Topics

locked Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

J,

            I was trying to say that I feel that Shal's proposed "To:" with dropdowns or other hierarchy is just really overcomplicating things.

            Whether we change creating a PM to clicking on a user's name link, add it to the more button, or any of a variety of other techniques that I've not even mentioned or thought of we have eliminated the problem under discussion and, at the same time, used a broad protocol that most web forums users are already familiar with.

            Reply, Reply with Quote, etc. have always been an implicit 'to group/forum' in every other setting I've operated in over several decades now.  Just getting the "Reply to Sender" button removed solves most of the problem.  Then deciding how one invokes "Reply to Sender"/"Private Message" otherwise solves the other half.  Addressing is a non-issue and occurs automatically and as expected based on the action one is taking.

            I think at this point I need to bow out because I've said everything I need to say and will only end up repeating myself.

--
Brian

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


 

Brian,

I don't understand 100% what you're trying to say here, but I can't argue with keeping it simple or with separating the mechanism for a PM vs a forum response. I agree: there are general and implicit expectations already out there, despite the adaptations we as an internet "species" have had to make to coexist with monstrosities like Y!G.
--
J

It's dumb to buy smart water.


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

Personally, and this is my opinion, other than separating the actual invocation techniques for a PM versus a forum response, and including a tag on the front of a PM response indicating it is just that, the rest is just grossly overcomplicated.

Any and all forums I've participated on over decades have the clearly established practice of not having the person replying or PM-ing doing the addressing, and that's by intent.  The entire context into which your immersed, if you eliminate the "button problem" we currently have, dictates who you are responding to by how you create that very response.  

I really can't see the point in making a very complicated recreation of the wheel when the majority of people who've ever used any web forum other than this one already have very ingrained expectations about how these systems work.  If I thought the ability to address things just like e-mail was valuable it would be different, but I think it's another of those things that's utterly unnecessary and sure to be confusing to long-term online forums users.  It is not an exaggeration to say it has never, in my extensive experience, worked that way anywhere.  Implicit training and expectations matter, and there's a lot of that out there.
--
Brian

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


Maria
 

On Sat, Jul 2, 2016 at 12:01 pm, Shal Farley wrote:
But that does not mean I want to follow Y!Groups astonishingly bad example of implementing the concept

 Forgot to mention this before but actually the Y! Desktop version of this is, as we've established awfully confusing, meanwhile though, their mobile version is much simpler. 

You see (without having to expand headers) the TO field and it has a drop down that is set to the default group reply but which you can bypass by using the drop down to scroll to sender and various combos of group+ sender and related variations (I'm on mobile but I can list this later when back at my desk). There is also a FROM field (not sure if only admins see that- would need to check a group I'm not an admin in). 

So the Y! Mobile Version is definitely simpler and I'm surprised they didn't implement that on desktop.... 

That said, I still prefer the way groups.io currently has it and feel that adding the word private to the reply to sender button and perhaps moving the placement would be ideal for me). 

But just wanted to suggest that the Y! Mobile version may actually be a good example if indeed an alternate way of doing this is explored. And by that I mean, it's good if they'd applied it on desktop. It's not great on mobile because drop downs can be tricky with big fingers/small screens... Check it out on an iPhone that's not a plus size one if you haven't tried it before. I'd be curious to know what you all think. 

Maria 



 

Of course. That is only my opinion.
--
J

It's dumb to buy smart water.


Duane
 

On Sat, Jul 2, 2016 at 12:26 pm, J_catlady wrote:


Everything logical, psychological, convenient, intuitive, etc. points to
picking the recipient before composing the message.
But there are others, including me, that have the opposite expectations.

Duane


 

Shal,

On Sat, Jul 2, 2016 at 12:24 pm, Shal Farley wrote:

It would be nice if that could show in the subject line box on the web display, and not just in the outbound message

Agree, that would be great. This, too, would require choosing the recipient ("group" or "sender") before composing the message. Everything logical, psychological, convenient, intuitive, etc. points to picking the recipient before composing the message.

-J 



 

J,

As a side benefit to a UI that has "choose recipient first, compose
second," a private message could automatically start with that header or
something like it.
and later...

Interesting because I was about to suggest that the subject line for an
offlist message be *changed* to add the word "offlist," due to confusion
on the receiving end as well, not just the sending end.
I like this idea. If the "To" is chosen to be the individual sender then prefix "Offlist - " to the outbound subject line.

It would be nice if that could show in the subject line box on the web display, and not just in the outbound message (unlike the [grouptag]).



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


Maria
 

On Sat, Jul 2, 2016 at 12:01 pm, Shal Farley wrote:
Where the CC to the Sender appears only if group is selected, and the CC to Moderators appears only if Sender is selected.

Can you clarify again/further how this part would work? Why the option to cc? And would that kick in by choice or automatically? 

It's rare in my current Y groups that people cc group and sender, or vice versa in groups setup to reply to sender by default, and they never once have ccd moderators.

Maria 



 

Shal,

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

They combine two separate cognitive decisions into one action. As a general principle I detest that.

Nailed it.

Also: Glad to hear from you! I've been a bit worried. :-)

-J 



 

Mark,

Do you have other ideas on how to reduce these mixups?
I've always been uncomfortable with those two buttons. They combine two separate cognitive decisions into one action. As a general principle I detest that.

The one decision is "who am I addressing?". The other decision is "am I ready to send it?". My suggestion would be to make those be separate controls, and make the "who" a decision that one can make at any time before sending - before, during, or after composing the message.

Which means that a conventional placement for it would be above the message composition window. I'm not wedded to that, but I am strongly influenced by my preference for email over fora.

But that does not mean I want to follow Y!Groups astonishingly bad example of implementing the concept. I'll detail that if you want, but I don't really want to side-track this reply by exploring how not to do it.

The "forum" way to do it would be to completely separate the two concepts: Reply is only to the forum, if you want to say something to the sender there may be a Private Message button or link near the poster's name (if that member allows PMs). If you want to call the message to the moderators' attention there might be a "red flag" icon for that purpose.

I'm not in favor of changing to the "forum way" of handling replies, but it is another example of separating the "who" from the "ready to send" decision.

"Send", "Preview" (Markdown only), and "Discard" are logically connected. "Add Attachments" and "Insert Quoted Message" I think are out of place. The latter feel like composition tools, but I wouldn't want them to be HTML only (that is, those buttons should remain in Markdown and Plain Text modes).

I would put a row of "To" choices either above the subject (conventional email placement) or between the message body and the Send, Preview, and Discard buttons (which might be more friendly on mobile). Perhaps:

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

Where the CC to the Sender appears only if group is selected, and the CC to Moderators appears only if Sender is selected.


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


 

I think adding 'private' or 'Offlist' to the message title would solve the problem on the receiving end. On the sending side, along a similar vein, adding 'this is s private response' to the reply would solve (or go a long way towards solving) the problem. That could only (reasonably) feasibly be done by choosing the recipient (group or sender) before  composing the message. I see no downside to that and great advantages. Every Offlist message would be identified by both its title and it's beginning. (Why iPhone insists on capitalizing Offlist is a mystery to me. But I give up...;)

J

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 2, 2016, at 11:44 AM, J_catlady <j.olivia.catlady@...> wrote:

Yes, it's really bad and very error-prone on the receiving end. After receiving one of these, there's a further possible mixup on the part of the person replying to the reply, and things can go from bad to worse.
J

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 2, 2016, at 11:41 AM, Brian Vogel <britechguy@...> wrote:

I will add that I have no objection to the prefacing a pre-populated direct copy of the thread title with something like "Pvt:"  or  "OL:".

What I hate, hate, hate is not having any way to distinguish, just by looking at an e-mail subject, whether it's the next follow-up or a private message spin-off.  This is one of the reasons I don't use the e-mail interface at all anymore.  I do prefer a web forum regardless, but that little "feature" made me crazy.
--
Brian

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


--
J

It's dumb to buy smart water.


--
J

It's dumb to buy smart water.


Maria
 

On Sat, Jul 2, 2016 at 11:30 am, J_catlady wrote:
Posts crossing - just saw yours, glad you agree.

Sent from my iPhone

I agree and think it's a great idea.

in addition to addressing the issue you and Brian raised, having a word or something added to help specify in the subject in my inbox that it's an offlist reply will make it even easier for me to search my inbox for offlist replies when I do summary follow ups.

Maria 



 

Yes, it's really bad and very error-prone on the receiving end. After receiving one of these, there's a further possible mixup on the part of the person replying to the reply, and things can go from bad to worse.
J

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 2, 2016, at 11:41 AM, Brian Vogel <britechguy@...> wrote:

I will add that I have no objection to the prefacing a pre-populated direct copy of the thread title with something like "Pvt:"  or  "OL:".

What I hate, hate, hate is not having any way to distinguish, just by looking at an e-mail subject, whether it's the next follow-up or a private message spin-off.  This is one of the reasons I don't use the e-mail interface at all anymore.  I do prefer a web forum regardless, but that little "feature" made me crazy.
--
Brian

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


--
J

It's dumb to buy smart water.


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

I will add that I have no objection to the prefacing a pre-populated direct copy of the thread title with something like "Pvt:"  or  "OL:".

What I hate, hate, hate is not having any way to distinguish, just by looking at an e-mail subject, whether it's the next follow-up or a private message spin-off.  This is one of the reasons I don't use the e-mail interface at all anymore.  I do prefer a web forum regardless, but that little "feature" made me crazy.
--
Brian

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


 

Posts crossing - just saw yours, glad you agree.

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 2, 2016, at 11:29 AM, J_catlady <j.olivia.catlady@...> wrote:

Maria,

Adding the word 'Offlist' or 'private' to the title would solve the confusion issue that Brian and I have mentioned (and which I personally have found so egregious that I avoid the feature and advise group members to do the same), and would not take away from your ability to tell which thread the messages are coming from.

I do recognize the other issue you bring up, which is that some groups have 'private reply' as a default. But perhaps the interface could depend on which default is in effect.

J

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 2, 2016, at 11:17 AM, HR Tech via Groups.io <m.conway11@...> wrote:

On Sat, Jul 2, 2016 at 10:57 am, Brian Vogel wrote:
As far as I am concerned, a private reply should include nothing and the person composing same should make the subject whatever they want and do any cut and paste from the original post text manually.

I have the opposite take, which I think I mentioned the last time we discussed this. When I receive private replies, I find it extremely helpful to know which thread they "come from" and for the subject line to match the subject of the thread. I can see in the from field if it's from the group or an individual replying privately. 

Since I often post summaries of offline replies to our groups, having all the offline replies have the same subject helps me when I do this because they are so easy to find in my inbox. 

Also important to me is that when i get a private reply from a member of a group who never replies to group or posts to group, I recognize the email as being from my participation in the group and I'm not surprised and wondering "who is this?" "Where did they get my email?"

Separately, and unrelated, we have one subgroup set up that only allows private replies because group replies don't work there. It's great that this platform has this option to have both options or only one. 

Maria 




--
J

It's dumb to buy smart water.


--
J

It's dumb to buy smart water.


 

Maria,

Adding the word 'Offlist' or 'private' to the title would solve the confusion issue that Brian and I have mentioned (and which I personally have found so egregious that I avoid the feature and advise group members to do the same), and would not take away from your ability to tell which thread the messages are coming from.

I do recognize the other issue you bring up, which is that some groups have 'private reply' as a default. But perhaps the interface could depend on which default is in effect.

J

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 2, 2016, at 11:17 AM, HR Tech via Groups.io <m.conway11@...> wrote:

On Sat, Jul 2, 2016 at 10:57 am, Brian Vogel wrote:
As far as I am concerned, a private reply should include nothing and the person composing same should make the subject whatever they want and do any cut and paste from the original post text manually.

I have the opposite take, which I think I mentioned the last time we discussed this. When I receive private replies, I find it extremely helpful to know which thread they "come from" and for the subject line to match the subject of the thread. I can see in the from field if it's from the group or an individual replying privately. 

Since I often post summaries of offline replies to our groups, having all the offline replies have the same subject helps me when I do this because they are so easy to find in my inbox. 

Also important to me is that when i get a private reply from a member of a group who never replies to group or posts to group, I recognize the email as being from my participation in the group and I'm not surprised and wondering "who is this?" "Where did they get my email?"

Separately, and unrelated, we have one subgroup set up that only allows private replies because group replies don't work there. It's great that this platform has this option to have both options or only one. 

Maria 




--
J

It's dumb to buy smart water.


Maria
 

On Sat, Jul 2, 2016 at 10:50 am, J_catlady wrote:
Interesting because I was about to suggest that the subject line for an offlist message be *changed* to add the word "offlist," due to confusion on the receiving end as well, not just the sending end.

I think that if the system could automatically add the word "offlist" or "private message" that would be great! As long as the subject stayed the same (unless of course the user wants to manually override that as one can in email)




 

Haha!

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 2, 2016, at 11:13 AM, David P. Dillard <jwne@...> wrote:




I think this discussion is missing some very important input in this discussion. We should encourage quilting list owners and moderators to participate. They seem to know a great deal about handling threads!!!





Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
(215) 204 - 4584
jwne@...




On Sat, 2 Jul 2016, J_catlady wrote:

On Sat, Jul 2, 2016 at 10:53 am, Brian Vogel wrote:
The goals of private reply convenience and not having the options side-by-side in the standard thread reply
mechanism are not mutually exclusive.
Absolutely. Agreed.

--
J

It's dumb to buy smart water.


Maria
 

On Sat, Jul 2, 2016 at 10:57 am, Brian Vogel wrote:
As far as I am concerned, a private reply should include nothing and the person composing same should make the subject whatever they want and do any cut and paste from the original post text manually.

I have the opposite take, which I think I mentioned the last time we discussed this. When I receive private replies, I find it extremely helpful to know which thread they "come from" and for the subject line to match the subject of the thread. I can see in the from field if it's from the group or an individual replying privately. 

Since I often post summaries of offline replies to our groups, having all the offline replies have the same subject helps me when I do this because they are so easy to find in my inbox. 

Also important to me is that when i get a private reply from a member of a group who never replies to group or posts to group, I recognize the email as being from my participation in the group and I'm not surprised and wondering "who is this?" "Where did they get my email?"

Separately, and unrelated, we have one subgroup set up that only allows private replies because group replies don't work there. It's great that this platform has this option to have both options or only one. 

Maria