Hiding GUI elements for new users (less overwhelming)

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.

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Hey Bastiaan :slight_smile:

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. :slight_smile:

Hey @Canapin

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.

Does that make sense?

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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:

Thanks, that is useful.

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).


A lot of the features and functions can be adjusted by Trust Level, if that’s any use? You can compare the defaults in Trust Level Permissions Table (inc Moderator Roles)

Part of the idea of Trust Levels is to sandbox certain features behind these levels so as not to ovewhelm new users right out of the gate. There’s a blog here with some more info in too:

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Thank you, that indeed is very close to what I was looking for.

I guess I would also to also remove permissionless features (search bar, keyboard shortcuts icon, etc).

I’m going to read the blog post now, thank you


A theme-component that hides all those “extras” for TL0 is an interesting experiment, and doable with simple CSS for the most part :wink:


As I’m new to Discourse (but spending a lot of time on it now), how could I get started with this?

I have read this

and I know about the plugin skeleton, but a TC skeleton I could not find.

I’ve looked quite a bit at the table builder component, which seems like it looks similar to a plugin. Can I use the plugin skeleton?

Install the Discourse Theme CLI console app to help you build themes will give you one.


If you want to hide/show stuff depending on user group, Falco shared a super helpful component as well:


Thank you, that’s a great solution!

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