Why does the categories drop-down use a ►symbol instead of ▼?

(Gerhard Schlager) #1

Why does the categories drop-down list use the ►symbol when it’s closed?

Since the arrow points to the right I’d expect it to open that way. But no, it’s just a simple drop-down list. It uses the correct arrow when it’s opened.

Disclosure arrow next to category makes me think of breadcrumbs
(Mittineague) #2

It looks similar to dev tools to me.

(Michael Downey) #3

Yes, the “right-to-down” transition is used when expanding hidden text as in collapsed code. However, for a dropdown menu as the categories selector is used, the down arrow is the standard UI convention.

(Jeff Atwood) #4

I like that it points toward the rest of the nav, which is specific to that category:

(Gerhard Schlager) #5

Good point. Still, it’s unexpected.

(bunnyhero) #6

i guess i have to reply here since my topic got closed.

@codinghorror wrote:

It does mean breadcrumbs, try it in a subcategory. Covered in the previous topic on this matter.

the problem is that it makes the entire row look like they’re part of the breadcrumb trail. “Latest”, “New”, “Unread” etc are not breadcrumbs. this is the confusion/disorientation.

(Jeff Atwood) #7

The entire row is a part of it, at least, the highlighted button is.

(bunnyhero) #8

it’s not like a usual breadcrumb trail, though, hence the confusion. it looks similar to something familiar, but it’s actually somewhat different.

not a breadcrum

the trail is support->wordpress->top, but visually, there’s a bunch of other stuff between ‘wordpress’ and ‘top’. i might feel less disoriented if perhaps the “latest/new/unread/starred/top” links were more strongly visually related, or grouped somehow? it’s not immediately obvious to me that those five links are essentially “tabs” within “support->wordpress.”

if i were a graphic designer, i might be able to come up with more useful suggestions. all i can do is attempt to explain why i find it confusing at first.

(Michael Downey) #9

I’m pretty sure all drop down menus everywhere have standardized on down arrows and not right arrows. :slight_smile:

(syamsul) #10

According to users feedback, our vbulletin forum (it was ours before we migrated to Discourse) is actually easier to navigate. One note is the availability of “clickable” breadcrumbs without extra effort to drop it down like we have in Discourse while users reading posts.

Although the minimalist style in discourse is great, but i think full breadcrumbs link would help users navigate. I am trying to demystify why our bounce rate on Discourse forum is high.

Any opinion would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

(bunnyhero) #11

also, discourse isn’t consistent in its use of arrows. look at the directions these are pointing in:


EDIT: in case this animation isn’t clear: the top menu navigation is using a right-pointing arrow to indicate a dropdown menu, whereas the time menu (“This year”) uses a downward-pointing arrow.

this doesn’t help!

(Jeff Atwood) #12

That’s because the top is a breadcrumb, e.g.

Dogs > Beagles

The fact that it is a breadcrumb is more important than the dropdown, as there are many other ways to switch categories.

You keep bringing it up, I will keep answering, until one of us gets tired. :wink:

(Jens Maier) #13

Maybe placing the arrow in front would make it clearer that it’s a breadcrumb?

Hmmm… perhaps, but I don’t like it. :confused:

(Gerhard Schlager) #14

It doesn’t do this on mobile:

But, I’m not against the current solution. Microsoft is doing something similar in the address bar of the Windows Explorer. The folders act as dropdown too.

(bunnyhero) #15

in theory, i don’t mind breadcrumb arrows being menus. xcode’s “jump menus” are similar, too. but the “latest new unread top” section is definitely not part of that breadcrumb trail, and those words just sort of float, unanchored.

please, just get a visual designer involved. i keep bringing it up because you asked me why i find it confusing, so i told you, but you don’t seem to understand. and i will keep talking about it until there’s some sort of understanding.

(Maestro Magnifico) #16

No it’s not. This is how breadcrumbs should work.

(Michael Downey) #17

Please keep talking about it. :smile: Regular humans other than the programmers who made it don’t understand this UI, so we definitely need a breakthrough on this part of the page.

(Sam Saffron) #18

Its such a minor issue, I don’t see the big drama here. Instead why not share a site customization that makes it work as you prefer?

(Jeff Atwood) #19

Enough with the condescension. There has been a visual designer involved with Discourse since the beginning.

Your opinion has been noted, and responded to, multiple times. Repeating yourself over and over, axe grinding on your pet topic while contributing to nothing else around here, is griefing. And that is unwelcome behavior. You can read more at


(bunnyhero) #20

my apologies if my replies come across as condescension, because that was not intended.

and when i post, i am actually trying to clarify the issue, because it wasn’t clear to me that i’ve been heard. if you actually read what i’ve written, i’m not simply repeating myself. i only post when i make new realizations about this aspect of the UI. i am honestly trying to help. were i better at design, i would try to come up with what i think a clearer alternative might look like.

i have read your post, and i don’t see where i have been nasty. i haven’t posted about this on any other thread (save for the original one i started).

but i will stop, per your request. thank you.