I like it WAY better with actual usernames attached. Tbh, I just get confused between "asker" and "opinion owner", especially if both are repeatedly commenting on the same thread.
(Full disclosure: I'm biased, because I just don't follow abstract titles well in general. If I'm reading/hearing a story about "my cousin" or "my friend" or "the guy from the bar", I have to make up names for these people -- and think about them by those names -- before I'll be able to follow the story.)
It would be easy enough to just put an "Asker" or "Opinion Owner" badge NEXT to the person's username -- in the same way as moderator badges, Editor badges, etc. Not sure why this wasn't implemented at the same time as the change. It seems pretty obvious to me.
Why do we have to choose? They are both useful. If I were designing it, I'd start with the person's handle, which can be clicked on, just like it is now, but then, if they are an opinion owner or an asker, then you can put those role names in brackets next to the name (either to the right or below, depending on layout constraints). The words 'opinion owner' or 'asker' can even be hyperlinked to relevant 'opinion' or 'question' so you can refresh your memory with a single click.
Yes, this was a new update we launched yesterday. In addition to that, there were a couple of other updates as well.
- We added the new notification setting for those who do not want to receive question invites. This is located under the Conversations section and it says: "You are invited to share your opinion" - There is a new "Liked" section on profiles. This will show all of the Questions, myTakes, and Opinions that you like on the site and it is private, so only you will see it. - We put a link to user Privacy Settings right on your Private Messages page in the top right corner. Some users don't know they can change their messaging settings so this should make it easier for everyone to control who they receive messages from, if they want to.