Proposal to reorganize the forum

One thing that i have found overwhelming is to come and see so many topics,… I wonder if we can reorganize the landing page of our forums. For example the OHDSI forum is more cleaner and folks can select a good entry point for conversations in terms of categories


That is an old version of Discourse, but we already have such a view today :slight_smile: at or by clicking the Categories link above the latest topic listing.

What do you think of that view, @judywawira (or others)?

We (the EHR peeps) have been over this a great number of times. People like me appreciate organized tree-structure in a forum where we can keep things organized and find stuff. Developers tend to keep their mouth on the end of the fire-hose, consume the stream of data as it comes in, and never look back. That is why so many things are lost and re-started over and over again. Funny, with all the proponents of OO, VMC and all the post COBOL4 languages, the choice of forum layout looks more like a scrambled single-file block of QBASIC. I prefer PHPBB3 and similar, with multi-layered forum categories, all tweaked so doesn’t look “old”, and at least half as well though out as some minimally abstracted code so that you get something like a delvable table of contents. I get shouted down every time with extreme prejudice after not even giving things a real try. Thus, unable to navigate, I simply don’t use the forum for anything meaningful, 'cause even the author may never find the same post twice. Others aren’t really using it either. They just have it as an alternate email with a single inbox, or as a slightly more permenant IRC channel. This has cramped my participation in this project for years, and pretty much kills serious documentation efforts. I say that, because these methods have never led to any documentation being collaborated on…or published. -Sorry if I am sounding harsh. I guess this pushes the big red frustration button festering on my forehead.

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I would like to see the categories be the default landing page… for new users the appearance of random posts can def be a turn off… I would like to see categories that users are forced to pick a starting point and interact with the community

It’s much cleaner

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Agreed. There are any number of points where the navigation gets to be difficult, but when a first-timer sees the current mess, well…just agreeing with Judy.

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Just wanting to confirm that you’re talking about the current code base interpretation of /categories as opposed to the older layout in the screenshot you pasted :slight_smile:

And @aethelwulffe do you feel better about than LibreHealth Forums?

Here is a view of the current design with a more active forum: Categories - Discourse Meta

I would like to be able to breadcrumb up to the top category item from any page. “Latest” is the antithesis of what I think Judy and I are talking about. The link is what we are saying. As a matter of fact, I prefer the “latest” stuff to be displayed less graphically, and within a category view as well…but that is just a helmet-fire issue. The Category view as default, and being able to return to that from anywhere would be a MASSIVE improvement in my egotistical opinion.

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The two-column view on /categories is pretty new, AFAICT. I am not sure what led to the change in that design but it’s probably documented in the Discourse discussions. We can certainly change the default view to /categories vs /latest if people generally feel better about it. :thinking:

For what it’s worth, the “hamburger” menu in the upper right does allow someone to navigate between categories and the top-level category view. Design-wise, it could still use some help IMHO.

With each category, e.g., at you can see the latest posts from that category, and can also use those grey buttons in the upper left to switch out between categories.

That said, Discourse is also open source and we’re running against their master branch. They are generally very receptive to feedback and willing to make changes if enough users agree.

For goodness sake, let’s stay on master, config the heck out of it to make the most out of the hard work that is in it already, then in extremis, contribute to the project. Big of me to talk, being that I have no intention of getting on the Rails needed to do so. really likes scroll bars.

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OK, the change has been made to the “home page” layout – please continue to share any feedback or concerns here!

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FAR better. This post was too short, so I am preempting the posting error.


FYI, for more background on the Discourse design decisions around this UX stuff, see:

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I agree but for many new users starting from scratch coming to the forums … the long list of topics is more chaotic and intimidating in my opinion

If we knew who was login in , then maybe people can set their default preference

I also like what his guy said

Agree if you really only have a one-horse discussion going on, and there isn’t ever going to be a real structure. Here, we need an organized framework. The more comprehensive, the better. It is easy to drop or re-prioritize categories. It is far harder to categorize after the fact. “To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail”.