Toggle. Toggle everything

(AstonJ) #1

Ok not quite everything.

The discussion in the thread Discourse: reimagining forum software (contains mockups!) raised an interesting debate about the users column, with some very valid points supporting each side.

While it could be argued one is better than the other for different scenarios and purposes (personally for me, if we had to choose one then that would be whatever gets people to visit - and - revisit a thread, and often!) it made we wonder, why don’t we just allow the user to toggle things, letting them see what they want?

So for the User’s column, the default could be last five posters, but the toggle could show the most active (the toggles labels would be descriptive - so no guess work needed). For the ‘All’ column (you’ll need to look at the mockup in the linked thread to see what I mean) it could have the bar chart/heat counter set as default (as per the mockup) and toggling could simply show a circle that depicts just heat (by size and colour), or simply a post/view/likes column as 12/55/03 or whatever else we come up with.

On traditional forums, the table head usually contains headings that link to sort by number of posts, thread starter, and number of views. But in DC we would put the toggle switches here, and put the sorting options somewhere else on the page (which are probably not used very much at all, much less than what I imagine the toggles would).

I like it because it adds something useful and is the sort of thing that people may play with before they are done with the page and either ready to move to another page or go off to another site - I think it will add to making the site more sticky. It also fits in well with the DC ethos, of reimagining forum software.

(Michael Downey) #2

For testing it’d help by first starting things as feature toggles that were tricky to find/enable. When they’re “proven” to be OK and ready for users, then expose that toggle as an admin (or user!) setting.