Categories -- how to tell what's what

I am having trouble sorting out how categories work. Here are some questions – apologies if these are answered somewhere:

  • Are categories nested? Is that indicated by a breadcrumb structure at the top of the window?
  • If so, is there a place to see the whole tree?
  • When I click to drop-down for a category n the upper-right, what categories are shown in the drop-down list?
  • What categories are closed/hidden/private and which public? How do I tell?
  • When I subscribe to a category with the upper-right drop-down, is it to the category or the subcategory?
  • Is there a central place to see and maybe manage my category subscriptions?

Well, that’s enough for now.

Thanks. --David

There is one level of nesting, so Science Corner has several sub-categories. These can be seen on the main categories page (eg Basic research and Theory)

as well as on the “Science Corner” page, when clicking on the triangle to select a sub-category:

All the categories to which you have access are listed here (this is also the main page for the entire community discussion site).

That menu also shows all (sub-)categories to which you have access – personally however I don’t use that navigational feature as I find the other ways to access them more intuitive.

The “group” icon to the left of a category’s name indicates that it is restricted to a particular group, eg:

You will only be able to see categories to which you have group access.

I’m not sure what you’re asking here: the upper right drop down as far as I know only serves to navigate and not subscribe.

You can centrally manage which categories you are watching and tracking (and which site emails you receive) from the user preferences section.

Thanks – very helpful!

The question about category subscriptions refers to each category home page – where you go when you click on a category icon. The upper right dropdown on that page has these options: watching, tracking, regular, muted. A little experimenting makes it clear that these tracking/subscription options apply to the subcategory, which makes the most sense.

One small suggestion. The term “categories” is used for both the top level (like “science corner”) and the “subcategories” (like “lab life”, "media and public:, “theory”). I think that adds a bit to the confusion. Actually, I think this whole distinction is not clearly thought out in the interface – for example on the “science corner” category page I can pick a tracking option even when “all” is selected for subcategory, but it does not apply to all the subcategories (as I determined by experiment). In fact, it’s not clear to me what it applies to.

Ah, I see that there is a “none” subcategory, which means, for example, that “science corner” can act as a “leaf” category as well as a group of “leaf” (sub)categories. This kind of structure tends to be confusing to users – I do think I have it straight now, but it took a while.