Topics

locked Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups


 

On Sun, Jul 3, 2016 at 06:40 pm, Shal Farley wrote:
Mark also asked for other ideas on reducing the mixups.

True, but I am conveniently forgetting that. :-) 
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J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. 

It's dumb to buy smart water.


Maria
 

On Sun, Jul 3, 2016 at 06:34 pm, J_catlady wrote:
Perhaps you meant that for only one of your mockup scenarios. 

Yes, I was trying to explain how that scenario might work (in my head). Not necessarily endorsing it ;). Just trying to feel the different ideas visually. I find this helps me understand other POVs sometimes better than words, when discussing design stuff. 

Maria 


 

On Sun, Jul 3, 2016 at 07:06 pm, HR Tech wrote:

Just trying to feel the different ideas visually. I find this helps me understand other POVs sometimes better than words,

I had, and have, absolutely no visuals in mind. Zero at this point. To my way of thinking that's all premature and can be solved later. First decide what. Then how.:-) 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. 

It's dumb to buy smart water.


 

J,

(It's true that if the group's default is "reply to sender," people
would adjust to and expect the default; but that would seem to be the
rarer case.)
There may be fewer groups with that setting, but I wouldn't want their user experience to be sub-standard. In that case I think you still want to have a Reply link in the expected place below the message, and not have them forced to hunt for a PM button or link near the sender's icon & name.

Perhaps for clarity extend the link to say "Reply to [Display-name]" in place of just "Reply".

That leaves you with the conundrum of where to put the Reply to Group option, assuming the group allows that. You could have both links there, except I suspect that puts us back into the mixup situation: too easy to click the wrong one, and little or no guidance as to which is the group's expectation (default). The only saving grace is that you haven't composed your message yet, nor sent it in the same act. And on mobile it might make that line of links a little crowded.

That's part of why I prefer sticking with a simple "Reply" link there, and expanding the "who" choice along with the subject and body composition boxes.

A halfway measure making this more similar to email would be to AT LEAST
have the designated recipient at the top of the screen, instead of the
bottom. Even in email, you don't compose your message and at the bottom,
click on "reply to" whoever.
Absolutely.

I started with the proposition that "who" and "send" really need to be separate controls. I'm less wedded to having the "who" choice above the Subject versus between the message text and the Send buttons, but I'm happier with it above. At least on desktop that is, I haven't given much attention to mobile.


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


 
Edited

On Sun, Jul 3, 2016 at 07:20 pm, Shal Farley wrote:
There may be fewer groups with that setting, but I wouldn't want their user experience to be sub-standard.

I was not proposing that their experience be any different from any other group's experience. I made that statement to explain why I thought your email analogy was slightly off. 

I started with the proposition that "who" and "send" really need to be separate controls

I agree, but I also strongly feel that "who" is decided by the user before "compose" and certainly before "send". And that therefore, the system should ask for the "who" before the rest of it.

I don't care about placement - my suggestion about putting the "who" at the top instead of the bottom was another bandaid to solve what I perceive of the problem that the system does not really ask for it first. It's a halfway measure.

I don't care if the buttons are purple, how large they are, or what language they use. I ONLY WANT to be asked "whom" I am intending to write to before I am asked to write it. EDIT: I don't mean "be asked." I mean, "specify." I should specify which action I want to perform: "reply to group" or "PM sender" (or whatever language is used).  I see these as two distinct actions, both psychologically and in the resulting effects of the action. And I think the system should treat them as such. Only after specifying what I want to do should the system give me the tools to do it (the compose screen, "send" or "cancel," etc.).

--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. 

It's dumb to buy smart water.


Maria
 

On Sun, Jul 3, 2016 at 07:20 pm, Shal Farley wrote:
There may be fewer groups with that setting, but I wouldn't want their user experience to be sub-standard.

Agree. There are many groups I participate in on Y! (besides our own free cycle type one) that have reply to sender as a default. The experience in those shouldn't feel different - especially as some may be (as in our case) a subgroup of a main group where the default is the opposite. 

For the above reason, as well as because so many new users can be totally unfamiliar with how a platform such as this (or Y! ) works, I think it's important to have those "....to group" and "...to sender" stated. Those words help educate a newbie and they reduce potential for error and mix ups.  

Separately, after my experience the other day, showing the reply options to someone who has never used an email group, I'd like to see the  word private in there somewhere if at all possible. For those coming here from the world of social media networks and perhaps forums too, it may help.

Maria 



 

J,

I should specify which action I want to perform: "reply to group" or "PM
sender" (or whatever language is used). I see these as two distinct
actions, both psychologically and in the resulting effects of the
action.
I disagree with this, and here's the reason: by forcing the user to click one or the other you've diminished or lost the element of guidance and landed us back in a version of the "member mixup" scenario. As Brian says, some won't pay attention and they'll click the "wrong" one.

Also, having both choices available at the outset is almost an invitation to go against the group's default. With an equal choice mechanism I think many group owners would opt to eliminate the alternate choice altogether. I view that as an unfortunate outcome that could be avoided by providing better guidance in the UI.

On the other hand, with a single Reply link that opens up the composition tools, including a "who" option pre-selected according the group's setting, then in the 99% case (the user wants to take the group default action) the user doesn't have to think about or dither over which link to click. It is only in the rarer case that the user might choose to change the To: radio button.

On the bigger picture, I think this is an example of where Maria's right: in UI design you often do have to consider "how" along with "what" - because both have a strong impact on the user experience and user behavior.


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


 

I agree to completely disagree. :-)
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author. 

It's dumb to buy smart water.


Maria
 

On Sun, Jul 3, 2016 at 08:38 pm, Shal Farley wrote:
Also, having both choices available at the outset is almost an invitation to go against the group's default.

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.

When there is a group default, both reply choices ought not have equal weight. When you are selecting the non-default option you are somewhat going against group norms. Just think freecycle: if you see a lamp for sale and want it, you should be strongly guided to reply to sender and be fully aware you are doing such (because the sender will then have total disclosure of your email address) - if you are new and don't know this and can select group or sender with no guidance whatsoever, you are creating additional work for mods (if the group is moderated) or a bad experience for the reader. The UI must help with this.

    Shal Wrote:

       On the bigger picture, I think this is an example of where Maria's right: in UI design you often do have to consider "how" along with "what" - because both have a         strong impact on the user experience and user behavior.


Thank you. I was trying to explain why visuals are so important to me and you said it better than I could. The same applies to architectural design, interior, a gallery show, etc. It's useful to do renderings to figure out solutions so one can see if the actual experience within that design is successful at solving the problems and accomplishing the goals (without creating new problems) .

Maria


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



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

 


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


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


 
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


 

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


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



 

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.


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


 

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.


 

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.