New indicator far too visually strong

(Jeff Atwood) #1

I was struck visiting this Discourse with how overwhelming the NEW indicators were:

That’s… way too strong. It’s a bit of a side effect of us switching from the asterisk to indicate “new”, as the indicator got 3x larger, from * to new.

And when your first reaction to visiting a site after a while is “this looks overwhelming”, that’s bad. Very bad.

So I am switching it to this:

Essentially, invert the colors, with the text color switching with the background color, and the background color becoming transparent.

My thinking is, “new” is not a high value indicator like UNREAD is, and thus does not need to be nearly as prominent. Unread means I was there for 4+ minutes, I posted in the topic, or I created the topic. New could mean anything from “omg must read” to “who cares” and much more likely the latter.

Consistent new indicator
Tone down the new indicator and change it to mean 'never opened'
(Zane Beckman) #2

At some point, when almost every topic is new, is it even relevant that it be marked new at all?

Perhaps the color of the “new” tags should cool off as the quantity increases, ending on a light grey color.

(Dave McClure) #3

You probably noticed already, but at the moment, the unread indicator got knocked down to this subtle styling too…

(Jeff Atwood) #4

Yeah, I kind of missed the fact that we don’t have a separate CSS class for new topic vs new posts. Reverted for now. @eviltrout can you get that in tomorrow? This overwhelming new thing has to be stopped.

(Robin Ward) #5

It’s amazing how many places we the same basic code for rendering topic badges. I’ve removed the duplication, added a new class and removed the background style:

(Rikki Tooley) #6

It’s basically invisible now. :confused: If it’s this suppressed it shouldn’t be there at all.

(c-i-p-h-e-r-1) #8

New is actually just as high value as unread (well, maybe slightly lower). New indicates something you haven’t read yet, so it is, in a sense, a sub-type of unread.

If you find the number of new topics too overwhelming when you return to a forum after a long absence, maybe you should adjust this user preference:


To be honest, I’d think just a somewhat lighter blue background on the “New” bubbles would suffice, rather than changing its entire style. With it just being plain text in the middle of a bunch of other things that are bubbles, it looks more like someone hacked html styles into their topic title than like it is an indicator of some kind.

(Robin Ward) #13

I’m not a huge fan of it either now, but the good news is it’s finally styable. I wouldn’t be surprised if we try a few more revisions before settling.

(Mittineague) #14

I’m glad it can be styled. For my tired old eyes I have to look for it to see it.
I understand wanting it to not be too strong, but IMHO it’s now too weak.

I almost always go to both new and unread via Suggested Topics after I read through a topic. This is what I get using Firefox



I thought the old way was fine. Looking here on Meta, it feels like the new topics are hiding from me.

(Dave McClure) #16

Gonna plug this idea one more time. Seemed like people were into it before.

But I do agree the unread indicator should have more weight than new after seeing it in action now.


I like that better than the meek 'new’s we now have, but less than the old 'new’s.

(Jeff Atwood) #18

First, the color of new has been darkened significantly now, so look again.

What you propose should be possible with CSS, though I don’t know if the “dot” can be a different color than the word new.

(Jeff Atwood) #19

I do like this idea but code wise it’s a difficult proposition since it depends how many topics are new (and maybe even how many new are visible right now?), and that has to somehow magically feed back into the CSS, I guess via JS.


Seems unbalanced vs new post circles. NB: I think the new stuff should be heavier yet, not that the new post circle should be lightened.

(Kris) #22

maybe something like this?

(Jeff Atwood) #23

Not exactly, we are only proposing a change for the new indicator.

The main difference is that when I sign up for a site, I am opted into a wall of NEW indicators on the homepage on every subsequent visit. Whereas I am only shown unread indicators if I created the topic, replied to it, or read it for four minutes. Way narrower set of criteria that requires a ton of action on my part versus passively visiting the home page.

We may eventually suppress unread a bit more as well, but right now, the wall of new is a fact of life on every Discourse site for every user… and new topics are of highly questionable value versus topics I explicitly replied to, created, or read for a long time.

(Mittineague) #24

Maybe make the New indicator tied to Trust Level somehow?
i.e. Truly new members wouldn’t get slammed by it - everything is new for them anyway - and after they’ve been around for a while it would actually mean more for them.


I’d say that the visually strong bubbles could be used for new topics in tracked or watched categories and the visually weaker ones for new topics in regular categories.
It would allow you to distinguish new things you probably care about from the ones you might care about less.