Make profile "watched" lists smarter about large numbers
Short, concise description of the idea
Profile page's method of hiding excessive numbers of friends/comms/feeds watched should distinguish between the three when doing so.
Full description of the idea
The current profile page will not display watched friends, communities, or feeds if the total number of these is greater than 500, instead linking all three to friendlist.bml. The reasoning behind this is sound (avoid massively huge profile pages), but the profile doesn't even mention how many there are of each (only giving the total), and when only one of the numbers involved is actually that large (for instance, 500 friends, 1 community, and 0 feeds), it presents an odd situation in which the profile page seems to think it doesn't have room to display one community or to tell you that the user isn't watching any feeds. The only way to get this information is to manually sift through friendlist.bml.
My suggestion is to implement a threshold (say, 20) under which the profile will display all friends/communities/feeds regardless of the total, whereas above the threshold the current behavior is used. That is, with 482 friends, 19 communities, and 0 feeds (a total of 501), the friends section will still link to friendlist.bml (because 482 is obviously greater than 20, so the new rule doesn't apply), but the communities section will display all 19 communities (19 being below the threshold) and the feeds section will display the "not watching any feeds" message.
In addition, the message linking to friendlist.bml should list the number for the specific section in question. For example, "This user is watching a total of 501 friends, communities, and feeds, including 482 friends. View them all."
- Avoid awkward "small number is too many to list" situations.
- Avoid deceptive links to friendlist.bml in sections that would normally be empty.
- Using the current behavior when above the threshold prevents this from allowing a "499 + 20 + 20 = okay to list 537 friends" situation. The most that could be affected by this change would be 20 of each, for a total of 60, which would be displayed in the current behavior anyway.
- With the improved "view them all" message, users who did still end up having to search through friendlist.bml would at least know how many of each they were looking for (and thus be able to stop at that point).
- Would make profile page code somewhat more complex and therefore somewhat slower.
- For numbers above the threshold, users must still manually search through friendlist.bml to find the names they are looking for.
- Any particular threshold is bound to be seen as too high or low by someone.