For non-toxic, non-sensitive general feedback like this I encourage users to post a Topic in the site feedback Category. The advantage of this public approach for feedback is you can include the whole community in discussions on approaches and solutions to things and people can see prior discussions so you (and others) don’t have to repeat yourself. Why hide this stuff? You might even get long time members helping others out so you don’t even have to intervene!
This use case is already implemented and catered for in the Post flagging system. It’s even better because it references the exact Post.
As individual sites can have a lot of configuration and customisation differences it could get confusing when to report issues directly to here rather than through the site feedback category on the sites themselves in the first instance. I’m not sure a typical end user could identify which of their issues were caused by a misapplied setting, a site-specific customised theme, or a third-party plugin, etc. And they also wouldn’t be best placed to take any advice on how to implement a fix for that site, or provide key information that may be required to debug the issue further.
It is of course possible for users to provide feedback here on Meta, though it does require taking a bit of time to gain a deeper understanding of how everything fits together for it to be truly useful. I think having a prominent link for users on every forum would lead to a lot of topics that could probably be better solved by site admins.
Well I’m saying a vanilla installation of… Of what? No, the software doesn’t have any name at all. At least to the end user. Anyway a vanilla installation of it should come with deep down in the menu somewhere a way to contact you guys with some ux improvement suggestions.
Every single one of my visitors who has something to ask and doesn’t create account for that know for what and why there is /about-page. You don’t want to use it because by your opinion dozens of buttons is sign of the very best UX. No, it is not. Doing things such way that is easy for an user is good practise of UX. Like using /about page as about majority of sites has solved out same thing.
Legally the full suite of software you are using, add-ins and all is up to each individual site and its owners.
You aren’t necessarily just using a specific version of Discourse. Even if that version number was exposed it might be misleading.
Just because a site uses “Discourse version 3.1” does not in any way preclude the possibility that the site in queston is using significant local customisations which could affect the behaviour of anything.
I think you are missing the significant point here that Discourse is a platform not a single entity and that platform can be downloaded, installed and then customised in significant ways and in ways the core developers didn’t necessarily intend.
You can glean some information from the version number but not enough to pin down all the exact code you are interacting with.
Nor will any of that guarantee the trustworthiness of a specific site and the way it is run.
That is why you should take these questions to the actual site you are using.
Don’t expect the core Discourse community to always deal with specific issues you have with the sites you are using.
Have you approached the sites you are using and given them any feedback?
It smacks a little of “going above their heads” if you only discuss these issues on meta and not with the site owners themselves?
Are you hoping to make changes to the software to that might override what the site owners might want or prefer?