Initial presentation


when I go to the top page as a naive novel user, I most likely want to do one of two things:
Ask a question
These two features should be prominent and simple on the first screen that a user sees.

I agree with @rkikinis on this one. When I first create an account I was also confused.

For completeness - it looks like below for the new user.

How about we add detailed steps (something like the list below) what user would need to do to join the community to the banner that shows on top of the page?

  1. Discussions are organized into Topics.
  2. Search existing topics by clicking the button
  3. If you cannot find an answer and want to create a new topic, or want to follow up on an existing topic - register with the forum by creating a new account, or log in with Google/Facebook/GitHub account.

I guess … or to have a super easy way for people to ask question.

I really like the pre-populated link. For convenience, it would be nice if we could get a short url for it … or similar address.

I added that link to the banner. Is this better?

Looks very good! We can add similar links to the Slicer wiki and inside Slicer.

In the “report bugs” link that we show in Slicer we can pre-populate the operating system and Slicer version fields, so there is less chance the user forgets it or makes a mistake.


To build on what @ihnorton did, I updated to:

  • include horizontal line separator
  • indicated questions are organized in categories
  • indicated how to post a new question
  • indicated how to search the archive

I think some block could still be re-ordered …

I think we can remove “You can log in with Google, GitHub, Facebook, or email” - people will prompted to log in when it is relevant. Maybe we can change it to something like this “Sign in with … to receive updates about new software releases and major events”.

Good point. Here is an updated version:

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I’ve moved the short description of Slicer to the top, to make sure people know they are at the right place. For example, to prevent them posting questions about Slic3r or other similar software or products.

OK. All good stuff. How about the following in order to prevent confusion:
Just one line about Slicer, with 3D Slicer being a link:
Welcome to the 3D Slicer forum!

Next, I really would like to see the following on top:

The first line should read:
Click +New Topic to ask a question.

Below that you can put everything else.

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Another important information for naive users (me included) is how to subscribe to the forums.

How do I do that? I thought i was subscribed, and then i just connected to post something new and saw all these new posts!!

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Right now users are only watching Announcements by default. If you want to get notifications for other categories you can click “Watching” in the right side of the screen:

But… this is definitely, 100% non-obvious! Maybe we should have everyone watch Support automatically as well? That seems like a reasonable assumption for new users.

And we should have a better tutorial/FAQ. I can write something up tonight (unless someone else wants to). The FAQ for “Chef” (sysadmin tool) Discourse looks good – we could model on that:

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@ihnorton are you saying that we have to watch topics one by one?

You can also control all watch settings for categories/tags/etc. in bulk under (top right icon → username) → Preferences:

This is the only thing I don’t like about Discourse so far. The mailing list mode works really well, but it is a little more difficult than I had hoped for users to get it configured correctly. (It would be nice if there was an “email preferences only” page. 99% of users probably don’t care about all of the other stuff in the Preferences)

Not exactly. Watching options are described in the screenshot posted by @ihnorton

Make sense.

I also wonder about development.

That said, after the user register and/or we create a new category with watching setup by default … we should make sure the user is notified and understand how to update the “watching” settings.

That would be great. Thanks @ihnorton

Users that we migrate from the slicer-users/slicer-devel mailing lists should definitely should be set to watch Support/Developer category by default.
For new registrants (who just want to post a question and get answer) it may be better to limit unsolicited email volume to a minimum (notification about new releases, NAMIC weeks, etc). This way probably more people would keep their account, even after they got answer to their question.

14 posts were split to a new topic: Email mode config improvements

To address the remaining of @rkikinis comments, I tweaked a little a bit more:

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