Here are some of the things I do to navigate the forum:
Open the link in an email message you have received from the forum
Search from the web browser without first going to the forum by using a browser keyword search
- Safari KeySearch extension
- How to Set Keyword Bookmarks in Google Chrome
- Using keyword searches in Firefox
- If you go to the forum from the top (http://forum.latenightsw.com) — and I’m not sure how much of this is my setup, the forum’s setup, or standard — there are many entry points:
- infinitely scrollable latest posts at the bottom
- links to categories and other search along the top
- a “new topic” box at the right
- a magnifying glass symbol at the upper right for searches (note the “options” link that appears at the lower right — that pops up a summary of search features)
- a menu between the search symbol and your avatar
- your avatar upper right
- a blue circle indicates new messages in topics you are following, in particular your own posts or replies
- A green circle indicates new messages in private conversations
- Clicking the avatar brings up a list of both kinds of messages, other recent messages, and some options at the top
- A non-obvious option after clicking your avatar is that clicking your full name gives you a list of all your posts or responses. (Warning: only some show up, then each time you scroll to the bottom of the page more show up.)
- You can return to the home page by clicking the bug at the upper left.
There are many ways involving links from one topic to another and various ways you can respond to all or some of someone else’s post or reply.
For non-navigational features, and possibly some navigational tips I haven’t included here, see Discourse User Documentation.