Topics

Terminology for the Notifications Overhaul


 

Nina, (and anyone else interested)

I've sort of settled on a set of terms used to discuss the emerging feature, including

Group Notice - the kind that post to the group
Member Notice - the kind that don't exist yet (Likes, Chats)
Moderator Notice - the kind that are sent by direct to the mod/owner

I've also been describing the difference between Web/App Notifications and email delivery as primarily a difference in how a given notice (of any of those three types) may be delivered to the user.

If you have a moment (well, it will take more than a moment) could you have a look at GMFs wiki page for this feature, and see if you think I'm on the right track with how I'm describing it? And of course on any details of implementation that I may have missed or mistaken.
https://groups.io/g/GroupManagersForum/wiki/21482

Thanks to some prodding from GMF members I went through a major clean-up of that page today, to try and get consistent terminology and a cohesive explanation.

Shal


Andy Wedge
 

On Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 03:14 AM, Shal Farley wrote:
Thanks to some prodding from GMF members I went through a major clean-up of that page today, to try and get consistent terminology and a cohesive explanation.
Hi Shal,

The Notifications page looks good. I don't see a reference to #cal-cancelled and in beta, Bruce asked a question about #email and #feed which I can't recall seeing a response to.

Regards,
Andy


 

Andy,

The Notifications page looks good. I don't see a reference to
#cal-cancelled ...
Thanks for the heads up.

I only use basic calendar features, and I haven't paid much attention to some of the enhanced features. Maybe someone familiar with them will contribute to the page.

and in beta, Bruce asked a question about #email and #feed which I
can't recall seeing a response to.
Interesting question of Bruce's. I could see that going either way: treat them as normal topic hashtags, or treat them as Group Notices.

I was thinking that all Group Notices have a corresponding Moderator Notice, but that's not true of the calendar notices. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Shal


Nina E
 

Hi, Shal. Thank you very much for putting together the GMF wiki page about notifications! (And thanks also to others who've contributed revisions to it.) With Mark's agreement, I've been holding off on updating the Help Center resources until the dust settles. (If I'd started sooner, it would've been like changing tires on a moving car. :-) ) I plan to start on the Help Center updates this week, and the wiki page will be a huge help.

 

In general, the info on the wiki page looks pretty good to me as far as I currently understand notifications. Regarding the terms "Group Notice," "Member Notice," and "Moderator Notice": I agree with the categorizations, but I'm a little concerned that "Notice" (especially "Member Notice") could be confused with references to the member notices that owners/moderators set up in their groups' settings. Perhaps using "Notification" here, rather than "Notice," would help alleviate potential confusion.

 

As a further distinction, throughout the wiki and the Help Center documentation, maybe we can try to use "notification" to refer to the alert message that is sent by email or web/app push and "notice" to refer to the message content (the details of what someone is being notified about). I could add those terms to the glossary. (I already intended to add "push notification.")

 

Thoughts?

 

- Nina


 

Nina,

... I'm a little concerned that "Notice" (especially "Member Notice")
could be confused with references to the member notices that
owners/moderators set up in their groups' settings.
Hmm... I hadn't thought of that.

I'd like to say that they really are the same, as both are sent direct to the member. But that's not true of Guidelines and Monthly, which are Group Notices in my parlance (and in implementation, given their hashtags).

Also, the new ones are expected to be controlled by the member via their Subscription page; not so the ones defined in the group's Settings.

Nevertheless, I think I'd rather seek a way to work with this slight overlap in terminology than try to find some terminology that is non-overlapping but less clear for each application.

We could, for example, enhance the description of Guidelines and Monthly, in the group Settings, to say that they are exceptions - that they are in fact Group Notices. They are already exceptional in having a scheduled send rather than being tied to an action.

In a similar vein, it might make sense to describe the rest of them also under Member Notices. They would be distinct in that they already exist, and in that by nature they don't allow for user control.

Perhaps using "Notification" here, rather than "Notice," would help
alleviate potential confusion.
I started off that way, but Notification is just so much baggage to carry around. It didn't seem right to me, and looking at my dictionary (yes, the dead trees kind) clarified why. As nouns, "notice" is the message, "notification" is the act of delivering it.

So that's what I went with: Web/App, Group, and Email Notification: describing the method used in the act of delivery. Then Moderator, Member, and Group Notices: describing the target of the notice.

As a further distinction, throughout the wiki and the Help Center
documentation, maybe we can try to use "notification" to refer to the
alert message that is sent by email or web/app push and "notice" to
refer to the message content (the details of what someone is being
notified about).
I do like staying consistent with standard English usage.

But I think we still need the distinction I made between the targets of the content; and we also need the distinction I made between the methods of delivery. It is the only way I can think of to make a sensibly organized description.

(I already intended to add "push notification.")
I eventually backed away from the term "push", relegating it to "aka" status. I might go further and leave only the first of those references. My reason is that I didn't find it being used in browser or OS documentation, but I'll admit I only looked at the ones I use.

Shal


West Coast Compañeros Staff
 

On 6/29/20 10:57 PM, Shal Farley wrote:
Nina,

> ... I'm a little concerned that "Notice" (especially "Member Notice")
> could be confused with references to the member notices that
> owners/moderators set up in their groups' settings.

Hmm... I hadn't thought of that.

Would the term "Alert" be useful as an alternative to "Notification" in many cases? It may be a tad over-dramatic, but it has the benefit of brevity. I would reserve "Notice" for those that appear n the Notice Type drop-down list under Member Notices in the Settings section.

Robert R.



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Chris Jones
 

On Tue, Jun 30, 2020 at 04:59 PM, West Coast Compañeros Staff wrote:
Would the term "Alert" be useful as an alternative to "Notification" in many cases? It may be a tad over-dramatic, but it has the benefit of brevity.
Yes. :)

Chris


Nina E
 

Thanks for the additional thoughts so far.

Shal >> We could, for example, enhance the description of Guidelines and Monthly, in the group Settings, to say that they are exceptions - that they are in fact Group Notices. They are already exceptional in having a scheduled send rather than being tied to an action.
In a similar vein, it might make sense to describe the rest of them also under Member Notices. They would be distinct in that they already exist, and in that by nature they don't allow for user control. <<

That sounds reasonable. Maybe we can also propose to Mark that he change the label of the Member Notices tab (under Admin > Settings) to just Notices, which would cover both. (A label of "Member and Group Notices" would be clear but unwieldy. :-) )

Shal >> So that's what I went with: Web/App, Group, and Email Notification: describing the method used in the act of delivery. Then Moderator, Member, and Group Notices: describing the target of the notice. <<

Makes sense.

Shal >> But I think we still need the distinction I made between the targets of the content; and we also need the distinction I made between the methods of delivery. <<

Agreed.

Shal >> I eventually backed away from the term "push", relegating it to "aka" status. I might go further and leave only the first of those references. My reason is that I didn't find it being used in browser or OS documentation, but I'll admit I only looked at the ones I use. <<

Firefox has help content about "Web Push notifications" but also uses just "notifications" in the popup that asks whether you want to allow notifications from a website. Other browsers I looked at (Edge on Windows and Chrome on Android) seem to use just "notifications." So I'll use the "aka push" approach in the Groups.io documentation.

Robert, Chris >> Would the term "Alert" be useful as an alternative to "Notification" in many cases? <<

I do like the brevity of "Alert," but "Notification" might be more familiar to people because it's the term that browsers/websites/apps (the ones I've looked at, at least) generally seem to use for this type of feature.

- Nina


 

Nina,

That sounds reasonable. Maybe we can also propose to Mark that he
change the label of the Member Notices tab (under Admin > Settings) to
just Notices, which would cover both.
Perhaps. I'm not sure that's needed though, the two exceptions don't feel like such a big deal.

I've updated the wiki page to describe the those Member Notices along with the new ones. It only took one short paragraph in the Group Controls section. It seems pretty clean, I like how it reads. We'll see if the GMF membership has any reaction to it.

Shal


Mark Murphy
 

Thank you Shal, and everyone who has contributed to documenting and helping make these changes more usable and understandable.

Although I've read through all of the discussion, there a lot of changes and suggestions. May I suggest for your consideration:

  • "Web Push" rather than "web/app" (aka "push"). This is the (relatively) standard term used for this type of notice which is different from the old-style web or app notification which required your app and/or browser to be active.
  • "Notice" rather than "Notification". Short is almost always better.
  • Web Push Notices are "sent" rather than "delivered" or "pushed" since neither email nor "push" guarantee delivery or receipt
  • Deprecate words such as "instant", "immediately", etc.
  • Consider a structure for the Wiki page like:
    • Notice Audiences (targets/recipients?)
      • Group notices 
      • Member Notices
      • Moderator Notices
    • Notice Sending Methods
      • Email
      • Web Push
    • Notice Controls and Settings
      • Web Push Notice Controls. Include some examples or references for configuring.
      • Group Notice Controls
      • Member Notice Controls
Thank you.
 


 

Mark M.,


  • "Web Push" rather than "web/app" (aka "push"). This is the (relatively) standard term used for this type of notice which is different from the old-style web or app notification which required your app and/or browser to be active.

I've retained "web/app" as it is inclusive of both web push notification and mobile app notification methods. I've cleaned up the description a bit to clarify that browser-based notifications are using web push technology.

  • "Notice" rather than "Notification". Short is almost always better.

I've retained Notification as referring to a notice given by a specific method. For example, a Group Notice delivered by email, versus a Group Notice delivered by web/app notification.

  • Web Push Notices are "sent" rather than "delivered" or "pushed" since neither email nor "push" guarantee delivery or receipt

That's a bit pedantic. However where describing the action of Groups.io I've added "sent" for clarity. This fits with the fact that actual delivery depends on the user's system and software, and the user's own choice of settings.

  • Deprecate words such as "instant", "immediately", etc.

Done

  • Consider a structure for the Wiki page like:
    • Notice Audiences (targets/recipients?)
      • Group notices 
      • Member Notices
      • Moderator Notices
    • Notice Sending Methods
      • Email
      • Web Push
    • Notice Controls and Settings
      • Web Push Notice Controls. Include some examples or references for configuring.
      • Group Notice Controls
      • Member Notice Controls

I'll think about the structure, particularly as the page grows to accommodate additional developments.

For now I'm comfortable with having an Introductory section that establishes the terminology, followed by main sections for what the group can control and for what the member can control. Plus the odd-man-out of controls on the user's device rather than within the Groups.io interface.

I think "Group Controls" directly addresses what group owners/mods (GMF's primary audience) are most concerned with: how do we control this beast. I don't want to make them read across a bunch of major sections to glean what they need to know.

Shal