New indicator far too visually strong

(Jeff Atwood) #32

Agree with this, we will make it so! We also suppress category in topic lists when browsing by category for virtually the same reason…


After using this a bit, I find this change (removing the “new” badge on the New topic tab) confusing. I’ve been trained to look for the “new”, and now it’s not there. So I click again on the New tab. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The inconsistency is much worse for me than having lots of new badges.

(Jeff Atwood) #35

I think it makes sense; we also remove category badges when you are browsing topics by category. That is, if you visit the “howto” category you no longer see a green “howto” repeated next to each and every topic.

Probably give it a bit more time.

(Admir Hodzic) #36

Is there a way to make NEW looks to be user configurable.
So each user can couche way of his NEW look ?

(cpradio) #37

That wouldn’t make a lot of sense, as they can do that today using a custom user stylesheet (if they absolutely needed it)

(Sam Saffron) #38

I raised this ages ago

I don’t think it is likely we will work on this any time soon, if it happens it will have to start as a plugin.

(Jeff Atwood) #39

Lately I have been thinking the word new is still a bit much. I noticed on iOS 7 and later, a simple blue dot is all that is used to indicate new stuff…

Hide "NEW" for TL1 and above
Tone down the new indicator and change it to mean 'never opened'
Tone down the new indicator and change it to mean 'never opened'

Your example is a totally different use case than what Discourse has. In that situation, there isn’t room for anything more than a colored dot. It can’t be fairly compared to the Discourse UI.

In addition, one of the things you tend to consider is how easily a change can be be reverted on any given site using custom CSS. This proposed change would be significantly more difficult to roll back. I would advise not making this change a part of Discourse default.

It seems that lately the Discourse team has been obsessed with the “Less is more” mind set, which is fine for a mobile platform, where screen space is at a premium. But you’re starting to take it too far in the desktop view. If you continue to “simplify” the UI like this, then the user will be left swimming in a sea of whitespace, which is as undesirable as giving too much information.

Actually, thinking about it, here’s my suggestion: Go ahead with the dot-only idea for the mobile UI, but keep the dot-and-new indicator for the desktop UI.


And how would you be able to easily distinguish the “just a dot that means 'new” bubbles from “n unread posts” bubbles?

(loopback0 - TDWTF) #42

Except the word new isn’t too much. And it distinguishes “this is new” from “this is not new but has new things”.

iOS 7 isn’t the same use case.

(Jeff Atwood) #44

Well, one has a number in it, the other does not. Also size. I could support the appearance of the word new for TL0 users but once you learn it, continued appearance feels like an unnecessary translation and text, all the time.


That sounds like a UI that is not user friendly.

Here, learn this UI in the ~30 minutes before you get TL1.

Congratulations on earning TL1! Now learn this subtly different UI, which we change on you without telling you how it’s different.

Good UIs are:

  • Consistent
  • Don’t change for arbitrary reasons (ie, user becomes more trusted)
  • Easy to learn

Just because It makes sense to you, doesn’t mean it will make sense to users. No matter how much you use your own software software, you can never count as a user. You will always just be a developer, and UI/UX decisions need to be weighted heavily based on user input. Let your opinion go and listen to your users.

(Jeff Atwood) #46

You guys are not real “users”, either, you are developers. So the same criticism applies to everyone here from the daily wtf, several of you above who regularly post in lockstep with the same opinions. I aggregate feedback across 20 different live Discourse instances. And to get the feedback, you have to try it. You cannot imagineer the right answer, it requires real world use, across more than your own, rather peculiar, instance.

In general we are simplifying the UI, and I am sorry, but simplification usually means less stuff on the screen, not more.

(Sam Saffron) #47

This is not really accurate, we can (and will) keep the text in the UI and simply suppress using CSS, also you can easily add text with :before / :after and so on.

(Jeff Atwood) #48

Actually the opposite would be true: we would not carry the text onscreen, but it is trivial to add a before or after CSS rule to have arbitrary text appear.

The point is to try the experiment first before concluding that it is ipso facto impossible because reasons.

(Stephanie) #49

I personally don’t find the current “new” tags too cluttery or intrusive. I checked on my iPhone 5s to see if the smaller screen made a difference, and it still looked clean to me. It does a good job of requesting my attention without demanding it.
If it does change with trust level, it should definitely be explained somewhere. People often get confused when things change, sometimes even when there is an explanation.

(Jeff Atwood) #50

Just as another example, in GMail unread stuff is bold.

Is there anywhere that explains “bold means unread”? Sometimes I feel like the word new is a bit too reminscent of the 1996 web.

Whereas the blue dot is quite modern…

(note that we also use a blue dot in the upper right of posts to indicate unread that fades away as the client believes you have read the post…)

Tone down the new indicator and change it to mean 'never opened'
(Stephanie) #51

My point about having an explanation was predicated on the idea that the method of tagging new posts might change with trust level. If something works a certain way at first and then changes, that’s not an expected behavior.


And yet I really do use discourse for multiple hours each day.

(Jeff Atwood) #53

As do I. As do I. The idea is to look at how many communities, with different backgrounds and composition, react to the changes, rather than just one.