Cake
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    • I wonder what thinking went into the choice of color for individual topics. Currently, it seems as if the color of a topic is simply chosen based on the first letter of its name. Is this a deliberate design decision and set in stone, or just something done as the easiest solution possible to have a more colorful design?

      On the one hand, I love that the list of topics I'm following (https://www.cake.co/me/following) has this nice color gradient going on - but on the other hand, having all topics that start with the same letter look the same can lead to situations like the one in the screenshot attached to this post, where a recent post has been added to four topics all named "music*".

      If there isn't some larger design choice for this, may I suggest choosing the color differently, for example by picking the first few bits of a hash of the name?

    • There’s been at least three great conversations started this week that did not initially have topics assigned.

      Taking on the role of Topic Elf, I’ve either explained how to add topics, suggested topics, or both. Once the topics have been added, I’ve deleted my elf posts since they’re no longer of use.

      For DangerDave’s conversation, I did a search for “music” and shared the below screenshot. I think the topics chosen were spot on.

    • The topic card colors are based on the first letter. It is important for topics to be easily scannable in a list. Color coding them based on the letter made the most sense.

      One of the benefits of this system is that people can instantly see if a conversation topics are diverse. Having a diverse set of relevant topics elevates it to a broader audience.

      We are always looking for better ways to help topic scannability and encourage diversity. Any suggestions?

    • One of the benefits of this system is that people can instantly see if a conversation topics are diverse. Having a diverse set of relevant topics elevates it to a broader audience.

      That's definitely a good idea - and works well for the most part if the topics chosen for a conversation are in fact diverse. The probability of three or more randomly chosen topics all sharing the same color (of at least 12 different ones?) is small, so this typically works.

      However, the opposite does not necessarily work as well. Compare, for example, these four music-related topics with the diversity in color of most of the photography-related ones: https://www.cake.co/categories/MC4tmsT/photography

      If the intention is to show some "lack of diversity" by having all topics in the same color, then this works for music but fails for photography. If this is not intended, then it works for photography but fails in the initial example. The reason of course is that, while many of the music-related topics have "music" as a prefix, many of the photography-related topics have "photography" as a suffix instead. :)

      We are always looking for better ways to help topic scannability and encourage diversity. Any suggestions?

      Replacing the color background with an image related to the topic might help with that - although potentially at the expense of readability and an increased moderator workload (to choose and keep up-to date the images).

    • Replacing the color background with an image related to the topic might help with that - although potentially at the expense of readability and an increased moderator workload (to choose and keep up-to date the images).

      We've actually talked about the ability to add cover photos to topics. Right now only categories have photos, while topics have colors. This helps distinguish them from one another.

      If some topics were to have images we would need to decide which ones have them and why. The task of finding thousands of images for thousands of topics is a big undertaking for our small team. Each cover image needs to be high resolution, fit thematically and have licensing terms that we can afford. Perhaps if we were to have a dedicated person on a team or a volunteer it would be much easier decision to add images to topic cards.

    • Perhaps if we were to have a dedicated person on a team or a volunteer it would be much easier decision to add images to topic cards.

      I don't know about full-scale volunteering, but I actually wouldn't mind offering some of my own images for you to use.

      I know it is generally frowned upon to ask for creative work in exchange for "just fame and glory" - but I've published images under a CC BY license before, and wouldn't mind doing it again. If this ever becomes anything more than a "perhaps", let me know. :)