New home page is really cool

(Alessio Fattorini) #1

How did you make that? :slight_smile: The way you used tags is really smart

(Sarah Hawk) #2


I opted to use tags over categories so that we have flexibility in the future. The challenge is going to be how we educate members around tagging going forward. My initial plan was to build a plugin which would enforce the behaviour but that would have required changing our hosting plan to Enterprise. The way it is built now is a slight compromise but uses no plugins.

@JoeBuhlig did the technical stuff so he can give you more info on that if you want it.

(Colleen Young) #3

I like the new homepage too. Very curious about the decision to use tags over categories. This is an area I ponder more often than is healthy. While I like the flexibility of tagging, they can get wildly out of control and become useless easily.

@hawk can you elaborate more about your choice of tags over categories. Pros and cons.
Also, how might you educate members and promote good use of tags?

(Sarah Hawk) #4

Sure thing.

I used tags over categories for several reasons:

  1. we didn’t need to restructure the community before launching so people existing members aren’t inconvenienced
  2. we have more flexibility going forward (tags are easy to add or remove without restructure)
  3. you can have more than one tag on a post, so posts can appear in more than one ‘section’*
  4. you can have more than one tag in a ‘section’

`* By section I mean one of the coloured boxes or lists on the homepage

Discourse has lots of flexibility around tagging. For instance, I can limit tagging to staff only, make some tags staff only, limit it by trust level, etc. We used to have it set so that anyone TL2 or above could add their own tags. Now it’s staff only so people are forced to choose between existing tags. The challenge here will be educating people to use them at all. While we work on that, it’s not a huge job for me to manually tag new topics.

(JoeBuhlig) #5

:wink: Magic!

Kidding aside, it’s done through a customization and by taking advantage of Discourse being a heavy front-end application.

(Richard Millington) #6

The tagging vs. category debate is interesting. About a few days ago I was leaning heavily in favour of using categories as I suspect most people won’t make the effort to tag discussions properly.

But I think we’ll wait and see then react. My instinct is categories will still win out. But you never know.

(Sarah Hawk) #7

Because they won’t know what to choose or because the act of tagging is hard?
Do you think they’d categorise them properly?

(remah) #8

Well done. :tada: I am delighted by the new home page.

Your (Joe included) originality and creativity are a great example for the rest of us. More so because you did this without using a plug-in.

Tagging should become much more common. Several much needed improvements to the tagging UI have only been made in the past year so it is no surprise that inventive applications are only starting to appear now.

Also, Discourse sites use categories by default. It will take a while for tagging to get mindshare.

(Sarah Hawk) #9

Thanks :slight_smile:

(Robert McIntosh) #10

I do think this is a great innovation. FeverBee has always been a great demonstration of how to run a community and implement one too. Well done to @HAWK and the team (and to @JoeBuhlig for the skillz)

However, one new bug I’ve noticed (is this the place?)

If you read down an existing thread then click back to the homepage, it hides the new homepage links and shows only the list of existing threads. I can understand why.

However, it jumps down (to an anchor?) and hides the “New Topic” button so you cannot start a new conversation. I worked around by hard refreshing the page and viewing the full homepage, but this probably needs fixed.

(JoeBuhlig) #11

Good catch. I think I have that resolved so let me know if it persists.

(Robert McIntosh) #12

yes, works a bit better so I can see the button now (though have to manually show/hide the homepage)

Now it seems that the buttons overlap awkwardly though

(Richard Millington) #13

Hi @thirstforwine thanks for pointing this out.

We try catch as many things as possible before we launch but there’s always a few bugs that stand out there.

(Robert McIntosh) #14

I know the feeling :wink:

(JoeBuhlig) #15

Agreed. Very awkward. There was a spacer in there not reading correctly. Should be resolved. It was even worse on mobile.

(Richard Millington) #16

Couple of weeks in, I’m curious if the new homepage has noticeably changed your habits of how you use this site at all?