We’ve been working on some significant new navigation features, and we’re now at a point where we’d love to start getting more feedback from you!
Over the years, Discourse has grown to serve a larger set of communication and collaboration needs for diverse groups within the communities that rely upon the platform. Many communities with large numbers of categories and tags are now adding chat channels as well.
As important as it is to have a single place for everyone to interact and see all the latest discussions, it’s just as important for you to have an easy way to stay on top of what is most important to you.
Today we’re introducing a new sidebar and a new notifications menu into Discourse to help you and your community members find and focus on what is most important to you.
The new sidebar lets you customize your navigation so you can get to your favorite parts of your community, and the new notifications menu that lets you more easily decide which of your notifications deserve your attention now and which ones can be dismissed or be saved for later.
These features can be enabled by admins on all communities with the
navigation menu site setting. The legacy option remains the default, but we are planning to make sidebar the default for new installations in the next release.
The new sidebar includes a community section that has some common links everyone will need to access, and additional sections for your favorite categories and tags, your personal messages, and any chat channels that you’ve joined.
Anonymous users (visitors who are not logged in), see sections for the most popular tags and categories.
Click the pencil icon next to the categories or tags sections to be taken to your sidebar preferences page to add categories or tags to your own sidebar. Counts for new and unread topics are shown alongside any categories and tags you choose to add to your sidebar.
Adding categories or tags does not automatically watch or track them, so you won’t get additional notifications unless you choose to do so separately.
The new notifications menu has tabs for each type of notification so when you’re looking for those two recent replies but have gotten a few more recent likes and mentions, you can find them easily without navigating away from the current page.
Counts for different types of unread notifications are shown on each tab so you can see at a glance what kinds of things may be waiting for you. Dismiss a subset of notifications on a given tab when you want to clear one out but still want to follow up on the others.
A few site settings are available to admins to enable and configure the feature.
navigation menu site setting allows you to choose from these three options:
- Header Dropdown
The sidebar and header dropdown options enable a navigation menu that is customizable by users. The legacy option is the classic “hamburger menu” and remains available for backward compatibility.
Site administrators can use the
default sidebar categories and
default sidebar tags site settings to configure what new users have configured in their sidebars by default.
We’ve got more planned for these features and will continue to be updating it regularly! And special thanks to everyone who has given feedback on the earlier sidebar plugin that was included in Discourse for Teams and helped to inform the design of this feature.