Loomio
Tue 29 Jul 2014

Feature update: Following and participating by email

RDB
Richard D. Bartlett Public Seen by 642

We’ve just launched a new system called following that makes it easier to keep up to date with the content you care about. When there are new comments in threads your are following, you'll receive them immediately by email, and you can reply to them by email too.

There are two new filter buttons on the dashboard, unread and following.

Unread shows you all the content you haven’t yet read (i.e. the same content that you used to go to your Inbox to see.)

Whenever you participate in a thread or someone mentions you, you will be following it, and new activity from then on will show up under your following filter in the app.

You can also manually opt in and out of following individual threads:

When you go to your dashboard, you’ll see all the most recent activity as usual. Click the new following button to will filter out everything apart from the content you are following:

If you really want to stay up to date with everything in a group, you can opt to follow everything in it:

By default, you’ll also be emailed immediately with any new content, and you can reply directly to the emails and they will show up in the app. If you don’t want to receive these emails, you can configuring the new email preferences here:

We're really excited about this feature - let us know in the comments if you have any questions or feedback. Thanks so much for your contributions so far that have refined the design to the point it is now ❤

JW

Jochen Walter Tue 29 Jul 2014

It seems nice to have! Do I get it right that in the eMail settings all my groups and subgroups will be listed and I can choose the watching?

RDB

Richard D. Bartlett Tue 29 Jul 2014

Yep that's right @jochenwalter :)

CT

Chris Taklis Tue 29 Jul 2014

instead of "watching" isn't better "following"???

but you should create a page with all the "watching" subjects and teams so someone can "unwatch" easy through this page with these subjects/teams.

MPR

Miguel Prados Rodriguez Tue 29 Jul 2014

Hi @richarddbartlett I think it is a good idea, we use it in Redbooth task management tool and it works, it is quite simple, when someone starts a discusion you are notified by default and you can just clic in "Not watching" to stop following that discusion.

MS

Michaela Spangenburg Mon 4 Aug 2014

This looks great. When will this be implemented?

AI

Alanna Irving Mon 4 Aug 2014

@michaelaspangenbur soon! We're making progress on it this week, then we'll test it and release it soon after.

MS

Michaela Spangenburg Mon 4 Aug 2014

Thanks! Eagerly awaiting it, thanks for all your hard work!

TA

Tracey Ambrose Mon 4 Aug 2014

I like it

Z

zack Tue 5 Aug 2014

I think would help a lot keeping up with the ideas you are most interested in. The dual filtering it's cool

SWS

Like it. Is there potential for confusion if people can also 'pin' threads on their homepage, as discussed elsewhere, or is this an alternative to 'pinning'?

AI

Alanna Irving Tue 5 Aug 2014

Hi @sionwhellens there are two features around pinning on the roadmap, one for admins to pin a discussion to the top of a group, and another for users to star discussions across any of their groups.

Where do you see the potential confusion?

JL

Jon Lemmon Tue 5 Aug 2014

Looking really good. I think you've pretty much nailed it for an initial iteration.

I personally found the options in "When would you like to be emailed?" a little bit mind-bendy, but that might be just me.

AI

Alanna Irving Tue 5 Aug 2014

thanks @jonlemmon - any suggestions for improved options in those email settings?

JL

Jon Lemmon Tue 5 Aug 2014

@alanna sure. I think this would make more sense to me:

Email me...

  • A daily summary email of any discussions I’ve missed
  • When a proposal is created or about to close
  • When someone mentions me
  • When there is new activity in discussions I’m watching
AI

Alanna Irving started a proposal Mon 18 Aug 2014

The new "Following" feature makes sense to me Closed Mon 25 Aug 2014

Outcome
by Alanna Irving Mon 27 Feb 2017

Thanks for all the feedback! The feature has been released.

Please check the updated info in the discussion context and let us know if there’s anything confusing about the new Following feature, and any feedback you have.

Agree - 27
Abstain - 0
Disagree - 0
Block - 0
26 people have voted (2%)
PC

Phill Coxon
Agree
Mon 18 Aug 2014

Awesome - so need this. Great work!

MC

Malcolm Colman-Shearer
Agree
Mon 18 Aug 2014

Can't wait!

SDW

Stijn De Winter
Agree
Mon 18 Aug 2014

Good idea

ME

Marianne Elliott
Agree
Mon 18 Aug 2014

Makes sense to me :-)

RJ

Raphaël Jadot
Agree
Mon 18 Aug 2014

Good improvement!

RB

Robert Beck
Agree
Mon 18 Aug 2014

Give it a try.

VM

vivien maidaborn
Agree
Tue 19 Aug 2014

feels intuitive and useful

JF

Jordi Faxedas
Agree
Tue 19 Aug 2014

Sounds great!

RP

Ross Phillips
Agree
Wed 20 Aug 2014

helpful as the number of groups you belong to grow and the number of discussions in each group

SL

Saul Lozano
Agree
Thu 21 Aug 2014

Indeed! It does make sense as seen in other platforms like Quora.

BK

Benjamin Knight
Agree
Thu 21 Aug 2014

I like this very much :)

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Fri 22 Aug 2014

Lookin' swish!

JK

Joop Kiefte (LaPingvino)
Agree
Sat 23 Aug 2014

Seems really logical.

AI

Alanna Irving started a proposal Mon 18 Aug 2014

The new "Following" feature makes sense to me Closed Mon 25 Aug 2014

Outcome
by Alanna Irving Mon 27 Feb 2017

Thanks for all the feedback! The feature has been released.

Please check the updated info in the discussion context and let us know if there’s anything confusing about the new Following feature, and any feedback you have.

Agree - 27
Abstain - 0
Disagree - 0
Block - 0
26 people have voted (2%)
PC

Phill Coxon
Agree
Mon 18 Aug 2014

Awesome - so need this. Great work!

MC

Malcolm Colman-Shearer
Agree
Mon 18 Aug 2014

Can't wait!

SDW

Stijn De Winter
Agree
Mon 18 Aug 2014

Good idea

ME

Marianne Elliott
Agree
Mon 18 Aug 2014

Makes sense to me :-)

RJ

Raphaël Jadot
Agree
Mon 18 Aug 2014

Good improvement!

RB

Robert Beck
Agree
Mon 18 Aug 2014

Give it a try.

VM

vivien maidaborn
Agree
Tue 19 Aug 2014

feels intuitive and useful

JF

Jordi Faxedas
Agree
Tue 19 Aug 2014

Sounds great!

RP

Ross Phillips
Agree
Wed 20 Aug 2014

helpful as the number of groups you belong to grow and the number of discussions in each group

SL

Saul Lozano
Agree
Thu 21 Aug 2014

Indeed! It does make sense as seen in other platforms like Quora.

BK

Benjamin Knight
Agree
Thu 21 Aug 2014

I like this very much :)

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Fri 22 Aug 2014

Lookin' swish!

JK

Joop Kiefte (LaPingvino)
Agree
Sat 23 Aug 2014

Seems really logical.

SP

Steven Palmer Mon 18 Aug 2014

If I follow a public group, will it show under 'groups' ?

RDB

Richard D. Bartlett Mon 18 Aug 2014

Great question @stevenpalmer - right now you can only follow groups you are a member of, but your question points to the next step in this development :)

MI

mix irving Mon 18 Aug 2014

I'm interested in:

  • what happens when i unfollow a conversation then someone at-mentions me
  • is there a case for 'passively followed' versus 'explicitly followed' (thinking of this in relation to detected versus selected locale)
  • what does the inbox conversation look like with each message update i get (do i get the prior two messages as a reminder if context or just one message)
JB

John Brooker Mon 18 Aug 2014

I might be thick but when I first read "Unread" I thought it was a verb like Unsubscribe". Could you use "Not Read" instead?
I quite liked the "Watching" instead of "Following". I am fed up with following people...

RDB

Richard D. Bartlett Mon 18 Aug 2014

Thanks @mixirving

  • When you unfollow a conversation and someone mentions you, you will be following it again. That might be a problem we that want to fix, or it might be minor.
  • 'Followed' can be true, false, or nil - does that answer your question?
  • The emailed conversation looks just like a Github email thread: all the messages will share the same subject line so they will be stacked together into one thread. By default, you will get the 'new discussion' email, then if someone mentions you, you will receive every subsequent piece of activity as a new email on that same thread.

Thanks for that feedback @johnbrooker, it's good to hear what words make sense. We started with 'Watching' and got a fair amount of push-back from different sources saying 'Following' makes more sense :)

MC

Malcolm Colman-Shearer Tue 19 Aug 2014

I haven't quite got my head around how many emails I could end up getting a day with this new feature. Any chance that at some stage, the followed conversation could be shuffled to the top of the "Yesterday on Loomio" emails?

RG

Rob Guthrie Thu 28 Aug 2014

Ok, We're live. Expect a bit more of an announcement soon.

J

Joum Thu 28 Aug 2014

Suggestion: For the inbox filter "unread" I would like to clear the unread so I can see what is new.

Or is that already possible?

Also, previously, weren't the unread separated into the groups?

I will start marking the discussions I wish to follow.

AI

Alanna Irving Thu 28 Aug 2014

Thanks @lbjoum - keep the feedback coming! We know it won't be perfect the very first try and it's useful to know what improvements people think are important.

RDB

Richard D. Bartlett Thu 28 Aug 2014

Things I want to fix immediately:

  • make it more obvious how to clear the filters
  • make a 'mark as read' button
RG

Rob Guthrie Thu 28 Aug 2014

How would people feel about removing the (Loomio) from the from field in
emails?

MC

Malcolm Colman-Shearer Thu 28 Aug 2014

@robertguthrie What would the new email look like? Would it just say "notifications@loomio.org"

RG

Rob Guthrie Fri 29 Aug 2014

I'm feeling a real need to hide a group from my dashboard, just as i could
from inbox.

So taking a stab at an implementation, how about on the group page, rather
than following on/off. We have "Hidden, Normal, Following" selector for
"volume" or "notification level" of the group.

I'm sure there are plenty of others who don't want to leave a group, but
don't want to track it on their dashboard either.

SF

Sean Farmelo Fri 29 Aug 2014

Yeah not being able to clear things from particular groups is annoying. Since the change to the new system it has suddenly picked up loads of old comments from groups like loomio community and I'm unable to remove the threads from my dashboard without viewing each one individually.

RG

Rob Guthrie Fri 29 Aug 2014

Sorry about that Sean. We'll add a mark as read button real soon!

AT

Aaron Thornton Fri 29 Aug 2014

Just realized people are probably not yet following the Loomio code group. Feedback:
https://www.loomio.org/d/n0bJBwqZ/notification-label-on-inbox-needs-to-reflect-filter

MI

mix irving Sat 30 Aug 2014

I'd like to suggest the following button breaks intuition a little:

normally a button is a verb, and describes the action that will happen when you click it.
This button describes a state instead... and you have to intuit what clicking it might do

further, because you're expecting it to be an action, you might guess that this button would do not following ... so is this the 'unfollow' button ... but with bad english .. or a toggle?

AT

Aaron Thornton Sat 30 Aug 2014

Then your suggesting 'unfollow'?

MI

mix irving Sat 30 Aug 2014

That's one solution.

Or a field which shows state and a button which toggles between them

e.g.
[following] [on | off]

RG

Rob Guthrie Sat 30 Aug 2014

@jonlemmon do you have any thoughts re: "Not following" "Following" on the buttons?

MI

mix irving Sat 30 Aug 2014

alert(hello)

MI

mix irving Sun 31 Aug 2014

sorry @joopkieftelapingvi , I don't understand.
This is a thread about the new 'following' feature.

are you asking a question about when some translation work will be merged? please feel free to email me about that : mix@loomio.org

RDB

Richard D. Bartlett Sun 31 Aug 2014

@mixirving do you think your experience of the "state button" (as opposed to "verb button") might be improved if it responded to you immediately when you clicked it?

MI

mix irving Sun 31 Aug 2014

No, i think it's the styling that's confusing. Button generally suggests
action.

The filter buttons for unread work because of their different size, page
position, and the excellent minimal use of the framing word 'filter'.
They're also showing a toggle type situation.

I think if you wanted to do auto change, then you could use a star you can
click, that toggles like the gmail one AND also toggles the grey word
'following/ not following'.
Would be easy to glance at and read one you knew the symbol but might be
messy on page

JL

Jon Lemmon Sun 31 Aug 2014

@robertguthrie yeah, I think it should say Follow/Unfollow. And keep the icon the same the whole time (the speaker with all the bars visible).

MB

Matthew Bartlett Sun 31 Aug 2014

I feel a bit swamped by Loomio emails now, but worried about 'unfollowing' discussions I care about (but still only want to see once a day either by visiting loomio or getting the Yesterday on Loomio email).

AI

Alanna Irving Sun 31 Aug 2014

Matt, try following them but turning off emails for each comment

MC

Malcolm Colman-Shearer Sun 31 Aug 2014

Me too! Having said that... Here I am, in my inbox, replying to a Loomio
comment 1 min after it happened. That's pretty cool!! And as soon as I
click Send + Archive button, it's gone from my inbox!

JL

Jon Lemmon Sun 31 Aug 2014

Otherwise, if we keep it a "state button" then I think it needs to be a dropdown with descriptions, like the way they do it in Discourse.

GitHub's watch button is really interesting because it's actually a hybrid of the two approaches.

MB

Matthew Bartlett Sun 31 Aug 2014

@alanna Thanks, but I do still want to get emailed when people at-mention me (because that's much more likely to benefit from my immediate attention than other random activity in threads I follow).

JL

Jon Lemmon Sun 31 Aug 2014

@robertguthrie Ah, I just checked out twitter, and I like their approach the best for the following button:

Follow/Following/Unfollow

The button goes a highlighted colour once you're following, and when you hover over it it goes red and shows "Unfollow".

With this approach you could still keep the helper text underneath the button basically the same.

JL

Jon Lemmon Sun 31 Aug 2014

@matthewbartlett @alanna yes, this is why earlier in this discussion I suggested untangling those two options by making email settings the following:

Email me…

  • A daily summary email of any discussions I’ve missed
  • When a proposal is created or about to close
  • When someone mentions me
  • When there is new activity in discussions I’m watching
RDB

Richard D. Bartlett Sun 31 Aug 2014

Unfollowed discussions will be included in the Yesterday on Loomio email

JW

Jochen Walter Mon 1 Sep 2014

How can I make threads "read" without opening every single thread? For example threads in the translation subgroup about languages I don't understand...

JV

Joshua Vial Mon 1 Sep 2014

Umm, how do I mark conversations as read without clicking into them @robertguthrie @richarddbartlett @alanna ? That was the single most useful screen I used and I thought it was remaining unchanged.

Really hoping it's coming back as the view of all my groups discussions in a single page and having to click into a thread to get rid of the notifications feels like the bad old days with or without following.

JV

Joshua Vial Mon 1 Sep 2014

phew, just found https://www.loomio.org/inbox is still active so i'm a happy camper - might be useful @jochenwalter

JW

Jochen Walter Mon 1 Sep 2014

No, @joshuavial, this is not what I meant. With the Inbox button I can see all threads with unread comments. But there are also threads which I don't need or want to read and I like to have the inbox button clear when I've read all what is useful and interesting to me. Could I explain what I want? (Who can answer my last question? Only God or my "Alter Ego"? ;-))

CT

Chris Taklis Mon 1 Sep 2014

also a bug or a problem came...

all the new discussions that are made you are following be default. and they are coming notifications and emails all the time!

JK

Joop Kiefte (LaPingvino) Mon 1 Sep 2014

@christaklis that's a new feature, you can configure in your settings now that you don't want this. Note that you can follow groups or just follow specific threads. I would recommend that you just follow specific threads in this group, and follow the complete group for small groups you make for things like holiday planning etc.

CT

Chris Taklis Mon 1 Sep 2014

ok. thanks.

MB

Matthew Bartlett Mon 1 Sep 2014

@richarddbartlett Feels a little odd that followed discussions that I've received a bunch of emails about get re-emailed in Yesterday on Loomio.

JW

Jochen Walter Mon 1 Sep 2014

I disabled all email for now until there is a better solution. I propose that if I enable "Yesterday on Loomio" I am only emailed once a day, also for the followed ones. There should be a second choice like "email me every single action in followed threads"
What do the others think?

AI

Alanna Irving Mon 1 Sep 2014

@jochenwalter do you mean you'd like a daily summary only of activity in threads you are following?

AI

Alanna Irving Mon 1 Sep 2014

@joshuavial what would be your ideal "clear" or "mark as read" experience using the dashboard filters?

Would a classic feature using tickboxes (tick the ones you want and then click "mark as read" - also would have a "select all" option at the top) be what you're after? Seems like it would be kinda ugly but might be the right functionality.

I don't think we're going to have an easy way to order by group on the dashboard like there was on inbox for a little while. I think the easiest way to do that right now would be to visit each group and then filter by unread.

You are correct that the old Inbox is still active at http://www.loomio.org/inbox - we will leave it up there until we work the kinks out of following.

JW

Jochen Walter Mon 1 Sep 2014

@alanna No, I would like to have the followed and the not followed in a daily summary. And if if I choose the second option "email me every single action in followed threads” then I need a daily summary of the not followed threads and a single mail about every single action of followed threads. Clear?

JV

Joshua Vial Mon 1 Sep 2014

@alanna my ideal clear would be a cross next to each message which immediately removes it from the list and a button to clear all from a group.

I actually want it exactly like the inbox is currently and while I realise you've had feedback that it's confusing for some it is the most important part of loomio for me.

The biggest pain I have with the dashboard is all messages unsorted by group - it means a ton of context switching and it is a much easier cognitive task to be able to visually scan each group, choose the ones to read and dismiss the rest with a single click.

My frustration at having the inbox taken away was at the level of "I hate this tool and don't want to use it again" so I would suggest really being sure that others don't feel the same.

TA

Tracey Ambrose Mon 1 Sep 2014

Can we have "When I'm @mentioned, or there is activity in threads I'm following." separated in two.
I like to be emailed if I'm specifically mentioned so I can address any questions etc right away, but I don't want to see all the activity in the threads I'm following unless I login to loomio. I really don't like getting the emails for all the threads I'm following.

JV

Joshua Vial Tue 2 Sep 2014

I'm the same as tracey

MC

Malcolm Colman-Shearer Tue 2 Sep 2014

+1 to that

J

Joum Tue 2 Sep 2014

https://www.loomio.org/inbox Thank feck for that.

I have given up on https://www.loomio.org/dashboard?unread=true

@joshuavial I'm with you. The /inbox makes my task easier. I love it. I am so glad I don't have what I imagine your inbox looks like.

RG

Rob Guthrie Tue 2 Sep 2014

@lbjoum @joshuavial

The inbox is Baaaack. Thanks for your patience and feedback.

RG

Rob Guthrie Tue 2 Sep 2014

@malcolmshearer @traceyambrose splitting the mentioning off of following now.

MC

Malcolm Colman-Shearer Tue 2 Sep 2014

Yuss! Thanks @robertguthrie

RG

Rob Guthrie Tue 2 Sep 2014

@malcolmshearer @damiansligogreen @traceyambrose we've spit mention settings from following settings now. You're free!

DS

Damian Sligo-Green Tue 2 Sep 2014

Freedom!

AI

Alanna Irving Tue 2 Sep 2014

Update

Thanks for the feedback everyone! All your comments were super helpful, and enabled us to know just what we needed to work on first to improve on the first release of Following and the associated email notifications.

Here are the changes we made today:

  • Separate @mention from following notifications - now you have two different tick boxes in email settings
  • if you are mentioned and were not already following the discussion, the first email you get will provide extra context so you know what the mention is in reference to.
  • [square bracket] in subject line of emails so it's clear they are Loomio notifications
  • included proposal title in new vote email so even if someone doesn't state a position it's clear what it's about.
  • The inbox icon now links back to inbox instead of unread on the dashboard.
  • The footer in email was hidden, now it's revealed - so everyone knows that they can reply by email and the link to change their email settings is more obvious
J

Joum Tue 2 Sep 2014

Thank you loomio people.

MB

Matthew Bartlett Wed 3 Sep 2014

I wonder if it would be possible to integrate following & the email new discussions & proposals settings? I'd like to be emailed new discussions in those groups that I'm following (not them I ain't).

Keeping track of both following & group email settings is a lot to manage for my little head.