"Above the text entry box where I type this question is a menu bar. On that bar there is a chain icon for "Hyperlink". On some of the other stack exchange sites the icon is a globe with an arrow.

enter image description here

Whereas for UX.SE and some other sites, it's:

enter image description here

Does that matter for the user experience?"

I ask here because your users will have expert advice. I can then take that back to the main site's meta and ask them to change it. (Or not change it. Except that I have already asked.)

  • 1
    Can you post some screen shots so people do not have to open up the pages to check what you're saying?
    – rk.
    Jul 4, 2013 at 4:22
  • 1
    In the sites I frequent I see only a chain. Given that the code should be common across all sites, I'm surprised there are differences. It's possible that different browser clients or devices might use different icons if the interface has to be implemented differently. Jul 4, 2013 at 7:03
  • 2
    No, there certainly are variances. I've checked ServerFault and SuperUser - they both use the globe+arrow combination, whereas scifi and UX use the link icon. Strange, I'm surprised that there's a difference here, never noticed this before.
    – JonW Mod
    Jul 4, 2013 at 7:54
  • Sorry for the lack of screen shots. Thank you to whoever provided them! (JonW?)
    – DanBeale
    Jul 4, 2013 at 10:58
  • 3
    Hmm. It's not the only difference. The top one has a polaroid photo instead of a landscape painting, and dividers between groups. Different sites must use different plugins. Perhaps this should be migrated to Meta.SO [although I know that MSO Powers do look across all Meta sites from time to time]. Jul 4, 2013 at 17:54
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    This is a valid issue I think. Needs to be fixed. And as @AndrewLeach said, there are too many (subtle perhaps) differences with respect to icons, boldness, style etc
    – Mohit
    Jul 10, 2013 at 7:46

1 Answer 1


This type of inconsistency should be fixed. However, we're currently very short staffed in the design department(i.e. Jin), and I'm afraid we probably won't get to fix this for a while.

Though, I will say that we are still looking to hire a designer, so if you feel that strongly you can apply :)

  • 1
    Really, how difficult can it be? There is nothing to design here. Just use the same design all over. Same icons, spacing and stuff. May be I am missing something here but the toolbar layout design seems pretty standard here, only with different set of icons, all across SE sites and can look same if implemented with same set of icons and same spacing guidelines.
    – Mohit
    Sep 25, 2013 at 18:10
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    @Mohit It's all about priorities. The team is currently working full-time on an android app, iPhone app, new top bar design (to be unveiled in the next few days), rebuilding the Oregon data center, metrics platform, SSL, and internationalization. I have one guy for bug fixes, and he's basically triaging the most serious ones. This bug is simply an inconsistency, of which we have many, but still functions just fine. We just can't prioritize it.
    – Jeremy T
    Sep 25, 2013 at 21:07

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