Is there a tour of this discourse platform?


(joel galbraith) #1

I really find this Discourse platform (or Feverbee configuration) difficult to navigate. I get the sense that it’s got a bunch of very cool features and analytics, but I haven’t figured out what they are or how they can help me as a user have a good experience. I never know where I am in this community nor how to easily find a post again. Granted, I have not sat down and done any tutorial nor invested much time in understanding the platform metaphor…but why isn’t it more intuitive?!

I honestly can’t say I enjoy coming here to browse. I come because I get a direct link to a post that intrigues me. Once here, I have, unfortunately, little incentive to stay. I click around a bit, but the find it overwhelming and lacking structure…and I leave.

Rather than just feel frustrated about yet another unfulfilling Feverbee visit, today I came back to start a post about this frustration and see what I might learn from fellow Feverbees.

I’m no luddite, and can obviously get around in here a bit, but it feels the interface and navigation get in the way of me actually communicating with peers and building relationships. Maybe I’m asking too much of my limited engagement.
What I am missing? Am I the only one? Am I too old school? Help is appreciated.

(Nick Emmett) #2

Hi @jdg239, sorry to hear your frustrations - personally I don’t find it particularly challenging, as a user I know that the discussions are all in one place and list and I can usually find old posts by using the search facility.

Another cool tool to use would be the Bookmark tool, at the bottom of each post, where you can save posts to come back to later.

Any one else have any tips?

@Hawk might have some great insights having been involved in the building of the community and now working @ Discourse.

(Sarah Hawk) #3

Joel and I have actually had this discussion in the past. I’d love to help but I can’t empathise. :frowning: I’ve always found Discourse to be way more intuitive and easy to navigate than any other platform.

@jdg239 Have you done the @discoFEVERbot tutorial? That might help a bit. Or if there are specific things you struggle with I can definitely address those. If categorised content is easier for you to navigate then you can change your default view (or home page) at /preferences/interface

(discoFEVERbot) #4

Hi! To find out what I can do, say @discoFEVERbot display help.

(joel galbraith) #5

@discofeverbot display help

(discoFEVERbot) #6

I currently know how to do the following things:

@discoFEVERbot start new user

Starts one of the following interactive narratives: new user, advanced user.

@discoFEVERbot roll 2d6

:game_die: 3, 6

@discoFEVERbot quote

:left_speech_bubble: Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you — Princess Diana

@discoFEVERbot fortune

:crystal_ball: You may rely on it

(joel galbraith) #7

Thanks Sarah. I recognize and don’t dispute the amount of work that you and others have put into this, I’m just describing my personal experience here thus far. I’m particularly sensitive to this right now as we are going through a platform transition with our community. Obviously, we hope that all our efforts will provide our members a better experience. I’ll be just crushed if it doesn’t—knowing full well that it is not the platform alone that “makes” a community…but I want our new platform to remove barriers to engagement, not introduce more barriers.
We have talked before, but my experience hasn’t changed…yet. I will go try that discofever thing again, and also see if the categorized content view helps me. I do really want to be here, but want to enjoy my experience more when I’m here and find value (browse?) more easily.
An item that comes to mind is the cluttered interface in some views…in particular the stats that seems to take up so much of the screen. User pics, replies, views, activity, category, read/unread. That info is all generally useful, but it has as much contrast, real estate and prominence on the screen as the post itself. (see attached images)

(Sarah Hawk) #8

It’s all good, I certainly don’t mean to sound defensive. :slight_smile:
It’s possibly important to note that I no longer have an investment in this specific community but as I now design the software that you’re struggling with I have a definite interest in this discussion!

The parts of the screen which you are highlighting serve pretty crucial roles… e.g. navigation and orientation. I’d be curious to see examples of other platforms which you prefer because I’m interested in how they are different.

I don’t want to discount your experiences in any way, but this is definitely not something that I hear from other people so I’m wondering if you are an outlier, or if you’re just more honest than others. :wink:

(joitske) #9

I also find it counter intuitive. I think it is because it needs time to get used to it. I once started learning to navigate with a webcrossings platform. What I do think is that there is an evolution in the platforms. The new generation platforms are more visual and seem to have a different logic. Once you get you get used to that you get lost on other platforms.

(Richard Millington) #10

I agree with a lot of this @jdg239 - I think the Discourse platform is probably the best value for forum packages out there, but it does seem designed from the perspective of technology folks more than the average user. It does get a little cluttered with far too many options. I’d love the ability to remove them (or awareness of the ability that I could do it).

From a visual perspective, Vanilla might be better. However, I still tend to find Discourse as the best and most advanced platform out there.

(joel galbraith) #11

I appreciate the feedback and responses.

(Sarah Hawk) #12

FWIW I’m about to start work on a demo video which might be helpful. No ETA though.

(Richard Millington) #13

Any idea when enforced tagging will be in place?

(Sarah Hawk) #14

The PR is almost ready. It’s just lacking some client side validation.
I’ll try and push that through today.

Edit: then you’ll need to wait for the next deploy so may be ~a week.

(Sarah Hawk) #15

The PR is merged and we’re deploying business now.
You should be good to go in a couple of hours.

Note that it’s per category and the “minimum tag validation” on a category will not happen if:

  • tagging is disabled globally
  • you’re a staff user
  • you don’t have sufficient trust level to use/add tags

You’ll find the new setting Minimum number of tags required in a topic will appear in the category settings.

(Richard Millington) #16


Will have a look later today and see if I can implement this.

I need to be more familiar with the Discourse back end and changing trust level settings etc…

(Griff Wigley) #17

Sarah, are you still working on the demo video?

(Sarah Hawk) #18

I have not sorry. These 3 exist and we plan to do more after the v2.0 launch in June. Is there something in particular that you need?