Discord Best Practices

Discord Best Practices

Discord is a messaging platform where users can join forums with like-minded people who have similar interests to connect with them and learn about a topic. UC Davis uses Discord to give prospective and admitted students a space to meet each other, ask questions and receive reminders about important admissions information.

Creating (or joining) a server.

If you want to get in the Discord space, there are a few things you should consider. Discord is a place where a lot of communication is going on in different channels, all at once. Building a good server can also require a lot of coding that you may not have time for. Before creating your own server, assess whether you and your entire team have the time and resources to dedicate to being active in Discord every day. Not only do you have to keep up with questions, you also have to keep up with servicer guidelines and managing users to ensure the server isn’t being abused.

As all of these factors can be overwhelming. If you still want to break into the Discord space without creating your server, consider joining ours! With our permission, you can create and manage your own channel in the UC Davis Discord server. Financial Aid and Scholarships, Student Housing and Dining Services and the Transfer Reentry Center are all examples of organizations on campus that have a space within our server to engage with the large base we already have as an official server. 

Building rapport.

Discord is all about creating and engaging with communities. Once you’re in Discord, it’s important that you establish yourself as a trustworthy source who’s eager to help students with their questions or concerns. Even if you don’t know the answers to every question, making an effort to find the answer or connect the student with someone who can answer their question is important towards your job as a community builder.

Managing a server.

To verify users before they enter the server, create a trustworthy system that ensures that everyone who is added is part of the community. It is your responsibility to keep on eye on the conversations and content being sent in the server and remove any offensive or inappropriate content and messages. Do not hesitate to remove from the server users who violate UC Davis’ Principles of Community or cause discomfort among the other users. To help monitor language, you can invite bots into the server whose purpose is to monitor and flag offensive language and inform the moderator of repeat offenders

Discord features:

  • Servers - The backbone of Discord. Servers are groups and communities like UC Davis that users can join to connect with people and discuss things related to the topic of the server. 
  • Channels - Chat feeds that focus on different topics within the server. Keep them organized: 
    • Text channels - Similar to a chat room. People discuss openly about topics relating to the title of the channel. The UC Davis Discord has channels for finding roommates, discussing housing and dining, chatting with other new admits and asking questions to current students.
    • Announcement channels - Where the server owner can post announcements to the server. You can connect your Discord to a management platform, like Sprinklr, to push out announcements to the channel. 
    • Voice channels - Allows you to speak live with other users in the channel. UC Davis does not utilize voice channels because it is difficult to moderate.
  • Categories - Organize your channels into categories to reduce clutter in the server interface (i.e. campus related channels, admissions related channels or community related channels)
  • Roles - The server owner can decide roles for users, including Admin, Moderator, or Staff to monitor the server and answer questions. Once added to the server by an Admin or Moderator, users can select self-identifying roles (like pronouns, ethnicity, geographical background, etc.) that show up on their profile. These are features of the UC Davis server, and can be added or omitted in other servers.
  • Student Hubs - A space for users with a school email address to find servers associated with their school. Once users are in the student hub, they can add or join school related servers (i.e. classes, clubs, or study servers). Adding your server to the UC Davis student hub is a good way to promote the server and reach students.  

Discord Accessibility Best Practices

When posting on Discord, key accessibility areas to consider are: graphics, video captioning, alternative text and post copy. 

Graphics: General guidelines  

Alt Text: General guidelines  

  • Add alt text to images that you send in a Discord server or channel.
  • How to add alt text on Discord posts: Discord Help 

Video captioning: General guidelines

  • Discord does not allow for closed or auto-generated captions, so when you send a video in a server or channel make sure it has burned-in (open) captions.

Video description: General guidelines

  • If you send a video on Discord, consider writing a video description in the text of your message, or send it afterwards. 

Post copy: General guidelines

More Discord resources: Discord Help