Looking for feedback on my new Discourse site ✨


A few points first:

  • The work isn’t fully done yet and registrations aren’t open.

  • I didn’t fully check the mobile pages and how their content is displayed.

  • I won’t say much more, because the primary goal for my website is to be easier to understand and welcome people that aren’t familiar neither with the site’s topic nor with Discourse; what it’s talking about, what we can do, how to navigate, etc.
    A neophyte-oriented site, sort of, though it’s also aimed at connoisseurs of the forum’s topic.

So, I’m looking for any opinion, whether it’s about the name/description, the design, the content, the beginner-friendly side (but most of you here know Discourse very well so it may be hard to judge :smile:), etc.
Also, I’m not a native English speaker, so if some sentences (head meta tags for example) sound weird, feel free to tell me!


It works just fine with an iPhone.

There is one old styling question, though.

For first timer is not totally clear is a thumbnail above or below a topic, so there could be a little more empty space between ending of topic meta and next thumbnail. But sure, that is more or less a personal preference.


Plays havoc with my Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome (aka Meares-Irlen Syndrome). I’m dyslexic and your chosen theme does me no favours. As registrations are not open I can’t switch to something more helpful, i.e. the “Light” theme that I use here and on other Discource instances, there’s not much more I can comment upon. All I will say is that mobile view doesn’t work for me on an iPad Air; much too busy. Whereas the normal view is okay on both the iPad Air and my MacBook Pro.


Thanks! That was bothering me a bit too, especially for tall images.

I intend to create a light theme; I didn’t do it here at first because I chose color categories that don’t mix up well with it (light blue on white for example), so I need to re-evaluate these choices of colors.
However, can you elaborate on how the color affects your dyslexia? Like the banner link with white text on dark background?

Is that related to the image sizes?

Thank you for your feedback :slight_smile:

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It is always really dangerous to start guessing what someone else has ment, but the issue might be similar than in text is english vs. plain english (is it same as slow france?)

There are too many distractions and elements are too close to each other.

So, if you are planning to do more accessible theme, use not more than three colors, that has good contrast but aren’t too far away fom each others and are calm. You should use bigger font too. Images have to be smaller. And make everything more… minimalistic.

But there is big chance I’m totally wrong too.

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I made several changes.

Desktop: I made the text larger overall (through the site settings) and increased a bit the size of the thumbnails because images are an important part of the website.

I’d like to have a totally different layout of the replies, view, and last activity, but it’s quite difficult to do that properly… Ideally it would require changes to the template.

I like the layout of my categories pages, but maybe I should have shorter texts?

Mobile: I limited the height of thumbnails, removed the excerpt, and added a bottom margin and a separator border to differentiate more each topic.

Any particular example?


It’s a nice topic and a fun forum idea :partying_face:

One thing I don’t find so convincing is using Topic Thumbnails throughout every view. It seems ambiguous: do you want members to engage in conversations or share photos? If you want to get conversations going then the thumbnails make it more difficult to browse lists. The need for having an image also puts a higher hurdle on actually starting a new topic.

Two ideas:

  • How about rather having a dedicated gallery category for images and organizing it with tags?
  • on a recent theme we used the topic list thumbnails component. But we added custom css to only highlight specific topics (tagged as “featured”). This gives a more natural flow to the layout overall and doesn’t complicate having just plain topics as well:

I agree with that. It’s difficult to find a middle ground and I’m not 100% satisfied for sure (and I know I’ll never be, obviously :sweat_smile:).

Apart from the documentation and feedback category, all other categories are meant to contain pictures.
The idea is to have a Reddit-like behavior regarding this but honestly, I don’t know how much people will comment.
The Reddit equivalent (https://www.reddit.com/r/atoptics/new/) is aimed only at optic atmospheric phenomena. My website is a bit more focused on them as well but accepts other atmospheric phenomena.
On Reddit, people, will also post pictures without knowing what the phenomenon is or misidentifying it, and people will often comment to add or correct information, and a correct tag will be applied. But again, because of suggestions from other subreddits, cross-posting etc… Many people unfamiliar with these phenomena will stumble upon topics in this subreddit and will be a bit confused by what they see.

I thought about that, but because I want my website to be educational, having a category for each category of phenomena (ice crystal halos, unusual cloud, etc) + having tags for each category seems the way to go. Having 1 dedicated gallery would be too much of a mess, I guess… :person_shrugging:

Do you have a link to this forum to see how it looks overall?


What’s the change of treatment here between featured and unfeatured? Just with a thumbnail and without?

Canapin is using Topic List Previews, the original thumbnail plugin. If you don’t include a thumbnail you will already get a similar effect of having no thumbnail (unless you’ve checked the default image option and provided a default image)


No, in that example the featured items also show both title and an excerpt text in full width, but don’t show avatars and topic stats. The idea there is that the regular topics are about community discussions, while the featured ones are more like blog posts and updates from the team.

But yeah, I missed it’s your component in use and it supports a more flexible layout out of the box already!


No problem.

This has actually turned into a really interesting discussion about how many and how to lay out thumbnails so as not to be too overbearing for certain end goals.

There is also an optional featured images carousel that comes with Topic List Previews which displays on a strip above the topic list. There are equivalent and similar official Theme Components too.

One other option is to have a left and/or right sidebar and a column of single column tiles (that would also show on mobile without the side bars). The tiles can’t be too wide or they become too big if you want to retain thumbnail aspect ratio.


2 posts were split to a new topic: Multiple View Options

The font looks a bit weird in my opinion, besides that it’s pretty normal.

I’m also not so sure how I feel about this centering