I've had an idea of simplifying the overwhelming interface of AskUbuntu by correcting any overload on the users.

If you want an example I can make some images, but first someone has to be at least interested.

Specifically "share edit delete flag" could be a little menu.

For the general users :

Your input is most valuable and I'm not trying to convince anyone. Is just some questions.

Are we discussing me or you?

Neither, we are discussing AskUbuntu.

I don't actually mind you having an allergic reaction but do say it's an allergic reaction. And a down-vote without any comments is just considered as that by me. This question has not gotten any rational input.

Do you believe is possible to improve anything in AskUbuntu ?

If not then say so before just starting hot lines on the answers or comments.

By which conditions do you think improvements can/can't be made ?

If you just think that everything is possible and it should be possible then say so then we all know that you have faith in a possibility or lack of it.

Happy Llamas!!

  • Yet another menu?
    – muru
    Apr 29, 2016 at 12:45
  • 6
    "Specifically "share edit delete flag" could be a little menu" I don't see how that will simplify things, right now you can just see the options on the page, how does hiding them in a menu simplify anything?
    – Mark Kirby
    Apr 29, 2016 at 15:19
  • I'm pretty sure the current layout relies heavily on JS. May 1, 2016 at 11:49
  • 2
    Where did I say that? You said "Specifically "share edit delete flag" could be a little menu" and I am just saying having a menu is less simple than just having the options on the page where people can see them, I said nothing about removing anything, I want to keep it as it is.
    – Mark Kirby
    May 3, 2016 at 7:43
  • 1
    "Ok, now that we agree there we are on the same page" Now I am confused? Your question is titled "What about simplifying the UI for AskUbuntu?" and your suggestion is "Specifically "share edit delete flag" could be a little menu." but now you say it would not simplify things? Perhaps that image you mentioned in the question would clear up the confusion?
    – Mark Kirby
    May 3, 2016 at 11:07
  • 3
    @user3005629 so what you're saying is you want to add an extra click between the user and what the user wants to do? That seems like a very bad idea to me and would make the UI more, not less complicated. Yes, a menu is a common concept. However, simple links are probably the single most common concept on the internet.
    – terdon
    May 5, 2016 at 8:02
  • 1
    Given that users already have trouble finding those links (you wouldn't believe the number of times I've had to point them out to people) making them harder to find by putting them in a menu seems like a horrible idea. And of course this is software. An extra click is an extra click. Oh, and only "share" is a "social action". The other three are all post actions.
    – terdon
    May 5, 2016 at 13:04
  • 3
    @user3005629 I know that modern UI design seems to favor hiding everything in menus, as evidenced by the horrible train wreck of gnome3 design, so perhaps some people like menus. In any case, there is nothing clearer than having the options obvious and not hidden by a menu. By definition, a link in plain sight is simpler and easier to find than one hidden in a menu. Claiming the opposite is like saying that a spoon on the table is harder to find than one in a drawer.
    – terdon
    May 5, 2016 at 13:11

1 Answer 1


Call me crazy, but I find this:

old gedit UI

Far more useful, practical, clear and easy to use than this:

new gedit interface

In the second image, all the useful functions apart from Open and Save are hidden away behind menus. I now have to figure out what the icons mean, then click on them, then navigate the drop down menus and finally find whatever I was looking for. I don't use gedit, but I just spent a couple of minutes trying to find the Undo button and failed. Presumably, it's somewhere in the pestilential hamburger menu. It might be that thing that looks like a curving arrow but there's no tooltip when I hover over it and its greyed out, so I don't know.

Point is, there is a general movement towards beautiful, minimalistic design. While the best designs manage to combine beauty with ease of use, the gedit example above which highlights a general trend in Gnome fails miserably. I freely admit it's pretty, but it ain't functional.

So, given that users already have trouble finding the "share", "edit", "close", and "flag" links, even now when they're right there in the open under their nose; given that most new users would have no idea what kind of actions they can take on a post; given that most people don't go around randomly clicking stuff to see what's behind them and adding the simple fact that even for those of us who know what we're looking for since we're familiar with the site, what you're proposing would make taking action on posts slightly harder. You'd add one more click between the user and what they're trying to do.

Given all of the above, I really don't see how it could be any sort of improvement to go from clearly displayed and self-explanatory links to a menu. Perhaps it would make for a slightly prettier UI. That, of course, is a matter of preference. I would not find it prettier, but maybe you would. OK, but this would be a case of sacrificing a little functionality for a little (or none, depending on one's tastes) gain in aesthetics. This is not a good thing. As a wise man once said:

Any website that would give up a little usability to gain a little eye candy will deserve neither and lose both.


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