Try out the new sidebar and notification menus!

4 posts were split to a new topic: Clarify what each submenu is in the new notifications menu

When you press and hold on iPhone for a page preview most of the sidebar links don’t show any preview.

Yes I forgot to charge my phone last night…


Long press at mobile… That is not very user friendly solution. And such meta info should be easy understand without zigzaging on the screen. Otherwise, those shall be learned quite fast.

But… why is this invented in first place? Is this another thing done to small minority called power user?


Quite right. But some things have tooltips on desktop in the notification menu and I wondered whether they are visible on the iPhone. They are not. That’s when I noticed the unrelated problem with page previews.


Will there be a way to attach plugins that were previously used for the Old Hamburger menu? For example I was using the Hamburger Theme Selector, but with the new menu the only way to change themes is from your profile which is buried in a multitude of menus (which as others have mentioned I would also prefer the Profile icon at the top)

Or perhaps instead of this be able to add custom pages to your personal bar. For example there’s a “My Posts” options, could there be an option to add “My Profile”?


This TC works with the new sidebar, allowing you to control what is under the More... link in the COMMUNITY section, which would probably be good enough for you for that:

Simply add a link to /my/preferences/interface on there. It will put it under the Badges link (or under FAQ if you prefer)


Eek, no, I think I’d prefer max 2 clicks (as presently) to change theme, not 3. The usefulness of that customisation would be eroded.


We’d appreciate the option to not include tags on the sidebar, as we don’t use them in any significant community way on the forum.


You can do that via CSS already:

// hides the tags section of the sidebar
div.sidebar-section-wrapper.sidebar-section-tags {
    display: none;

Is this intentional? I see that the small description only shows to non-logged in users. Example …

Not Logged In:
Screen Shot 2022-09-25 at 3.39.09 PM

Logged In:
Screen Shot 2022-09-25 at 3.39.17 PM


I think the theory is that if someone has an account, they know what the community is about already.


There are a lot of posts in this topic, so apologies if I’m repeating something that’s already been said…

Regarding the new notification structure, I have a few comments:

  • Someone earlier suggested removing the “all” section. I strongly oppose this. It would be a huge step backwards if I had to go through several subsections to see all my notifications.
  • I also oppose the suggestion to make the “all” section sort/group by notification type. The subsections already exist for that purpose… the “all” section should always show in recency order.
    • Related to that, I think the notifications in the “all” section get reordered after you read a notification if you read a more recent one first? I don’t get notifications here frequently enough to double check, but I think that’s what I saw yesterday. That seems to imply the highest priority sort criteria is being unread, but I still don’t know if I like that. I feel like the “all” section specifically should always sort by recency. Maybe an “unread” section would make sense for people that get a ton of notifications.
  • I don’t have a strong preference on the subsection ordering (I don’t get so many notifications that I’d need to use them anyway), but I do find it a bit odd that quotes appear in the “other” section. Maybe it’s just me, but I consider quotes identical to replies. (Mentions are quite nearly replies as well.) If someone quotes me, 99% of the time they are replying to me, but the default Discourse settings remove the reply if that same user was quoted. Given that setting, it feels weird to consider quotes to be “other”.
    • I think it might be beneficial to simplify the sections by combining replies, quotes, and mentions. Not sure if that makes sense for all communities, but if they were grouped I’d be more likely to use that subsection.
    • I would make one ordering change. Bookmarks aren’t really notifications (when they are just listed, as they currently are), so I feel like it doesn’t belong with the other notifications. For that reason, I’d move that section below the profile section, and just handle bookmark notifications separately if needed. Alternatively, I’d move bookmarks, PMs, and the profile icons first (after “all” notifications), then show the hr, then show the notification filters. That would mimic what was shown in the old version, with the filters just being an added feature at the end.
  • The notification subsection list should be scrollable. On mobile while writing this reply, I couldn’t see the whole menu without completely hiding the editor. It should be changed so that if I tap and drag my finger up/down, the menu slides.

My first impression is that I was kind of overwhelmed and confused. The front page suddenly has a lot going on. And it took my brain a few minutes to wrap around the idea that oh, it’s really the same hamburger menu just expanded by default, moved to the left, and given more functionality.

So I think I can get used to it. :slight_smile:

I do find the design kind of jarring — different sizes, and the ALL CAPS headers in strong contrast to the main design, while the color scheme doesn’t seem to set it off enough. But alll of that can be worked through.

My sites are using the “Categories and Latest” view for the front page by default, which I quite like — but which is kind of redundent with the sidebar menu. I’ll have to figure out how to reconcile that.


I want to second this. It does two things: simplify the confusing interface and make idea of watched/tracked categories and tags more discoverable. On Fedora Discussion, I’m trying to get people into the idea of thinking of a tag[1] as a drop-in replacement for a traditional mailing list. This is actually a pretty good mapping, but people aren’t used to thinking of tags that way as used on social media or in traditional forums[2]. I think having this there would really help.

As a bonus, this makes “Tracked” really make sense for tags and categories.[3].

  1. not category — I can go into the details in another thread if anyone is curious! ↩︎

  2. which generally enable tags as part of an overall “everything and the kitchen sink!” feature set ↩︎

  3. in a way it didn’t really before for me, at least ↩︎


Maybe we combine all three, but as a starting point, I think it makes sense to include quotes in the replies submenu.


Originally, things worked this way – you had to track or watch things to add them to your sidebar.

We found that there were several cases where folks wanted to have easy access to things from their sidebar but did not want all the extra notifications. This caused people to either get much more notificaton noise – or – to just opt not to put things in the sidebar that they would have liked to.

So, we decided to decouple them.

I think we’re now in an in-between state in our design though.

I like not having to track things to put them in my sidebar, but I agree that it probably makes sense to put things in my sidebar if I do track them. I think it’s likely that we’ll make a change in that direction at some point.


Has there been any consideration of something other than COMMUNITY for the catch-all top-level menu item? I am a little sensitive to use of this word, and I know this comes a little like a mix of windmill-tilting and bikeshed painting, but… I think it would be better to use something else. If that section is “community”, why aren’t messages “community”? And here, there is a category named #community, so that’s even more weird. And then Docs and FAQ are “community”?

Maybe SITE MENU? Or, split Everything, Tracked, and My Posts into TOPICS, and put the rest in NAVIGATION or … something?


But “tracked” doesn’t cause notifications right? It just makes it show unread or not. In fact, as I just tried it, the separation causes a behavior that I think will surprise people: if you add a category to the sidebar which is not watched or tracked, it is shown with nothing — just like something you are tracking which actually is all caught up.

I might be missing some way of using this that hasn’t occurred to me, but isn’t that mostly just confusing? There’s not even any indicator of which is which.

On a completely different note: I hope there are theme options to change “5 unread” to just a number (styled in a circle or whatever). Because as I’m looking at this, I think that’s part of what’s contributing to my sense of overload. Fewer words might help.


A different style demands a theme component, but the copy change is doable by customizing the string and replacing “%{count} something” to “%{count}” in:

Some way to differentiate between unread and new when doing this is probably a good idea.

On a different matter, when testing this I’ve noticed that I need to open the Messages Inbox section to be able to see that I have an unread or a new message – it would be nice to have some indicator on the “Inbox” row.



We tried this out at one point, but overall it wasn’t a hit because folks got confused with the numbers changing for new topics vs. unread topics. We are likely to revisit it, but have decided to wait until we can do some experiments around combining new and unread so the number alone would be meaningful.

Yeah, we’re also considering ways to roll things up into the section headers for other sections. So could possibly be an indicator on Messages itself.