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Future planning: what user preferences would be useful?

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I am starting to think about user preferences. This won't happen for a while, but I'd like to gather input so we can start thinking about a functional design.

Currently a user has a single account across our network. When you edit your description or your display name or your blog link, those changes apply on all communities where you have a presence. Similarly, when you link a Stack Exchange account (on communities that support data import), what you're really linking is your SE network account -- you only need to link it once.

User profiles have a very small preferences section now -- there's one preference, to turn keyboard shortcuts on or off, which I believe is a global preference. We've had a request for a per-community preference for a default license -- you might ask why per-community, but it makes sense to me that if you are hobbyist photographer but a professional writer, you might want different settings on those two communities.

The possibility of per-category preferences has also been raised, again with licenses.

We need to understand the potential use cases before we design something. Knowing whether there are 3 or 30 things, for instance, or knowing whether preferences are mostly global with a few exceptions or mostly local or all over the place, makes a difference.

My question to y'all is: what kinds of things should be settable as user preferences, and with what scoping (global, community, category)? Some suggestions I've heard (please feel free to develop these in answers) include:

  • default license -- per community, maybe per category

  • whether your votes are public or private by default (assuming we implement optional public votes; we don't have this now) -- per community

  • enable keyboard shortcuts - global?

  • just to acknowledge it before deferring it: dark mode :-) (yeah maybe someday, not now, presumably global)

What else should we be considering?

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+10
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status-completed Favorite tags It's an idea I was thinking about since a while ago, but wouldn't it be nice if use …

over 1 year ago

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Sort posts in one's own profile by score or age The profile main page includes a selection of posts (currently top 15 …

almost 2 years ago

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whether your votes are public or private by default I would probably use that, but it also shouldn't be a big deal to …

almost 2 years ago

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status-completed Enable/Disable Autosave Self-explanatory, let users choose whether they want to turn the autosavi …

over 1 year ago

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status-partially-completed: can now set per community (but not per category). Allow users to select their own default …

over 1 year ago

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status-completed Be able to not have default licenses This is related to being able to pick a default per category …

over 1 year ago

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Enable/disable display of Hot Notable Network Questions. [If we ever have the Notable Network Questions at all.]

almost 2 years ago

+3
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Use a monospace font in the editor (enable/disable) For those like me who want to use a proportional font when writin …

almost 2 years ago

+5
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Some way to track the votes you are receiving. Some kind of "reputation timeline" that explains which posts were voted u …

over 1 year ago

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Assuming the favourite tags per community feature gets implemented, then how about some manner of social media-like "fee …

almost 2 years ago

+4
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With respect to licence types per category: the Photography & Video site default is CC BY-SA 4.0, but the Contests/Criti …

almost 2 years ago

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Choosing the language of the interface. In my experience in non English sites from SE, not having a user interface in …

over 1 year ago

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Currently, the user profile has these fields: - Avatar - Username - Profile description - Website URL - Twitter a …

over 1 year ago

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I would enjoy having a network profile, where I could see all the posts and comments I have posted over time.

over 1 year ago

+1
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A succinct list of posts, the time they were posted and its current score, as well as the last time they were active. (a …

over 1 year ago

+4
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Show/Disable last seen time This is a pretty standard preference for those sites that do have "last seen" tracking, f …

almost 2 years ago

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It would be great to have a way to define where the preview is showed: above, below, or next to the text editor

over 1 year ago

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Title before body in post editor There has been much discussion about the fact that the title is put after the body o …

almost 2 years ago

+2
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status-declined I would like a way to disable Markdown by default in posts I write. The HTML formatting is richer, …

over 1 year ago

1 comment thread

General comments (3 comments)
Post
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Assuming the favourite tags per community feature gets implemented, then how about some manner of social media-like "feed"/start page?

Where all activity involving yourself pops up.A compilation of customized relevant information: new answers to your questions, votes, comments, dev/mod announcements etc. Everything involving yourself on one big, scrollable, easy to navigate page, in chronological order.

But of course without all the "John likes this", "Jane shared this" spam of social media.

Rather than the current system where one has to dig through some 5+ notifications à la SE, then open them in new windows for readability to see what they were about. And then when you are done checking notifications, you go jumping around manually between the various communities to manually check activity in tags you are interested in. Cumbersome even with a favourite tag system in place.

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1 comment thread

General comments (2 comments)

Comments on Future planning: what user preferences would be useful?

General comments
Monica Cellio‭ wrote almost 2 years ago:

This is an interesting idea to talk about, but is a little beyond what preferences are needed. We've talked informally about customized views, filters, etc and I want to come back to that later.

Canina‭ wrote almost 2 years ago:

I agree with @MonicaCellio here. This is an interesting idea (I'm not sure I'd use such a view myself, but I can certainly see how some people might find it useful), and it can probably be broken down into a handful of actual specific features, but it's a bit beyond the scope of this question.