Why are some topics greyed out?

(Tobias Eigen) #1

I get this question alot and it’s one I can’t answer well. We have topics in varying degrees of blackness, alongside post/view counts in varying degrees of blackness and redness, and dates that are also in varying degrees of blackness and blueness.

I know this is about heatmapping/coldmapping and has something to do with zombies. But I’d love to be able to explain it better to my users! :smile:

Minor frontpage topic column presentation tweak suggestion
(Sam Saffron) #2

In my design I suppress a:visited just for this reason.

Greyed out means that on your current browser you clicked on that link, but… “that link” is a moving target, since it links to a particular post on the topic.

Topic read system not marking topics read with deleted/moved posts
(Tobias Eigen) #3

ohhhhhh! now I get it! :facepalm:

what about the blue and red?

(Jeff Atwood) #4

You could just search for blue and purple link explanations, same thing:


Purple links were visited. This was a simpler time on the web, when websites (and thus links) were not dynamic but more like static documents.

(Tobias Eigen) #5

yeah, but I just simply didn’t make that connection in discourse lists for some reason. Maybe because the colors are so similar?

(Jeff Atwood) #6

You could redefine these link colors to blue and purple if that helps people understand them.

(Sam Saffron) #7

In the age of multiple devices where people browse on both mobile and desktop I think a:visited just leads to confusion. cause it no longer means “I did not visit that post” it means “I did not visit that post on my desktop / mobile”

To top on that we are displaying topics and linking to posts. And we are tracking with “unread” and “new” badges anyway.

The value add of a:visited is simply confusion.

(Michael Downey) #8

Wasn’t @tobiaseigen asking about the heat/cold color meaning?

(Sam Saffron) #9

There are multiple questions here, I think heat mapping / cold mapping is covered enough in other spots.

(Tobias Eigen) #10

I thought the black/grey colors had to do with heat mapping / cold mapping, which is why I asked about it all here. Sorry about the confusion.

Meanwhile I have not found a straightforward explanation of heat mapping / cold mapping. If someone can point me the way I’d appreciate it!

(Jeff Atwood) #11

Cold mapping means something is old. Heat mapping means it is popular.

(Jacob Chapel) #12

Since we know that someone has read a post, couldn’t we simulate the visited styling on all devices?

(Kris) #13

That sounds right.

Would it then make sense to suppress a:visited styles… and if someone is logged in have black = unread and grey = read ? That way it would be consistent through log-in rather than browser?

(Sam Saffron) #14

I worry about semantics here, it could mean topic unvisited or post unvisited, to top that we use diff colors on the actual links in the topic.

My call here would be simply to have the same color for both visited and unvisited. On less thing users need to think about.

(cpradio) #15

That was the very first customization we made at Sitepoint. :slight_smile: And I don’t regret that decision.

(Jeff Atwood) #16

I don’t have strong feelings about it, but I personally like knowing which topics I have visited in the current browser session. On a less busy site the URLs are not changing so much (like meta) and it works reasonably well.

it is more of a “nice to have” than an essential thing though.

(Sam Saffron) #17

Another datapoint in favour of removing a:visited

(Ted Strauss) #18

So @sam what’s the simplest way to suppress a:visited in Customize > CSS ?

Answering my own question, I added this to custom CSS:

    color: #222;
.topic-list a.title.visited:not(.badge-notification) {
    color: #222;