Date   

locked Re: View selections

 

Hey All,

I have been paying attention to the discussion, but I'm not sure yet what the right answer for all this is. But I did just add an option in archives for 'Expanded Message View' which gets you the individual messages displayed in date order.

Mark

On Sat, Nov 22, 2014 at 7:24 PM, Shal Farley <shal@...> wrote:
LAurence,

> I don't mind a settings page, as long as it's easy to find and use.

I don't mind a settings pages either, they are perfectly appropriate for some controls.

In Groups.io examples would be the controls in one's "Edit Profile" pages, or the choice of Email Delivery in one's Subscription page.

But I wouldn't want to have to go to the Subscription page to switch the Archive View between "Threads" and "Messages", nor to flip the date sorting order; I believe those (and the new controls I suggested) properly belong "in situ" - easily accessible on the page they control.

It can be even better if they are direct affordances, rather than choices in a menu. This can be subtle (the fact that the "Date" button immediately flips the order, rather than opening a menu where you need a second click to select "latest" or "oldest" first).

Or it can be more integrated. Such as having a movable bar on the screen that separates the message list from the preview of the selected message - and being able to turn off preview by simply sliding that bar all the way to the edge of the window. No menu needed.

But I'm not really a UI/UX expert, so I'll just throw the ideas out there without claiming that they are certainly the best (or even a better) way to do it. Sometimes it is more important to do things in a consistent fashion than to do a particular thing in the "slickest" fashion. A coherent UI goes a long way to making a site feel natural and easy to use, even if it has lots of powerful capabilities.

That's a lesson Yahoo badly failed in the Neo redesign. Every type of list of messages (pending, possible spam, archive, search results, and pending Pinboard posts when that existed) has a different appearance and different affordances for viewing, navigating, and interacting with the messages. That tends to make a site feel complex even when it can't actually do much.

-- Shal



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locked Re: View selections

 

LAurence,

I don't mind a settings page, as long as it's easy to find and use.
I don't mind a settings pages either, they are perfectly appropriate for some controls.

In Groups.io examples would be the controls in one's "Edit Profile" pages, or the choice of Email Delivery in one's Subscription page.

But I wouldn't want to have to go to the Subscription page to switch the Archive View between "Threads" and "Messages", nor to flip the date sorting order; I believe those (and the new controls I suggested) properly belong "in situ" - easily accessible on the page they control.

It can be even better if they are direct affordances, rather than choices in a menu. This can be subtle (the fact that the "Date" button immediately flips the order, rather than opening a menu where you need a second click to select "latest" or "oldest" first).

Or it can be more integrated. Such as having a movable bar on the screen that separates the message list from the preview of the selected message - and being able to turn off preview by simply sliding that bar all the way to the edge of the window. No menu needed.

But I'm not really a UI/UX expert, so I'll just throw the ideas out there without claiming that they are certainly the best (or even a better) way to do it. Sometimes it is more important to do things in a consistent fashion than to do a particular thing in the "slickest" fashion. A coherent UI goes a long way to making a site feel natural and easy to use, even if it has lots of powerful capabilities.

That's a lesson Yahoo badly failed in the Neo redesign. Every type of list of messages (pending, possible spam, archive, search results, and pending Pinboard posts when that existed) has a different appearance and different affordances for viewing, navigating, and interacting with the messages. That tends to make a site feel complex even when it can't actually do much.

-- Shal


locked Re: View selections

Laurence Taylor
 

On 21/11/2014 23:49, Shal Farley wrote:
Laurence,

> If it could be turned on or off by the user, that would be nice for
> both camps.

Actually, I shouldn't have used the word "options", as that might imply
needing to go to a settings page somewhere to change it. What I mean is
an immediately accessible control to let the individual user choose the
viewing style that suits that user's needs of the moment. The user's
choice should be remembered from session to session, naturally.
I don't mind a settings page, as long as it's easy to find and use. Some
are so hidden and convoluted I suspect the compay doesn't want anyone to
use them.


--
rgds
LAurence
<><


locked Files

 

Hi All,

Fyi, I know I've been quiet the last couple of days; I've been working to finish up the Files section. I hope to launch it early next week.

Thanks,
Mark


locked View selections (was: "Like" for the email-centric)

 

Laurence,

If it could be turned on or off by the user, that would be nice for
both camps.
Actually, I shouldn't have used the word "options", as that might imply needing to go to a settings page somewhere to change it. What I mean is an immediately accessible control to let the individual user choose the viewing style that suits that user's needs of the moment. The user's choice should be remembered from session to session, naturally.

An example would be Gmail's button to select whether the screen has a preview split horizontally, vertically, or not at all. Combine that with a selection for whether the list is "slim" (one line per item), "relaxed" (a bit of summary per item), or "expanded" (each message presented in full) and a third selection for whether the list is infinite scroll or paginated and that would cover the bases I can think of.

In Groups.io's Archive, there are presently two view controls: the Thread versus Message buttons, and the Date order selection. I'd add these three to the right, alongside the Date order. Like the Date order, they would apply equally to the Thread or Message list.

The only question is whether those three view controls would be too "fussy" or potentially confusing. I don't think so, because each would have a natural and immediately visible effect. People would quickly learn to select what they like. On the other hand, KISS is still a valid principle.

-- Shal


On 21/11/2014 21:50, Shal Farley wrote:

What I would suggest would be to have some list/message viewing
options, with facile ways to switch among them, so that one can
choose the style that works best for what you're doing at the moment.


locked Re: "Like" for the email-centric (was First Impressions of Groups.io)

Laurence Taylor
 

On 21/11/2014 21:50, Shal Farley wrote:

Infinite scroll suits some people. Notably Yahoo Groups and Groups.io
have both adopted that style for for presenting message lists and
messages in topic.
Infinite scroll doesn't suit me at all. I want to get to the bottom of
the screen - especially if I want to save it!

What I would suggest would be to have some list/message viewing options,
with facile ways to switch among them, so that one can choose the style
that works best for what you're doing at the moment.
If it could be turned on or off by the user, that would be nice for both
camps.

--
rgds
LAurence
<><


locked Re: "Like" for the email-centric (was First Impressions of Groups.io)

 

Ian,

Excuse me, young sir, but do I detect a hint of prejudice?
Hmm... I guess Tyrannosaurs were never known for their sense of humor. Or whichever form of thunder lizard that is agape in your profile photo. When you quoted me you left out a relevant adjunct to the sentence:

Definitely bucking the Texting/Twitter/Facebook trend. ;-)
As it happens I have been using Facebook for a few years now, even run a group there and have notes there. I and some of my friends are no strangers to lengthy and well researched posts and replies.

There is absolutely no reason why this particular thread should not
be formatted in the Facebook style.
Infinite scroll suits some people. Notably Yahoo Groups and Groups.io have both adopted that style for for presenting message lists and messages in topic.

For rapidly catching up on what's new in my email I tend to prefer either a page per message style, or a list with preview style, where I can move from message to message with a single keyboard click and the next message always starts at the same position on the screen. That lets me take in the gist of each message at a glance and move on to the next with minimum fuss.

What I would suggest would be to have some list/message viewing options, with facile ways to switch among them, so that one can choose the style that works best for what you're doing at the moment.

-- Shal


locked Re: "Like" for the email-centric (was First Impressions of Groups.io)

 


On 18 November 2014 19:12, Shal Farley <shal@...> wrote:
Definitely bucking the Texting/Twitter/Facebook trend.

​Shal,

Excuse me, young sir, but do I detect a hint of prejudice?

Surely not - all your comments are always carefully researched before being written, and take no account of emotion.

But while texting and Twitter have clear (and very small), intrinsic size limits, Facebook does not. Both posts and comments can be quite lengthy - but when displayed they are normally truncated, so the appearance is of a page filled with short, snappy stuff - but with a "see more" link. And the "Note" facility enables the creation of lengthy papers with​ rich text including photographs, and, if appropriate, files of up to 25MB can be posted.

IMHO the truncation is a good attribute for a web page; you can get an idea of whether a post may be interesting, or whether it's just Ian Gillis banging on about Facebook in his normal way, and thus not worth reading.

There is absolutely no reason why this particular thread should not be formatted in the Facebook style. Yes, it's different - you don't have all the headers and footers for a start, but that doesn't mean that it might not be preferable - particularly for mobile users.

Do you have a Facebook account? You might like to have a look at a "Note" - it's public access - as long as the "public" has a Facebook log-in. I suppose pushing 1.5 billion users is pretty public…

https://www.facebook.com/notes/ian-gillis/iter-the-way-to-new-energy/10151096942803920

regards,

​Ian​

--


locked Re: "Like" for the email-centric (was First Impressions of Groups.io)

 

Mark,

Of course, this could be expanded to support any one word reply. But
that could be crazy.
Not unlike the palette of emoticons idea. Maybe the one goes with the other, for web and mail users respectively.

But there's a germ of an idea there. Often enough people try to unsubscribe from my Yahoo Groups by replying with the one word "unsubscribe"; this suggests that perhaps the one-word reply could be useful as an alternate form for some of the email commands.

This would also serve to teach our members to reply in complete sentences. Definitely bucking the Texting/Twitter/Facebook trend. ;-)

-- Shal


locked Re: "Like" for the email-centric (was First Impressions of Groups.io)

 

indubitably

On 11/18/2014 9:13 AM, Mark Fletcher wrote:

Of course, this could be expanded to support any one word reply. But
that could be crazy.


locked Re: "Like" for the email-centric (was First Impressions of Groups.io)

 

On Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 11:44 PM, Shal Farley <shal@...> wrote:
Mark,

> What about instead of having to edit an email address when you reply,
> just reply with the one word:
>
> like

That'd work too.


Of course, this could be expanded to support any one word reply. But that could be crazy.


Mark 


locked Re: Message threads versus topics

Laurence Taylor
 

On 17/11/2014 18:28, Mark Fletcher wrote:
Hmm. I fall into the camp that dislikes the staggered message presentation
view like this. I really dislike how Reddit does things, for example.

Is there much demand for a view like this?
I don't like the multiple-indent style, I find it dificult to read. In
my view, messags shoild be shown - or should be able to be shown - in
strict chronological order. Otherwise you get, as you do with Reddit
&c., a string of old messages with a new one in the middle.


--
rgds
LAurence
<><


locked Re: "Like" for the email-centric (was First Impressions of Groups.io)

 

like

On 18 November 2014 08:44, Shal Farley <shal@...> wrote:
Mark,

> What about instead of having to edit an email address when you reply,
> just reply with the one word:
>
> like

That'd work too.

As long as the matching is permissive enough to allow for extraneous whitespace, perhaps punctuation, quoted original message, HTML decoration and other typical debris. But not so permissive as to accidentally suck up a message that has the word in it.

-- Shal



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locked Re: Message threads versus topics

 

Chris,

It may be worth checking out how Discourse handles replies.
Interesting. I was thinking of something like that too.

Another visual way to accomplish that is to have the "In-Reply-To" link collapse the intervening messages to a horizontal rule that allows one to re-expand them. Likewise the "Replies" button, leaving only the direct replies expanded below the message.

Not sure what to do if one happens to have the date sort reversed. But maybe exactly the same thing, just that the In-Reply-To would be below and the direct replies above.

-- Shal


locked Re: Editing messages

 

Mark,

- On an edit, the message gets resent to the group
- Edits from members who are moderated (or are in a moderated group),
must be approved by the moderators
- Keep a list of revisions of each change (what changed and who made
the change)
Yes please.

- Ability to delete all of my messages from the group
I don't know if this one is just an overreaction or not. I don't like the idea of "taking my marbles and going home", but I don't relish the idea of getting into an edit tug-of-war with an unreasonable or vindictive moderator either. Unthinkable, while Groups.io is this close-knit community of reasonable people. But if you succeed in scaling it up then some of us are going to encounter all kinds.

Maybe there's a better way to handle the tug-of-war problem, I'm open to other ideas.

-- Shal


locked Re: What is Facebook 2 (was Calendar is live)

 

Mark,

Many of us were more comfortable with a Reply interface that more
closely resembled an email message composition window after clicking
"Reply".
Not sure I understand. Click Reply and have it refresh to a new window
instead of opening up inline?
It wasn't so much about refreshing the page (an artifact of how classic groups was built) as about the evident capabilities. Both in terms of editing the body and controlling header fields.

Some of the redesigns presented little more than a postage-stamp text box in which to type your reply. Too reminiscent of Facebook's "Write a comment..." box, and implying too much that a reply should be minimal and without context (quoted original).

In the Neo re-design of Yahoo Groups it took forever to get them to open a decent size edit box, and to show the formatting toolbar - they initially hid it behind a button one had to click to add formatting. Even now the To and From fields are hidden behind an "Expand header" button.

In that regard Neo now has a few legs up on Groups.io - your Group Reply button offers no ability for a moderator to send the reply "From" the +owner address, nor to direct a reply to the member or to +owner rather than the group. Nor to change the Subject.

-- Shal


locked Re: Bug in message formatting - strikethrough doesn't "stick".

 

Mark,

The issue was with what CSS we allow when displaying messages in the archive.
...
There are multiple ways to generate strikethrough (it's unclear to me
which is best).
Ah, no wonder it didn't make sense to me (not much CSS experience).

We have to 'cook' any HTML messages before displaying them, to ensure
that no malicious stuff is presented (javascript pointing to malware,
for example). We're very conservative with what CSS is displayed.
Thank goodness.

Yahoo used to publish in a help page the whitelist of HTML tags that it would allow in Group descriptions and messages. It applied that whitelist even to message bodies passed through as individual messages. They took down that help page a few years ago and replaced it with "try it and see, you're on your own if it doesn't work".

-- Shal


locked Re: "Like" for the email-centric (was First Impressions of Groups.io)

 

Mark,

What about instead of having to edit an email address when you reply,
just reply with the one word:

like
That'd work too.

As long as the matching is permissive enough to allow for extraneous whitespace, perhaps punctuation, quoted original message, HTML decoration and other typical debris. But not so permissive as to accidentally suck up a message that has the word in it.

-- Shal


 

Updates to the site today:

- Fix for pagination and sorting in direct add for subgroups
- Allowing CSS text-decoration in archive display
- Don't bounce messages missing both To and CC
- Activity log fix and better logging of calendar events


Mark


locked Re: Attachments

 

Mark,

My concern with this comes back to abuse. I don't want groups.io
<http://groups.io> to become an image serving company.
Or general file serving. I understand that concern, and realize that abuse detection and mitigation impacts what's feasible.

I would want to come up with a system to throttle image serving in
case a URL gets out in the wild and becomes popular.. I can do it,
but it'll be some work and I'm not sure about where this would rank
in terms of priorities.
Maybe "trust but verify" first. That is, come up with a way to measure and report the usage in a way that would alert you to abuse. Then figure out how to throttle it if and when the alarm goes off. Then you'd be able to see the use and abuse patterns before deciding on a mechanism. Of course, that assumes that the onset of trouble is mild rather than DOS-inducing.

-- Shal