Toning down New and Unread indicators on Categories page

(Sam Saffron) #1

Before any large scale changes I think we should first tone down the indicators on the “category” column of the categories page.

Of all the pain we have with these indicators this is the most egregious problem and unquestionably needs fixing.

We should start there.

New vs. Asterisk as new indicators: Fight!
The three different category dropdowns
(Jeff Atwood) #2

I can agree with this. Here’s the quick re-style we experimented with (change on left, existing on right)

We can’t independently style the new and unread badges, unfortunately, as they share the exact same CSS class.

I think that’s fine for new, but unread needs a little help. Maybe just put the word “unread” next to it?

(Dave McClure) #3

:thumbsup: that would work.

(Jeff Atwood) #4

Here is what that would look like

(Dave McClure) #5

I think its improvement overall…

the way it lays out on the subcategory ‘wordpress’ in the mockup bothers me a little… especially if there were new and unread topics in there…

but i don’t have a great suggestion… could the two labels be stacked on top of each other it they both existed?

(Jeff Atwood) #6

@sam thinks we should just suppress all new and unread indicators from subcategories on this page. I am not sure I agree, but maybe?

(Dave McClure) #7

Maybe. If so i think the supercategory stats should include the stats for their children though…


You guys are taking the bubbles away?


  • Downplay subcats, they are less interesting than main cats. So I think you are on the right track by losing text.

  • The word: ‘unread’ doesn’t make me curious, it doesn’t make me want to click any more than if nothing was there. Page noise? I don’t know.

What is right (to me):

  • iPhone blue bubble with count (people understand that indicator no further teaching required). Maybe you are getting tired of it since you look at it all the time.

  • The color of the vertical line category colors and the subcat vertical colors. Black title and grey text (description). Perfectly right!

Focal point problem:

  • The bold blue link colors dominating middle right. It is creating a stronger focal point than the rest of the row. Try playing with that text color and I bet it will solve your problems. Make them the dark grey of the hamburger, magnifying glass, quote bubble, in the top nav (upper right) but not black. Then sprinkle in your blue bubbles with your count.

  • Unread may not be useful on the left

  • Your grey bubble was good but it took me a while to ‘get’ what grey bubble with count meant, but once I understood then I actually clicked to catch up on my reading. Consider bring that back although it is really no better than unread…undread…undead…!!! That’s it!

  • Consider changing ‘unread’ to ‘undead’, I would be scared but ‘more’ curious. I know something horrible is behind the link, but I am going to open it anyways.

(probus) #9

I don’t agree with this change. The contrast is too low on the new indicators and its bad for consistency. Now we have different kinds of indicators for the same thing on different contexts. I’d rather take them out completely.

(Silver Quettier) #10

I’m not too sure about this change. True, this page can quickly become flooded with “new” and “unread” indicators, but they’re doing their job. I have far more trouble telling which topic needs my attention with the toned-down version.

Suppressing the indicators for the subcategories could be a way to tone it down without removing critical information.

(Jeff Atwood) #11

@RabidFX and @probus I don’t think you looked at the actual page, did you?

(Silver Quettier) #12

I did not, my bad. My reaction was based on your comparative screenshots above.

So now we have the “toned down” version on the categories sides, but the good ol’ blue indicators on the topics side:

Seems a good compromise to me, I can still find the information but it’s less heavy on the categories side. :slight_smile:

(probus) #13

I did, as well as the hamburger.

(Rikki Tooley) #14

This is a lot, lot better, I still think the hamburger joint needs work though.

Wrapping vertically instead of horizontally might help. At least it’s not as scary as it was before

There’s also the inconsistency between and but i can totally live with that.

(Jeff Atwood) #15

Yeah, @eviltrout is going to make it so the hamburger only shows a single number next to each category, e.g. where it now shows

11   4 new

It will just show


There’s no room for this distinction between new and unread topics on the hamburger, one number should suffice.


@codinghorror the hamburger spacing to accommodate the ‘1 new’ could use improvement. (whether mine is improvement is up to you)…

Consider something like this (I made two examples at the bottom):

of course you would need to space the words so they are not obscured…But you get the gist.

(Jeff Atwood) #17

It’s not going to say “New” any more there, see the post directly above yours.


Ok…I had this message constructed a few hours ago but had to do some things…but wanted to throw in my two cents :slight_smile:

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #19

Plenty good enough for v1! I’m a happy camper.

(Jeff Atwood) #20

Yeah, it was really bad the way it was.I agree a simple “one number” is fine for V1.