Community Inspiration (Zebra's United layout and structure)

I’ve taken notes on the structure and layout of Zebra’s United, another online community I’m a part of. Some potential inspirations exist on what they offer to their community and how it is structured within discourse. They are similar in being a movement with some academic and civic origins, with national and localized chapters. Happy to elaborate on the notes I’ve taken if useful or relevant or think about how we can apply aspects to WEALL Discourse Buildout. (FYI - @nms, @Aamirah-WeAll, and @MarinaGattas)

Suggested user flow for new users on WEALL:

  • On discourse:
    • User Flow:
      • An introductory tutorial to the discourse community, led by someone in the community, gives a walkthrough of what is currently available and how to use it →
      • Welcome Page, stream, or feed reduces overwhelm for incoming users.
      • Prompting new users to engage in a 1.) Build Profile, 2.) Introduction to the community, 3.) Join Groups of Interest… etcetera.
        • If there is a custom badge for Welcome to Together.WEALL we could create it in reference to these user milestones.
1 Like

Thanks for pulling this together @tgeddy!

Did you see if Zebras use pinned topics at all for onboarding? seems like the behavior is pretty helpful:

Pinned Topics and Banners

Note that pinning topics does work a little differently in Discourse:

  • Once someone reads to the bottom of a pinned topic, it is automatically unpinned for them specifically. They can change this via the personal pin controls at the bottom of the topic.
  • When staff pins a topic, they can pin it globally to all topic lists, or just within its category.

If a pin isn’t visible enough, you can also turn one single topic into a banner. The banner topic floats on top of all topics and all primary pages. Users can permanently dismiss this floating banner by clicking the × in the upper right corner.

To make (or remove) a pin or a banner, use the admin wrench at the top right or bottom of the topic.

Also thought this idea from your writeup was worthy of dicussion:

Posting can go to one of several places, all flow into the “stream” → Newsfeed. (Similar to Discourse in that specific sections like Categories, but I don’t know if Discourse has an overarching “Stream”)

The single home for all content was one of the things I actually didn’t like about Hylo. It made it confusing to me as a new user what the difference between all the different types of posts were. But your question does point to the need for a ‘How to Discourse’ type guide, perhaps both in a youtube tutorial as you suggested, plus as a pinned onboarding topic. To answer more directly, I think if you can use the Topics view to see new posts, and I also find the notifications view (top right corner, click on your avatar, then the notifications bell) as a good place to see new things that are happening.

They did have a 4-part orientation as a new user module popup that populated upon registering for the first time. I did ex-out of this after completing those items, so I could not replicate it during my run-through, but I recall this.

As an add-on to the module, it directed me to the “new member resources drop-down.”

A pinned intro on Discourse could work to have some basic orienting and reason et’ tat on arriving and how to use.