Discourse Observations fr a Programmer & Auto Enthusiast

(Ray ) #1

Hey Discourse Team,

I have a slight concern. Right now, I have these 2 forums I’ve setup http://idxclub.co/ and http://gt4stinger.co. Each forum singularly focuses on a model of an automotive make, in this case Nissan and Kia. Maybe this is me looking far ahead, but at some point, I’d like to include other models of cars (Kia – Soul, Optima, etc. // Nissan – 350z, 370z, etc.) for every make (Kia, Nissan, Toyota, Ford, etc.) but I’m concerned that this near flat organization of category may ‘confuse’ users. This is expected, we know, but how does the Discourse team combat many categories with many more sub-categories? Will Discourse forums resemble more like Stack Overflow at some point… ?

Since it seems that majority of Discourse users thus far are programmers, we can presume that we’re adept and understanding leading/bleeding edge tech and we can visually figure things out relatively quickly. Though, my concern lays with non-technical automotive enthusiast forum users or any non-technical user in this case. We understand that there’s undoubtedly a learning curve using Discourse but there will be folks who are will be hardened by folder/directory forum structure and heavy deviation may turn-off some/many non-technical people. What do you guys think?

I’d love to hear your thoughts Discourse team. Thank you for a wonderful product/service!

(Sam Saffron) #2

Can you expand on the actual problem you are facing, perhaps with some screenshots?

(Ray ) #3

I actually have no immediate problem other than what I listed in a separate topic: category and sub-category relation

I’m thinking out loud without my developer/designer hat on. I have many auto enthusiast friends who are non-technical [non-engineers] and they all understand folder/directory forum layout well. My concern is that the homepage of any Discourse forum may be a bit too visually loaded…?

For example private and commercial commerce are very popular functions in automotive forums, as I’m sure is the same for some other forums, and I’m not too sure if category private sellers with many sub-categories such as FS: wheels & tires visually look appealing when I created a similar category commercial vendors with many sub-categories such as FS: wheels & tires. The commercial vendor sub-categories hardly have any differentiation from the ones under private sellers; color being the exception.

One way I suppose is to include a visual cue in the subcategory such as Commercial FS: wheels & tires and Private FS: wheels & tires to differentiate them. If I do take this route, this essentially will make them parent categories and there won’t be a need for sub-categories, which is not bad and kinda awesome, I suppose.

I surmise you folks continue to think about this critically and I’m really just thinking out loud for non-technical users of a Discourse forum. I’m all ears for any suggestions on how to make it ‘visually appealing’

Here’s ft86club.com. A very popular car forum dedicated for the Toyata/Subaru FRS/BRZ. Easy to spot points of interest in the home page. It’s on vBulletin. I’m thinking maybe a Discourse forum home page should land in the category page?

PS: I think I may just go use Private FS: wheels & tires and Commercial FS: wheels & tires as parent categories thus negating the need for sub-categories! [I’m still all ears for any suggestions, though!]

(Sam Saffron) #4

Have you seen our categories page?

It can be made the front page if you wish. Are there any specific improvements you would like to see there? Can you provide a visual mock?

(Jeff Atwood) #5

Yes, it is a single line edit to /admin to make the categories page the default home page for every user. Here’s another one for example:

(Ray ) #6

@codinghorror I may be missing it but where is it exactly located? I’ve looked in admin but I’m not so sure of what you guys called this function.

(Kane York) #7

It’s top_menu, the default value is this:

(You’ll have to scroll down to find it)

What is /posted supposed to be?
(Ray ) #8

D’oooh! I coulda figured that out. Thank you @riking.

(Régis Hanol) #9

Maybe the name isn’t right. You’re not the first reporting that. Any idea of a better name?

(Ray ) #10

Perhaps: homepage_top_menu

Followed by description: ‘First menu on left defaults as homepage’

Could be added to what you guys already wrote [which makes complete sense in hindsight after it pointed it out].