Categorisation, tagging, default appearance

(Graham Perrin) #22

Issue with Open Source Design meta

Categorisation is not visible whilst reading topics within the category.

The absence of navigation means that it’s not as simple, as it could be, to reach the category from its contents.

Also, it’s disorienting. Things that are apparently uncategorised are, truly, categorised.

For example:

An apparently uncategorised topic

The same topic, categorised

(Heiko Tietze) #23

Kind of what I meant in another thread with the lonely icon at top left. Having a breadcrumb next to it explains its function (go home) and balances the layout.

First impressions (preview)
(Graham Perrin) #24


Re: post 22 above, would you like me to attempt to make the category visible?

Or was the invisibility intentional?


Thanks. For me: in some ways the change is an improvement, in other ways it’s less user-friendly.

I performed some tests with Discourse on Android. Categorisation by default exposed a minor bug, I made the Discourse Team aware, the bug is acknowledged (also affected: Discourse on iOS).

That minor bug aside: a few other thoughts came to mind (I can share screenshots etc. in due course) but those thoughts are not yet firm.

It should become easier for people to get a ‘feel’ of the forum, on multiple platforms, after it gains momentum; after there’s more substantial content that is neither forum feedback, nor meta.

It may be worth spending a few days (just a few minutes each day) browsing and searching sites such as:

At first glance, Mozilla’s use of Discourse is impressive. It is immediately obvious that great care and forethought has been given to organisation, and presentation, of categories and sub-categories.

For me, things became more thought-provoking when I scratched beneath the surface. In the handful of areas where I browsed or participated, I gained a sense that use of the forum for discussion is sometimes discouraged; there’s encouragement to use GitHub, not Discourse for discussion …

… which slightly defeats the object of a forum :slight_smile: especially where reasons for setting up a forum include the perception that GitHub is not ideal for forum-like discussions (that’s a very broad topic … probably best continued in Discourse Meta, not here).

Cross reference: today’s illustrations by @jdittrich under First impressions (preview) – visualising how categories might appear with and without the rectangular logo requirement.

(Graham Perrin) #25

Communication & collab between designers & devs

I suggest a slight change to the name of this category. From:

Communication & collab between designers & devs


Communication and collaboration

– and the elaboration (“between designers and developers”, and so on) can be explicit within
About ‘Communication and collaboration’, which is already pinned at the head of

(Graham Perrin) #26

When the fixed version of the application is made available, I’ll add a note here.

… screenshots etc. in due course …

Not forgotten. I might share those first impressions next weekend. In the meantime there’s the question about category visibility :slight_smile:

Communication and collaboration

One like and no objections, so I made the change. Hopefully not too hasty; if there are objections, please do not hesitate to raise them.

As the ampersand has been replaced by ‘and’ in the name of that category: for consistency, I’ll make the same replacement in two others that use an ampersand.

Also I’m shortening some of the URL slugs – /comm-coll in lieu of /communication-collaboration, /feedback in lieu of /forum-feedback, and so on. It will be smart to finalise any such changes before the site is promoted.

redirect to

First impressions, part two
(Graham Perrin) #27

New topics

If begun from the home page, a new topic defaults to Open Source Design meta (the category that appears to be not a category whilst reading any topic in that category).

Probably not the best default. Assume that some posters will not pay attention to the category before posting.

I’m not keen on enforced categorisation, but since it was introduced: can we have a more appropriate default? The lounge, maybe?

(Graham Perrin) #28

Apparent breakage of ‘Open Source Design meta’

Fixed :slight_smile: but not yet thoroughly tested. As far as I can tell, the problem arose when:

  • instead of adding a category for ‘Open Source Design meta’
  • the special ‘Uncategorized’ category was renamed to ‘Open Source Design meta’ – causing categorised topics to misbehave as if they were noncategorised.

That’s not just a special name, it has a special purpose. Critically:

If you would like to see what’s uncategorised, at any time:


Refrain from categorising things such as:

  • the welcome message
  • frequently asked questions
  • guidelines
  • hidden site maintenance banners

– thanks :thumbsup:

(Graham Perrin) #29

Thanks @evalica for seeking feedback!

I’m not yet convinced that categories by default at the home page is, or will be (when the forum gains momentum), better than latest.

With apologies for short notice: I have performed a reset on the top menu. Short notice because I only just learnt of the call, less than three hours from now, with the forum on the agenda.

A two-hour opportunity for participants who have worked, for the past two weeks, with categories at home page to begin getting a feel for how things might be with the Discourse default for the top menu.

Please understand that today’s reset need not be a final setting. I never like making changes such as this without consultation – especially where a site has gone live – but with the call so soon, I’m squeezing it in with a hope that someone will form an opinion in the next hour or so.

(If the call is followed by a final or semi-final decision to reinstate categories by default: the change will be very easily achieved by any member of staff.)

Screenshots, for reference

Before (categories by default)

After (latest by default)

First impressions, part two
(Graham Perrin) #30

I edited the category ‘About …’ texts a little, partly to remove things such as these:

  • :globe_with_meridians:
  • :iphone:
  • :art:
  • :dividers:
  • :slight_smile:

Not because I dislike the smiley faces :slight_smile:

Because they were not rendered in some contexts. A few examples:

(simonv3) #31

Aw bummer. Someone else posted this too here

(evalica) #32

I like the default “Categories” by default. Since it’s easy to change, we can test and see which default is better, but it’s minor so I guess any is ok.

(Graham Perrin) #33

:thumbsup: thanks for feedback.

Maybe poll users, some time after a good broadening of the audience.

(Jan-Christoph Borchardt) #34

Same here. Now it’s a jumbled mess of latest threads. In the category view @evalica set it was at least some structure on the left. That gives new people and regular users alike a way better sense of which categories exist.

(Graham Perrin) #35

Please be specific.

Can you give an example of a subject line that is not clear?

(Jan-Christoph Borchardt) #36

It’s not about a single subject line. It’s about the overall layout. The current one is just a list of topics. The other one @evalica set has the categories on the left too.

I can see a like from you on @evalica’s original message about changing it so I assumed you were ok with it? I can also see a like from you on @evalica’s message just now, and also @simonv3 liked my agreement with @evalica.

(simonv3) #37

Also @htietze mentioned a preference for the categories view (with some suggested expansions).

And, yeah, my like was in agreement.

(Graham Perrin) #38

It’s unfortunate that the topic about first impressions was closed so soon.

(simonv3) #39

I feel like a conversation about the default appearance for users makes a lot of sense in this thread about “default appearance”, especially as it pertains to categorization and tagging.

(Jan-Christoph Borchardt) #40

Not sure what you are trying to say. It was closed because it was spreading out into too many topics. We can always open new separate topics about things.

This topic is about default appearance, and so far people seem to prefer the category view by default.

(Graham Perrin) #41


– not so much swiping with the Open Source Design forum as with Mozilla Discourse but still, the UX is not great:

  • if you tap back after reading something in the lounge, then it’s three swipes down again before the Lounge is reached.

Not an issue with Latest by default, just something to consider if staff do choose to reinstate Categories by default.

Side note

Recent testing focused on mobile 'cause I’ll be without a computer for the next few days.