Improve usage consistency of chevron icons

The usability of Discourse could be improved by optimizing the consistency of icons.

Situation now


For sorting Discourse uses the icon chevron-down and up

Topic Summary

To open the topics summary users have to use the button with the chevron down. To close it they use the chevron up.

Sidebar sections

In the sidebar there are buttons with chevron right and down to open and close sections
Screenshot showing part of a sidebar in Discourse

“User menu”

In the menu that you can open by clicking on your avatar there is a button with a chevron icon that leads to another page.
Screenshot showing two buttons in the user menu

The problem

The same icon doesn’t always mean the same. Sometimes you can open and close something and one time you can’t open anything but sort a list. Also, if something can be opened and closed it should use the same icon everywhere. As you can see above now you can open the topic summary by using a chevron down but you open a section in the sidebar with chevron right. If you close both you use icons that are even showing in opposite directions. To close the topic summary you use chevron up while you use a chevron down to close a sidebar section.

My suggestion

  • Use arrow down/up for sorting
  • Always use chevron up to close something (topic summary and sidebar section)
  • Always use only chevron down (or only right) to open something (topic summary and sidebar section)
  • Use a different icon for the button in the “user menu”

To me it’s not a matter which icons you use exactly but please use them consistent :slight_smile: