Looking for a component or theme that breaks discussions into phases like ideas, voting, building - for projects, applications, etc

Is there anything around that offers that kind of functionality or is it something i’d need to have built?

I was thinking having the comment thread react differently based on the tag used would be a good way to address this.

I know the Kanban theme could be used to separate those phases, but it isn’t quite right for it as it doesn’t define permitted actions during each phase. We’d want to only allow discussions during the discussion phase and then switch only allowing voting during the voting phase, etc.


Interesting. Could you perhaps mock it up visually to elaborate on what you mean?


I think you could do this with category permissions — have a category (or a subcategory) for each phase, with permissions like:

  • Idea Gathering: anyone can post and reply
  • Discussion: only moderators can post anyone can reply
  • Voting: only moderators can post, and the post contains a poll. No replies.
  • Building: posting limited by group to team members

And maybe you could use the kanban theme component in category mode with this — I haven’t tried anything like that, though.


I had a little look for some images online to try and show what i was looking for:

Here its telling users there are different phases:


A visual representation of which phase the project or proposal is currently in, which would ideally include a timeline:

Two proposed options which would go through a discussion those phases from discussion to voting:

The example i found is a little limited in that i was looking for something that would have more options which could be chosen as phases and different tools available to users during them.

For example these phases: Idea generation > voting on proposals > discussing proposals > voting on proposals > building a project plan for the winning proposal.

Other phases might include: Video conference, workshops, user surveys, kanban for building, and things of the sort.

I agree with @mattdm that Discourse already has the tools to accomplish this which is why i thought it might already exist. While using categories in the way suggested would work, it wouldn’t have a smooth flow to it as users would have to read which phase is active and navigate to it themselves. Admins/moderators would have to update the text and categories to show clearly which is currently active (not huge barriers but still a UX barrier).

I wasn’t able to find the best example of this i’ve seen, but it was a single thread format. So the thread itself moves between the phases (which could be achieved by changing tags, or autoloading the next thread below original one), and as it did so it locked and shrunk comments/votes from earlier phases so users could still access them by clicking expand, but the thread they were active in was focused on its current phase.

If for example that phase was a video conference it would automatically comment the time, date and link, as the only visible (unminified comment) and lock comments until a mod clicked to take the thread to the following phase.

If it was a build phase it would lock the thread with a description and post a link to the kanban board.

All the same functionality as with Matt’s setup, but users stay engaged as they are already following that thread, and there’s less of a step between each phase where users drop off.


That would be great if it is possible

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Looking like we’re going to design and then build it.

I’m thinking the simplest solution would be a ‘phases’ module at the top of a discussion thread. Showing users which phase they are currently on with a short description of how they should interact with it, and allowing them to navigate to past phases if they want to review anything.

The thread closes on a set date or event chosen by the admin/mod who set it up, and then a module appears at the bottom of the closed thread directing users to where they should go next.

We’d automatically subscribe users watching/following one thread to the next (or perhaps just the whole sub-category to make it easier) to keep them engaged.

On the admin/mod side there would be a list of options to choose from for each phase and as many phases as the creator wants when creating a project, and dates/events that end each phase.

The click through method could work, although there is still a little friction in that model. If the next phase/thread loaded underneath the last automatically that would be the ideal situation.
Instead of users having to click that bottom module to get to the next phase, we would prefer we put all phases into a single seamless discussion thread - so when users reach the bottom of one thread the next thread in the series loads below it as if it we’re a seamless, continuous thread broken only by a title and description to explain the rules of the new phase.

That seems more difficult to build and less stable. Especially as some of those tools used in phases will be things that change the appearance of a thread, like Discourse Kanban.