After discussing my previous question with some other users in chat, it was brought to my attention that SE is about to rollout a new top bar design to all the sites. However, I personally hate the new design, and I'm not alone. For example:

what are they thinking?? do the designers actually use SE? -Zanna

I agree with you, with all my heart and soul. -Eliah Kagan

Ok, so, now to the point of this post:

  • If you are in favor of accepting the new design, post an answer with YES

  • If you are against accepting the new design, post an answer with NO.

Maybe we can petition SE to let us keep it the way it is....

NOTE: Please, only vote positively. Please upvote the answer you agree with

  • This bar is live on mse now: meta.stackexchange.com/questions
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 20:35
  • 2
    I don't think SE is giving us the option to "go back" based on what I've read in MetaSE. At least there's nothing concrete to state that but it's been implied.
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 22:00
  • 3
    Q: "Will we have the option of keeping the old one?". A: "No. Maintaining two significantly different versions of things (anything, not just the top nav) is a PITA. Everyone will get the new top nav." by an employee. This poll doesn't matter.
    – user336085
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 22:17
  • This question isn't really what I'd call "neutral." It seems to be very heavily biased in the favor of changing the design, which is going to weigh the answers in favor of this as well. Perhaps the OP's opinion should be in an answer?
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 17:44
  • 1
    @KazWolfe it is! the No answer is Android Dev's CW, but since I've added more newlines to it or whatever the crazy algorithm is it looks like I wrote it!
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 18:57
  • For latest updates on the new top bar, see this post on Meta SE. For screenshot of old vs new top bars, see this other post.
    – user37165
    Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 17:27
  • Hooray, there's a userscript to change the top bar! stackapps.com/questions/7603/top-navigation-choices
    – dessert
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 14:49

4 Answers 4


No, keep the current design

  • Placing the main menu on the right is awkward

  • The icons are cryptic. In particular, it seems nobody can find the review icon; on Stack Overflow, where the new top bar has been tested, reviewing has declined a lot

    There are probably a lot of things contributing to this in one way or another. But it's hard to ignore that, after the initial "novelty" spike, the activity in review has been declining pretty consistently ever since we changed the textual link to an icon.

  • Textual links (in the old design) are easier to see at a quick glance

  • The search box is unnecessarily huge now and changes size in a disturbing way

  • The numbers on the messages and achievements icons are smaller and therefore harder to read, particularly if you're trying to optimise resolution on a small laptop screen

  • Clicking the "Stack Exchange" logo does nothing

  • The colour-change of the achievements icon isn't discernable if you have deuteranopia (red-green colour-blindness)

  • The Help button (a question mark) is replaced with the review button when the user is able to review. So, how do we find the help center when we want to point new users to some part of it?

  • 5
    Menu on the right = needless change for the sake of change Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 16:14
  • 2
    While I have no doubt that I could adapt to it, I honestly don't see this as an improvement. Nothing in the changes made makes it any easier to review, check mail or achievements, switch stack exchange sites, check my progress, find help, or anything else I can think of. IF the top bar was an edit to a question or answer I would have to say "Changes are completely superfluous and do not improve clarity or accuracy"
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 20:00


The thing I like the new design is a sort of representation of navigation. The user profile icon is near the navigation button just as the user translating in the different StackExchange networks. The StackExchange icon is along with the search to navigate within the stack.

For me, it makes more sense.

  • the Stack Exchange icon alongside the search seems to do nothing...
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 7:31
  • @Zanna I agree, apparently it is just branding. I would prefer that the AU logo would be the only Icon/Brand.
    – userDepth
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 11:55

The new design is neat

I like the new design. It's cleaner, flatter, and looks more elegant. However, it does need some changes before it's ready here.

  • Move the site switcher back
    The site switcher feels "normal" the main icon, and it feels weird (as an old user) to have to go to the opposite side to switch sites.
  • Review Button for Everyone
    The review button really shouldn't be hidden for low-rep users. If you can review, you get the button. Easy as that.
  • 1
    If you can review, you do get the button... low rep users can't review. Am I misunderstanding you?
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 18:58
  • @Zanna From what I understood (I may be wrong), the "review" button is hidden to low-rep users entirely but visible for higher-rep users. Nobody specified the limits, so I'm just assuming it's 10k
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 19:00
  • 2
    I assumed that If you can review, you get the review button (so, 500 for FPs and LAs here) seems I am correct - made another addition to the No answer - the Help button is replaced by the Review button when you can review, so then you have to dig around for the help center
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 19:11
  • +1 Basically, embrace the changes with some improvements or fixes required.
    – user37165
    Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 17:24

Honestly, on first impressions, it seems cleaner, and I don't really see a problem with it.

If you could list some lost functionality, maybe?

  • 5
    my main concern is that people will not review. That's been the most noticeable effect of the change on SO. See this comment on Monica's answer on the MSE post (the answer is also a good read) - people are doing less with the new UI because it's not as obvious what the various bits of it do
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 21:20
  • @Zanna where do you get that from? I had understood that the horrible new UI was having the opposite effect on SO: more, not fewer people reviewing. And the comment you linked to seems to suggest as much too: we've been preoccupied with review [ . . . ] random stuff breaks when reviews don't get done). Don't get me wrong, I hate this new bar with all the useful functionality exiled to the far right or hidden behind menus or whatnot, but I don't think you're right about reviewing.
    – terdon
    Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 20:54
  • 1
    @terdon As I understand it, the number of reviews being done on SO has indeed declined dramatically. See Is the top bar redesign the sole cause of the suggested edit slowdown?, Please change the review icon back to a text link (by Shog9), and SO mod Bhargav Rao's messages in this conversation. Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 1:29
  • @terdon in addition to Eliah Kagan's comment (I also linked and quoted Shog9's highly upvoted plea to replace the text in the review link in the CW answer in favour of keeping the current design - maybe I need to clarify this?), this positive post Has the top bar redesign met its goals? admits unambiguously (I think) that reviewing is down... If reviewing was up, I personally might support the new design regardless of whatever else I dislike about it. Review is the deal-breaker for me
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 9:24
  • @Zanna yes, it was Shog's comment you linked to that I (mistakenly, apparently) understood to be saying that reviewing had gone up. My bad.
    – terdon
    Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 9:30

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