I've always said that interfaces assume a particular volume of activity. Too many or too few and a different interface is appropriate.

I was looking at StackOverflow users vs. ui.stackexchange.com. Quarter of a million users, and a ridiculous quantity of questions. Look at Jon Skeet's profile. He has 2659 badges and it just looks silly. His most popular question has 415 answers.

What is the sweet spot of volume for this interface? What breaks down at high scale? Can StackOverflow 10X their volume and maintain the same interface? 100X?

  • 3
    While this is a question about Stack Exchange and on any other site would be moved to the site's meta - here it's a perfectly valid question. – ChrisF Nov 1 '10 at 17:03
  • whew! close call ;) – Glen Lipka Nov 1 '10 at 18:49
  • @ign - glad to see someone else cleaning up the "ui" tags. – Charles Boyung Dec 22 '10 at 5:17
  • Yeah, I got in a ui-untagging-frenzy last night :P – Nacho Dec 22 '10 at 18:27

Jeff has actually posted a question on Meta Stack Overflow asking for suggestions on how the Stack Overflow home page could be redesigned. This is an acknowledgement that the current model isn't working for a site with the volume of questions and answers that SO has.

Note, that this is only for Stack Overflow. The other sites don't get anywhere near the same traffic so the current model still works for them.

  • That topic is interesting, but focuses primarily on the home page. What about all of the other sections? – Glen Lipka Nov 1 '10 at 20:45
  • @Glen - true, but it does relate specifically to the volume of activity that the home page gets. User profile pages are less of a problem, even with Jon's number of badges because they get so few visits (relatively speaking). – ChrisF Nov 1 '10 at 20:51

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