What is your reading workflow like?

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #1

We interact with Discourse in different ways. I’m curious to know how common my particular workflow is compared to others.

Here’s what I do when I land on meta.discourse.org:

  1. Check latest notifications.
  • If a post of mine got liked I’ll usually follow the notification link to be reminded what my post said.
  • If I’ve been replied to or mentioned there’s a good chance I want to write a reply. If a long reply is required I might just hold off the Unread and New for later.
  1. Next I’ll attack the Unread column. And this is where I might deviate from the norm.
  • I’ll open every unread post (that I’m interested in) in a background window, essentially lining them up for reading. Also a handy way of doing “background processing”.
  • I’ll proceed to read every new post, hotkey-closing the tabs as I’m finished with them.
  1. Lastly I’ll have a look through New to see if anything new has popped up.
  • Same background-tabs flow as above.

Note: I’ve set Consider topics new when: to `created since you were here last``.

What’s your workflow like?

(mountain) #2

Mine is the same. I’ll refresh the page and aim my eyes to the notification icon in the upper right. Then I go through the unread list to collaborate with what I see in my notifications and click at will. After that’s done I take a second to go to the new tab. If there’s anything that interests me by title, I’ll click and read. If not, I dismiss it and everything is read and replied until the next round.

(Régis Hanol) #3

I hit the home page and then use keyboard-only navigation to navigate through all the unread posts (I read everything) :wink:

I use the mouse to click on interesting links or when I want to quote a specific part of the post I’m currently reading.

That’s pretty much it.

(Dave McClure) #4

I almost exclusively use ‘Latest’ and recently to some degree ‘Suggested Topics’.

  1. I arrive at Latest
  2. I scan the list visually for things that have been updated recently. I look for:
    • Things with an Unread bubble
    • Other topics I might be interested in
      • I tend to be more interested in certain categories like UX, Feature and Extensibility… but I don’t ever use the category filters. I just look at the badges in the topic list.
      • New topics that sounds potentially interesting
      • Unmarked topics that I know I’ve opened before and have an interest in, but didn’t meet my time threshold to actually be tracked yet.
      • Unmarked topics that I notice have gotten a lot of recent activity
  3. I open whichever one I want to read first.
  4. I read it
  5. At this point, I often choose something in the suggested topic list (I now do this more often to read all the ‘Unread’ topics).
    Or, I go back to latest and pick something else
  6. When that’s done, sometimes I just park on the latest page and click the ‘Click to Show New Topics’ thingy. Or I’ll get a notification and see what’s up with that.

Sometimes after all this, Unread says I have a couple new topics still. But usually when I click it, the number just disappears.

I don’t use keyboard shortcuts.

I rarely manually adjust the tracking state of a topic.

I use search pretty much to find duplicates or related topics… at that point, I do often open new tabs for the results I think are a match for what I’m looking for since I’m not sure.

I follow pretty much the same workflow on the desktop and on mobile. And I use both pretty extensively.

Occasionally, I enter the site via an email notification rather than going to Latest, but after reading that, I usually start back at #1 if I plan on sticking around for a while.

(mountain) #5

I would use the shortcuts, but it seems some of them don’t work on all pages, just specific ones. Like ‘dismiss’ is only usable if on the ‘new’ list. I usually stay on the latest list and refresh that, so going into ‘new’ is irrelevant.

Otherwise, I’ll be using the shortcuts exclusively soon enough when I fall into habit. :grinning:

(Michael Downey) #6

Mine is exactly the same as yours, @erlend_sh, so I’ll not copy-paste it all, except that I don’t use new browser tabs for each topic.

(Jeff Atwood) #7

Mine is really simple here on Meta:

  1. Visit site

  2. See topic on homepage that catches my eye, or visit my notifications

  3. Enter a topic from homepage or notifications

  4. Read to bottom of topic, pick another unread or new topic from Suggested Topics

  5. Repeat step 4 until nothing else left to read

My strategy is different on sites where I don’t read everything:

  1. Visit site

  2. Check notifications, if any

  3. Check homepage for recent interesting topics, if any

  4. Enter topic, read until bored (back button) or done (end of topic). Reaching the bottom and finding Suggested Topics doesn’t usually cut it as my native interest level is so low that 5 random topics (or even 5 new topics…) are unlikely to pique my interest enough to enter any of these topics.

  5. Browse topic lists until interesting topic found (back to step 4) or if none found, leave.

I tend to do a lot more more random browsing of topic lists on sites where I have no commitment to read everything. After checking notifications (people speaking directly to me) If I scroll down two times on the latest list (or a particular category like meta) and don’t see anything that appeals, I’m done.

(Jacob Chapel) #8

This is very similar to my flow. Though I’ll go back to latest over suggested as that is what I am used to most of the time.

(Theron Boerner) #9

A reading list feature would really help me. I generally find a lot of things that I want to read but I will lose track of most of them. Having an “add to list” or “read later” button would be totally cool.

(Kevin P. Fleming) #12

I also read the way @erlend_sh does. I get updated on the things I care about very quickly, which is fabulous. I now find the inability to suppress threads in mailing lists to be annoying, whereas before Discourse I had never considered it at all :smile: