Compose preview box is too distracting


(Michael Downey) #1

As a user, I want to be able to keep my visual focus on the left-side composition text field rather than the preview box, so that I’m not inclined to click in the wrong “pane”.

Maybe it’s just me, but I regularly find my own eyes watching the more colorful, more decorated, right-side of the composition panel as I type. As a result, I still inadvertently click over there to move a cursor, start typing, and realize that I clicked on the wrong side (once again!). This is especially true when I use bold or other visual elements in a post.

I’m fairly experienced with web apps and even with Discourse, but this keeps happening for me. Anyone else?

Possible solution: Make the right panel very light grey or somehow de-emphasize it in some other visual way?


(cpradio) #2

Can’t you just hide the preview? My own experience, I hardly notice it. I only look at it when I want to make sure I got the Markdown syntax correct.


(Michael Downey) #3

To be honest, I never noticed that link before. :blush: :bulb:

But as soon as I typed those emoticons above, I just noticed that I started watching that side. I figure I’m not alone, but probably there is some split of users who are in this boat.

It’d be nice to do some eye tracking tests on Discourse for this and some other issues (CSS animations?) if anyone has tools handy. :slight_smile:


(Kris) #4

I’ve run into some similar issues — I’ve learned to differentiate the two boxes over time, but at first I was definitely accidentally clicking into the preview pane by mistake.

I’ve wondered if something like this would work to de-emphasize the preview a bit… but changing the background color does make it mildly less accurate as a preview; and there are likely some issues with custom theming that would arise.

There was some good thought here that may be enough to make it a non-issue.


(Bcguy) #5

Absolutely - this is bad UI in my opinion.

Let us turn that off for our audience. Or somehow really de-emphasize it. Its very confusing for average users.