Discourse is very clean, and can be made ever cleaner with themes, customization, etc, yet there is still a large number of elements, given all the functionality that there is.
Is there a way to hide GUI elements for new users, so that they can get used to the core elements, before later on (e.g. once “cheers” grows) adding the additional functionality e.g. chat, keyboard shortcuts, suggested topics, etc.
It really depends on what you want to hide. There is no a general way to do such a thing.
Some features can be disabled in the admin settings.
Some can be disabled through the plugins menu settings like the gamification or chat.
Some can be hidden with CSS like the suggested topics.
Some may be disabled through custom theme components or plugins.
If you have a specific list of elements that you want to hide, you can share it.
Thank you, but I don’t mean to disable or hide these things in general, the idea is just that for new users the interface is less overwhelming, so we hide some stuff. And once they come back to the forum 5-6 times we start adding things element by element, so that they gradually learn it.
Ah, yes, I misunderstood. So, the elements would be hidden at first per user.
There is no such feature right now. A custom theme component or plugin could probably do that, but it would need the option (per user) to reveal all the features for users who already know Discourse.
It’s only slightly related, but Discourse’s working on a new user tips feature to guide new users through the interface:
Personally, for me these wizards don’t work at all. When I’m on a new site, I want to make sense of everything, these busy attention-grabbing things are nothing but a thing to click away until I can make sense of the interface (personal issue I guess).