Form-fields for topic creation rather than a text box

I use Discourse for technical support. My current approach has been to use a pre-filled template for support topics. However many users are not familiar with markdown formatting, how comment fields work, and sometimes just ignore it altogether so there’s wasted effort asking for information later on.

What I want to achieve is a way to make it so that new threads in certain topics require that users fill out a form (which may contain a mixture of free-form values or fields with a limited number of fixed options) which is then used to populate a template so that all posts take on the same format (and contain the same information)

I’ve searched the meta and had a look to see if there’s any suitable plugins, but I’ve not been able to turn anything up. If doing this would require a custom plugin, I would be interested in sponsoring development of such a plugin as an open plugin for anyone else to also use.

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I think Custom Wizard Plugin 🧙 can do something like that

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I looked at this - it appears to just be for user signup and onboarding? Rather than as a form that the user is asked to fill out on a per-thread basis depending on topic. Or if it can do the latter, the documentation is unclear about how to go about achieving this. It lacks any kind of tutorial for this use case. My impression is that it relies on insufficient and poor documentation to encourage you to purchase support.

Did you follow their link to the Docs - Coöperative? It seems to be rather thorough.

You can also install it and test it out for yourself?

I did. Their documentation is like a man page - a seemingly complete reference but not a good guide for how to actually accomplish tasks. I installed the plugin and could figure out how to set up a sign up wizard (not what I want), but not how to make ‘structured’ new-thread ‘wizard’. It also generally seems like an overkill solution that has way more features and facilities than I’m really interested in.

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If you have a budget, you can post in marketplace. To add an interface with custom fields for some categories and then have those become part of the topics in those categories is likely in the $5k-15k range, depending on how much flexibility there is in creating the fields, and how well it’s covered by specs.

You should be able to set this in the category (I’m not sure, I haven’t used this feature myself)

Aye that was the bit I was struggling to find, thank you.

We just released Introducing Experimental Form Templates