How to make the forum better for novices?

Totally agree. I’m actually torn because the “Only Categories” view is probably the most conventional, though it really has very minimal information.

But I find the “Boxes and Featured Topics” to be the clearest and most intuitive (except I’d reorder the boxes). I love the way you instantly can see the nine main categories and at a glance you can tell what new posts there are in each. I would prefer it to show 4 or 5 entries in each category. Most people will only be interested in a small number of categories anyway.

For the record, I’d order them… top row: General Discussion, Support, Announcements - middle row: Plugins; Themes, International - bottom row: the rest.


Also, one other point. When I go to a category, this is what I see in my browser:

The subcategories fill almost the whole screen and I need to scroll down to start seeing the posts. I’m not sure if these could be minimised so they are less “in-your-face”?

Yes, whereas what many people might expect would be this:

  • Subforum
    • Post
    • Post
    • Post
  • Subforum
    • Post
    • Post


You should get dropped off where you left off. If you have “completed” the thread and are returning in the case no new posts have been made that would be the top so you can summarize, and in the case there are you will be brought to the latest post (bottom).

I don’t disagree, Discourse took a “modern” approach bringing the “traditional forums” into the new web. From my point of view Discourse has over delivered.

Checking out some other large discourse forums to see what they do:

If by “the drop of a hat” you mean “the minute the topic starts going astray”, I’m in agreement. To clarify, I’m also not a fan of splitting topics, however, there has been a consistent tendency for threads to wander all over the place without it…which leads to those neverending scrolls everybody dislikes.


Not surprisingly, Twitter uses the split view. Given the totally confusing UX on Twitter itself, they don’t seem to care very much about that aspect. :smile:

This thread is a great example of something that should be split but I am holding off because they are still semi-related. That being said, now I think there is 5 different avenues of discussion going :man_shrugging:

  1. I can’t seem to see any consensus on layout changes yet - but we will keep the idea open :slight_smile:
  2. Splitting threads, I know it is disorienting. And I think we all hate it but when threads get off topic realistically there is no other way to do it. I know we can do better with trying to keep context and the mods and I try hard to figure out the bare minimum we need to include. The issue is, especially threads that actively being replied to, it often happens super quickly which makes it really tough.
  3. User onboarding, I think including more information in the welcome message is the way to approach this and encouraging all new users to actually complete the included onboarding by @discobot would be beneficial.

I think that hit all the points above - if you want to reply to a specific point please quote and use the “reply as linked thread” :slight_smile:

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Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t see the layouts used by both Atom and Imgur as one of the options in the screenshots you posted earlier.

They aren’t, I was referring to a “consensus” from our forum users.

I think we are talking about different things. Earlier you posted a bunch of screenshots and said these were our possible options. I’m wondering why the views that are being used by both Atom and Imgur aren’t included.

Uh, I am tired - sorry :slight_smile:

Yes, I showed screenshots for these:
Screen Shot 2020-05-02 at 10.52.18 PM

But technically we can adjust this too:
Screen Shot 2020-05-02 at 10.55.37 PM

Ah, OK. Well, I quite like the version.

And I like the way that when you open a category with lots of subcategories you don’t get all the clutter, eg

Actually I’ve just realised that’s not the situation. The situation is that I have “Categories” selected as my home page, and the Discourse options take that to mean Categories + Latest.

More confusion!

Well, actually I think we are seeing a consensus that the current default view could be improved.

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2 posts were split to a new topic: Forum Stats

5 users wouldn’t count as consensus. Then, consensus on “this can be improved” doesn’t actually help me “improve” the experience…

And again, I will point to my post above. If you have a specific concern please split it off as I mentioned above.

Trying to answer a moving target isn’t fun and just confuses the whole situation :slightly_smiling_face:

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To start, we will be updating the welcome message to include some more information and a link to instructions on updating your home page layout to reflect the design users wish to use.

I am closing this thread, but please feel free to continue the discussion by using the “Reply as linked thread” :slight_smile:

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