Mockup for re-designed Categories page

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #1

Continuing the discussion from Brand new wide categories page

Things I think a Categories page should have:

  • Recognizable name of category (ties in with how the category is shown elsewhere on the site).
  • Number of new posts in the category since your last visit.
  • Latest activity
  • Category description
  • Subcategories

What I don’t think is necessary:

  • (Latest) participants - This is only useful to me per thread. All you’re telling me here is "these people have posted something "
  • Most recent topics - If there are more than 4 new topics you’re gonna want to enter the category anyhow.
  • Basic topic stats - I guess I am a little interested, but these numbers are hard to process. I want a simpler indicator.

Inspiration: (click “Explore”)
Discourse · GitHub (the simple stats overview)

Some mockups, from newest to oldest

Mockup #3

Mockup #2

Mockup #1

I’m quite fond of the idea of stealing GitHub’s first-glance activity indicator.

Discourse is intimidating to begin using?
What's more important on the categories page, topic count or post count?
Discourse is intimidating to begin using?
Minimal Discourse
(Ronteras) #2

This is just great. 2-column view will work great on mobile.

(Neil Lalonde) #3

I was thinking the opposite. Multiple columns on mobile?

I don’t like that so much information is removed. I like to see the most recently active topics and participants. Category descriptions are something you read once or twice, and then you look for the content. People who are members of a community don’t need the descriptions. They’re important for new people, but not long-time members.

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #4

Naturally they would go single-column in narrow screens. See the Convoe page for a good example.

I can see why some people would like to see the most recent topics, but what does the most recent participants tell you? To me it’s just too out of context.

Agreed. And as a long-term member of a forum, i.e. a power-user, I would always take the shortest path.

The shortest path to a category is:
Root page --> Categories drop-down.

Root page --> Categories page --> Category.

The only thing interesting in day-to-day statistics is big spikes, and you’ll notice those much more easily in a comparative graph view than plain numbers that you have to continuously add up and keep track of in your head. That’s some sayian power user right there.

I see the Categories page as the place where newcomers go to get an overview of the forum’s main themes, same as an Organization’s root page on GitHub.

(Jeff Atwood) #5

Can’t say I’m a fan. NodeBB has a similar layout and … also not a fan.

(Jae) #6

I’m liking the current design better. I feel like the large boxes don’t match the rest of the UI.

(Bill Ayakatubby) #7

I don’t feel like this redesign would work for a forum that has /categories set as its homepage. In such a case, I think you would absolutely want to know what the latest topics and participants in a category were. “New topics” and “new posts” might be TMI. I’m honestly not sure how I’d feel about condensing them into a single “latest activity” value, as in your mock-ups.

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #8

So I experimented with some new mockups. See Mockup #3 above.

  • Cut out the images and simplified the box with a clean category color header.
  • Made mockups for ‘latest posts in category’ as well.