Adding Users column to Categories page


(Jesse Perry) #1

I have Categories as my main page on my Discourse (I feel it does a better job of directing/giving topic ideas to new users).

On desktop view - I feel like there’s a lot of dead space between “Latest” and “Topics” columns. Any thoughts on adding in the “Users” column in-between those?


Requesting quotes - adding author avatar to categories page
(Jeff Atwood) #2

We do not recommend categories as the homepage unless you get hundreds of topics a day.

There used to be avatars on categories, but we removed them. Eventually there should be some way to customize the layout if you want to tweak it, not sure where we are on this page with that.


(Jesse Perry) #3

Don’t you think it showing category descriptions give a good guide of where/how to post? Especially for beginning Discourse installations like mine. I think the list of inter-mixed topics can get easily confusing, and it’s not even apparent there are more categories than what the top list of topics represent (imho)

Either way - beauty of open source and how you’ve created Discourse customization is we don’t have to agree :smiley:


(Jeff Atwood) #4

No, I don’t, and here is why:

http://blog.vanillaforums.com/news/6-common-mistakes-managing-your-community-­-part-2/

Over specialising categories is a common problem that manifests itself differently in communities old and new. It most commonly manifests as a gigantic front page, filled with every possible permutation of the community’s general topic. A community about games might have separate categories for first­person shooters, third­person shooters, side scrollers etc, where they would better be served with either a category marked “Shooters” or simply an overarching category marked “Games”.

Essentially you shouldn’t have a ton of categories. Users want simplicity, and playing the “is this animal, vegetable, or mineral?” game on the front page is not fun or simple. A basic list of the last 100 topics is, though… until you get 100 new topics every few hours.

One advantage of tags is that they are lightweight and can be mostly ignored. Categories are like walls. Four walls and you have a nice house… 30 walls and you have a maze.


(Jesse Perry) #5

Good article - thanks for the food for thought.

For now, I think it works for our site, as we just have a handful of 6 categories and don’t plan on increasing. It definitely helps guide people starting out. As things grow, I might revisit this. So basically the opposite of your advice? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: