Topics

locked Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups


Maria
 

On Sun, Jul 3, 2016 at 05:55 pm, Shal Farley wrote:
I also prefer the term "Offlist" to "Private", as the word "private" carries a lot of baggage.

I was just on instagram and noticed their mechanism to make a comment not be public (sort of their reply to group equivalent). It's a greyed out arrow button to the left of where you write your comment, that turns green when you click it, and then adds the words " sending as direct message" above the comment area where you type.  This makes the comment go in to an inbox rather than on the group/public comment thread. I had forgotten that there "private" messages are referred to as DM's / direct messages.

I think they are referred to as Direct Messages on twitter and slack too.

Maybe that's useful info.

Maria


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

On Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 10:09 am, HR Tech wrote:
That's easy to solve: you make PM's opt in. 

 Actually, I'd make the PM default something that the group owner sets as part of setting up the group.

While I understand Duane's position, and actually share it for the most part, when it comes to being able to be private messaged the majority of setups are that it is on by default and off if the user turns it off.  This is another of those situations where I think that the most common presumption takes precedence over personal likes/dislikes so long as the user has ultimate control.  I know a lot of people who'd be really PO-ed if they found out that others were unable to PM them by default unless that had somehow been made very, very clear at the time of signing up or been a forced choice setting as part of signing up.

Here's a screen shot from another forum I use regularly of the detailed options for private messaging and what they call visitor messaging, which is a bit like a message wall:


--
Brian

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


Maria
 

Duane

That's easy to solve: you make PM's opt in. 

And by PM's - in this context- I'm not taking about replies to posts, which one opts into via participation. 

Maria



Duane
 

I really hate having to opt out of things. I know it's common place a lot of places to set things up that way, but really irritates me. I figure if I want to be involved in something, I can look to see if it's possible and/or sign up for it.

Duane


 

Maria,

Here you go. See attached. I hope I translated your proposal accurately.
Thanks! Looks great. The only thing missing (I belatedly realize) is an mockup of the initial page, prior to the user clicking one of the three choices, with the original message showing but no composition tools yet. In that image only the More menu would be open, showing the location of the other two choices.

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 ...
I get both of those concerns, but it seemed to me that in the usual case the added clarity of naming the replyee (now my favorite non-word) may outweigh the occasional awkwardness. Perhaps the button can be fixed at a generous width, with longer names truncated as necessary.

- 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.
I think that's a great feature in your mockup, but I think I'd do both.

Also I'd prefer if reply language were consistent on web/digest and emails.
I'll have to go look at that, but perhaps the link can say the same thing.

I also am a bit concerned about these drop up menus on mobile...but who
knows...
Yeah, I'm not as versed in mobile. I started with much the same idea, but using radio buttons in the compose window rather than the More menu. In this case I was trying for something that would meet the "Select who first" model and the More menu made a lot more sense to me than putting the radio buttons in the bar beneath each message.

Any way, here is your proposal translated visually. I hope that's helpful.
Yes! And again, thank you very much.


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


Maria
 

On Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 06:08 am, J_catlady wrote:
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. 

That's fixable in Shal's proposal, if instead of "reply" it says  arrow+"reply to group" (if that's the default. Vice versa if default is to sender) and then you would have the reply to sender option (or vice versa if default is sender) in the "more" menu.

That would make you decide before the composition window opens who you are writing to (although you could change your mind midway).

Same as in the 2nd mock-up shared previously, and in the 1st one the choice was more flexible as to the when you decide if you want to bypass the group default, but it was either one or the other - not both choices there equally, and you could change your mind midway.

As a side thought and it probably belongs in the thread about PM's, but it's been touched upon here: I think there are subtleties worth being mindful of with regards to private messages/PM's. A PM can come out of the blue (uninvited) and unrelated to a thread, whereas a private reply / reply to sender is a "Reply" - a response to a specific thread and conversation one has opened themselves up to via participation.

I am on one group ( a custom made email group/forum platform) where part of one's profile includes a checkbox which you unclick if you want to opt out of PM's. I'd imagine giving folks the option to opt out of that isn't a bad idea, but it probably should not interfere with receiving "replies" to one's posts or comments in threads.

Maria





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


 

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.


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


 

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.


 

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.


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


 

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.


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



 

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


 
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


Linda
 

Hi Mark,
Why can't Reply work the way it works when a Group Owner clicks on New Topic - but in addition to the Drop Down on the From line (to choose either his personal address or his owner's address), the To line would have a Drop Down as well - defaulting to the group default (to choose either Reply to Group or Private Message). The available Send button below should mirror the selection in the To line and should be switchable any time before the message is actually Sent.

Linda


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

Sue wrote, in part:  "additional option might be to forward to the moderators? I can't think of an occasion when somebody would need to cc in the mods to their reply (although I'm sure other people could come up with a situation where they would) "

Which is generally implemented with a "Report" button or link, in my experience.  Another of those things that, when present, virtually anyone except a complete newbie will recognize and understand its function.  It also prevents accidental misdirection without allowing the end-user to deal with addressing at all.

Breaking my own silence here because this is a new comment on a very old function.
--
Brian

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


Sue
 

On Sat, Jul 2, 2016 at 12:01 pm, Shal Farley wrote:

To: o Group o Sender (display name), o Moderators
CC: |_| Sender (display name)
or
CC: |_| Moderators

Shal, I wonder if an additional option might be to forward to the moderators? I can't think of an occasion when somebody would need to cc in the mods to their reply (although I'm sure other people could come up with a situation where they would) but I could imagine somebody wanting to complain/discuss a particular message with the mods and rather than starting a new mail to the mods' email address, this would be a quick way for them to forward the message in question.

Sue

 


Maria
 

On Mon, Jul 4, 2016 at 04:38 am, HR Tech wrote:
and be fully aware you are doing such (because the sender will then have total disclosure of your email address)

And as an observation (not suggesting this is the best way or to emulate) this must be why Y! actually specifies in expanded headers in a reply who replies will go to. If/when you change your reply from group to sender the text under the "TO" says:

"Reply to this message will be sent to: youremail @ domain.com"

and if you instead stay with the default reply to group it says:

"Reply to this message will be sent to groupname @ y groups . com"

Perhaps they got feedback about making it clear that replies to your reply to sender would land direct in your email inbox and vice-versa?

Maria