Categories as homepage

My decision on making categories the default view the first time was based on the facts that:

  • The majority of active users usually come to the site through email or a google search to a thread/category - they don’t see the homepage.
  • I had to link the TCP folks to their own category instead of the homepage because the massive list of threads isn’t the friendliest thing for a new Discourse user to look at - It’s like showing a user your inbox with all of those posts from various mailing lists.

This isn’t really a big enough of a change to warrant an announcement, and I while I have my preference, I can’t really make a decision without knowing whether alphabetical or activity view works better for the majority of users. My opinion is that activity view works better for us now as we have a couple of active categories and a couple of inactive ones, but in the future when we have many categories alphabetical will work better so we don’t have the order changing massively every day.

We have a small number of Mozillians using Discourse who are more than happy to give feedback on what they’d like to see - We should see this as an advantage.

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Since there are no longer any objections to this, we’ll make the change during our next maintenance.

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We should do this as a test. We’ll be more likely to get feedback from people if we actually push the change, than just proposing it.

We could also try to find people who are on both our Discourse and Guides and see if that group of people has an obvious preference.

I love it. +1 for switching to this.

As long as the “firehose” page is still available somewhere for people that want it, the category list makes a much better landing page for first-time visitors, which is what the front page should be.

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The ‘firehose’ view is the ‘Latest’ view, and can be accessed from the links at the top of the homepage.

The view @majken mentioned already exists to a certain extent. The ‘Unread’ view shows new posts/threads from all of the topics from categories the user has subscribed to. (Or individual threads they’ve posted into but not subscribed to that category)

Really nice :smiley:

The Category (now homepage) view is sorted by activity?

Correct! We also have the ability to sort manually, but we’ll see how this goes for now.

Stats for each page

Breakdown of type of user who lands on the Homepage, a Category page or a Thread

Seems like from our analytics, the majority of people who navigate to the homepage are returning users. From there, 53% of users leave the site. From the users that remain, 48% jump straight to a thread and ~50% go to a category page.

My assumption is that the majority of users who go to a thread from the homepage are registered users doing so via their notifications. An amazingly low number of people use the links at the top of the homepage, so maybe we need to let them know those exist?

The main question is, how do we measure the success of this change? Personally it looks better to new users, and half of all Discourse users are taking advantage of it, so I’d say we should keep this change.

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Also thought I’d add that our bounce rate on the homepage has dropped 13% since we made the change compared to the same period before we made the change.

That is a good stat to start with. How does the stat look now? When did the change happen again?

I definitely prefer the categories page as the homepage, but it’s funny because I might not have been able to tell you that the home page had even changed. It went from being something that bugged me to something that didn’t bug me. Which is still a win, but one that is harder for people to self-report.

The change happened on 21st October, comparing the bounce rate 2 weeks before the change to the bounce rate from the day of the change, it’s gone down by 2.71%. I would still call this a good change, unless someone thinks otherwise?

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A post was split to a new topic: Lose scroll position on categories page on mobile