"About this category" topics become effectively inaccessible after reading


(Barry van Oudtshoorn) #1

Just ran into this today as I was trying to work out where to post something here on meta – I couldn’t find the “about this category” post easily inside the category to read it and see if I was doing the right thing or not. This could be a problem if there’s a high-traffic category to which individuals post relatively infrequently, or to which an individual hasn’t posted for some time – it can become harder for that individual to “do the right thing” when posting.

I’m not sure how best to resolve this – off the top of my head, I can think of:

  • Floating the info to the left or right. (This feels ugly to me.)
  • Putting an “About this category” button next to the “Top” button which links to that topic.
  • Showing the summary when your cursor dwells on the category menu. (I don’t much like dwell behaviours personally, as it’s essentially hidden and unexpected UI.)
  • Including this in a separate list that sits below the current topic list, and which doesn’t scroll. (Erk.)

Is this something that’s worth resolving? Or is the expectation that in this situation, if the person posts something in the wrong spot, it’ll just get moved into the right spot by a mod?


(Sam Saffron) #2

If you don’t like the “auto unpinning” behavior you can disable it globally on your site by disabling the site setting automatically unpin topics


(Barry van Oudtshoorn) #3

Understood. I wonder if there’s perhaps a middle ground – some way of hiding the info post for the 95% of times it’s not needed, whilst keeping it available for the other 5% of the time. It’s not a critical issue, but I could see that it might reduce a little bit of moderation overhead.


(Jeff Atwood) #4

The original idea was there would be this spirited discussion about categories (why does it exist? should it exist? what about subcategories? should it be split into other categories) in the “About” topics, but … that never materialized in practice.

So having a whole topic to contain the summary of what the category is – which is visible in the composer anyway, and as a tooltip on the category badge anywhere – is a bit overkill in retrospect.