On some forums with a large variety of content, users will be most interested in topics that fall into a subset of the categories or tags available. When this becomes the rule, rather than the exception, forum admins can configure the home page to be the category listing rather than the
/latest page. But then users must choose which door to go down - and they may be interested in seeing a listing from multiple categories at once.
A few topics have been posted about this in the past:
- Specialized Timeline?
- Filter topic with specific tag inside single category
- Category selector for latest
- Add a “Filter” button to index page
The basic idea is to add a few features that can help admins and intermediate-to-advanced users of a site like this create custom topic list views to so they can easily browse the content they are interested in at any given time.
Two alternative approaches are described below:
- Create Custom Filter modal to add new Topic List Tab(s)
- Add Favorites List to the Categories section in User Preferences
Create Custom Filter modal to add new Topic List Tab(s)
Summary of Changes
custom filter...option to the Categories drop down.
- Click to open a Create Custom Filter modal
- Custom Filter Modal allows multiple categories to be selected and saved as a new tab.
- When the tab is selected, a gear icon button is visible to allow re-opening the modal to update the filter or delete it.
custom filter... option to the bottom of the drop down.
Click to open a Create Custom Filter modal
Create Filter Modal
Select multiple categories to be included in topic list.
Name the tab and save it.
Tab Shown on Topic List Page
Tab is on topic list page (unselected)
Select Tab on Topic List Page
When the tab is selected, topics meeting the criteria of the filter are shown.
A gear icon button is visible in the upper right to allow re-opening the modal to update the filter or delete it.
Update or Delete Tab
After clicking the gear icon, filter name and criteria can be updated, or the tab can be removed completely.
Other possible enhancements
- Allow admins to share a custom filter tab with everyone
- Include tags in custom filter
- Create custom filters from a search query
Add Favorites List to the Categories section in User Preferences
Here’s an alternate proposal based on @kegurler’s comment below.
- Add a Favorites list to the the Categories section on the User Preferences page.
- If any categories are added to this list, a Favorites tab is visible on the topic list page.
If the list is blank, the tab is not shown.
Using the existing Muted categories list instead to solve this problem is not great because I likely do not want to fully mute categories. Also, on forums with a large number of categories, it’s nicer to choose a small list to call Favorites rather than Mute a large list.
This approach does not allow for adding multiple tabs with different filters, and would not be as open to further enhancements like filtering based on query strings.
But it’s worth considering starting with this approach as it is simpler than the first one and may satisfy a large proportion of the use cases.