Changeling’s Guide to Discord for iOS VoiceOver Users: Navigating the User Interface and User Settings

What is This?

This is the second in a series of posts that explains how to use Discord if you use Voiceover on your iOS device. If you’re unsure of what Discord is or if you want to use it, please go read the introduction post. You can also check out this dedicated guide page for a list of all posts in the series.

What is Covered in This Post?

This post describes the layout of the Discord user interface for the iOS platform. This post also gives a walkthrough of the user settings, and makes suggestions of changes you can make to give yourself a smoother experience.


The Discord User Interface (UI)



The Discord iOS app has tried to incorporate as many features as can be found on the Discord desktop program. The result is that there is too much content for a single screen, so successful navigation of the UI is dependent on use of the “Toggle Drawer” button located in the top left of the Discord main screen. When this button is activated with the Voiceover double-tap, you are presented with the following items at the top of the screen. You can navigate through these by dragging your finger, or by swiping right or left with one finger.

  • “Direct Messages Button”: Double-tapping this will bring up a list of conversations between you and at least one other person.
  •  A list of the servers to which you currently belong. Voiceover recognizes these as buttons, and double-tapping one of these will take you to that server.
  •  “Add Server Button”: Double-tapping this will allow you to search for and join servers, discussed in the next post.

The middle of the screen is populated by an “Invite Button”, which will allow you to invite other users to the server you are currently in, as well as channel categories and channels in that server. Servers and channels will be discussed in the next post. For now, they’re just part of the interface.

At the bottom of the screen are the following five tabs. You can activate these by double-tapping them.

  • “Chat Tab”: This brings up the conversation for the currently selected text channel.
  •  “Friends tab”: Brings up your friends list and allows you to add friends by their Discord handle.
  •  Quick Switcher Tab”; Allows you to quickly switch between servers and channels by searching for them.
  • Mentions Tab: if you’ve been mentioned in a server, you can find it here instead of going through each server individually.
  •  “Settings Tab”: Allows you to adjust user and app settings.

You can collapse the drawer by scrubbing with two fingers at any time.

The Rest of the Main Screen

If you open the Discord app and do not expand the drawer, you will find a ‘Search Button”, which will let you search for messages in the current server, and a “Member List Button”, which displays a list of the members in the current server. The rest of the screen is dedicated to a list of messages in the current channel, as well as the chat box.

User Settings

To access the user settings, expand the drawer in the top left of the screen. Next, find and double-tap the “Settings tab” in the bottom right corner. You will be presented with the following options and elements, which you can swipe through and double-tap on to change each preference to your liking. After making the desired changes, find and double-tap the “Back Button” in the top left corner to return to the main settings screen.

  • An unlabeled button that you can double-tap to set or change your user avatar.
  •  Heading with your Discord handle. For example, Changeling#5469 (spoken as “Changeling number 5469 Heading”).
  •  A set status button to change your Discord presence. (e.g., “Set Status Online Button”.)
  •  Account: Contains options to customize your profile, manage your contact info and password, and manage two-factor authentication.
  •  Privacy & Safety: Contains options for who can find and contact you, data control, etc.
  •  Connections: Contains options for managing apps with access to your Discord account, as well as social media connections.
  •  Scan QR Code: lets you log into Discord on a second device by scanning the QR code instead of entering you user credentials.
  •  Nitro Settings; A block of text that indicates the following options have to deal with discord nitro.
    • . Get nitro: Where you can sign up for Discord Nitro, the paid version of discor.
    •  Server boost: You can pay money to boost (sponsor) a server to give it and its owners special perks.
    •  Nitro Gifting: you can give Nitro to someone else.
  •  App Settings: A block of text that indicates the next settings have to do specifically with the iOS app.
    •  Voice/Voice Activity: Where you can adjust your preferences for voice chat. Activating this may cause VoiceOver to come through the earpiece of your device..
    •  Appearance: Where you can set the theme of Discord. Mine is spoken as “Appearance dark Button”.
    •  Language: Where you can set the language for Discord. Mine is spoken as “Language english U.S.”.
    •  Text & Images: Settings for adjusting how text and images are handled, and this is where you can adjust spoiler display settings.
    •  Web Browser; Where you can choose which browser opens links you click in Discord.
    •  Notifications: Where you can adjust your app notifications, but not server/channel specific notifications.
    •  Support: Where you can get help with the app.
    •  Upload debug logs: Where you can submit crash reports.
    • Acknowledgements: Takes you to a web page that gives credit to projects and people that power discord.
    •  Change Log: View the list of recent changes.
  •  Restore Nitro Subscription: Used to restore a purchase.
  •  Logout: Signs you out.


Suggested Changes

Here are some suggestions of settings you can change to make your user experience better. The out-of-box experience is quite nice, though.

Under Account

You may wish to consider setting a profile photo. While I recognize that having an avatar may not be a priority for most of my readers, the fact is having a unique avatar is how server admins who may be visually oriented to the world distinguish you from a spammer. To set your avatar:

  • Expand the drawer in the top left corner of the main screen.
  •  Activate the settings tab in the bottom right corner of the resulting screen.
  •  Activate the unlabeled button in the top left corner of the settings screen.
  •  Choose your photo. If this is your first time, you may need to allow access to photos.
  •  Confirm your selection.

Under Notifications

It is not currently possible to have incoming messages read to you by a cool robot on the mobile platform. CONGRATULATIONS! You don’t need to worry about it.


Next Steps

Now that you have an understanding of the Discord UI and an idea of how navigation is going to work, you’re ready to join a server. The next post will explain how to join servers, as well as customize your settings for a specific server. In the meantime, make sure you have discord set the way you think you’ll like it.

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