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The new /about page is nice overall. Great work!

However, there's something there that considerably mars the result, and is especially inappropriate on this site.

Various illustrations slide into place. They look like a developer discovered how to do it and decided to show off their newfound trick regardless of whether it was a good idea or not. Très Geocities. Would you like <blink> with that?

The illustrations convey almost no information. The one illustration that does (the answer being marked as accepted) is partly hidden: it's only triggered when you've finished reading the part that it applies to. The illustrations are very sensitive to the window size and scroll rhythm: if your window is too short or too tall and you scroll through it with PgDn, you may not see the animations at all (which is a blessing) or they may trigger while the illustration is only partly visible.

All in all, this is a user interface element that gets into the way of functionality in order to look showy, and that is very brittle with respect to the tool used to access it (maximize your window, get a nonsensical display). This may be appropriate on Apple, but it is the complete antithesis of Unix & Linux.

If you really must keep this animation, at least turn it off on Unix & Linux — it is very off-putting to this site's core audience.

  • I'd like a <marque>, <blink> and 10 geocities style animated gifs with that. – CodesInChaos Jan 15 '13 at 13:23
  • I DEMAND <bgsound>! IN ALL CAPS, NO LESS! – derobert Jan 15 '13 at 15:54
  • I agree with everything, but if I'd posted it I would've dedicated more time to making fun of Apple – Michael Mrozek Jan 15 '13 at 16:12
  • @Emmett I had used the bug tag for a reason. The user experience is not appropriate for the indented audience. If the code conforms to the design spec but the design spec does not conform to the use case, it's a bug. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jan 17 '13 at 22:55
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    @Gilles Bugs are typically issues which are not obviously by-design. Your question will probably get more consideration as a feature request any ways, since as a bug, it can just be [status-bydesign]'d and then forgotten. – Emmett Jan 17 '13 at 23:00
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Remember, this is a guide aimed squarely at folks who've never used Stack Exchange before. For folks who've been around a bit, it's de-emphasized in favor of /faq. Therefore, the illustrations are limited to very basic UI elements; anyone who has used any Stack Exchange site for more than a short time should already be familiar with just about everything on that page.

The animations are intended to draw attention to specific areas of the UI. Having edited dozens of these pages now, on both a small and a very large screen, I can't say I've found them particularly distracting - that said, it's certainly a matter of taste.

Unfortunately, these pages offer only limited opportunity for per-site customization at this time. While it's possible such customization could be added, I'm not convinced the effort wouldn't better be spent on something more useful to the majority of active users.

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    Agreed that there may be more important things to work on. Oh, infact, there are! :) – Mat Jan 18 '13 at 6:55
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    “The animations are intended to draw attention to specific areas of the UI.” Then they are failing spectacularly, since the sliding animations make it hard to notice the accept animation, which is the only one that demonstrates an element of the UI. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jan 18 '13 at 21:58

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