Try out the new sidebar and notification menus!

I think you have too many icons because you heavily prioritise power users over regular members. There’s 6 detailed notification tabs on the new menu right now. If I don’t spend hours every day on a high traffic community I don’t make use of that:

user-menu icons

I’d also assume that the default expectation when clicking the user avatar is not to open a complex notification cockpit. But just a standard user menu: accessing settings, personal pages and other site features. When I just remove the detailed notifications, move bookmarks to the sidebar, and instead add a tab for the More… links, I’d get such a menu that looks like a pretty plain default:

user-menu plain

I can see how the detailed notifications make sense for very heavy users. But why not offer these through a setting to enable expert notifications? This could extend the menu, offer a sub-menu, or a dedicated notification menu…



A lot of this can be managed automatically via a heuristic, unlock richer filtering as your notification count ramps up

That said, I am uncomfortable with a solution that penalises power users, we need to also allow for them and this logical regrouping does not scale

Are non power users going to struggle so much getting to these sections? The sidebar imo is a fine home for both groups of people.

Keep in mind the vision for sidebar is for it to be the place end user controls, when custom sections are added plenty of non topic lists will be added


Yes they are. And majority of users world wide are common ones, not power anything.

There is another point too. This whole system is done for big screens. Mobile users get zero andvance, unless you guys let an user decided what he/she will see.

If a forum uses hundreds of categories even a power user has muted most of thse and is alreade following some important one. But those forums don’t use tags. A bit like here where is minimun amount of tags in use.

And opposite situation — minimun amount categories, but system works with tags.

First situation doesn’t need tag section unless an user wants that.

Second one, category section is just noise and eating space unless an user wants that.

Either way an mobile user must open sidebar, click and close sidebar. And again, and again, and again until everything is red.

Well, in real world that same user goes to latest pages and never uses sidebar. Or will be lost in the jungle called notifications :wink:


Not really following, we are talking about this

How often is a user navigating to the user list, or groups, or badges?

@nolo is concerned this is in the wrong spot, but the long term plan for sidebar has always been to always show things that are not topic lists as well


It would be good if hovering over an icon would explain it.

E.g. hovering over the bell icon might explain that it’s every notification, the arrow icon might be “replies to your posts”, the bell with the exclamation mark might be “things you are watching [or tracking?]”, the three squares and a diamond might be “everything else, including moved topics, edited first posts, links to topics you are watching or tracking”.


When adding tags using Preferences - Sidebar, only about half a dozen appear in the dropdown.

I don’t know the ideal solution, but it would be good somehow to see all of them and tick the ones you want.


Yep, I just want to acknowledge this.

We’re certainly aiming to address the unmet needs of more active users on busy forums with some of these changes (especially the notification menu redesign). We’ll certainly be looking at refinements that for the needs of casual users as we refine this.

I think the sidebar is off to a pretty good start in addressing the needs of both casual users and power users. On sites with a lot of disparate activity, it can help a casual user with greater interest in some parts of the forum to more easily focus their attention there first. It also anticipates the needs of new communities that will start off with both chat and forum features.

Where it may fall short right now is in considering the needs of communities with a smaller focus that haven’t needed many tags or categories as a whole at all. That’s something we’ll need to iterate on the design to better address, but perhaps for these forums the “hamburger” mode is a decent place to start.

This all makes for interesting design work when we try to consider the diversity of communities out there and the diversity of needs for community members within them. I appreciate being able to share our early work so we get this kind of feedback from you all :slight_smile:


I wonder whether it would make sense to associate these things the other way round – for categories and tags to appear on the sidebar by default when they are watched or tracked.

Alternatively, as the “adding via the sidebar/preferences” is clunky, how about a way of adding a category or tag while viewing the category or tag, or when while viewing the category or tag lists. Maybe alongside the bell icons for watching etc.


Any idea of the timeframe of this? With a forum with must_approve_users :ballot_box_with_check: it is an absolutely critical workflow.

It would of course need a red notification dot (or similar) when there are pending reviews.

For the moment I’ve dropped the pending_users_reminder_delay_minutes down to 60 as a workaround but that kind of sucks as PMs go flying to my mods


Would it be good if the notification menu were a right sidebar?

Looking at the forum on the desktop instead of the mobile, it has just occurred to me that there’s no real reason for the sidebar to be a sidebar but for the notification menu to be a temporary dropdown. There are overlaps between the two (in particular, details of unread watched/tracked topics). And it would be useful to be able to keep the notification menu on screen, at least for a while, instead of continually clicking on the user profile icon – as useful as keeping the existing sidebar on screen.

I think the sidebar is on screen on desktop by default. If that’s wrong then igore this post.

It would be better if it were off by default, and only appears when the hamburger icon is clicked. This would help explain the oddity that the menu disappears when the hamburger is clicked. It might be less overwhelming to a new user who isn’t interested enough yet to click a hamburger icon. It would make the desktop and mobile experience more similar.


It’s near the top of our list! (We’re also queueing up some enhancements to the way notifications show up for flags).


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?

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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.

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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.