On other sites I see buttons/tabs for Newest, Frequent, Votes, Active, and Unanswered. I thought I used to see similar on EL&U also. Now I see only Active, Featured, Hot, Week, and Month.

What gives me what I used to get with Newest?

And while I'm at it, what are the equivalents of Frequent, Votes, and Unanswered? (FWIW, I don't think I care about Featured, Hot, Week, or Month, unless some of those are somehow synonyms for some of the previous choices.)

(And why such a change? Does it provide any benefit? A downside is that it can confuse/lose users.)


Updating this with a related question (well - really the same underlying question): How can I get Stack*, and specifically EL&U, to take me to Questions > Newest by default, whenever I choose EL&U (main or meta) from the A list of all 174 Stack Exchange sites drop-down menu? (You know - the one at the far right, which looks more like a hamburger menu than the officially knighted hamburger menu at the far left)?

I do not want such menu items taking me systematically to Top questions, which doesn't even show me a tab for Newest. I want to go to newest questions. I'm willing to configure this for myself, if easy, and if I don't have to do it separately for each of the 174 sites or whatever.

Hopefully I'm just missing something simple - something that would be obvious to a guru UX designer, but is not obvious to this ordinary user.

  • You will see the same buttons across the entire network now. It's the new design that has been brought in. To see "newest", click either on the sandwich (☰) menu, top left corner, then "Questions" or enable the left navigation. See your profile page and "settings" and "preferences".
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Dec 10, 2018 at 22:26
  • @Mari-LouA: figured it out, finally. Ridiculous (IMHO). I had to click everything on the site - every glyph, icon, link, whatever - until I finally found that Questions was hidden in the neatly disguised "hamburger" menu. Dunno why Questions wasn't preselected for me, since that's where my bookmark used to take me. Anyway, once I chose Questions I got back to what I expected. Sheesh. You simply cannot make this stuff up. Do they send people to design school to learn this kind of UX design?
    – Drew
    Commented Dec 10, 2018 at 22:32
  • In answer to your updated question, I believe you need to enable the left navigation.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 0:49
  • @Mari-LouA: Thanks for the info. But I definitely do not want to do that. I wish I could remove the right side-bar also. It's already impossible to use Stack* without maximizing the browser window. I'd much prefer to use it with a "portrait" aspect ratio. Clearly that will never happen - too bad. But at least I'm not going to waste 1/4 of my screen to a left nav bar that I'll never want to use. What I want is a way to have newest questions shown by default each time I go to a Stack* page. Better yet would be for it to remember and serve up the last layout I used.
    – Drew
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 1:29
  • 1
    @Drew "I'd much prefer to use it with a "portrait" aspect ratio" One thing I do actually like about the new design: if you make the window small enough, the whole right nav column drops down below the main content. I find it much less distracting to use the site without the HNQ list constantly pulling focus, and this does allow a portrait aspect ratio.
    – 1006a
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 5:39

1 Answer 1


The new design moved things around. The "Newest", "Frequent", "Votes", "Active", and "Unanswered" tabs are on a different page than the home page. You can get to that page by clicking on "Questions" in the left sidebar:

If you don't see this sidebar there will be a hamburger menu (☰) in the top left corner that you need to click to show it.

That will lead you to either one of these pages: main | meta

By the way, the navigation works this same way on all sites in the network. They changed the design to make it more unified and maintainable across the network and the reason they decided to switch to a left sidebar specifically is because of Stack Overflow for Teams.

The main problem is that the interface was confusing before the switch, so moving everything only made it worse. (See this answer for details of what I mean.)

I answered this exact same question on Arqade, and the graphic I made for that answer might clear up some confusion. This image is a photoshop of the old and new designs (on Arqade), with lines showing where the links moved to:

  • "to make it more unified and maintainable across the network and the reason they decided to switch to a left sidebar specifically is because of Stack Overflow for Teams." - Too bad.
    – Drew
    Commented Dec 10, 2018 at 23:10
  • 1
    "The main problem is that the interface was confusing before the switch, so moving everything only made it worse." I don't agree with that. It's not just a problem of moving stuff and so having to create new habits. It didn't take me more than 10 sec the first time I came to Stack*, to figure out how to list questions, newest first. Why? Because this was evident from the outset, not hidden in a "hamburger"-menu icon.
    – Drew
    Commented Dec 10, 2018 at 23:13
  • @Drew Did you know that there are two different lists of active questions, for example? 1, 2. Do you know the difference between these two lists? If your answer is no, then that's what I mean by everything being confusing even before the switch.
    – Laurel Mod
    Commented Dec 10, 2018 at 23:19
  • 1
    @Drew …not hidden in a "hamburger"-menu icon. Exactly! The first time I used the new interface I couldn't figure out where the most voted button was, until Laurel showed me! It's a menu that does not light up when your cursor passes over, a dark grey menu/sandwich that is small and barely visible on a jet black top bar. There will be other users asking where things have disappeared.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 0:46
  • @Mari-LouA: "until Laurel showed me!" Maybe there should be, in place of a hamburger menu and 40% of the rest of the over-engineered UI, a large, blinking, rotating, neon button labeled "Laurel", which brings Laurel up, live, when a user presses it. ;-)
    – Drew
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 1:32
  • @Laurel: No, I didn't realize that. But: (1) I didn't need to - I stay mainly on the Questions tab (now item in a hidden menu). (2) There should not be two Active buttons with two different lists - they should have different names. #2 does not seem to have been corrected, even with all the many changes that have been made. Too bad.
    – Drew
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 1:36
  • @Drew I'm just as disappointed as you guys about the left sidebar. I honestly do think it needs a redesign...not this redesign though. There are 13 different tabs of questions between all the different lists (i.e. "Home", "Questions", "Unanswered"), many of which have the same name but do different things. What I'd really like to see is some variation on CQL where everything, including the home page, can be customized. Oh yeah and there's no need for a special button to contact me: I see everything.
    – Laurel Mod
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 2:45
  • @Laurel: ;-) Good riposte. Ability to customize is good, but the basic defaults need to be good, as most users (including me, here at least) won't want to customize, and certainly won't want to have to customize. Anyway, thanks for listening (and everything-lurking). One thing that might have helped wrt this redesign could have been to bite off little change chunks - incremental change. Smaller immediate impact, more chance for users to learn and for you to learn from users (e.g. what's important to them).
    – Drew
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 3:01

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