I have a forum with a “read only” category which contains intro / overview posts and frequently asked questions, and of which actual conversation is supposed to happen in a sub-category.
Right now, that top-level category has a grayed-out New Topic button:
… which to an experienced user might mean “you don’t have permissions to post in this category, but pick a subcategory, and maybe you can post there!” — but to an inexperienced user can just seem confusing. I’d like to re-enable that button, but configured to populate the category in the new topic composer with one of the subcategories.
I’d actually like this to also change the default for moderators and admins who can accidentally ignore site posting permissions (maybe without even recognizing that that’s not where they mean to be posting). That would make it easier to keep consistent with a “no posts in the first-level category” policy.
Keeping the button enabled and forcing another available category might be a good default (or maybe at least opening the composer without a category preselected). It’s not incredibly frequent, but we have gotten feedback about the disabled button being confusing before…
Would these moderators and admins still be able to switch to the “incorrect” category from the composer, or would it ideally be hidden there too?
Would there need to be some mechanism (a special group?) to determine who could intentionally post in the closed category?
In the event that there are no available subcategories that can be posted in, would it be better to hide the new topic button, rather than making it appear disabled?