What's the best word to describe "typical" topic notification state

Topic notification state is controlled by this button at the bottom of topics:

However, I am no longer sure “Regular” is the best word to indicate typical notification state. So let’s put it to a vote.

Fill in the blank:


You will be notified if someone mentions your @name or replies to you.

  • Regular
  • Normal
  • Standard
  • Default
  • Typical
  • Ordinary

0 voters


I’m glad you started this as I have always thought watching is pretty confusing on Discourse.

How about just have a button that says ‘Watch Category’ or ‘Watch Topic’ and when somebody clicks on that you give them the various options? (I also think that ‘muted’ should be separate.)

Then simply show the watch status per thread or category with an unwatch button.

Agree. Both “Watch” and “Mute” should be actions the user can take on a topic, rather than an attribute of the topic. IMHO “Tracking” should/could be removed altogether as too edge. (Does anyone have real world numbers on how much it’s used?)

A huge amount, out of the box we auto track stuff you spent a minute reading

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Sorry. I meant how many people manually opt in to it.

What about Not watching or Not tracking? It teases the function to the user, as opposed to a dropdown that just says “Default,” which could be anything.


I really like that. Just keep it binary, simple.

I’ve mentioned before how I would really like it if “Watching & Tracking” instead became either “Tracking & Tracking+” or "Watching & Watching+, because the verbs are so interchangeable that there’s no way of telling which means what without reading the description.

Not tracking” would further enforce that simpler, binary terminology.

Edit: Aaaagh, why is Default winning!? I think @mcwumbly makes an excellent point below. I immediately had that same cognitive hickup when I read Default.


Or, find another word that’s more explicit, like Notify or Notify me.

Although, “Watching” is used in a variety of web apps to denote a notification state.

I like Normal the best of the options.

I like Default too, but its problematic because it conflicts semantically with what my default tracking state may be set to in my preferences.

Also, how about changing from a drop down to three buttons that represent actions :

Mute Track Watch

Only one can be depressed at a time. Clicking it again turns it off. That way, changing states is always a single click. I also like the imperative tense better.

This also fits the binary choices mental model referenced above.

When they are all off you are in the Normal tracking state (which need not be displayed as a separate string, but may need a name for reference).


I do this somewhat frequently. More often, I manually stop tracking topics after I have lost interest after some time.

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I agree — “not tracking,” if selected, also better implies what the other functions in the dropdown may be (if there’s a ‘not tracking’ option, there must be a ‘tracking’ option)


What about Priority as an option in place of Regular? To mimic the Android notification state options (All, Priority, None)?

In the forum where I’m an admin, I have my preferences set to do Tracking for every topic that I enter (and have every topic set to remain New until I enter it). That way I make sure to read everything. But I sure don’t want to be emailed about everything.

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My suggestion would be something like this, either:

A) Phrased as an action…

  1. Notify / Notify me
  2. Track
  3. Don’t track
  4. Mute

Or B) phrased as a state…

  1. Notifying
  2. Tracking
  3. Not tracking
  4. Muted

Although really I’m fine with “Watch / Watching”.

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I’d like to see notification level that includes activity in that category or thread in a daily digest email.

###Unable to Vote, “other”?
For me there isn’t a choice in the voting options in the first topic post.

Each of them seems non-descriptive (doesn’t really mean anything) compared to the other states (Watching, Tracking, Muted).

I would like to suggest Unmonitored.

I know not perfect but it means something and when compared to Muted, to me “muted” feels far stronger - a clear difference.


I too have had an issue with the phrasing - doesn’t really feel right,

My suggestions for state names would be as follows:

  • Watched
  • Tracked
  • Unmonitored
  • Muted

The thing about default is: I’d expect to be able to change a default.

I like Tracking / Not Tracking

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Yeah this basically rules out default as @watchmanmonitor also noted.

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