New Theme: Tag-Pages Navigation

What would you like done?

Creation of a powerful new theme which utilises Tag-Pages and existing theme-components to deliver a highly flexible and user adaptive environment for community growth.

Users can be guided down desired routes, but also where users have unprecedented flexibility to adapt and evolve their own environment. Including a floating nav bar with popular team management tools means a user can create a new tag and instantly have access to a powerful workspace with its own kanban board, calendar, stats, and voting area.

Why Drop Categories?

Categories are limited in depth and not suitable for a user led evolving environment. We could keep them and have the tag-plugin only function on the bottom layer of a category, but its probably easier to just switch entirely.

How The Theme Works and New Components needed

  1. Tag-page Navigation Boxes
    The Tag Pages Theme creates boxes just like category boxes, for an admin defined number of the most commonly used tags in each Tag-Page. Admins can exclude tags from appearing in this component either sitewide, or in relation to each tag-page in the admin section to create a defined path to guide new users and customise where needed.
    (for example ‘to-do’ is a functional tag for the Kanban plugin and would be excluded sitewide

  2. Other tags
    Underneath navigation boxes is a bar with links to the next most common tags for quick navigation. This bar is side scrolling and users can swipe to see more tags on each-tag page. It also adheres to the exclusion rules defined for the navigation boxes.

  3. Floating Footer
    To create the evolving and flowing workspace it will include a floating footer which navigates between popular project discourse management plugins/components by adding text to the url for each tag page.

for example:

Tag-Page: tags/reactjs
click ‘Board’
url appends to: /tags/reactjs/l/latest?board=default
Now the user is viewing the Kanban board and tasks to be done related to that Tag-Page.

The same appending url navigation will work for the calendar plugin. For the voting it will combine tags using the ‘Intersection’ feature.

an example of displaying multiple tags:

/tags/intersection/reactjs/vote

Dependency Plugins and Structure

Banner


Tag Banner Title
Discourse Tag Banners

Search bar
Search banner theme component

Tag description (if provided) also to add (‘pin’) important links
this functionality is in the category banner, but not the tag banner
Discourse Category Banners

Main Page


Tag-page Navigation Boxes

[most common tag 1] [tag 2] [tag 3] [tag 4] [tag 5]

Other Related Tags Slider
Discourse Popular Tag Sidebar

Discourse posts

Floating Footer


5 theme component pages which link to the tag pages so users can switch between actions on the visible page

[Discuss] [Tasks] [Calendar] [Vote] [Stats]

  • Discuss: Standard Discourse threads
  • Tasks: Discourse Kanban for this tag page
  • Calendar: Events Plugin for this tag page
  • Vote: Discourse Voting Voting is enabled on all threads marked with the ‘vote’ tag, enabling governance and decision making to operate on any tag or intersection of tags sitewide.
  • Stats: A modification of the Discourse Meta page, to add Tags as a filter and open the tag currently being viewed by the user

Major advantages to utilising Tag Pages to navigate:

  • New users can be guided along a set path, while including the search bar for those who already know what they are looking for to skip directly to there.
  • Users can easily create their own tags making the platform highly adaptive and user-led
  • There is no depth limit. If Bob wants to make a ‘Bob’s Crazy Friday Group’, he can easily. If
  • Users also have the god-tier ability to combine tags, and the tools in the footer bar still work perfectly. Creating incredibly powerful methods for cross-team collaboration, simply by adding a tag in a post to drop it into their work flow and call attention to it

Whats needed to create the theme

  1. Creation of Tag-Page boxes in the style of category boxes
  2. All dependency plugins working seamlessly together
  3. Tag-page support added to Voting and Calendar components/plugins
  4. Creation of a Floating Footer with Nav Links
  5. Text description added to Tag-Banners component
  6. Search component works with/embeds inside Tag-Banners
  7. Tag filters added to the Stats page so it can be used in the navigation

When do you need it done?

Mid-November

What is your budget, in $ USD that you can offer for this task?

We’re hosting a crowdfunder to raise funds for an alternative Summit at the World Economic Forum in Davos, aiming to inject more kindness and compassion into the heart of the economic world. The Summit will be powered by the Tag Navigation Theme, where ideas to benefit humanity will be suggested, discussed and built on the platform.

The best we can do in terms of funding is offering a percentage of the crowdfunder, the platform adds weight to the crowdfunder so completing it 1st will raise us more to divide up among those who help out (as we’re switching from a non-monetary volunteer community, to a blockchain backed community for creating peace and well-being)

We’re launching the blockchain Token which will incentivise people to build the top voted projects on our platform and will match the crowdfunder division with an equal amount of our tokens. I’d like people to chip in opinions and let us know how much it will cost to build this theme component, which will be open-sourced for everyone to use afterwards.

TLDR: we will reimburse everyone who joins in as fairly as we possibly can, and use the platform to deliver a lot of good into the world :slight_smile:

8 Likes

Dependencies:
Are any of you guys interested in collaborating, or supporting this build by smoothing conflicts between your plugins? Or know anyone else who might be interested in helping create a powerful adaptive project management theme for Discourse?

Kris @awesomerobot Popular Tag Sidebar - Discourse Tag Banners - Search banner theme component
@erlend_sh and @joebuhlig Discourse Voting
@fzngagan @tobiaseigen @angus Events Plugin 📆

I can also post this project on Pavillion if you guys think it’ll gain support there

5 Likes

@Schlegel7720 cool. How would you like to join in?

Update:

When looking through the comments in meta, a common theme emerges that when forums grow to too many categories and subcategories, users begin complaining that the forum is overwhelming and no longer intuitive. This is the issue we’ve been struggling with since moving multiple teams and projects over from Trello and Slack.

Like in this thread: Customizable Homepage or Discussion Feed?

Using a navigation system built around tags either within the category structure, or ignoring it completely, would transform this.

I’m very interested in the Theme and will try to get some support on this.
Our organisation is afraid of what you described quite well by

There is feature request going partly in the same direction Higher level of granularity for category & subcategory styling although the reason for asking is properly the same
I tried to tackle this by creating Traditional multi level hierarchy vs flat discourse hierarchy
In there I stated our fears/challenges

You will find some illustration there to support users to find their area in the forum easier than now as soon as you reach a critical number of subcategories, tags, etc.
Allowing graphical may be added to your mockup.

Saying this, may you want to use quickMockup what allows to update the mockup and upload here.


Introduction/guidance can be given through a introduce yourself Custom Wizard Plugin

This will be a core requirement but it needs to be ensured that topics a properly tagged. Unfortunately, not every user behaves perfectly so there has to be an auto-tagging feature, as discussed in Topic auto tagging and Tags: category restrictions, tag groups, relationships.
In addition, a user must be able to subscribe to tag intersection, what is currently not possible, see How to watch a tag intersection

I’m searching for the same thing to avoid to get another application involved covering the project management part.
I started Replacing Slack by Discourse once what should be combined with Kanban Board Theme Component


Last but not least are you aware of:

  1. Header Search Theme
  2. Custom top navigation links
  3. Topic list sidebar navigation
  4. Easy responsive footer
1 Like

Hello @angus @merefield,
as we have discussed kind of structure close to the one described here, it would be a major improvement of tag intersections as started to discuss in Traditional multi level hierarchy vs flat discourse hierarchy

In principle, do you think it is feasible?

Currently, we are thinking about setting up three different instances to allow an easy to access structure.
I will be able to post some pictures tomorrow (hopefully).

2 Likes

That’s awesome @PackElend, i’d love to work with you on this. It’ll be great to get a few people involved then we can work out what needs to be built, and what needs to be funded.

I agree totally with your discussion with @angus regarding adding a third level vs switching to just tags. for me things get over complicated when categories are involved. the forum owner can use categories anyway if they want, but the simple solution for the plugin is simply to bring tags to the core of a users navigation experience.

This core build would be a Tag-Navigation plugin. like the one already existing, but rather than a sidebar (which isn’t much use on mobile), it would put that in the center of the users experience where category boxes are now, to make it the core navigation method.

The other modifications are:

  • allowing admins to exclude some tags on each tag-page or sitewide,
  • displaying the most popular tags linked in each tag page, or the tags a user has visited most often
  • showing users tags at the next level in those boxes. this helps understanding of whats going on in each tag, and also allows users to skip a level speeding up navigation greatly

This is good, although we want more than this. Each tag will have its own purpose and many may not be clear to users arriving at it. That can be resolved if text is made possible in the ‘tag banners’ plugin, in the same way it already is in the ‘category banners’ one. This also allows adding links, which replaces the lost ability to ‘pin’ important posts, like a getting started guide.

agreed this is important. i’ll edit the post to include it

Yes, i’ve included some of these in the design. Actually aside from creating the tag-navigation plugin, there isn’t that much which needs to be done as i used existing plugins to design it.

the only issue with the existing plugins i included is that some of them conflict with each other, and others need to be modified to work with Tag-pages.

That footer isn’t really a floating footer though, i think we’d need to create one. Pretty simple task though as other plugins operate by just adding a path to the url the user is already on. So it would read that and add /board or /event, for example.

1 Like

Oh, the other edit would be the header search theme. its ok as it is, it would improve the experience if users could click a button next to it to choose whether they are using to search as is default now, or if they want to search only for tags - as returning users will want to in a forum using tags as the main navigation method. The search bar already supports this, it just needs a button which adds ‘tag:’ to it. that’s a simple task.

I’ve noticed that you working on a map based search, reading
https://github.com/focallocal/fl-maps
https://publichappinessmovement.com/docuss/m_gather

that may can combined with https://meta.discourse.org/t/locations-plugin/69742 introduce graphical navigation instead of thinking about the right tagnames.

Thanks for noticing. That’s a bit different for us though, our project is in two halfs. One for local events and meetings, and one for international project building. The latter half is on discourse, the 1st half just uses discourse as a back end.

The event plugin in the plan is primarily for a team calendar rather than actual events, as that is essential to a project management theme

@PackElend would you be prepared to join me contributing some money to get this built? we can post across the forum to try and get more supporters and donors onboard. We can’t wait any longer, Discourse is pushing users away as its overwhelming and unfriendly when they arrive due to how wide our scope is. Too many options and new people don’t know where to start. and we are launching right now, for me (us) it’s either now, or not at all.

@angus should be back now, and i’ve been told by others that he’s the person most likely to want to and be skilled enough to build this.

about what amount we are talking about. This work is more than only a few hours.

i think it is more. we’ll need to wait for @angus, or someone else to reply with an estimate