Greater visibility for Category Channels

Originally sent in The Chat Feedback topic

Could there be a more front and centre Chat link at the top of each Category, if there is an associated Chat Channel?


Yeah, that pencil is pretty damn subtle!

There needs to be a clear route in from the Category topic list, and possibly on the Categories page.


I think we should have a button for chat if a channel is linked to a category there should be a button for the channel that says chat on the top bar.


What about when I said it?

I think we should have a button for chat if a channel is linked to a category there should be a button for the channel that says chat on the top bar.


I have added it to the OP. :slight_smile:


Yeah, a bit +1 from me on this. I feel like chat is still far too non-discoverable if you don’t know it’s there. Even with the Sidebar Theme I find it’s still too subtle compared to e.g. Slack, etc. that people are used to. I think Chat should be a “first class” organizational and UI/UX consideration, with equal priority to forum/topic/etc.


I propose to add a link to the channel on the category page to the left of the “+ New Topic” as an icon

How an user knows when there is category based channel and when an icon leads to another channel? If an user must remember what, when and where same looking icon leads it is awful solution from UX point of view.

Or am I misunderstanding now something?

Each channel is linked to its category. Why are additional captions needed? It is enough for the user to know whether there is a channel or not, and also to have an icon to go to the channel.

Even when there is or can be general channel, topic related channels or 1-to-1 channels? You are basically asking feature that limits possibilities for all :wink:

Explain how a link to a channel linked to a specific category displayed on the category page can restrict you? You won’t be able to use the chat? :roll_eyes:

I think the problem is, if there is more than one chat channel for that category, you can still link only one channel. Of course this does not stop you from having more than one channel per category, but since you can only link one, there is a problem getting visibility for the other ones.

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More than one channel for one category? What for? It would be much more correct to have one channel for several categories (children). Unless, of course, you are a competitor to reddit with a million users a day

How do I know where this chat link goes?

An user have to think every time what happends. When same looking link gives different solution depending where an user is, It breaks UX big time.

Same thing when a webmaster makes a decision what an user wants — it is really bad politics.

If an user is in category X and wants drop in a chat message to general channel or to channel of category Y, using changing link forces that user first checking out where she/he/is is and after that must search wanted channel.

Yes, it is an issue even now when default channel is first one, but an user gets same channel everywhere now.

This is totally same as home link would some times lead to category, some times to start of a topic, sometimes to latest and sometimes to somewhere else.

So… there should be then be three differently named chat links

  • category chat
  • topic chat
  • list of channels

That would be quite messy.

We are only talking about channels linked to a category. What does the whole chat have to do with it? I suggested using the channel icon, which is different from the chat icon. There is a channel icon on the category page, which means a channel is linked to the category, there is no icon, which means the category does not have a channel

I don’t think I’m following this 100%, but I think the OP is already suggesting something like this:

(Though excuse the terrible mock-up :slight_smile:)

I think any icon/symbol/shortcut would have to reference the fact that there could be multiple channels attached to a category, and also provide a link to where you can see more (for the category if there were too many to fit in the dropdown, or sitewide in general).


It would be correct to call it not a chat, but channels. But why should a category have more than one category channel?

We don’t create two identical categories. This will confuse users. Why do we need two identical category channels?

I think you’re right that it may often be the case that a category only needs 1 channel. But I gave a couple examples earlier here to help illustrate where you may want more than 1:

I think showing the channels that are related to a given category still probably makes sense, but there are many ways we could go about it. I don’t think there’s a single “right” way.

This also fits more broadly into the topic of “channel discoverability”, and when looked at from that perspective, there are lot of things that make sense to do, so we’ll be keeping that all in mind as we think about how to prioritize these things.


If the category name is rigidly linked to the channel name, then my option will be the only correct one.

Hello!! My way to very primitively implement “chat channels” (plus “linking them”) to categories was to pin a category at the top and change it’s color with CSS to distinguish it from a normal topic.

The idea was to use chat rooms for quick syncing between people. Quick and ephemeral communication. So I also configured temporal comments, to force that use, and to force users to save important information in a topic if something came out of the brainstorming. So I left the chat rooms at the top since it would be the place a lot of topics would “fall” from. Seemed natural.
My forum is a political forum, both the the tool and the use are a novelty so I have been struggling to get people to use it. That’s my excuse for saying that I can not yet prove the workflow works based on empirical data :sweat_smile:
The entire thing, the placement, the context information of a typical topic, etc, seems to accomplish whats asked in this topic. The only change would be to apply to this specific “chat topics” the interface of the chat room and we have the whole package arranged in a nice and natural manner IMO. Of course, the chat room would be shown in a more compact arrangement, not the full width like in my example. Even round edges could visually make the difference.

This is my forum:


I want this to happen, too!

@mcwumbly I’m copying over the helpful messages that you gave in the #chat-feedback channel so everyone’s ideas of workarounds like in this topic.

Originally sent in chat feedback

Our current focus is on making channels #mentionable which we think will have a big impact on discoverabiliy.

(We'll be kicking off a new topic for folks to test that feature next week)

Very long winded way of saying, that for now I'd do one of two things:

I do think it's likely that we'll want to show channels on category pages too, but it's not something we've put time into exploring deeply or designing yet.

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