And that's part of what makes HN great! I can't help but think that a team of Very Serious Expensive UX Professionals would have made a mess of HN thrice over by this time. (Can't you just imagine the 2010 rewrite in Java and GWT, and the 2014 redesign as an Angular SPA with sophisticated giant web fonts all over the place?)
It doesn't have to be an active notification. Just add a numeric field added to user account that means "you got N new replies" and show it in the top-right corner next to my username. Once I see it, I will go and browse through comments to find it. When you open your comments page, it would reset this number to zero.
Less of a feeling of a mandated reply, more opportunities for other users to speak up on your behalf.
This is a really interesting perspective on it that I hadn't considered. I have long been annoyed by the lack of comment notifications but now that you put it that way I think you're right. This actually may be a feature of HN rather than a bug. Thanks for sharing that point.
There is rate-limiting, though, which is probably what you hit. Wait a bit, and you can reply. Or click the "XX minutes ago", and I've found you can reply there.
I increasingly find that I'm happy to let it go that way, rather than 'defending a position'. This, of course, makes the need for comment notifications less important.
If someone counterpoints something I wrote 30+ days ago... nobody else is reading so it is now a cage match.
Which topics still have a good experience on Quora? I find the quality of the discussion, especially the quality of many of the questions themselves, to be quite low. They need more aggressive community moderation to filter out duplicates, miscategorizations and nonsense before potential answerers are notified/requested. It makes the site look bad.
Almost every day I get an email that says something like "nerflad, so-and-so requested your answer to the question 'how dows computer work?'". Nearly all of the music questions are especially asinine and I just don't have the patience.
Like so many others, I have completely stopped using Quora. Yes, occasionally there are still diamonds in the rough and Alan Kay will pop in to say something, but these kinds of interactions are the exception rather than the norm.
Stack Overflow's moderation is considered Draconian by a lot of people, but it's their lifeblood in my opinion. Q+A sites need a hedge against the descent into Yahoo Answers madness.
I'm really careful about getting into discussions with people, particularly because I'm often operating in the atheism-theism debate. My default response, like you, is to not engage. When I do, I try to pick my words carefully. The second the interaction turns hostile, I'll report if warranted but in any case immediately disengage.
Be Nice, Be Respectful
Sometimes karma changes are an indicator you got responses but not always.
If you leave a lot of comments, going back a week to check your comments is quite the burden. In practice, this means you may never see such replies.
There used to be a 3rd party HN comment notify service and it went down. It was replaced with a different one. I seem to no longer be getting those either here lately. Not sure when it stopped, but recent-ish.
It doesn't matter that much for current, active discussions. But it does mean I am vastly less likely to have any idea that someone replied to something of mine from a few days back and that has to potential to have me ignoring someone asking a good faith question, among other things. That is something that somewhat bothers me.
IMO this should be a core feature. But I’m just happy to have something that works.
I would like that too. I don't mind not having E-mail notifications but a simple indicator would be very useful.
Also, checking manually in peace is better than getting distracted by notifications.
1. Markdown support
2. More profile capabilities. e.g. avatars, vanity URLs, link to your GitHub, Twitter, Stack Overflow, blog, etc.
3. Automatically create cache link for articles in case their hosts go down after being linked from HN.
4. Revision history for comments.
All they really need to do for that is make URLs into links in the "about" section. They already do this for comments; I'm not sure why they don't do that for profiles.
OTOH, the avatars sounds like a horrible idea to me.
I'm neutral on the markdown one, it wouldn't be too bad but it might end up making comments look like mini-articles rather than just comments.
- this is sufficient for bullets
- since people don't bullet whole paragraphs
1. this works for numbers
2. for the same reason
> And this is just fine for pseudo-blockquotes, which can be much longer.
And the lack of embedded links encourages human-readable URLs that are either sources, or inline links to a page people might want to visit after reading the comment: https://news.ycombinator.com/formatdoc
It's a bit arbitrary what's supported, but HN has always felt to me like a display of how working within constraints can improve quality.
Definitely in the same boat. When I started reading through this rare opportunity for legitimate meta discussion I was about to advertise the missing vote direction indication on the unvote button. Because it's so easy to hit the wrong direction on mobile and that would be an elegant way to fix it.
But now I think that even this might be more feature than bug: knowing that there is a chance that it might have been just clumsy upvoters makes it easier to do the right thing when getting downvoted.
I prefer userflairs over avatars. Ability to tag certain users would be convenient as well, incase I want to follow certain opinions.
I feel mixed about inbox system in hackernews. I prefer not having it actually. Because I don't feel like I have to read anything replied back to me, I do it of my own volition
I actually like hackernews as is, less features is better.
I think extraneous formatting would just create more incentives to write long, pretentious, streams of consciousness comments where someone just screams from their soap box instead of actually engaging anyone.
- Bullet list
- Item 2
And preformatting which you DON'T want for quotes because they are very annoying to read on mobile
6. Responsive design so the site doesn't suck on mobile
Honestly there's probably a _ton_ of stuff that could be improved, but given how change-averse the typical HN user seems to be perhaps just leaving it as it is _is_ the best idea.
You have to pop out to comment though.
It's responsive on my end, I think they changed it this year.
I'd like to remove technical posts from my front page, since I'm not technical. Either I'd like to follow certain tags and only see content related to them, or at least be able to mark tags I don't want to see.
I just implemented this, drinking the hnrss post firehose and archiving each link at archive.is. Great idea!
Not sure how it could be improved?
The main purpose of avatars is to track you. Please, HN, do not add avatars.
Maybe you're referring to Gravatars?
- cap karma at 1000 points
- get rid of the leaderboard
Other than that I wouldn't change a thing.
> get rid of the leaderboard
Sometimes someone other than the original commentator replies and unless you're paying attention to the user names you may make a presumption based on assuming they're the same person.
This should be pretty easy to do with a greasemonkey script.
It's also a throwback to the old internet where pseudonymity was normal. It's refreshing to see usernames like AdmiralAsshat and TooMuchToDo.
But destroying old CSS and then not displaying sidebar text in the new default view is what's going to have serious consequences. For all the talk about customization and moderator tools, they've made it so that new users won't see sidebars of rules, useful links, or related subs. Talk about undermining engagement and useful contributions...
I mean I believe SPA's can be more performant and snappy than non-SPA's, but you have to have server-side rendering for the initial page load and minimize the amount of JS used. And then make sure rendering is fast; iirc they had inline styling everywhere a while ago (styled components?), and now nonsensical css classes (which, if they're unique, is probably good for css performance but probably still suboptimal).
The front page is to be avoided at all costs.
 I have nothing to do with that site. I found out about it via a “Show HN” a few years ago.
I would do something about some of the text contrast here though. Maybe an additional form of feedback when editing a comment as well.
(PS: this post is loving and in jest)
I wrote a firefox extension to do this for me, bit buggy but it helps a lot.
Are there more examples of products that did (on purpose) not change significantly?
If you consider the sentiment on the recent GMail redesign, Facebook, .. it often appears that product managers are the only ones that want to change the product and its appeal. I think Reddit also had the crocodile concept for long time. Google‘s main search page changed minor since the past 10 years. I guess there are more examples (Quora, Craigslist, Wikipedia..?)
@pavlov your examples capture the could-be quite well.
I think Craigslist would be the classic example of a simple design that hasn't changed significantly over its lifetime.
Here's a look at the site on a random(ish) day in 2001:
From not being able to use "+" in queries to how your queries are interpreted to what you actually get as your results (from map results to AMP articles, there's a whole spectrum), it's very much a different product these days.
They have all tweaked their UI over two decades if you look closely but make sure they look more or less the same as ever.
Actually Teletext ( https://nos.nl/teletekst ) is still used by many and it looks exactly like it does on TV.
Could it use improvement? Yes.
Does it need it? No.
Simple, fast, does one thing and does it great, has no featuritis and overblown annoying "UX" that current web suffers from.
I come because there will be insight into articles/stories that I won't get from any other site. And all you need for that is a simple threaded discussion.
Before using it, I was checking the website more frequently, fearing I might lose some popular post. Much like other social apps make you do - facebook, twitter, reddit...
But with the 'top 20' and 'top 10', I know I can be 2 days without checking it, and I will still see the most popular posts.
I don't like when apps incentivize/reward time on the app. It's the same reason why I've never played MMOs.
One feature that would be nice is seeing new comments in popular posts without having to look for them. (Not threads, just unrelated new ones)
Thank you Paul and everyone else involved.
Thank you fellow HNers <3
Did they think it was a competitor or something?
Twelve years. Wow.
Dang some of these other guys are old.