"+Create Topic" button scary

Today let’s talk about the “+ create topic” button.

But let’s first talk about the open draft button. the ladder should be called the former.

Okay for instance right now I’m filling in lots of content. In fact I’m just talking into my phone it’s typing it for me. Now I’m all finished and I’m ready to post my work of art here. And I look down and I see the plus create topic button. well that seems to me like it is going to throw away my precious writing and start all over again creating a message. So I think you guys should get in line with all the other websites in the world and just call that button “save and post” or something else.

The distinction is important as a Topic is not the same as a Post. It is telling you you are about to create a new Topic (instead of simply Replying to an existing one). That’s crucial information.

Unlike a mere Post, your Topic:

  • requires a Title
  • will be listed on the Topic List.

It may also require

  • a Category
  • set of Tags.

You might find reviewing the nomenclature helpful:

In any case, you can customise the Text on your instance in Admin → Customize → Text if you so wish but I advise against confusing Users by conflating Posts with Topics. Discourse is opinionated about its naming convention.


The new topic button creates a draft for a topic, the you can open your draft. The draft becomes a topic after you click create topic. I never had the impression the last one would open a new topic draft.

But you could customize those strings

Maybe “publish topic” and “publish reply” would be better. Because the draft is also saved before publishing.


Yeah Publish instead of Create might work.

But please let’s not change Topic to Post!


I don’t think @jidanni wanted that. He just used the verb to post instead of to publish.

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I was going on that. Using the verb is ok but inclusion of “Topic” is still important.

“Publish Topic” from a Draft Topic makes most sense.

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Changing + Create Topic will alter texts everywhere, right? And there is or may be diffrences between actual creation and going thru resume path.


That I got when I opened a draft. Totally same than when creating a virgin one. I don’t fully understand why this would be more confusing than when actually will create and send new one. Or what is The Big Difference™ if I’m on email client and there would be Send instead :wink:

Not a big question. There is only one and just one question: what style is the clearest for most of users. That’s it.


Yeah making the distinction on Resume works for me.

If we could have “Publish Topic” for Drafts but “Create Topic” otherwise that is best of both worlds.

It might be technically a bit tricky though as it will save a draft quite soon after you start typing out a genuinely new Topic and do you want it to switch mid preparation? Making it “Publish” only on a full resume would be best if possible.

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Exactly. The last thing we would like to see is a button changing its text because of background saving.

But is this so big issue it would be in balance with workload needed for fixing?

I don’t know, but I don’t think so.

But… it would be a nice touch, though :wink:

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“Publish” implies that something is made public, and a topic is not always public.
So that’s bad.

@jidanni just change the label: Admin - Customize - Text - js.composer.create_topic.


Thanks everybody but I’m not an administrator of any site. I’m just the lowest of the low users whose snuck in here to get some better defaults worldwide.

I’m just saying you need a different button when you start something and then when you complete something.

Otherwise it looks like there’s some problem and we’re about to start it again. It’s just like in your automobile, if it’s already running you don’t want to turn the ignition on a second time.

Let’s take Gmail for instance. They got a big “compose” button, that’s for starting. And then some arrow, that’s for completing.

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These kind of edge cases are where it gets complicated.


Point well made. As an aside, why not get more involved with a site you are most active in (or start your own)? You definitely have the interest it takes. Cheers.


At the top of the page I see

  • New Topic (grey)
  • Open Draft (grey)

Then in the composer for both

  • Create Topic (blue)

So is the issue here with the word Create? or the +/Topic? Or something else?

Yes “create” sounds like “new”.

“Finish creating” would be clearer but is too long.

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There’s a good discussion about the reasoning behind New/Create here: buttons - "New" vs. "Create" - User Experience Stack Exchange

In other words, “New” doesn’t suggest that you’re actually creating anything. It just sets the stage for creation. “Create” suggests that you’re done and ready to turn your temporary work into a permanent object.

It also raises the question of what these words would be in languages other than English.

I’m a native English speaker and the reasoning above makes sense to me. Does it to non-native English speakers? You could argue for a different word for Create, but the alternatives have pros/cons imho.

One little consequence we have seen from mobile users in the composer is the following:

The ‘upload’ icon (a bit like the outbox emoji :outbox_tray:) almost looks like it could imply ‘send’… but it then opens this:

… and we’ve actually seen a new (and somewhat confused) user add a picture of their finger accidentally before finding out the ‘Create Topic’ button saves the topic.

Seeing this be raised here actually helps us understand why we got a topic that had a finger at the bottom of the first post…


All I know is a husband and wife make the decision to create a baby now, not nine months later. So for me the create button is the one you push when you start something.

Probably almost got the user banned for life “for giving someone the finger”!

So this stuff had better be super clear.

It’s semantics, then, and very much down to personal opinion or understanding.

To use your analogy, at what point does the baby begin to exist? Not at the moment the couple decide to have one, not at the moment they “get together” as it takes time for fertilisation to happen (if it happens at all), perhaps not even until the 12 week scan when you have a good enough idea that the baby will survive, maybe in some situations it isn’t considered to exist until it’s born (with some difficult pregnancies/births, like one of ours). It’s complicated.

So does a post exist whilst it’s in draft? A sort of transient state. Quite a philosophical question.

Good discussion!