Suggestion: add a button to switch back from fullscreen to small chat

We have an expand icon on the small chat:

We could have a “compress” (that’s the icon name) button that would switch back to the small chat.

And maybe also add the other option buttons (collapse and close)?
That would be handy, instead of going back to the forum by clicking some link or going back in our browser.


Nothing on this yet?
Go fullscreen is usually a toggle?


There aren’t a lot of replies on this forum’s category, but since the chat is in alpha version and used a lot internally (the team said they switched from mattermost to their own chat solution), I’m sure the developers are working hard on the UX and various features and not ignoring our feedback.


Not sure I suggested this week one of the chat starting …
I don’t usually suggest features for Discourse I’m not sure what made me think the chat would be any different.

I’m not sure whether this will be added or not, do you have an opinion on this @sam? We used to track the last non-chat route the user was on for the X button that has been removed. We could add back that logic and use it for the “minimize” button which would go back to that route and open the current channel in the widget.


Yeah I’d definitely like a toggle here… there needs to be some way to “escape” full screen for sure.


I don’t totally understand what you mean; we don’t have a back button when you view a topic for example. You use the browser back button, home icon, and the other navigation items to escape topics as well as full-page chat. What is being asked for is a button not just to escape chat (which I would argue is done and totally fine), but pop the chat widget open to the same channel.


Oh I see, if back button works then that is fine.


If the back button goes back to the small chat I suppose that works for some users, but not as intuitive as a toggle button in my opinion. Doesn’t every chat (and other software) use a toggle button for that, as @geoff777 said?

By the way, I’m going to activate the chat feature in a few weeks for an imported and active forum that used to have a chat a long time ago and this feature is really missed by them. These users aren’t computer specialists (like, not at all :smile:) and it will be interesting to have their feedback when they’ll use the Discourse chat.


I have an awareness of what the browser is doing most of the time, so using the back button makes sense to me.

On the other hand, the expanding arrows (not to scale or orientation: :arrow_up_down:), given its position on the chat window, implies we are taking that “window” and maximizing it to float over the other content.

I don’t have a suggestion, but I see how it is confusing. :slight_smile:


I certainly support doing something here, we have a bunch of safeguards already.

  1. Mobile has no “dual mode” so there is no need for a button to switch between modes.
  2. If Isolate chat is ticked, there is no “dual mode” , so no buttons to show.

For cases where (1) and (2) does not hold I agree with @codinghorror that we should have a “mode switch” button.

This also means that we need to store "the place you were last at on Discourse when you clicked makes chat bigger" - per browser, stored in memory (not local storage) - falling back to home page.

I guess the question then in for @Designers, where do we fit this button. (considering we need to implement it twice as well - once for sidebar, once for no sidebar)

@markvanlan the use case is:

  • You click expand
  • You click channel A
  • You click channel B
  • You click channel A
  • You click channel B
  • You click channel A
  • You click channel B
  • You click channel A
  • You click channel B
  • You click channel A
  • You click channel B
  • You now are done chatting and want to return to what you were up to on Discourse, you collapse, no need to hit back 17 times.

We had this logic for storing the last non-chat route previously with the X; this is basically adding back the X button but making it pop chat back open. I can take this one!


The back button does absolutely nothing to the chat?

The chat appears to work like a modal or the editor and cover the topic below.
I’m guessing it isn’t quite the same as ‘forward’ will work and take you to the full size chat … but it doesn’t return to the small chat.

@markvanlan seems to be very resistant to the ‘toggle’.

I 'd like to be able to expand the chat and then toggle back to the smaller chat so I can read the topic below. It feels like that is how it should work.

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@joffreyjaffeux I have been using chat + sidebar theme for a few days in default mode (non isolated) and this edge case is really driving me crazy :slight_smile:

  • I click #random channel from sidebar
  • Tiny chat opens
  • I click … make it big
  • I then visit a topic list
  • I click #random again
  • (phew) I need to embiggen chat again :cry:

I feel like there are two changes here:

  1. Embiggen / Make it smaller is a toggle, as @codinghorror advocates for. (when you make it smaller where do you go? I say go to home page, that is good enough for v0 - better still is last full page not in chat you were on)

  2. Once we have the toggle :confetti_ball: we can remember that a user “embiggened” direct in browser local storage

Together it lets both types of sidebar users be happy.

People who like expanded all the time… just get expanded chat all the time
People who like small floating window … get small floating window.


Where is this toggle in full page chat? I don’t think we have this. Maybe you think of having this behavior when clicking on :speech_balloon: ? I’m afraid this will be very confusing to people who will wonder why it opens in full when they don’t have the isolate setting, and how could people think clicking :speech_balloon: would bring back the expected behavior?

Shouldn’t it be a three state toggle?

  • off (hidden)
  • small
  • fullscreen

Normal iOS and Windows windows have this support, don’t they?


and on Windows


left is minimize :yellow_circle:, middle is maximize/zoom :green_circle:, right is close :red_circle:


@blake just added support for this and it is working great :sunflower:

Very much enjoying the change.


I’m glad the option was implemented.

I find it counter-intuitive that reducing the chat redirects to the linked topic if we’re in a channel linked to a topic, instead of the page we were on when we maximized the chat window.
Being on a personal chat redirects to the home page.
I don’t know how it behaves if we’re on a channel linked to a category, but I guess it redirects to this category topic list?


In my opinion, it should redirect to the page we were on when we maximized the chat window.