuggetNom ) #37

Very much agreed. I really really like that feature. It is the only indication of who posted last, there is no text anywhere. What’s the issue with the blue glow? Looked perfectly fine to me.

Here’s another option:

The opacity of the latest poster is 100%, all others are 70%. Definitely fails sometimes:

If you were familiar with Discourse you would know that the M was the last poster. But the color of his icon makes it look like he wasn’t.

(Jeff Atwood) #38

I feel like the indicator is

  • pretty subtle, not sure many people understand what it is

  • only showing you leftmost or rightmost avatars anyway, so you could guess with 50% accuracy – or just assume it is always the rightmost avatar – and get practically the same result (it would be more useful if any avatar could be the last poster, but this would break “rightmost is last poster” design)

  • not all that necessary, as suggested topics doesn’t even show avatars anyway and people seem OK with not having any of that info when entering a topic

(loopback0 - TDWTF) #39

This. The shadow sucked, but removing it sucks way more. Please don’t remove this.

Except when it isn’t.

Why would you make a change in your UI so that people have a 50% chance of figuring out something, when it currently has a 100% chance?

(Jeff Atwood) #40

I am not convinced this information is all that useful… Unless the OP is heavily involved in the topic, the rightmost avatar is the last poster almost all the time, way more than 50%.

At minimum we should probably only show the highlight in the rarer case where the OP is also the last poster, since that is the exception… still, as I pointed out above, we do not provide any of this information for suggested topics and that seems fine.

(Jeff Atwood) #41

Some data from

  • Top page: 13 out of 14 visible, rightmost avatar is last poster. Only 1 where the last poster is the OP.

  • Latest page: of the 14 topics visible, which have more than one poster, only 1 where the last poster is the OP.

(I also checked what.thedailywtf and 2 out of 14 visible on home page right now where last poster is also OP)

I had almost forgotten this but we suppress last poster highlight when there is only one person in the topic because, duh, the last poster is the only poster.

I guess I can support suppressing this a bit further… the last poster highlight should only appear when the first poster is also the last poster (and there is more than 1 person in the topic…) That might be nice to give topic owners who are engaged in their topic a little visual reward as well. Highlighting the rightmost last poster, meh, that is way too common and just adds visual noise IMO.

(Dave McClure) #42

First of all, thanks for playing along, Jeff… wherever this lands, I think it is nice to try out these experiments in vivo and see how folks react vs. just discussing mockups.

One concern I have with this idea is that because this would be such a rare event, it might even be less clear what the hell that blue glow means. It’s kinda like those grey circles that you rarely see… Sure, they mean something specific, but you don’t see them often enough to learn it easily.

At the moment, I’m in favor of the no-styling version. I think it removes a lot of unnecessary visual clutter.

Sam makes a valid point that it becomes more difficult to guess whether the last poster is the OP or not. And you make a valid response that you have better than 90% odds just guessing the last avatar is the last poster.

In other conversations, we’ve discussed that its more important to know who the last poster is than it is to know who the OP is though. In sam’s minimal design, you see the last poster very clearly - the OP is only listed as text (and I still question how much value that has).

But here’s another idea for the default design:

  • no special styling for OP or last poster in default design
    • keep special classes on the avatar for last poster so people can add styling as they see fit.
    • add a class on the OP avatar so people can style that one too if they want.
  • always show the last poster on the right, even if its the OP
  • always show the OP once (either on the left or on the right if the OP is also the last poster).

Then your odds of knowing who the last poster is are 100%

You odds of knowing who the OP is are > 90%.

But, you still always see the OP as an involved party in the conversation.