Alternatives to sidebar for Chat?

Folks, i’m not crazy with the left side bar navigation. How do others feel? I currently have my discourse community header customized to match my website and give it a true platform feel (see My community is tends to be older so really nailing the navigation is crucial. Are there other potential ways to add chat into the navigation?


Nowadays 90 % of my users are using mobiles. I don’t use too much time serving remaining 10 % :wink: And that means I don’t care, or use, sidebars. So, everyone have to use normal way to navigate.

My alternative choice is quite easy actual :wink:

Interesting. Do you know if your mobile users are as engaged as desktop users? Often times mobile has higher bounce rate. My traffic is split very evenly (49% Mobile, 47% Desktop) and the Desktop users are the most engaged.

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They are more. edit: but they write or publish very much shorter responses.

Desktops are more usual when audience is more tech oriented. Otherwise… there is no point to do almost anything to bigger screens :wink:

In northern Europe most of ”ordinary johns and janes” doesn’t have computer/laptop any more and they are using mobiles. That is world wide direction too and something that all devs and coders should remember.

It is not only issue of Discourse. Mobile revolution is reason why sidebars of WordPress is such waste of time — nobody sees them because it would need a mile lond scrolling.

And that is the main reason why forums can’t fight against some, Facebook, Instagram or fast messaging — you all can try to use screen and type longer message than two sentences :wink:

Am I now deep in off topic :rofl:

Again. Very good alternative to sidebar for chat is no sidebar at all.

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I don’t use the sidebar for chat, and just stick with the speech bubble in the header, and that works great for me whether on mobile or desktop. :+1: I’ve only recently started Discours-ing on the desktop version, so perhaps it’s time for me to have a practice with the sidebar now I have more screen to play with. :thinking: I do quite like the speech bubble option though.


Thank you @JammyDodger , I’m going to continue to experiment here. I don’t have the chat beta turned on for my own community just yet but I think your proposal would probably be great.

I am getting used to the navigation on the side bar on desktop though, and I like it. The challenge is making it consistent with the overall site flow / navigation… so I think I’ll give the chat bubble a shot. It also will be important for me to allow chats by group (for example, ham radio operators in a given US state).

@Jagster you are discussing a separate topic that is more philosophical about mobile vs. desktop. I believe that desktop navigation is important, which is why I am interested in the best navigation for desktop. If you don’t believe desktop navigation is important at all, then it makes sense that this topic wouldn’t interest you