Improving our "lowest read position" Back button / indicator

Here’s me with a last read position of post ~ 102, on a 440 reply topic.

See how I have to scroll all the way up to read position ~36 to get the back button to appear? And once I click it, I jump back to post 102! That’s… bad. The back indicator and button should appear within ~3 posts of scrolling up, not ~66.

I believe

  • we should almost always show your back position (unless you are within ~3 posts of your lowest read position), as a dark blue horizontal line superimposed over the timeline.
  • The back button should “dock” on the bottom of the date if it can’t fit normally.



Related: on mobile, we don’t show this at all. But I think we should!

When you are scrolled away from your lowest read position, add a “back” button floating above the scrollbar, like so:

Okay, I’ve just pushed out a couple of commits to take a stab at this. They’re deploying now:



OK! We went through a round of feedback on this as well. Give it a try and see what you think. Should be a lot easier to find your way back to your lowest reading position, particularly on longer topics where it is needed the most.

Also, this article was really interesting on the philosophy of what the back button means and what users expect it to do: