Alternative to blue colors for coldmapping

(Kris) #1

Could something like this work instead of blue? I have a feeling if blue isn’t indicating ‘cold’ to people then there’s not really a color that will work

Does anyone actually like the "Likes" column?
Activity cold-post monitors hard to see

Yes, I think the fading gray is a much better cold indicator, much like @geek was saying.

(Daniel Gagnon) #3

Also, our reply buttons, our tracking statuses, and our new posts counts are all blue. We can’t have the same colour meaning both click me and don’t click me.


The alternative is to make everything else blue so that the “cold” blue actually looks less prominent.


Yeah, blue among gray indicates, “HEY, I’M DIFFERENT, LOOK AT ME.”

(Jeff Atwood) #6

That is correct, blue among Grey means “I am different.” I am an old resurrected discussion, a shambling Zombie kept alive by mysterious forces from beyond. And the replies button.


But blue among gray means more than just “I am different”. As @boomzilla said, it means “I’m different, look at me.” And in the case of the Activity column, it has the added meaning of “I’m better than those newer topics. Click me! Click me!” As @geek said:

(Jeff Atwood) #8

Better? No – just different. So

In the case of zombie topics, we want you to look – otherwise your brains get eaten. It is, in fact, a sort of warning that you are wading into an old and potentially troublesome long-running discussion.


But the fact is that the blue is eye grabbing. It draws your attention away from the active, non-zombie topics. Blue among grey is drawing attention to topics in a way you don’t intend.

(Kane York) #10

You may want to make the normal grays darker (closer to $primary) too, if you do that. (And I mean that I like the grays idea.)

(Jeff Atwood) #11

It is in fact drawing attention in exactly in a way I intend.

I want you to note that these are old, potentially dangerous zombie topics that you are dealing with before you enter them (again).

(Spencer) #12

I think you’re missing the point. That’s precisely what it’s not doing. It’s attention grabbing in the exact opposite way to your intention.

Unless your intention is that zombie threads are constantly revived?

(Jeff Atwood) #13

Yes, I want you to pay attention to the zombies so they can be, uh, “dealt with”.

Also a community overrun by zombies is something you should probably notice as well.

(Daniel Gagnon) #14

You’re sending mixed signals. Everywhere else in Discourse (and the rest of the web), blue means fresh. Why do you want me to stop and ponder why that thing is blue? Don’t make me think. It’s blue, so it’s attractive and I’ll click. It’s probably hot or something.

(Jeff Atwood) #15

OK, so if the colors are an issue, edit the CSS to taste. What’s stopping you? Admin, Customize, CSS/HTML, cut n paste, done.

(Daniel Gagnon) #16

Nothing, we’re just just unanimous that it’s a bad default.

And unlike the issue of “ago”, we are saying we didn’t get it until we read the justification.


Of course, with your latest change (referenced here), even your concept of how the coldmap should be drawing attention doesn’t make sense anymore. Now the coldmap is even more confusing, because it indicates the time between the first post and the latest post. Based on the new logic, a topic which lived and died in a day two weeks ago will look “warmer” than a topic that has been continually active for the last two months. That doesn’t make any sense at all!

(Jeff Atwood) #18

We’ll just have to agree to disagree – it’s about duration of the topic, the distance between first post and last post.

It’s typical for topics to live and die within a few days, at most a week. It is only the exceptional ones that become long-living… like zombies… that persist far beyond the normal, natural death “age” one would expect. Where people are replying for 15 days, for 61 days, for 121 days.

As noted elsewhere, we may come back and improve the algorithm here to something more sophisticated, but a simple measure of “coldness” should suffice for V1.

Consolidating Activity field
(Michael Downey) #19

I’d encourage @codinghorror to run some eye tracking software on regular users to test his flawed theory.

If thousands of usability studies are at all correct, what @abarker says is absolutely correct. People are far more likely to both fix their gaze (and then click) on a blue link than they are a grey one. This means they’ll be more likely to spend time reading the very ones you want them to stay away from.

(Lowell Heddings) #20

While I completely disagree about the color blue… it means new awesome fresh link in every single place across the web, including this forum…

As a forum administrator I appreciate being immediately notified when somebody necroposts, because 95% of the time it is just an SEO spammer trying to get their link into a high-ranking Google result that I didn’t get around to closing in the first place. So I’m voting that we just leave it since it personally helps me :smile:


I think the real question here is if we are worried about necroposting enough to use a highlighted color to point it out to the forum regulars, why are we allowing this by default? Why don’t we just default to auto-close old topics that haven’t had a post in a long time?

(Also, the topic creation time has nothing to do with it. You could have a discussion every single day, all day long, for months. That’s an active topic.) It’s the topics that haven’t had a post in a few months that should be dealt with, and probably closed.

Maybe add a “Vote to Reopen” feature to deal with having more topics closed, in the case that you might need to post on a really old topic.