Loomio

Diaspora Usability Discussion

ST
Sean Tilley Public Seen by 87

I think it'd be good for us to consider the interface of Diaspora as a whole. While most of us could make the case that it's pretty good, I think we could make some great proposals for something along the lines of Gnome's "100 Papercut" initiatives, in which we can take long-standing usability issues, and consider how best to fix them.

ST

Sean Tilley started a proposal Tue 12 Feb 2013

Set Publisher to be "Public" by default Closed Tue 26 Feb 2013

This is a usability trend I've noticed with a lot of Diaspora newcomers. Many newcomers will make Limited posts when in reality, they meant to make a public one to introduce themselves. This hurts discoverability, and frustrates the user. If a newcomer is too frustrated, they will likely end up just going back to Facebook.

I propose that we have the Publisher on Diaspora be set to the Public scope by default, with the option being more clear that the user would only need to use the drop-down to make a post private to an Aspect. Public could sit at the top of the drop-down, and anything else could be located under a separator underneath that.

Agree - 3
Abstain - 2
Disagree - 11
Block - 0
16 people have voted (10%)
M

matl
Agree
Tue 12 Feb 2013

Maybe we could also distinguish "public" into:
- public for the whole internet
and
- public for the users pod

G

goob
Disagree
Tue 12 Feb 2013

Have put my reasons in a message. I'm not keen on this, but not vehemently against it, with the right safeguards. However I think there are better ways of approaching the problem.

T

tortoise
Disagree
Wed 13 Feb 2013

Prefer "limited" as default. However, if the user could set one's own defaults in the preferences panel settings, then everyone could be made happy.

For newbies, I think it's important to default to private until they get the hang of it.

JR

Jason Robinson
Disagree
Wed 13 Feb 2013

I don't think it should be default but maybe we could add a setting to user profile to allow user to choose which one is default.

For sure it shouldn't be default for new users.

F

Flaburgan
Disagree
Wed 13 Feb 2013

The default option has to be private.

We deal with different issue there. About the newcomer who post his first message in private, there is already a sentence encouraging him to post in public, isn't it ?

L

L3MNcakes
Disagree
Thu 14 Feb 2013

I agree that "Public by Default" is not really in the spirit of what Diaspora* is about.

DU

[deactivated account]
Disagree
Sun 17 Feb 2013

In terms of privacy, push people to think a second time before publishing a public post is a good thing. So I prefer "Limited by default". A "Public by default" option in Settings could be a good compromise for people who often publish public posts.

TS

Tom Scott
Disagree
Mon 18 Feb 2013

Instead of giving users a default which they will eventually not use, we should instruct them how to control their posts' visibility.

TS

Tom Scott
Disagree
Mon 18 Feb 2013

Instead of giving newcomers a default which they will eventually not use, we should instruct them how to control their posts' visibility.

MV

Moritz Voss
Abstain
Wed 20 Feb 2013

I agree that public as default would create a slew of potential problems, especially once/if the community grows to a size where posting to aspects becomes a reasonable affair.
Would it be possible to make a post public after the initial creation?

JH

Jonne Haß Tue 12 Feb 2013

Great way to start a discussion with a proposal, no explanation in my vote, since I had not enough space.

I don't think this fits Diasporas ideals. Diaspora is not Twitter, it's not about throwing out your meaning about something but about communicating with your contacts.
On the second note, Diaspora is about providing reasonable defaults, ensuring your privacy. A reasonable default is something that protects you from accidentally saying something in public, by making it a conscious decision.

Also nothing against moving that separator one line up, it's a totally distinct thing to consider that shouldn't have been mixed into this proposal IMO.

ST

Sean Tilley Tue 12 Feb 2013

Okay, that's a fair point. I just think it would be good usability to portray a logical distinction between Public and Private posting. I think we could accomplish a good visual distinction in several ways.

G

goob Tue 12 Feb 2013

Loomio ate my sodding comments. I spent ages editing it so it was short enough to go with a vote.

I think this has dangers. I'd prefer the default to remain private. As Jonne says, don't introduce things which encourage accidental leakage of data.

I think the real answer is clear documentation for newcomers, not this change to the default posting setting.

I could accept this proposal if it were possible to change one's personal default post setting in one's user settings. However, I still think it would be best to set the default as private, and allow people to change their default setting to public if they want to make lots of public posts. I suggested this a year or two back, but it never got taken up.

You could make the 'public/aspects' button more obvious, or, if someone pressed 'post' without having changed that setting, flash up a warning 'This post is set to be visible only to people in yours aspects. Do you want to make it public?' Again, people would need the option to disable this message, as it would get annoying after a while.

G

goob Tue 12 Feb 2013

Thanks for rainsing it, though, Sean - it's a useful discussion to have.

T

tortoise Wed 13 Feb 2013

For the first time in my life, I agree with JH.

I think that it should default to private as well.

However what about having a setting in preferences for more advanced users? If one wants to have public as the default, one can set it as such?

i think it's too "dangerous" to have it default to public.

I'd also like to add that I like Sean's suggestion to have a visual indication that something is a public post vs. limited.

Just having a faint color in the background of the post might be OK.

For example, the contrast here in loomio's UI has a very light beige in the margins. Something even of less contrast than that perhaps...

T

tortoise Wed 13 Feb 2013

Additionally, I think having a Pod-only option as a great thing to have, we have it on Calispora.

As more people begin to host their own pods, they may only want to post to locals.

But yes, a distinction between Public -> the Internet and Public -> Pod only would be fantastic.

R

RAM518 Wed 13 Feb 2013

I think the ability for users to create pages for events or groups would be useful features to help build sub-communities and allow people to set up parties, gatherings, online events or live-stream notifications for interested users. I'd be interested in pulling that code in for pod-only posting capability madamephilo, is it available from your pod code link, which file/s should I look at?

FS

Florian Staudacher Wed 13 Feb 2013

I don't think this would be good as a default setting for the same reasons that were already brought up.

Instead, if we really want to let the user post his first message publicly, we could add a box in the "getting started" flow we already have, that would explicitly post a public message and append all the hashtags the user specified. (of course, that would have to be optional)

G

goob Wed 13 Feb 2013

I would like the possibility of 'public within Diaspora' as opposed to 'public to the whole internet (including web crawlers/data miners etc)'. Would it be too confusing to have three levels of public posts: pod only / all of Diaspora only / worldwide? Or perhaps in the user settings, you could choose which of these three you wish to be applied to posts you select as public. Workable?

Someone on Diaspora has just mooted the idea of having a suggestion to include the #newhere tag in their first post in the 'getting started' instructions - would that work? (Separate issue from this vote, but Florian mentioned the getting started flow.)

JH

Jonne Haß Wed 13 Feb 2013

I think more than one level of public is already too confusing. Can a pod only public post be reshared? What will happen if it's reshared?

Keep in mind that people already don't get why tags aren't instantly available on all pods with all posts. Please do not add to that opaqueness by having some public posts on one pod and others not. Diaspora should be one network and we should solve the local community issue properly with groups.

L

L3MNcakes Thu 14 Feb 2013

My original thoughts here were to just allow the ability to change aspects after a post is published. I did some research and it seems like this has been proposed before but couldn't really be implemented due to technical limitations. Is this still the case?

My next thought was to add some sort of, "Are you sure?" UI before a post is submitted and include with that a "Don't ask me again" for the users who want to skip the extra step. I can potentially see this as burdensome, but figured I would throw it out and see what other people think.

G

goob Fri 15 Feb 2013

Jonne, I agree with that. My preference would be for 'public' to mean 'available to all of Diaspora' rather than 'available to the entire internet' - or, better, to allow each user to choose which of those two options would be the case when s/he selected 'Public' for a post. Then there would only be one 'Public' option on the post, but it could mean different things to different users, depending on their preference.

JH

Jonne Haß Fri 15 Feb 2013

That seems nearly impossible to do to me. Sure we could generate a massive robots.txt with thousands of entries but that would build an index of posts that actually shouldn't be found that easily.

Then what to do with the tag streams? Disallow search engines to index them? Exclude posts that should be found via Diaspora from them and only include those posts in the followed tags streams of the logged in users? Generate different streams depending whether a user is logged in?

I mean all that is solvable. But not in a clean manner. And is it worth the effort? In the end if one thinks that information should not be publicly found, in my opinion, do not make it public. Once it's out in a public manner, you'll never know who reads it. If it is in search engines or not doesn't make that much of a difference.

G

goob Sun 17 Feb 2013

Fair enough. Thanks for replying, Jonne.

JR

Jason Robinson started a proposal Sat 8 Jun 2013

Change the way long posts are collapsed ("Show More" -functionality) Closed Sat 29 Jun 2013

Outcome
by Jason Robinson Tue 25 Apr 2017

Will create new with first option dropped

I've grown very tired of how aggressively Diaspora* cuts posts that are not even long, but just have a normal size photo in the stream and a paragraph of text. It's really annoying to constantly having to click "Show more" tens of times while scrolling the stream.

Personally I would rather collapse long (or uninteresting) posts than have to open up posts.

I propose we change the functionality in the following way:
1) Increase the threshold how posts are collapsed to something more lilberal - 3 times the current value or equivalent depending on how the logic works.
2) Add a configuration variable in user settings allowing user to disable the whole post collapsing feature totally.
3) (if user has disabled feature in settings) Add a "collapse post" icon that floats next to the post on the left hand side of it when the user hovers over the post with the mouse. The icon should also disappear when mouse does not hover over the post. Visually same way the "Back to top" button hangs on the bottom, a little transparent.
4) (if user has disabled feature in settings) Add a keyboard shortcut to allow collapsing current post from the keyboard (if navigating in that manner).

IMHO this would keep largely the current way but allow for more freedom for those who would rather hide long posts than have to open up constantly.

Agree - 2
Abstain - 0
Disagree - 1
Block - 0
3 people have voted (2%)
JR

Jason Robinson
Agree
Sat 8 Jun 2013

Obviously as I suggested it :)

G

goob
Disagree
Sun 9 Jun 2013

See reasons in discussion. Don't like point 1 - otherwise fine.

JR

Jason Robinson started a proposal Sun 9 Jun 2013

Change the way long posts are collapsed ("Show More" -functionality) Closed Sun 23 Jun 2013

I’ve grown very tired of how aggressively Diaspora* cuts posts that are not even long, but just have a normal size photo in the stream and a paragraph of text. It’s really annoying to constantly having to click “Show more” tens of times while scrolling the stream.

Personally I would rather collapse long (or uninteresting) posts than have to open up posts.

I propose we add the functionality:

1) Add a configuration variable in user settings allowing user to disable the whole post collapsing feature totally.

2) (if user has disabled feature in settings) Add a “collapse post” icon that floats next to the post on the left hand side of it when the user hovers over the post with the mouse. The icon should also disappear when mouse does not hover over the post. Visually same way the “Back to top” button hangs on the bottom, a little transparent.

3) (if user has disabled feature in settings) Add a keyboard shortcut to allow collapsing current post from the keyboard (if navigating in that manner).

This would keep the current way available but allow for more freedom for those who would rather hide long posts than have to open up constantly.

Agree - 13
Abstain - 1
Disagree - 0
Block - 0
14 people have voted (9%)
G

goob
Agree
Sun 9 Jun 2013

Can't really argue with great user flexibility; if there's call for this I support it.

S

Shmerl
Agree
Mon 10 Jun 2013

Good proposal that increases usability.

H

hewiak
Agree
Mon 10 Jun 2013

how much work would a upper bar (view) option be that gave: short, medium, long, all (or some variation of these)?

BG

Bruno Guerra
Agree
Fri 21 Jun 2013

make more senses with long contents

N

Nick
Abstain
Sat 22 Jun 2013

agree with the option but don't think it's a priority and personally prefer things the way they are!

G

goob Sun 9 Jun 2013

There are too many parts to your proposal, Jason. I can agree with points 2–4 but not with point 1, so I guess I'll have to vote no.

I think it's good how long posts in the stream are condensed, and am happy with the amount shown before the 'show more' bar.

My understanding is that a post is only condensed in this way on the second and subsequent viewings of it, so that the first time you view any post, you see it in full. Given, this, I think it's a good idea that posts seen on repeat viewings are condensed, so that you can navigate your stream more easily while still having the opportunity to read even long posts on the first time you view them. If this isn't working properly, and posts are being condensed on first viewing, perhaps a bug report is needed in Github.

So: yes to user configuration, collapse post icon and keyboard shortcut. (I'd say make the keyboard shortcut, perhaps E for expand, a toggle between condensed and expanded view.)

But no for making the default length of condensed views longer. As it is at the moment is fine.

JR

Jason Robinson Sun 9 Jun 2013

New proposal without the suggestion of increasing the show more threshold :)

Of course now the proposal isn't really that important to vote on since we just need code and it's unlikely anyone will object to more user freedom - except if for code architecture reasons. But made the proposal anyhow to replace the previous one.

G

goob Wed 12 Jun 2013

One good thing would be to disable the collapse function on post previews.

JR

Jason Robinson Thu 13 Jun 2013

@goob I'd say that is more of a bug in the preview than a feature addition