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GitHub dashboard UI refresh (github.blog)
90 points by rococode 61 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 59 comments

I really like the new GitHub dashboard (have been using it for a while now), but the thing that's really annoying me is how on mobile browsers it has much less comment (missing the activity feed). Then, when you go to the desktop version, it turns out they have a perfectly fine responsive version of the full activity feed, too! So why not enable that in the mobile version directly?

This always annoys me with github on mobile. Why is it not possible to change to the desktop view permanent with a setting in the profile.

I absolutely cannot stand how GitHub on a Mobile browser is, no offense to whoever works on that part of GitHub, it's not your fault. But I hate looking up code and finding a GitHub repository on my phone only to get a fragment of what the repository should show me. I want to see the whole damn README every single time.

I wish they would show me the whole README not force me to click on show in desktop mode. The fact they show that button tells me people've complained about the mobile mode enough, cause without that link I would just set my browser to render as a desktop browser.

I love GitHub but mobile UX is one thing that kills me about the web, and it's not GitHub's fault, lots of websites get it wrong, especially ad riddled sites, or sites that redirect you to their mobile page only to not take you to the original content.

At least on Android chrome you can check the desktop version option in the menu and get regular GitHub which is surprisingly very usable!

Yeah you can do that on Firefox as well. Though they have a web URL to view the desktop version, which begs the question: do they get complaints about the mobile version? Why bother...

You can click on “Desktop version” at the bottom of the page when browsing mobile, but only the dashboard is responsive :(

This blog post says they are working on more full width and responsive pages, so maybe one day they'll get rid of the need for a separate "Mobile version".

Yes, I do that. Every second day! Cookies expire.

Ironically, I friggin hate it. It takes up extra screen real estate for negative gain.

Tried it out ages ago, then opted out of the beta. Now it's back, and there's no way to disable it.

Pretty sure I'll be deleting my GitHub account in very near future. Really over this kind of distraction-oriented crap being forced onto frequent users. :(

I don't honestly know what they are talking about (unless there are some new changes they are gradually rolling out and I haven't received the update yet).

Left column: 7 repos I'm contributing to (out of a few dozen), 7 teams I'm a part of (out of about 12)

Middle column taking up ~70% of screen width: 3-4 updates from "recent activity" which has a lag of a few minutes (my own PRs don't show up there until after some long unspecified time).

This is followed by "All activity" which is more of the same, but with way more wasted space. But since GitHub seems to think it's a social network, it's also flooded by things like "Your friend starred a repo you don't care about".

Right column: Discover repositories. Three repositories from projects I may or may not care about.

How is this useful in any way? Oh. The right column also boasts a text which reads "Welcome to the new dashboard. Get closer to the stuff you care about most." which is a link to the Github Blog post above.

Fix-width layouts are a pet peeve of mine. What's the point of having a large monitor with 1920 or 2048 pixels in the middle, if the content only takes up like 40% of it.

I agree in most cases except when reading articles. It's scientifically proven that it is easier to read anything if a line doesn't exceed ~ 75 characters. I love blogs and news websites which have very narrow fixed width UIs for optimal reading and really dislike blogs which are wider than 600-700 pixels.

So that's why books are printed on till rolls! ;)

Seriously though - here's what a Wired article looks like on my 24" monitor. Chrome, no zoom.


Text occupies 420px out of 1600; barely over 25% of screen width.

I'm aware reading may be a dying art, and new generations are lacking long attention span, but squashing text into an average of 9 words per line feels infuriating to me, you can downvote me all you want.

My eyes are dangling out of my sockets from going left to right and back and forth three times a second, not to mention constantly having to scroll the page vertically.

I'm not a scientist, though - YMMV of course.

I wish more site would use columns, like in print. I agree that really wide text is hard to read, but instead of making one narrow column you need to scroll through, you can divide it into multiple columns.


True, but unfortunately the concept of print does not translate well to the web. CSS colums can either be width or height limited:

Fix to 2 columns: you cannot control the height, if it goes beyond the screen height, users need to scroll down on the first column, then scroll back to the start of the 2nd column.

Fix to the screen height: you cannot control the width, it it goes beyond the screen, users need to scroll horizontally to read the text. Although this somehow would work, it's really not general behavior on the web to scroll horizontally.

Because if you're maximizing every window on a desktop OS then you're Doin' It Wrong

No. It just means you're doing it the way you prefer.

People shouldn't be required to resize their browser window to suit the site - it should adapt. (I'm not suggesting 16pt line of text running the full screen width)

For Github, I use the "Github Wide" Stylus style - I now have a workable diff UI. (ironically, I think it breaks the dashboard layout) - judging by the article, I may not require it soon.

I've been using cfoellmann's fork [1] ; and have updated the "Applies to" to URLs matching the regexp `https:\/\/github\.com\/.+\/.+` so it gets applied only to any content within a repository; I remember changing it when having this style (or mdo's?) enabled broke profile views.

[1] https://userstyles.org/styles/108591/github-wide

Ah thanks! "Applies to" fixed it... obvious, in hindsight.

(I wish the "applies to" would persist over updates).

ugh, dashboard starting to look like facebook...

What is it then? New github homepage is extremely bad at a reduced size as well.

below 1012 pixels and they remove search and anything in navigation for a hamburger button, where there is clearly still enough room for these elements.

at 768 pixels they remove the new repository button.

They should be focusing on their desktop experience. Sure their mobile experience is still fucked, but you'll find that at least 90% of people using github every day are form a PC. Who programs from their phone?

The fucking navigation menu on a browser that big is pretty inexcusable. It's a step back from any coherent design

> below 1012 pixels they remove search and anything in navigation for a hamburger button

I’ve notified this is increasingly common now. Super frustrating that I can’t have two windows side-by-side on my laptop and still use the effectively. Despite the fact that it’s about 8-16x the size of a phone screen, it gets reduced to a mobile looking layout.

This kills the productivity.

And prey you don't use vertical monitors. I can only feel the depths of hell you would have to navigate being given a mobile interface with keyboard and mouse because a user decides that vertical reading space suits their tasks

That might be true, but right now i don't want to focus on anything but github, so why shouldn't i be able to use all my screen space for it?

That may be true on windows or some flavours of desktop Linux where simple windows management have existed for some time (windows 10 being a real champ of multiple frame management on the same display), but if you're on a Mac you're stuck with a real mess that requires a lot of manual screen size management.

I don't mean to be harsh on you in particular, but I do think it's funny that, when it comes to ads, HNers will rush to say "my browser, my rules, it's me who decides how your content will render!" Meanwhile, also HNers: "Ugh, can you zoom your content for me and shape your content to my browser?"

> HNers: "Ugh, can you zoom your content for me and shape your content to my browser?"

You got it backwards. More like "Stop fixating on a width and shaping your content in a browser limiting way". They are asking for the removal of viewing restrictions in both cases, no need to pretend like they're at odds.

Hear hear! As long as the design doesn't fall apart when you resize the window and/or set a zoom level other than 100%, which is far from always the case.

You can still put multiple things side-by-side…

> updated dashboards to surface personalized repository suggestions

This implies that a LOT of people visit GH in search of new and exciting repositories to... erm... hrm... why exactly would anyone EVER do that?

I've actually been positively surprised by that. I normally don't have high hopes for automated suggestions, but it actually has managed to surface interesting new projects from areas I work in a few times. Still of course a question if that justifies the space it takes in the UI, especially since it can't be turned off.

I've discovered quite a few interesting projects through suggestions. Might as well throw it back: why exactly wouldn't a passionate person want that?

There's no [X] there to hide the section or even dismiss unwanted suggestions. That's the only place on the dashboard that is not mine, and which is only controlled by others/GitHub's algorithms, not by me.

The suggestions aren't too bad, but the lack of control over the content imposed on me bothers me a lot.

I visit https://news.ycombinator.com/show and most of what you get there is new and exciting repositories. I don't think personalized suggestion are without merit.

Things on Show HN are ready to be showcased. A random repo on GitHub most likely isn't.

The “random repos” shown in Github’s various Explore/Suggestion interfaces bias towards repos with higher star counts / repos followed by people you follow / that are similar to ones you already follow.

I’ve found plenty of interesting repos from the suggestions. Whether their creator was looking to “showcase” them or not isn’t directly material to me: I’m looking for inspiration, or examples, or just to see what other folks are up to. The suggestions are a useful window into those categories.

You don't? I love finding new and interesting repositories. Maybe it's a tool that I end up using, maybe I learn something from reading it, maybe it's just a fun oddity that I can share with friends. I love seeing what other people are doing and getting inspired to work on more interesting things myself.

It keeps me up to date on what my colleagues and competitors are interested in and working on. I often find great new papers by discovering their implementations first.

"personalised suggestions" - well, I can see where this is going.

Basically, some algorithm will decide what we need to see. At first it will be based on our starred repos, history, stars of people with a matching profile - perhaps it may also be based on their linked-in profile and other pieces of telemetry.

We'll all get comfortable with this feed of information - some may be checking it multiple times per day/week.

Soon after that, when they're working on "OSS sustainability" (think $), project owners can pay<^W>ask for their projects to be "recommended" to us, as part of this feed.

I visit the trending page multiple times every day. It's a great way to keep an eye on up and coming projects.

The best thing for me is that I have quicker access to my own repositories via the left sidebar and quick search.

That's been been there for a while. The only thing they've added is the fixed width column on the right side - which can't be gotten rid of - listing "suggested repos".

Personally, if I was looking for extra stuff, I'd damn well go find it. Taking away screen real estate I actually use, for this crap... not in any way positive (for me). :( :( :(

So it's uhhh... wider, with distractions on the side. Often breaks my concentration when loading up GitHub to find an issue of a particular project. A net downgrade IMO.

No screenshots?

Exactly. I have no idea what changed... Have I been part of a test group or something for the last months?

I find the sticky behaviour of the left sidebar a bit distracting and unnecessary.

Also it only list 7 repos with a "show more" button, and then a huge chunk of empty space beneath that. Just "show more" by default.

Yeah. They seem to have taken the feedback ("Don't do this") from people in the beta (like me), piped it to /dev/null, then rolled it out anyway.

I guess someone had to show something for the time they'd spent on it or something. "What've you been working on for the last month?" -> "Adding an extra column to everyones dashboard, even though it takes up useful screen real estate, and many people don't want it". -> "Yeah, that's obviously a win, roll that out!"

Not impressed.

What GitHub needs is to copy the review queue from Stash/bitbucket server.

1. All the PRs you (or one of your groups) is an assigned reviewer of that you've interacted with and have since been updated.

2. All the PRs you (or one of your groups) is an assigned reviewer of that you've never interacted with.

3. All the PRs you (or one of your groups) is an assigned reviewer of that you've marked as lower priority for you.

Currently you can only find out if you're assigned in the depths of the UI and have to navigate to individual PRs to see if action is required.

That is what the dashboard needs, not suggested repositories (disclaimer, I use my employers GitHub enterprise instance way more and I'm not active enough to be an assigned reviewed on any GitHub.com repo, so maybe that has it now and it's not trickled down to enterprise)

UI looks great; still wish we get the ability to organise our repos under subgroups like gitlab does.

It would be awesome to have subgroups! Usually my projects contains multiple repo’s which i currently prefix with the project name.

I'm not sure why, but on an up-to-date firefox (64.0.2) running on Windows 10 I cannot see the changes. When I open in Chrome (71.0.3578.98) it shows the changes. Also on firefox the login link at the top of the page shows up in a "hamburger" menu and the page loads scrolled down to about half page neither of which affect chrome.

I found the issue. I was zoomed in to 153% which caused the "issues". I am leaving this here in case anyone else experiences this and is confused.

I don't mind it since I never used it, but I hate the new "status" feature. Seems rather out of place.

Undoubtedly this refresh is directly correlated with the Microsoft acquisition. A new designer and a new PM like to make their mark on a product for better or for worse

seems distracting to me

man the github blog design is fresh!

Looks like the competition from Gitlab is very real, first free private repos and now this in a pretty short time span...

The dashboard was in beta for a while now. I opted in in late 2018.

Me as well. I was struggling to see what is new, but then recalled that I've been on the beta of this for months.

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