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locked 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


 

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.


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


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,

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


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
 

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



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
 

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