Group Organization Design Review

"Purpose" Challenge

We are struggling to build a tool that works equally well for publishing and consumption, web and "reader-first" experience. We may have to make design tradeoffs in one direction or another

Navigation Document vs Home Page

It would be way "cleaner" if headings of the home page could also be used for the navigation document.
But we are somewhat happy with the current direction because users may want to focus on home page content without having to link to every document in their site for navigation purposes.

Moving Categorization to Main Panel

It is confusing that the sidebar is modifying permanent data. And users may feel lost if the sidebar is closed. So we may want to bring category tags/tabs to the top of the group pages, in the main view.
@z6Mks...ESQGx to make drawings about this idea

Outlines Organization

We are all excited about exploring this, where the "table of contents" appears under the active document in the sidebar

Top Level Documents

We should be able to put group documents alongside categories at the top level. This will be useful for organizational documents with a structured into to other docs in the group.

Difficulty with Docs that appear in multiple categories

When a doc appears in more than one category, we want to avoid showing it in the sidebar twice when it is active. This will be especially problematic when the outline view appears nested under the document.
The proposed solution here: include the category ID in the publication route. When clicking from a category we will include that in the route so the doc appears in the appropriate category.
When navigating to a document from outside the group, the category is not known, so the default category of "All Content" will be used. But if the document appears in one (and only one) category, the publication page will modify the route so the document appears in the appropriate category from the sidebar.
This is a tricky and nuanced issue but will be important to make sure groups feel organized.

Sort/Organize "All Content" and "Feed"

This requires cards in the navigation document which refer to new URLs such as:
URL of group "All Content": hm://g/groupId/--all
URL of group feed: hm://g/groupId/--feed
This is the only change to permanent data that we are uncertain about.
The other URL that we are introducing for sites (not affecting permanent data) is https://siteURL/--categoryID where the category ID is the block ID of the category in the navigation doc. This also affects other groups published to the site or gateway: https://siteURL/g/groupID/--categoryID

Remaining Bugs

Gracefully handle renaming of doc pathNames while preserving categories/navigation
Hide the hidden navigation doc from the feed


We are all very uncertain about this general project and direction. This is the first time we have embarked on such a radical experiment with this much uncertainty.
But we are happy about the following:
This is a valuable project for users, and for our own use of the product
We are moving fast because we have a strategy which does not require backend support