Changing or removing the last poster avatar highlight

(Jacob Chapel) #80

Fun topic to read. So many differing opinions.

How’s this for a wrench of an opinion?

I modified my forums theme to the point that the OP is not shown unless there are no replies and only the last poster is shown. So far no one has complained or in fact even noticed. Of course my forum is one datum and a smaller group of people that all know each other (though not all like each other).

One thing I know, I prefer less user avatars, having 5 just feels overkill. So I vote for no last poster UI along side less avatars. Solves the issue. :lol:

(Kris) #81

I agree here.

If it’s not consistent one way or the other it becomes confusing. I get why it makes sense that the latest poster isn’t always the last avatar, but even in the case that it’s the last avatar 95% of the time… that 5% where something is different throws a wrench in a user’s entire understanding of the system.

Instead of just understanding “latest poster always gets a highlight” it becomes “latest poster is always last, unless they’re the OP, in which case their avatar gets a highlight to indicate that they’re the latest poster” — that’s a big logical leap to ask the average uninformed user to make.

It’s much easier to assume that the highlight indicates some new data that I’m unaware of, rather than the idea that it indicates the same information in a different way.

(Dave McClure) #82

What do you think of this idea?

(mountain) #83

I like that but my question is, what makes a poster interesting? Those who posted the most in that topic, yes?

(Sam Saffron) #84

I disagree with reversing the avatars, its yet another thing to explain, English is left-to-right … time is usually assumed to be left-to-right. Further more, why retrain all Discourse users out there with this new logic, it achieves nothing really.

I completely agree with @awesomerobot just bring back the highlight, its less confusing. As it stands I am forced to “think” constantly when using this list.

The only alternative I was presented with was, no highlight at all, which was unbearable.

(Dave McClure) #85

In my proposal, time is still left to right. In fact, its more consistent, because the timestamp is the time of the first post in the conversation for all users, not just the OP

time of first post------------------->

(Jeff Atwood) #86

I only support removing it altogether. The only thing that is lost is knowing when the OP is the last poster which happens less than ten percent of the time.

Otherwise it stays as it is…


Why are you so opposed to the highlight? People have indicated that the last poster information is useful and wanted, but that the style you are pushing is unintuitive and difficult to interpret.

If your concern is that the old style was too busy, then you’ve been given a couple of viable options:

  1. Tone down the highlight color so it isn’t so bright.
  2. Use a different highlight method, such as that proposed by @erlend_sh here.

My point is, people want to see the last poster consistently highlighted because it is consistent. Consistency is easier to understand and interpret. Your current design choice is just not intuitive.

(Michael Downey) #88

The only two options to achieve consistency AFAICT are:

  1. Highlighting: Always highlight the last poster, whoever it is, in each row.
  2. Positioning: “Duplicate” the OP avatar at the far right when there are ≥ 2 participants and the last poster is the OP.

Unfortunately @codinghorror seems opposed to both options. :stuck_out_tongue:

(Mittineague) #89

AFAIK that is only here for his forum and it can easily be restored with a simple CSS rule for your site.

(Michael Downey) #90

Hopefully shipping UI defaults are not being designed for meta.discourse … that is by no means a median of “typical” Discourse installations. :slight_smile:

(TechnoBear) #91

Hopefully that’s true; the latest upgrade seems to be over-riding our site styling where the OP is the latest poster.


Nope, it is being included in beta updates. Unless something changes, it will be included in the standard updates as well.

That part is true.


It seems like it would get tedious as the admin of a forum to continually have to update CSS just to keep your forum looking the same as when you bought it.

(Kane York) #94

No, not really. The discussion is all about what should be the default?, not “what do I personally prefer”.

(Jeff Atwood) #95

The CSS classes are there in any case so you can style it as you see fit.

Mostly I want the front page simplified, and removing a redundant highlight, where 90% of the time (don’t believe me, take a journey through the front pages of any Discourse installation, and count yourself) it was showing the same exact thing on every row – rightmost avatar is last poster.


Alright, so if you want to get rid of the highlighting, then duplicate the OP at the right of the list, as suggested by @downey. The problem with your current approach is that new users can’t figure it out. @downey already pointed that out.

Stop standing in the middle of the road and pick a side.

The problem is that you want it your way, but your users (from several sites) are telling you that your way isn’t working. You say that if you can’t have it your way, then your going to take out the highlighting all together, but your users say they want the information provided by the data. “That’s ok,” you say, “just edit it back in with the CSS.” But admins are getting tired of constantly editing the CSS just to keep their sites looking the same. It looks like we’ve got a conflict between what your users want and what you want. The question is: who is going to win?

(Sam Saffron) #97

The reason I struggle with this is because there is a lot of mental gymnastics I need to apply when looking at the front page now.

To me the last poster is the most critical piece of information when I look at a Discourse site’s topic list. It is so critical that in my theme that is the only avatar I show.

To me it feels like an obfuscation of critical information when so much non-critical information is still retained. EG: Views, or picking 5 as the magic number of max avatars vs 4


How about always showing the last poster last?
(Jeff Atwood) #98

You always win, since you can set the CSS for your site to taste.

(Jeff Atwood) #99