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locked Re: Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups

Maria
 

On Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 06:08 am, J_catlady wrote:
They often think they're sending their message to the originator of the thread rather than to the person whose message they happened to click "reply" on. 

I've seen this happen a handful of times in our Y! groups but it's so infrequent and usually by accident - not because they didn't understand the reply process. I find it's usually people just doing things too quickly.


Maria


locked Re: Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups

 

On Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 07:17 am, Brian Vogel wrote:
While I can envision use in other scenarios, when it comes to a web-based forum or very forum-like medium, the user should not be the one doing the explicit addressing, the responding mechanism itself is what assigns that.  

I actually now agree with this. That's how PM'ing works. I think I was over-generalizing the use of the proposed function. However, believe it or not, I *have* seen instances of otherwise-intelligent group members thinking their "reply to sender" message was going to the OP when they simply clicked on the last response in the thread. As you can imagine, this can cause much chagrin. So I would at least prefer that the name of the recipient be shown to the user for verification. As you know, this will not conform 100% to PMs in a forum. My idea, at least, is that (as Jennifer first suggested, and Mark asked for thoughts on) at least the user will make the choice of forum or private before clicking on "reply" as a single word. The rest are details to me.
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. 

It's dumb to buy smart water.


locked Re: Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups

Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

On Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 06:25 am, J_catlady wrote:
The reason I include the specification of the recipient is because I envision a general PM function that can be used elsewhere besides the "reply to forum post" context. In other scenarios, the explicit designation of the recipient is important. So I lump it together.

And this is where we differ somewhat, and I definitely differ from the other proposals.  While I can envision use in other scenarios, when it comes to a web-based forum or very forum-like medium, the user should not be the one doing the explicit addressing, the responding mechanism itself is what assigns that.  These contexts are not e-mail and have no real reason to be e-mail-like.

If you're trying to send a private message to a member, that would be triggered by clicking *something* associated with that member.  If you're trying to report to moderators there should be a "Report" function.  If you're trying to reply to the group there should be a reply function.

Unlike you, I do believe that the central importance here is playing into habit/convention, regardless of how that convention came to be.  There exist conventions that really felt almost wholly "unnatural" at the outset, but once they became established widely enough that didn't matter - people know them and follow them almost instinctively.  People (and animals in general) are creatures of habit, and good design plays into established habits as strongly as it possibly can when those habits actually achieve desired ends.  In this case they do.  One can and should fight them if new behavior patterns are desired, but in this case they aren't.
--
Brian

A lot of what appears to be progress is just so much technological rococo.  ~ Bill Gray


locked Re: Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups

 

On Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 06:25 am, J_catlady wrote:
it is far better to stick with the well-worn convention that a "Reply" button in a web forum interface meaning "make my reply to the group"

p.s. And the reason it's better is because it's the order in which we think. It's not better because it's a well-worn convention. The convention IS the well-worn convention because it matches how we think. As you said, Brian, Y!G and Groups.io are currently the outliers. 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. 

It's dumb to buy smart water.


locked Re: Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups

 

On Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 06:19 am, Brian Vogel wrote:
If, upon hitting a reply link or button you are forced to actively choose your recipient that's still more than enough to satisfy the "before you start composing" cognitive requirement.  

Yes, it's a little better. But, as you say: 

In the final analysis, though, it is far better to stick with the well-worn convention that a "Reply" button in a web forum interface meaning "make my reply to the group" and a separate mechanism entirely for any form of "off group" messaging,-- 

The reason I feel that the specification of the recipient is important (or at least, part of what I think is the best solution - a "separate mechanism") is not because of the issue of the "unteachables" not understanding who their message is going to. As I said, that is much less important. The reason I include the specification of the recipient is because I envision a general PM function that can be used elsewhere besides the "reply to forum post" context. In other scenarios, the explicit designation of the recipient is important. So I lump it together.

--

J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. 

It's dumb to buy smart water.


locked Re: Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups

Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

On Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 06:08 am, J_catlady wrote:
They often think they're sending their message to the originator of the thread rather than to the person whose message they happened to click "reply" on.

 J,  not aimed at you:  Then they're just unteachable.

I cannot imagine how you would ever think that clicking on "send to sender" would work its way back through a chain of messages rather than take the sender from the message you originated a reply from.

I still don't like the "Send to Sender" button as an option that appears after the generic Reply button is hit.  But one has to be obtuse to believe any "Send to Sender" function doesn't do what it says, send to an individual message's sender, not to the thread originator.

Also, I really don't have any issue, at all, with the choice of recipient being wrapped up in the Reply step itself.  If, upon hitting a reply link or button you are forced to actively choose your recipient that's still more than enough to satisfy the "before you start composing" cognitive requirement.  After all, we do know that what's about to be composed is a reply, but the recipient should be selected prior to the composition starting.  If that's done it also eliminates the need for anything but a "Send" button.

In the final analysis, though, it is far better to stick with the well-worn convention that a "Reply" button in a web forum interface meaning "make my reply to the group" and a separate mechanism entirely for any form of "off group" messaging, no matter who that message is intended for.  It is an ingrained expectation that works incredibly well.  There is no need to change it, only want.


--
Brian

A lot of what appears to be progress is just so much technological rococo.  ~ Bill Gray


locked Re: Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups

 

Full confession: I didn't read through Shal's entire proposal, and I didn't read this entire mockup, because I see right away that the user - again, as now - must first click on "reply" before making their choice of addressee/recipient. 

Second, but somewhat less importantly, I disagree with this:

On Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 04:58 am, HR Tech wrote:

think that it would be sufficient to have some explanatory text under saying that your reply will go from "your email @ domain" to the sender/author

There is no need to state "will go from your email bla bla" - that's always clear. What is NOT clear is whom the message is going TO. There is currently a problem with people not understanding whom they are sending their message to when they click "reply to sender" or "send to sender" (or whatever language is used, regular or test version). They often think they're sending their message to the originator of the thread rather than to the person whose message they happened to click "reply" on.  

This proposal/scenario/mockup/whatever gives us some nice screenshots, but for what? It sidesteps the whole idea of a PM function and (more importantly) the problem that the user must click "reply" before picking their destination. I don't see any real difference. It's the same scenario as we have now.

My opinion. 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. 

It's dumb to buy smart water.


locked Re: Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups

Maria
 

On Mon, Jul 4, 2016 at 04:52 pm, Shal Farley wrote:
Try this on for size, I have an idea that I think may satisfy our goals as well as J and Brian's. Maybe mock it up for me. Or just mock me for it ;-)

Here you go. See attached. I hope I translated your proposal accurately.

I see a problem using the member's profile instead of the word "sender" (length varies/ there could be multiple "marias" - just hard to create a fixed width button if the content is variable - and think that it would be sufficient to have some explanatory text under saying that your reply will go from "your email @ domain" to the sender/author. Also I'd prefer if reply language were consistent on web/digest and emails.

I also am a bit concerned about these drop up menus on mobile...but who knows...

Any way, here is your proposal translated visually. I hope that's helpful.

Maria



locked Re: Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups AND quoted messages #bug

Maria
 

On Mon, Jul 4, 2016 at 05:19 pm, Brian Vogel wrote:
I can't imagine the purpose of a group where the default amounts to private e-mailing from person to person with minimal sharing with the group.  It defeats the whole idea of an online group.  This would be so simply "implemented" by having the good, old-fashioned "PM by clicking on profile link" method.  Clearly, however, others differ.

In our case we have on group that's transactional in nature, like all the freecycle groups, so it really doesn't warrant group replies. I've dreamt about marketplace / etsy type subgroups... but will leave that for its own thread.

But I belong to another group that is indeed discussion based BUT because they have so many very active members, their default reply is to sender. The admins do this because the abundance of replies would a) overwhelm the mods and b) end up being duplicative (because if you read by email, you may not see that someone has already shared same thought/answer as you do because of the inherent delay in digests). In that group the person who posted will do a summary of replies received offline if others ask for one.

I'm sure there are many other scenarios where this flexibility and versatility of use would come in handy.

Maria


locked Re: Why is there a 2 beside "New Topic" in my left menu? #bug?

Linda Standart
 

Brian, I found that little number  for the first time while I was still learning IO. I explored it and figured out what it was. Once I had it, I wasn't bothered by it any more. BUT... That said, I think it would be easier for most users if there were a specific button just for drafts. that was separate from New Topics. The thing is that not all of our users are really tech savvy and some might not understand how to explore the option and learn how to use it.

The separate button would make it easier to understand. and use the saved incomplete message

Linda S. 


locked Re: Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups AND quoted messages #bug

 

J,

For that reason, I think PM should display to the user the addressee
My recent proposal covers that.

[EDIT: or call it "recipient" - whatever you want to call "who this
message is going to" - username, or display name, or email address, or
whatever - figure that out later] it fills in and allow them to verify
it.
I chose [display name] meaning what's shown in the UI for the author of the message you are replying to. That seems to me to be the clearest, whatever its source.


Shal
https://groups.io/g/GroupManagersForum


locked Re: Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups AND quoted messages #bug

 
Edited

When it gets down to the implementation level, I would mention one detail, and that is to be careful of who the recipient is in the case of a PM to a forum post. I've seen people use "reply to sender" here and think they were replying to the originator of the thread instead of to the specific message within a thread that they clicked "reply" on. For that reason, I think PM should display to the user the addressee [EDIT: or call it "recipient" - whatever you want to call "who this message is going to" - username, or display name, or email address, or whatever - figure that out later] it fills in and allow them to verify it.
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. 

It's dumb to buy smart water.


locked Re: Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups AND quoted messages #bug

 

On Mon, Jul 4, 2016 at 05:36 pm, J_catlady wrote:
Yes. Or, the "PM" function would be called instead of the "reply" function. 

Brian, possibly this is what you meant, but you described it terms of a button. I'm not down to "buttons" yet. :-) 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. 

It's dumb to buy smart water.


locked Re: Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups AND quoted messages #bug

 

On Mon, Jul 4, 2016 at 05:19 pm, Brian Vogel wrote:
On those groups the "Reply" link or button itself should be substituted with "Private Message to Sender."

Yes. Or, the "PM" function would be called instead of the "reply" function. 

I can't imagine the purpose of a group where the default amounts to private e-mailing from person to person with minimal sharing with the group. 

Believe it or not, I've seen a few yahoo groups like that.

--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. 

It's dumb to buy smart water.


locked Re: Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups AND quoted messages #bug

 

On Mon, Jul 4, 2016 at 04:52 pm, Shal Farley wrote:
I think Brian mentioned that he would expect (and prefer) that a PM be a wholly separate thing: not carry in the subject line nor a quote from the original message. If that's what you're imagining

It is NOT what I'm proposing or imagining. I'm nowhere near that level of detail yet. You can do that, you can not do it. Doesn't matter. (And I think you/we probably DO want to do it.) I'm proposing ("imagining") only that "PM" be a separate function or program that can be invoked both (a) from a member's profile (and possibly also the member list, as you suggested) and (b) from the context of reading messages onlist. (And possibly from other places, as far as I know.) In the context of (b) the function could automatically add the subject line, probably subject to change by the user. In the context of (a) the user would enter their own subject line. 

I don't think a forum PM generally produces an email message carrying the replyer's email address. Send to Sender does - it really is an offlist message

Who cares? These are details. In Groups.io, "PM" would mean "private message" complete with the email that goes out. The psychological intention and action are still most similar to PM in a forum, namely: that person, and ONLY that person, gets the message content.

It's the intention and content - namely, "personal" or "public" - that I keep focusing on. Everyone else is jumping into details of dropdowns, screens, language, etc. I don't care about those and I think they're easy to solve once you decide on the bigger picture.


-- 

J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. 

It's dumb to buy smart water.


locked Re: Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups AND quoted messages #bug

Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

On Mon, Jul 4, 2016 at 04:52 pm, Shal Farley wrote:
In particular Groups.io supports groups in which the default reply is direct to the other member, and not to the group.

On those groups the "Reply" link or button itself should be substituted with "Private Message to Sender."  The option for "Reply to group" could be a part of a the hidden "more actions" hierarchy, in that case.

I can't imagine the purpose of a group where the default amounts to private e-mailing from person to person with minimal sharing with the group.  It defeats the whole idea of an online group.  This would be so simply "implemented" by having the good, old-fashioned "PM by clicking on profile link" method.  Clearly, however, others differ.

Whether I use it or not, the whole concept is "overcomplicated" as it recreates something that can be easily achieved on any and every "conventional" forum I participate in if a person knows how to copy and paste.

--
Brian

A lot of what appears to be progress is just so much technological rococo.  ~ Bill Gray


locked Re: Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups

 

Sue,

To: o Group o Sender (display name), o Moderators
CC: |_| Sender (display name)
or
CC: |_| Moderators
I wonder if an additional option might be to forward to the moderators?
That's what I imagine the third radio button, Moderators, would do.

But see my recent reply to Maria for another way to arrange these options. It also provides the option to forward ("Report") a message to the moderators. The selection for that would be in the "More" menu - which is a feature of the test version.

That reply will make more sense if you're looking at the test version when you read it. If you haven't seen it, imagine a "More" button where you currently find the "All Posts By This Member" link. In that menu is that function, and in my proposal others (such as Report).

Shal


locked Re: Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups AND quoted messages #bug

Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

On Mon, Jul 4, 2016 at 04:52 pm, Shal Farley wrote:
Brian may correct me, but I don't think a forum PM generally produces an email message carrying the replyer's email address. Send to Sender does - it really is an offlist message with far more in common with a group message than with a "PM" in the forum sense.

 I've seen, and experienced, it implemented with and without the sender's (as in the message sender's - not the original poster's) e-mail address.  I've seen that in both within-site PM system, hybrids where an e-mail notification is sent about a PM having come in, and where the PM itself is sent by e-mail.

Actually, the most antiquated venue I participate on has a hybrid system where the PMs are both in-site and sent to you via e-mail, including the address of the person who PM-ed you, and that e-mail message also duplicates the private message content.  I've never understood the point of the actual message content being conveyed in two separate venues, neither of which is public.
--
Brian

A lot of what appears to be progress is just so much technological rococo.  ~ Bill Gray


locked Re: Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups AND quoted messages #bug

 

Brian,

There is zero need to reinvent anything here.
I disagree. Groups.io has features beyond what you've described for the web forums in your experience.

In particular Groups.io supports groups in which the default reply is direct to the other member, and not to the group.

Any proposed solution for the "mixups" must work for those groups as well. That's not just "overcomplication", that's accounting for core functionality.


Shal
https://groups.io/g/GroupManagersForum


locked Re: Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups

 
Edited

Maria,

Agree. For this reason, in both scenarios that i was trying to imagine
visually that would not happen. You'd have to work to get to the non
default option. This would prioritize group default, encourage the group
culture, and be a really strong mechanism to avoid a mixup.
Try this on for size, I have an idea that I think may satisfy our goals as well as J and Brian's. Maybe mock it up for me. Or just mock me for it ;-)

-----

Context: viewing a message. Either by itself (Single Message View) or in a list of messages (Thread View or Expanded View). Using the test version as the visual model.

1) In a group with the Reply To option set to "Group" it looks just like it does here in beta@. The change is in the More menu, where two new options exist: "Reply to [display name]" and "Report to Moderators".

a) In the case where the member wishes to reply to the group he/she clicks on the Reply link and the message composition tools open up. But underneath the body text box there are not two destination choices: only "Send to Group", "Preview" (in Markdown mode) and "Discard".

In this context I prefer to label that button "Send" because the word "Reply" is the link that opened these tools, and I don't want to confuse initiating the reply with completing it.

b) In the case where the member wishes to make an offlist reply to the sender, the user finds that option in the "More" menu as "Reply to [display name]. Clicking that opens up the message composition tools, and changes the "Reply" link to "Reply to [display name]" - showing that the function has been changed. Meanwhile, the More menu item changes to "Reply to Group", providing a means for the member to change his/her mind.

I would also want "Offlist - " prefixed into the subject box, and the Send button changed to "Send to [display name]". I think this would also merit a line of explanatory text (above or below the Send button) that tells the user that the message will have his/her email address in the From address, and will be sent only to the replyee (that non-word again).

c) In the case where the member wishes to report a message to the moderators, the user finds that option in the "More" menu as "Report this message". From there every thing functions analogous to (b): substituting "Report this message" for "Reply", "Fwd: Moderators - " in the subject box, and "Send to moderators". Again, an explanatory text regarding the From address may be merited.

2) In a group with the Reply To option set to "Sender"

Everything works as in (1), except that the initial state has "Reply to [display name]" displaying in place of "Reply", and "Reply to Group" in the More menu.

3) In a group with the Reply To option set to "Moderators"

Everything works as in (1), except that the initial state has "Report to moderators" displaying in place of "Reply", and "Reply to Group" in the More menu.

-----

To keep it simple I haven't included in that description any option to CC the reply to someone else (direct to the replyee in the case of Group, or to the moderators in the case of replyee). I think those can be handled with a checkbox somewhere, but for now that's just an elaboration on the main idea.


Shal
https://groups.io/g/GroupManagersForum