Consistent new indicator

(Kris) #1

Right now we have two entirely different styles for new topics and new posts within a topic… we can probably fix that pretty easily.

So the simple change would be:

but… while the dot makes the “• new” stand out more… it doesn’t communicate any information other than “look at me” — can we add more context without adding more noise?

(Daniel) #2

And whichever badge styles are decided on… how about floating them to the right to align them? Or maybe stick them on the left to align them? I’m a sucker for alignment. I think. Maybe. Just floating the idea.

(Dave McClure) #3

I like the simple change. Not a big fan of the +

(Dean Taylor) #4

For me something more visually simple is better.

Users are aware that bold items are unread from this default style across many email clients…
… from the “don’t make me think” train of thought.

EDIT: this doesn’t deal with the number of messages - but does remove one visual element problem.

(Gerhard Schlager) #5

I’m not even sure if we need the new indicator. If you care about new topics there’s always the filter for new topics. But if we must have an indicator, using a bold font style could be something to try out.

I wouldn’t change the indicator for updated topics.

(Jeff Atwood) #6

Yeah, it’s a bad idea to change the indicator for updated topics at this point.

Remember new used to look a lot more like the updated topics (it was the white word new in a bubble), and we intentionally de-styled new because that was such a noisy element with that particular style.

I’d also argue the two styles are designed to be a little visually different so you can distinguish new from unread. New is “meh, probably won’t care about this” whereas Unread is “I am very likely to care about this” since it implies you are tracking the topic. I don’t think you want them to look all that similar.

I mean, imagine reading the newspaper:

  • New is “here’s another article on the page you haven’t read yet, just like many others”
  • Unread is “here’s an article you previously read for a long time, or circled with your pen”

So we’re kind of going around in circles now…

(Dean Taylor) #7

Exactly - but one point here is that both New and Unread Discourse terms are Unread in the real world.

So with that in mind unread items in email clients are usually bold to highlight them.
An additional highlight can be used to indicate the “circled with your pen” aspect.

Here is a before and after shot of a style using bold as an unread indicator, where the blue number still indicates the “circled with your pen” unread aspect.

####Before (as it is now)

####After (using bold as highlight, removing new indicators)

I would hate to cause frustration - so please feel free to just say “no” if not interested.

(Jeff Atwood) #8

One problem is that the light grey clicked indicator from the browser creates “three” states in your screenshot: light grey, grey, and dark bold grey.

I think a more explicit new indicator (even going so far as to include the word “new”) is better than one that is so implicit (bold) as I doubt many users would understand such a subtle cue.

(Dean Taylor) #9

This is not really an issue as it’s down to CSS and not the browser as such.
But for me this lighter grey makes sense as it indicates I have opened it in this browser session.

The point here is that the average user uses software (email) which works in this way.
If not it’s very easy to pick up after only a couple of topics are opened.

(Jeff Atwood) #10

Reading over your reply, I wonder if something else makes more sense:

Should “unread” be renamed “updated”?

Unread means unread posts whereas New means new topics. I can see where some users could be confused by that, thinking there was consistency in the topnav titles, to wit…

New Topics | Unread Topics


New Posts | Unread Posts

At least with Updated you could mentally substitute “…topics” after New and Updated and have the correct understanding.

(Dean Taylor) #11

So from:


You’ll probably hate this but…
Something that’s always bothered me is that Unread - is really “Tracking”, it’s updates to the topics I am tracking.

This would also give exposure to the idea of Tracking and users perhaps understanding that aspect a little more.

(Jeff Atwood) #12

No, we will not be changing it to Tracking that is completely inside baseball.

(Dean Taylor) #13

Can we get per row CSS classes for new-topic, unread-posts etc - so some of this can be CSS styled instead of HTML manipulation?

Topic lists - per row css classes
(Sam Saffron) #14

A far better fit is allowing for cleaner custom localization which is planned

I don’t mind a change from unread to updated, but then some will still be confused that new is missing from updated

(FichteFoll) #15

I second this (and actually mentioned it some months ago). Not necessarily “Tracking” but Unread by itself is misleading because it does not include the new topics, which are of course also unread.

(Jeff Atwood) #16

This is why I proposed “Updated”, as covered directly above…

(FichteFoll) #17

Fine by me

(Jeff Atwood) #18