Right arrow missing from "outgoing" post links


(David Maxwell) #24

I agree that the gutter should be revisited, but I don’t think blue is a better choice than status quo. Changing to the blue would cause a battle for attention from what’s really important, which is the discussion.

Not to start a “what do we do with the gutter” discussion, but an option would be to group them and put a label between the two different types. You can reduce the padding on the links


(Tobias Eigen) #25

since some people really like them and others really don’t, why not have them collapsible within each post with an indicator glyph if there are related links? or provide a setting to turn them off in user preferences?

personally I really like the links in the gutter and the reply as new topic link there and have gotten used to it. it’s one of the features I point out to people as innovative and useful and different about discourse.


(Jeff Atwood) #27

We get a lot of complaints that the Discourse UI is “too confusing”. So as I previously mentioned, we’re trying to simplify and remove things from the screen as we go. Here’s just one example from Twitter today:

We may also remove outgoing links, which means by definition all links in the right gutter will become incoming links – which means there is no need for an arrow at all, since only one direction is represented.

As I also previously mentioned, we don’t show incoming or outgoing arrows on the linked topics at Stack Exchange – basically, just re-read my earlier post. If you disagree with that large list of reasons, that’s your right.


(heinrich5991) #28

That sounds like replying as a topic and moving posts out of a topic will be less visible.


(Jeff Atwood) #29

How so? The outgoing body link is merely duplicated in the right gutter. On a short post, it’s particularly redundant for outgoing links.


(Dave McClure) #30

I am not sure this is the right conclusion to be drawing from that statement.

In fact, he says here that one of the “main reasons” he “feels lost” is because the top navigation is not on the topic pages.


(heinrich5991) #31

You’re right. I’m sorry, I misremembered that 1) moving posts creates a new post and 2) replying as a new topic gives an inbound link.


(Jeff Atwood) #32

Sure, that was just one example. I can dig up dozens of other recent complaints about the complexity of the Discourse UI – not that I fully agree with it, but I do agree that we fell prey to the programmer problem of putting too much info on the screen just because we can. In this case, extra glyphs and links…

At Stack Exchange no arrow glyphs are listed next to linked posts, and it’s a lot cleaner – plus the other reasons mentioned above:

  • frees up 20px in a very tight column
  • gives visual separation between links and reply as new topic (which has a glyph)
  • simplifies display and consolidates from “what is this grey text” to more understandable Plain Vanilla links (blue)
  • gutter is completely suppressed in many modes (mobile, iPad mini, narrow browser) anyway, so hard to argue that extreme microdata such as direction of link added to every gutter link is really that important

(Sam Saffron) #33

Personally, the removal of the glyph does not bother me, even with my severe OCD.

I agree there is an issue of clutter in the post auxiliary column, it causes a few issues

  1. It is blank most of the time which causes our design to appear off-center which bothers the bejesus out of my OCD
  2. As I scroll around a page “reply as new topic” keep flashing in and out of existence
  3. It is showing duplicate information.

I actually much prefer the narrower, “stuff is omitted” design (try making your browser window narrow)

Longer term I would like us to get rid of the aux column there, center the design and insert events into the stream for incoming links. That way you will be able to see information about incoming links on narrow browsers and clutter would be reduced.

(if there are more than say 3 incoming links have a “show more button” or something, so 20 incoming links don’t cause huge gaps in the stream.

This change would require more extensive design changes, but clinging on to this arrow is not the problem at hand.

People are not seeing the forest from the trees.


The right side link column is confusing
(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #34

Just like @mcwumbly, I remember this feature being one of the first ones that drew me to Discourse because it just made sense.

With all due respect, I don’t see the need to be making these changes, even if it ultimately turns out to be an improvement. This re-evaluation was completely uncalled for. You’re not giving v1.0 any time to settle. It’s overpolish.

I was of the impression that the purpose of v1.0 was to take a backseat for a while and see what kind of customisations people applied to their own Discourse installs. The main problem at hand here is the off-center design and the “flashing button” that @sam rightly has issues with. That’s a major problem in need of a major solution. What you’re doing right now is very subjective, as you can tell by the uproar.

I don’t mean to sound rude, but if you’re running out of tasks to do there are plenty “boring” organisational TODOs lying about.


(Tudor Vedeanu) #35

Exactly. I love the incoming/outgoing links, they basically tell people that someone, somewhere else has noticed their message and that is a good thing on a forum.

And please bring back both arrows. I’m very familiar with Discourse but now when I see those links sitting there in the gutter they just don’t make any sense to me anymore. Imagine how a newbie would feel:

  • “Why are those links there?”
  • “Are they related to the post in some way? How?”
  • “Were they posted by the author? I’d like to put some links there too when I write a post, how do I do that?”

The arrows were easy to understand: incoming, outgoing, bam! got it.


(probus) #36

First of all, thanks for opening you reasoning behind the changes. I short comment on this one:

Have you considered looking into these complaints in more detail? Like doing proper user research with the users? A user saying that the UI is complex doesn’t really give us much information about what makes it seem complex to the users.


(Bill Ayakatubby) #38

I don’t think the fix for a too-confusing UI is to remove outgoing link glyphs, or even outgoing links. It’s to (re)evaluate the UI as a whole unit with the input of users and recognized, dedicated UI/UX experts. Making this seemingly random change on a whim and regardless of others’ input has obviously only led to more confusion.


(Tobias Eigen) #39

Arrows are now both gone from outgoing and incoming links. I think this is a shame…

@codinghorror I hope you can reconsider and put them back for us or make them optional. When you said “suppress arrows” earlier I thought you meant you’d make the color lighter so they don’t distract visually. It is meaningful and useful to distinguish between “this post links there” and “that post links here” references.

I do like the change to blue links though!

Here’s an example of a topic on my forum - multiple posts linking in and out. For the sake of sanity and comprehension it is important to be able to see which ones are which.


(cpradio) #40

Yep, hence “you are causing confusion” not resolving it. There is no indication as to what those links represent or what they are there for. At least prior the glyph filled that role.


(Dave McClure) #41

I’d like to point back to the well-liked mockups above of @Vocino’s proposal as a way to get rid of most of the arrows, but keep the information.

It doesn’t get rid of the 20px, but I think it is an improvement over what existed previously in terms of readability.


(cpradio) #42

I’m good with that too, it at least still tells the user what the links represent which is now entirely missing.


(Sander Datema) #45

Going to dig this one up, as I now too miss the arrows. Just noticed a bunch of links next to a topic and there was no context at all.


(Jeff Atwood) #49

That is what we ended up doing as you can see now here on meta as of 1.6 beta.

The incoming and outgoing arrows are also back if you expand post links which are under each post.


(Jeff Atwood) #50