Having the “new” sorting option for “questions” sort to questions with the newest options instead of actually the newest questions in that category feels un-intuitive and has the potential to show older questions first. This may be confusing to users as the inferred function is not happening.
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?
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.
I agree. That would make it easier to read a bunch of content, leave for a few days, and then come back to see what’s new. If the new questions are emphasized, users might be more excited to contribute as well.
One thing to worry about is having far more unanswered questions than answered questions when sorting by new. At a glance, the site would look deserted if 9 out of 10 questions didn’t have contributors. If the questions aren’t good, people won’t contribute. There should be a way for bad posts to be get buried in order to put focus on the good posts.
I think we should still keep unanswered separate. So only questions with at least 2 options (I think that is what pulls a question out of unanswered) will be in “New”, which will then be sorted by the question creation date. Being that the default of the landing page for the homepage or any category/tag is still “Recommendations” I think there should not seem a problem of being deserted, there is also already a way for users to be able to tab over to activity to see that there is still quite a lot of content being edited/created. As for bad posts, what constitutes one? Lack of pro/cons, poor phrasing, or just useless in general? I would think this is what the flagging system will be for, to get rid of the content that is not adding anything to the site. Cause when it comes to questions with lack of pro/cons it may be a really tough subject that is difficult to answer but to me that does not constitute a bad post, it just means it is waiting for the right user with the right answer, and if it winds up getting hidden as it would currenty I think that is unfair to the user who asked it as well as to the potential user who could answer it.
By bad posts I mean anything that doesn’t follow guidelines, isn’t interesting, badly worded, so specific that the audience is almost non existent, etc.
True, the flagging system might solve that problem. I’m totally on board with sorting by what is actually newest, just wanted to make sure there are no significant downsides.