So I wanted to elaborate a little more on the “new” questions listing and how having a more direct approach to sorting may be helpful. As of right now when sorting to “new” the questions that show are ones that have had the most recent activity. To me this is not a “new” question, but usually an old one with “new” activity. Now we already have an activity tab that shows the latest activity in that category so to sort to “new” but only show current activity is a bit redundant and on top of that not intuitive to the common understood action of try to list the newest of something.
What I am proposing is to actually sort “new” to the newest date created question. Since we already have a listing for unanswered it should be the newest by date question that falls into whatever the prerequisite already is to show up in new currently, It appears to normally be two options that pulls it out of a “unanswered” listing. By listing by date of creation instead of new activity I feel this would also provide a easy way for users to sort all questions to find any that normally do not get a lot of activity. I truly think sorting in a multitude of ways is key to providing users a way to find any and everything they are looking for no matter what the current popularity is on the site. To even expand on new, we could also have a sorting for oldest date created as well.
As for use cases, for me as a user it would be highly valuable to sort content in a way that allows me to see all of it in very specific unchanging order. Every question, in an order that makes sense, as that will allow me to more easily browse all of the content for that question (or on the whole site) in an order of my liking to see what is there. Currently we do not have this, there is repeated questions in almost every listing (activity and best) with no absolute way of ordering content that is stable. Users need a stable way that is always the same to sort with as it makes sense, and is easily scannable for new content once it has been viewed before.
I would also like to address the “best” sorting option as well. What does best mean, what are the requirements that has a question fall under this listing as the top one? If I don’t know this having worked here for a while, will the users? Maybe it should be titled something different, though I am unsure of what as I do not even know the current requirements to be found there are. Maybe, most popular, most detailed or most viewed?