On Tue, Sep 3, 2019 at 4:30 PM Eric di Domenico <eric@...> wrote:
I would like a visual indicator of which messages are new since the last time I visited the group website.
This is a very apropos question given the point of development of the app. I need to flesh this out this week, and I could definitely use y'all's feedback. So, here we go.
- A visual indicator would require us to remember and track what messages you've read.
- A desired feature of the app would be to be notified when there are new messages, which also requires us knowing which messages you've read.
- Also, some email providers (cough... charter.net... cough... cox.net... cough... comcast.net) like to delay or block messages from us at random times. For unknown reasons.
- Also, HTML digests are often not handled consistently or nicely.
I see two ways of addressing some/all of the above. The easy way and the comprehensive way.
We track a high water message number per subscription. That's the most recent message you've seen in each group. Going to the message archives instantly sets this high water number to the most recent message. This lets us send out notifications when new messages come in and display topics in bold when there are new messages. You would see these bolded topics/messages when viewing the archives on a group-by-group basis (ie https://groups.io/g/beta/topics). It does not let you mark some messages as unread. It does not let you read some topics and keep others as unread. It does nothing about inconsistent displaying of digests. It's easy to implement and fairly straightforward for users to understand (I think).
We basically re-invent the inbox. Give everyone a groups.io email inbox, but only for group email. One way of doing that would be to add a second set of message delivery options, to control what's delivered to your groups.io inbox. As an example, you could set your existing email delivery setting to no mail, and your new groups.io inbox delivery setting to 'single' or 'digest'. Then only read your messages in your new groups.io inbox on the web or in the app. There would be a new part of the website, which would be your inbox. We could display digests really nicely. This is the most flexible, but also the most complicated solution (both technically and to understand by users, I think).
Thoughts? Is there another path I haven't thought of?