Let it never be said that the StumbleUpon team doesn't listen to its users. After considering the concerns of people that wanted an option to hide the StumbleBar, that omnipresent iFrame that floats above any site you're browsing while logged into StumbleUpon, StumbleUpon has announced that users will now be able to hide the Stumblebar while signed into their account.
Prior to the recent redesign of StumbleUpon, users could simply click on an 'X' to remove the Stumblebar but doing this would leave Stumblers with no way to resume Stumbling without returning to StumbleUpon.com. When the site got a redesign, it did away with the 'X' completely but this was met with some grumbling from Stumblers. To appease those desiring of a way to hide the Stumblebar, StumbleUpon has implemented an option that allows users to toggle the presence of the Stumblebar and thereby pause and resume Stumbling to their heart's content. While the change doesn't appear to have rolled out for all accounts (like mine), below is an example of where you can expect to find the feature in the 'Gears' menu:
And no, the updates to StumbleUpon did not change my name to AliceWilliams.
Another concern expressed by users under the redesign was the removal of a direct link to the original content source. Again, StumbleUpon has responded kindly to user feedback and reinstated a direct link from the webpage's info page to make sure that webmasters still receive proper credit through StumbleUpon. The change will enable search engines to resume crawling content just as they did in the previous StumbleUpon design. This should allay any of those preoccupations with whether or not the new design will affect the SEO value of links.
StumbleUpon also hinted at a few of the upcoming changes users can expect to see in the next few months:
We’ll be creating an activity feed of content Liked by your friends, and make it easier to connect with people you know. We’ll also be adding search for your Likes to find specific content you have enjoyed in the past. We’re also investigating ways of organizing one’s Likes, so groups of similar content can be shared with others. We plan to start migrating everyone into the new StumbleUpon design in early March, at which point these features will start to roll out.
For those of you that were unsatisfied with the initial changes to StumbleUpon, how do these changes affect your feelings towards the site's usability? Better? Let us know below in the comment section.