Improve usability of this forum, based around the new design being built


@Anna1 @rohan98k as you’ve both seen the new design we’re been building, i thought the best task you could work on until the rest of the site comes back up, is to explore ways to improve the usability of this forum and help everyone to communicate clearly.

Please review the new build and keep that in your mind, particularly that we are switching to tag based navigation using tag-pages, when trying out new items. I’m happy to give you admin access to make updates on the live site (as our testing server is down), and please feel welcome to reach out to other members to explore what they had issues with as you plan improvements.

You can find a list of existing plugins and theme components here:

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Hi @rohan98k have you been working on this? I feel like my skills unfortunately lack for this task, as I’m not even able to understand how the forum is supposed to work :sweat_smile: all I can say is that it needs to be as simple and easy to understand as possible…and do you know if this is made with WordPress or what?


Its a Discourse forum, you can read more about it at

Its the most popular forum software on the internet right now but the learning curve is always a bug for people, and its not flexible enough for what we want to build. It doesn’t have the cross-team collaboration ability we need.

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@AndyatFocallocal I went through the plugins and their GitHub page. As you said, we might need some time to figure out a way to make the new design work within the constraints of the discourse forum.

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Not yet, it’s tricky for me as well, I haven’t worked with something similar before. I have a problem figuring out, where to start from. Looks like we need to read more about how discourse works and the type of changes we’re allowed to make and then move on to figuring out places that need improvement on the site (Primarily cross-team collaboration).


What we did with the original design is to begin with roughly what we wanted, and then look for plugins which could be easily modified. Then we built the design around them as its the quickest path to reach MVP version of this platform. After that it’ll continually evolve as members are all welcome to contribute to improving and evolving it to better fit their needs.

Regarding the platform and redesign the best place to look and get an understanding of it is the overview and plugins in the Ruby on Rails Department.

(Of course the design should also be visible here as the UX Team built and are still working on it, which is why we want to switch to tags for navigation. Then any task can be shared among multiple teams who can collaborate on completing it)

Regarding getting started, it’s difficult with the site down and being redesigned. I think there are three paths to choose between:

  1. research the new design and become familiar with it so you can propose improvements, beginning with each component which is being built ( these are titled with [ headers like this ] )

  2. look for small changes to make in this forum which will bring instant improvements, like the mingle plug-in I posted a few days back

  3. focus on our social media platforms and connections between them until the site is up and running again

  1. I missed one. We have a community led news site… which has been left largely abandoned. Its where users can write and submit their own stories, photos and videos of public happiness creation. The stories are then reviewed and edited by our Storytelling team (This is important as many of our members don’t speak English natively or aren’t natural writers), then posted to the public happiness news site. We will need that capability recreated at some time soon, either by redesigning and building our wordpress site. Or having the team build a new one in a new language - ideally Reactjs or Ruby on rails based to keep the platform consistent - and import the old content after it’s been reviewed and updated

The community news site is also currently down but can be accessed with most functionality on our old website here: The main difference is that the nav bar is stripped out on our new site and replaced with the one you see here.

Here’s that task: Review our Community News Magazine