Left sidebar: is the top menu useful?

Discourse forums are highly customisable and it is hard to get the right setup on the first time. We want to make it as simple as possible for everyone to find what they need. A part of this is looking at the various quick links in the left sidebar. This sidebar is entirely customisable, as such we are wondering if the current default setup is functional.

In particular, the top menu in the sidebar is not collapsible and the links in that menu should be chosen with care as they take valuable real estate. This is what the current section looks like:

Screenshot 2023-09-25 at 5.03.44 pm

We would like to know if:

  • You find these links useful.
  • You would prefer to have other links in that section. Note: since the Categories and Tags sections of the sidebar are entirely customisable by users, we will not add links to any category or tag page here.
  • You would prefer to have fewer links with some hidden in the More section.

One proposal would be to put all the current links into the More section except for the My Posts link.

Please let us know in replies to this topic what would be your preferred mix.

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I only use the ‘latest topics’ link to see the list of all posts - it used to be always visible but changed to be behind the ‘more…’ link recently

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Oops! That was my fault.

Note that is the same as selecting latest in the top bar:

which is what I pretty much always use. Would that suffice for your use case too @Scott?

Speaking of the top bar, “Docs” and “Groups” is available there, so there isn’t too much loss in functionality by hiding them under “More”:

About and FAQ are a little more hidden. I don’t know if anyone ever clicks on them, but there aren’t that many places you can find that info, though I suppose putting them under More is exactly the use case for something like that, thought it does reduce it’s discoverability.

The top bar isn’t always available, e.g. inside a post there’s only the side bar

I agree with @Scott : the most used shortcuts should be in the sidebar because it’s always visible.

Maybe I could add what inspired my query is the Discourse Meta forum: Discourse Meta - The Official Support Forum for Discourse

Its default page is the latest topics and the sidebar is minimalist. “Topics” points to the latest topics.

Okey doke. So do we have agreement on what should be shown by default and otherwise hidden under more?

I’m seeing this as what people want to see:

My Posts
Latest Topics

and the rest under “More”.

Agreed?

Either:

Latest Topics
My Posts

Or

Latest Topics

and everything else under More.

If I’m the only one wanting “My Posts” then it’s not worth keeping outside More. But in any case, put “Latest Topics” first.

Done.

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