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, 2010 at 17:03
  • whew! close call ;)
    – Glen Lipka
    Nov 1, 2010 at 18:49
  • @ign - glad to see someone else cleaning up the "ui" tags. Dec 22, 2010 at 5:17
  • Yeah, I got in a ui-untagging-frenzy last night :P
    – Ignacio
    Dec 22, 2010 at 18:27

1 Answer 1


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, 2010 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, 2010 at 20:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.