The topic list doesn't need a category column

I agree with Kris and Régis - (once this settles a bit) categories have too much emphasis on read topics.


Yeah, anything that moves us away from this Excel thing is great for me (I got this same feedback from first time Discourse users).

Also, moving desktop UI closer to mobile UI should make everything more consistent too.

Loving the change.


A post was split to a new topic: Add right hand column to default layout

My 2cents.

I don’t think we need to go all hardcore like I do in my theme however I think de-bolding of category name will make a very big positive difference, it is a small change and will make the UX consistent with mobile view which was the starting goal here.


I wonder if simply switching to a lighter black (aka grey) would be better, because otherwise we’re removing the #bug bold topic hint like so. Plus how do you tell tags from categories in that case?

Personally, I do not like this change. He looks very crowded. We should have an option if we want this change or not, via /admin.


No, the desktop environment is different and this change makes it crowded-looking for anything bigger than a phone. Why do users need consistency between desktop and mobile? People most likely use one or the other and not both. Other websites have a desktop version and a mobile version.


It looks way better without category column. With 6 columns is just too much info to look at.

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How about unbolding and a small left margin?


This is the front page on the forum I use, as I see it on my computer screen.
At first glance, all I can see are blue, orange and green category labels in the topics column.

This change to your layout and greyed out text is, quite literally, giving me a headache.
So much space on the screen and yet the post topics and categories are crammed onto one column with the category labels standing out loud and proud and prominent beneath greyed out topic headings of the post for which the forum members are more interested in seeing and reading … it’s currently looking more like some new format of morse code your testing out.
There’s so much space just at the sides so why do you need to cram up the Topics column?

I’m seeing more category title than actual topic headings, which were just about readable when greyed out before you moved the Cat. labels.
And naturally, with the category label beneath each post it’s taking up twice as much screen length thus more scrolling down the screen than is actually necessary to read posts…well, if I could see them to read them :roll_eyes:

Please bear in mind not all users have perfect 20/20 vision, which is why I can’t use smart phone or tablet, I have to use a pc with full sized computer monitor.
It would be fine if individual users could tailor the font size and colours to cater to their individual needs but we can’t.
So if we struggle or can’t read the greyed out topic titles as it is, then squeezing them between the loud’n’proud category titles renders the forum virtually useless to us.
The Topics column looks more like a shopping list washed out in the rain.

But while I’m on here could I put in a request please … you couldn’t move the skin tone bar of the emoji box over to the left a little so we can actually use the downward scroll button. It would be useful should the forum ever be rendered usable again :thinking:

Actually your own Discourse forum appears a little more user friendly…visually. Haven’t time to explore further :wink:


I think this is an excellent change, and will be especially great for narrow views - just compare with and without in that situation and its obvious - much more room for the title.

And of course, it makes Discourse look even less like “Excel” :wink:


I got a lot of complaints of my discourse instance users since the change, as said by Emerald it makes the title and category squeezed on the left while there is a lot of empty space on the table.

I never had complaint on previous UI, and nobody ever compared it to an excel spreadsheet.


This is a very good change. I would say that this is “long-playing”. It can be used further for subsequent changes to the template itself. But even without it, I like it.

But first, I think we might not like it very much. We get used to what we use for a long time.

Perhaps we should create a theme design template for those who want to restore the old design (list / topic-list-item.raw.hbs)? It is quite simple.


I would like to think so … there’s now some central real estate you might use for other stats?

A basic change is to up the font size, i’ve done that on my personal Theme selection already.

Either that or @angus’s Custom Layout or equivalent plugins for side bars are going to get a whole lot more popular because this will facilitate a lot more side content :+1:

IMHO, we have a lot of options. We can make a component.

Or we can use existing plugins, (sidebar) plugins abound. But I do not see, frankly, why do this. This design may be unusual at the beginning. But for me, the new version is better than it was before, with a lot of columns.

In general, not ready to answer. I just want to show that we can move anywhere, in any direction. The Discourse toolkit is huge.


I agree with those who say there’s too much information concentrated on the left side of the screen. It’s not obvious here on meta, but some forums have very long category names. Combined with three, four, or five tags, the secondary line could end up being longer than the topic title itself, a very unsightly display.

The use of square bullets and boldface for the category indicator naturally draws the eye to the second line before you even notice the topic title. The topic title should be the main focus of each row, not the stuff below it.

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My forum is on v2.2.0.beta5 +24
Next days, categories will be displayed below titles ?
Is it possible to choose the display ?
For me anciant display is more easy to read titles and if possible I would like to keep it…

I have mixed feelings about this! On the one hand it’s always nice to simplify and I get how it didn’t make a ton of sense to have categories as its own sortable column (didn’t even realize it had been sortable, actually!)

On the other hand I agree with the several comments that the new layout makes the topic title column feel a lot more crowded than it did previously. (And on a desktop-sized screen, results in a lot of negative space in the center so feels kind of unbalanced).

My main complaint is it makes it harder / just visually more jarring to quickly scan the list of topic titles. I think @ralph1 is spot on about that. To help mitigate that, I’d definitely be in favor of both de-bolding and lightening the category names.

Personally I think I’d prefer some kind of “pseudo-column” with category still displaying to the right of the topic title, just without a column header (particularly if the box style is still an option…the emphasis / info hierarchy is really out of whack in that case). But I think any de-emphasis of categories will help a lot in bringing me around on this change :slight_smile:


I hate this. How do I change it back???

It is so hard to visually look and scroll through pages. We don’t care about categories this much. We just want people looking through all the threads.

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CSS is quite easy, in my experience :wink: