Group administration functions should be better surfaced

I am managing a group of users on a small Discourse forum and am hitting some usability issues, that make working with groups awkward. There are a bunch but I would like to address

  1. I can not see on the user card what groups the user is a member of:

Mark is a member of the “parents” group but I can not see it.

  1. The biggest killer problem I have is that I can not force all the members of my group to watch a category


  1. Add a “visible on card” option for groups that forces the group name to be displayed on card.

  2. Add an actions option for group management, allow admins only for now, to force all members of a group to “watch/track/watch new topics” any of the secure categories the group has access to.

For (2) it should spin up a modal that says [ ] override user preference if selected even if user is tracking/muting/watching it should force the new level.

I find (2) a completely critical feature for small group management, when traffic is really low only way to get engagement is to force people into a much louder mode.


I think only primary group should show on the user card, anything else would need to be expanded.

Can’t you?

I see it right there ↑ ↑

Why do you need to force people to watch a category? I’m very unclear about this. Forcing people to do things does not generally work well in my experience.

And if you really need this couldn’t you do it from the command line?


That is the title, not group membership. It only works if you are dealing with a single group and force title, which I kind of am, but for some reason some users did not get the title (and there is no “reset” action)

We already have this problem on meta … some with our customers that have the customer title, but we would like to see the actual customer group name on the card.

This is very common for small groups management and people moving from a mailing list world, we already have the site setting for: default categories watching which can not be used for this cause they are secure categories.

We also have Default notification level for group messages which is not usable on categories.

We already have 2 ways to force people into watching we ship, and both do not fit this need.

I guess an alternative here is Welcome to the amazing group automatic PM or notification we could send to every member that becomes a member of the group (optional), which teaches them about the group and how to click the “circle” so they can watch the group categories if they want to. I am not against this, I think it could help.

The problem is teaching this at scale. The default of watching is a better default for certain configurations of people.


I’m not really clear why groups wouldn’t be listed on the user page as it says there? I guess I don’t understand? It says “Groups” right on the user page at the top?

I think that’s a better strategy.

I also like the idea of showing the primary group on the user card.

1 Like

Oh indeed, we can scratch the user profile concern, but the card concern still stands.


Adding some weight here as it is something that has come up a few times with potential customers lately. They would like to create ‘curated feeds’ based on group membership so that by default, a member of the ‘Healthcare’ group will have categories that don’t relate to healthcare muted by default (with the ability to override that if they want to).

At the moment this level of curation has to be done by an individual, which many see as too difficult.


Forcing people to do things when you’re paying them to do it isn’t particularly tricky, the answer is usually to make it as easy as possible.

I’m aware of a number of sites who have used a fork of discourse-watch-category-mcneel and numerous others who are falling over themselves for mandatory category subscriptions.

There are lots of professional settings where mandatory circulation is a requirement. Up until now that was achieved by distribution lists, but with the goal of getting ‘out of the inbox’ the ability to tie group membership to watched categories becomes vital.

In any regulated field, staff need to be kept informed. The responsibility for disseminating that information falls on a few hands within the organisation. Relying on individuals to manually take the extra step to watch a category isn’t an acceptable risk to them - they’re the kinds of situation where noncompliance will impact the organisation, rather than the individual. The problem becomes compounded when someone moves laterally, they’re going to need to change groups and receive a different subset of the organisation’s policy.