Latest vs. Categories homepage

I’m not sure if this belongs more in #ux or #community, but I’m curious what other community owners and community members think about having a forum default be the Latest view vs. the Categories view.

I feel like it’s a big assumption that every incoming user will be interested in every single category of discussion, which range from Visualizations to Modeling (programming stuff) to using an API, Security, administration, release notes, etc. There’s a bunch of different “Personas” that might come to the forum, and all of this stuff definitely does not interest every persona.

The categories view lets a user make an intentional choice of what they’re interested in, or what kind of question they want to ask:

But, the latest view is super compelling if you’re a true community member who wants to participate in all kinds of discussions or just keep your ear to the ground. How have you all decided to set your Discourse homepage up? Or any tips for making the “Latest” view less overwhelming (maybe with tagging or some other UX upgrade)?

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It’s not a binary choice. I assume you know you can have a mix of both? The Categories view has additional setting desktop category page style which, for example, allows you to have Categories on left and Latest on right (Categories and Latest Topics). That view option may be a good compromise for you.

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A bit late to this, but I really like Categories and Latest … for a forum that has a reasonable number of users and posts. But I have found that for my brand new forum, the fact that it only shows the last poster of each thread means that it just shows my head on every single thread, as I try to keep people engaged. :grimacing:

This is unfortunate, because it makes it seem like I’m the only one posting (as opposed to pure Latest, that shows all the faces on every post). But I feel like Latest feels more foreign to people who are used to seeing a list of forums (Categories). So… I dunno. Right now I am keeping it on Latest, so it’s less obvious I’m posting so much, but hope to move the default to Categories and Latest if I can get others to start participating more.

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