Private Messages alert needs to be more visible
Since the top bar update, I've been missing Private Messages very frequently, requiring the person that sent me the message to ask me if I've read it.
Simply putting a pulsing orange icon is not enough to really make the item something that you will pay attention.
My suggestion is to put an alert like system, either like Notification Center on Mac OS X(Alert section on this documentation http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5362?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US) or some sort of Modal.
I know some users might not like the Modal idea since it's intrusive, so maybe have an option to disable.
Another idea would be to do like Facebook does it, put the icon in a more obvious place(maybe near the star for site updates, that one I normally don't miss, even though I still miss some times) and have a counter of unread messages.
Also maybe drop the pulsing effect and just use diferent colors, or make the pulsing from orange to a brigther orange, not a darker one, it just makes the icon less visible that way. Maybe it's because our theme is dark, but most GL sites I know use darker themes.
This is not currently planned to be included in a development cycle, but we may revisit it at a later date.
Chris Paterson commented
Just to add: I most regularly view the site on a vertically-oriented monitor with 1024x1280 resolution, which means GL sites don't fit on my screen. I've arranged my own site so that there's nothing I particularly need to see in the right-hand column, but I can't see the PM icon without scrolling :-) I know asking for a different layout would be overkill, but shifting the PM icon to the left would be handy!