Current thinking on this is that we'll move the header area to the right rail. The right rail will have a toggle to display or collapse the new area. When the rail is collapsed, the conversations extend to fill the width of the display.
For the tone of the feature, I think the approach is: the header/rail has information that can be useful sometimes, but it's not useful on every single pageview, and it doesn't need to dominate the experience. We don't have to worry too much about people missing something crucial if they've chosen to collapse the rail.
The siderail should include categories, copyright/legal footer, and an automatic link to the wiki talk page archive, if there is one.
There's [[ http://pauginer.github.io/prototypes/flow/right-rail/index.html | a clickable prototype ]], and some mockups:
There are a few things to figure out:
* We need a link to the archived wikitext talk page, if there is one.
* Sticky or not? For a user who really wants full-width display every time, it would be a pain to have to click to collapse the rail every pageview, or even once for each unique page. On the other hand, keeping "closed" sticky for all pages means that the user might miss something that's unique to a board that they've never visited before.
* Scrolling or fixed? Does the rail scroll with you, so that it disappears as you scroll down the page & becomes a blank space? Or is it fixed, with its own scroll?