Enable tracking from category on mobile view?

Just noticed today that users cannot track a category easily from mobile view. I can understand why, but perhaps this should be given some additional thought.

We have currently switched to category view for our homepage, which provides a more logical structure for browsing our site. However it does make it a bit complicated knowing where the new topics are. Interrupting the sitemap experience with a few random topics out of context does not really help in mobile view.

My first thought was that each category should have some indicator that there are new topics since last visit. But I can imagine that would be a heavy query.

Then I thought that we should really be encourage users to track more so that they can get notifications of new topics. However I realize now this is not as easy as it sounds for the user.

Anyhow, just wanted to share a view on this. Still on the experiment on category view vs latest view and no major difference yet in terms of usage that I can see other than a drop in private messages strangely (perhaps due to a lower pervasiveness of avatars)

Could you please post a mockup of what you’d like to see changed?

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For the category view, I could imagine something like this. Adding a share icon would also be useful.

Regarding the point about potentially letting users know about the category having new topics, bolding the category could potentially help.


Not really a big fan of adding a sticky menu here, since most of the time you’ll be scrolling this list to read, so the screen real estate is important. I do agree it’s pretty bit weird that we hide the Watch button on mobile though. That’s a pretty critical feature missing for mobile users. I have another mockup in mind, I’ll post it later today.

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That seems like a good change! It’s fairly consistent with our existing convention in the topic list where we de-emphasise visited topics with some greytones.

p.s. in the future, please try to separate your UX suggestions into different topics whenever possible. As far as I can tell, the two changes we’re discussing here are in no way functionally dependent on one another. One can happen without the other, so it’d be easier to discuss them separately.


Thx @erlend_sh . Just please consider the merits of a sticky menu on list view.

How many topics per screen view does a a user really need to see?
If a user does indeed want to post today, they must scroll all the way to the top.
Icon for watch/track is not that intuitive. By placing in menu, more users will likely check it out.

The only thing that semi-bothers me would be the real estate on first load. On that note i thought a sticky menu could appear after scrolling past the main header area.

Oh, and please consider the possibility of adding a sharing / invite option.

I experimented with two new layouts.

Moving category selector into header

Applying the mini-logo to make extra room in the header. Might look better without the button-styling on the category selector.

Changing “latest/new…” into a full width menu

Decluttered the menu a bit by promoting the “Latest” button to a full width menu. Also cut the “Topic” part out of the “New Topic” to shorten it by a whopping 50%! I think this one’s my favorite.


The second option could work.

I’d like you to think about something though. For us, our categories are really like mini communities. Functionality below the community branding might feel a bit more connected.

Would we ever consider placing the actions below the branding, closer to the content. More like a FB group? I can work on a mockup. (I still think there are advantages to let users take some action after they start scrolling)

I remember someone else requesting the controls be moved below the image.

@erlend_sh, had a few more minutes to mockup what it would look like if we move the category controls under the description, and also entertain a bar that fixes under the header as the user scrolls the topics.

Please envision this more as a wireframe, and that a better design could improve upon the buttons and the functional bar.

With image and description

Without image and description

Once user scrolls as the category controls hit the top.


I envision this as something that could be visible to anons as well, and when trying to interact is when users would see the call to login / reg.

It will be also helpful for the notice ‘new topics have been updated’ to come in from the top of the fixed menu, as opposed to the user having to navigate back to the top to see the notice. Ideally, tapping on this notice will also refresh the ad and take the user high enough to see the refreshed ad.

Just curious about the status of this?
I’m new to Discourse and have a lot of mobile users. The fact that they can’t control tracking of categories is the first thing one of them noticed.


They can, from their user preference page.

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Thanks I just found that. It would be more handy at the category top page.

Also, the drop-down category list on that box (and similar multiple-choice boxes) doesn’t work on my Android device. It does work on my laptop and iphone.

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Hmm can you repro that @tgxworld?

There’s not much to show, but here are screen shots trying two of the aforementioned boxes in my profile with no lists to choose from. I can type in the category.

I think you may need to begin typing before matches will begin to show.


I agree

This has come up a few times. Seems like there is room in the mobile ux above the New Topic button.