Switching to Category view as the default homepage (?)

Currently community.lsst.org shows a listing of all the latest posts on the homepage. I.e., https://community.lsst.org/latest

While this is great for giving everyone on the project an overview of all discussions that are happening, I’ve got some feedback that the jargony DM discussions can be a bit intimidating to astronomers outside the project. This is especially relevant since soon I’ll be working with the Science Collaborators to add a new Science category to provide a venue for them.

An alternative to showing the latest view is to make the Categories view the default homepage. That way it’ll be easy for folks from the community to find and browse the Support and Science categories, and then dive into the Data Management categories if they wish.

I’m thinking of at least trying out the Categories view as the homepage for a week or two to get feedback on usability. Any thoughts?

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Also see Setting the 'categories' view as the default? which anticipated that we might reach this point.

Yes, that’s right, I forgot. I’ll switch the site over now and see what people think.

Well, this explains why I didn’t get the view I was expecting when I hit the main page just now. Since latest is just a click away, I don’t mind, though the new landing page isn’t particularly user-friendly either, I think.

Yes, I’m sympathetic to that point too. Most Discourse installations don’t use Categories as the default view, but then again most Discourse installations don’t have as many disjointed groups in their community (especially as we attempt to bring in the wider astronomy community rather than just project personnel).

I expect that most DM’ers will sit in https://community.lsst.org/c/dm I’ll give it a week or two to see if we get used to it, or whether it’s something that we really can’t build a good usage pattern for.

I suspect the category view would be much more useful if users could set their own order for categories, and omit categories they don’t care about.

As it stands I’m not very impressed with either the old or new page as a good starting point.

I agree that users should ideally be able to customize what categories are presented to them.

The Latest category also seems the most useful since it brings users directly to the current conversation, rather than forcing them to browse category-by-category.

I just realized that Discourse allows users to mute individual categories, which will remove them from the Latest view. This is in individuals’ Settings (i.e., gear icon):

Here’s a possible solution:

  1. We use Latest as the homepage view
  2. Once we get traffic from the astronomy community in a Science category, I can have internal-categories such as DM, Simulations and Camera be muted by default for new users so that they only initial see post traffic from their astronomy colleagues.
  3. I have a pinned post educating users on changing their Watched/Tracked/Muted settings to suit their needs.

Or alternative skip #2, and just encourage everyone to take a moment and customize their latest feed.

That sounds promising and it fits confluence’s model for what users can configure.