Updates Coming Soon to The Club in 2023

Hey folks,

Discourse, the platform that powers this very excellent place, has recently released some brilliant changes.

Read about the latest changes.

Ministry of Testing’s ambition for 2023 is to make The Club the defacto place for testing discussions and chat. And eventually, bring all of that onto ministryoftesting.com. Call it “The Home of Testing”.

So expect changes to The Club soon. I do like the look of that customisable sidebar view, and the opportunity to create real-time chat channels.

Yup, it’s change and I appreciate for some of us that might be scary — and for some, super exciting! Yet I think it’s time The Club was due a good audit, review and overhaul. Discussion Categories and new Chat Channels will be created to better align with what the testing community talks about.

As a side note, I’ll be asking for your help to review the mega mind map I’ve captured called “What does the community typically talk about?”

Let me know your thoughts on the new Discourse features before we switch them all on and any concerns you may have.

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I haven’t had much time to understand new features. But my first impression is that it’s way faster! Loading times are speedy and make the whole experience feel much smoother.

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Oh wow. For me, any change that keeps members coming back and drives that goal of being a general domain hub for people is good.

I really hope that people are OK with perhaps, experiments that come and go and only always move forward. I have always secretly wanted to have just one software testing hub ever since I fell out with that D&D website that asks and answers all programming/IT questions. Excited by the idea of a chat feature now though, ever since the Bird platform lost it’s wings, connecting live has been hard to do. (I’ll stop talking in code someday.)

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I’ve enabled and configured the following.

  1. A sidebar to help support navigation and discoverability – configure the default view however you like
  2. Emoji reactions for when the :heart: doesn’t quite capture your sentiment :smile:
  3. User status to share whatever you like about what you’re up to or feeling

Let me know how you get on.

P.S. I’ll eventually enable real-time chat channels. We just need to finalise some ideas about what chat channels would be helpful. Chat channels will then appear in the sidebar. One nifty feature is the ability to turn a line from a chat into a new topic for a deeper discussion. Nice!

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We’ve made some cosmetic changes to tidy things up. It includes:

  • Removed the welcome banner
  • Removed some unnecessary padding
  • Sharpened up those smooth edges
  • Removed the link to the MoT Slack – why go there when you can stay here and have deep discussions (and soon enough, real-time chat)? :wink:
  • Removed the home icon link that links to the MoT website
  • Switched some button colours so the main call to action is “+ New Topic”
  • We broke the MoT logo :see_no_evil: – we’ll find a fix it soon enough

And we’ll soon remove the header banner and move links to “Learn” “Events” and “Contribute” into the new left-hand sidebar.

We hope these subtle changes help improve your experience.

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Ohhh, I really like the top navigation. Especially as it’s consistent across the different major sections (when it works). I haven’t even started using the left-nav yet. Lol.

Overall changes looking good so far. I wonder, especially with removing padding and such, if you’ve managed to get time to do an accessibility testing on the new cosmetic changes? If not, it might be a nice challenge, when you’re ready for it.

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I second this and wonder now how to navigate from the club to the other sections.
I gave me the impression that the club was integrated into something bigger. Now it’s more a parallel thing, existing somehow next each other.

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This is very hard to read.

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On my mobile is the header very small and nothing happens when I click at it.
(You are on a testers forum😁)

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Thanks for sharing.

I see on scroll the topic title moves into the header which won’t be readable given the font colour.

We’ll work on a fix for this.

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@fullsnacktester and @sebastian_solidwork,

Thanks for sharing.

Well, it turns out we’re unable to add customisable links to the left-hand sidebar. So we’ve put the handy links back on the new-look top bar/header: “Learn”, “Events”, “Contribute”. Plus a new search icon that aims to stand out more so folks are more inclined to keyword search for things.

And once we fix the accessibility issue of not being able to see the Topic title on a scroll then I think it’ll be a helpful improvement all round.

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Am liking the new additional reaction emojis we can use now, not really used the new ones, but they make this feel like a more inclusive and also like a special place for testers at the same time.

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Love that, @conrad.connected. Thanks for sharing. :smile:

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I’m not sure if anyone asked already, but, will dark mode be available among these new changes? :heart_eyes:

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That’s an excellent idea. Thanks for sharing.

I shall investigate and experiment. It does look like the option is available. :grinning:

I’m starting to notice the collapsible menu <=== here now much more, and it’s starting to feel more natural to be going left now as a result of the top bar/menu going on a diet. I like websites that conserve vertical space, but that still allow users to gently take their own time, so that’s another win I’ve noticed. It makes me feel like I have more context and power when I move about the site now too, because I’m not giving myself whiplash either.

(although since I have never learned to type properly, whiplash is still another problem LOL)

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