Temperature checks

Nicolas Wormser Public Seen by 59

I just had the need for this today. For now we can only use proposals, but I think at some point it might be useful to differentiate between formal proposals and temperature checks.

One might want to do a temperature check to see on how people feel about a proposition/an idea before a formal proposal is made.

The main difference with a proposal would be that a temperature check would have no outcome and you would not be expected to justify your choice. Also I think the 4 buttons would be replaced with a scale from -2 (very bad idea / I refuse to do it etc…) to +2 (sounds awesome / looking forward to it / count me in etc…). We could also use colours, emoticons etc…
It would be very similar to a poll tool, but I think it is important that the tool permits people to show dissent to what's being proposed (a classic poll tool doesn't necessary allow to do this).

I've added that feature to the Loomio functional overview (that will be migrated to Trello at some point)


Richard D. Bartlett Thu 21 Feb 2013

Totally agree. I think the trick to making this feature work really well and not devolve into a majority-rules polling feature is to make the outcomes fuzzy. E.g. maybe a slider from 'Agree' to 'Disagree', or a colour spectrum or something.


Alanna Irving Thu 21 Feb 2013

+1 for fuzzy color spectrum


Aaron Thornton Thu 21 Feb 2013

Emoticons are becoming very popular in apps and can add some character to the app. It is very easy to convey feeling and are also updatable or even customizable like in the mobile 'line' app. Maybe I spent too long in Japan, they love cute emoticons.


Alanna Irving Fri 22 Feb 2013



Benjamin Knight Wed 27 Feb 2013

@nicolaswormser, I really really like this idea! I've been harping on about exactly this feature for months (I've even been referring to it as 'temperature check' too).

If this was designed elegantly I think it could be a really nice first step to cracking the problem of concurrent proposals.

Definitely agree with @richarddbartlett that the key is to keep it fuzzy, so it doesn't turn into a quantitative adversarial poll. I like the idea of a fuzzy colour-slider (maybe generating a cumulative colour for each idea based on the summed collective preference), presented in a context that makes it obvious that the feature is to get a very rough gauge of how people feel.

Maybe this is one of the things we could workshop at the UI re-design session in a few weeks (optimistically)?


Matthew Bartlett Wed 27 Feb 2013

In my head, FWIW, I'd called these 'suggestions' and they'd accumulate in the right hand panel, be likeable, and the most-liked of a bunch of suggestions would somehow be promoted to being a proposal.


Benjamin Knight Wed 27 Feb 2013

@matthewbartlett , the worry is that it would end up being used as a poll. What would be the advantage to having the level of preference quantifiable?


Richard D. Bartlett Wed 27 Feb 2013

I was imagining an expression of preference that was sortable but not strictly quantifiable.


Matthew Bartlett Thu 28 Feb 2013

@benjaminknight I guess I'm not yet terrified of polls (perhaps I should be). It's not the quanitifiable-ness that's attractive to me, it's that I think it would be easier to implement, simpler for users to understand (likes are already part of the loomio vernacular), and give slightly more information (who likes the suggestion).


Aaron Thornton Thu 28 Feb 2013

@matthewbartlett I made a mock up with @richarddbartlett in our balsamic library which went down this line, but calling suggestions 'ideas', but we decided it would force a particular user flow and remove the organic nature of discussions.


Matthew Bartlett Thu 28 Feb 2013

@aaronthornton Mind posting a link to that? Couldn't find a search function in balsamiq.

Maybe temperature checks & ideas/suggestions are both candidates for future plugins?


Aaron Thornton Tue 5 Mar 2013

@matthewbartlett https://loomio.mybalsamiq.com/projects/ideas/grid
Great idea a plugin feature of this nature would work once we improve our main app interface and apis more. Although I think we are going to need a built in temperature check as a self moderating facilitation tool.


Matthew Bartlett Tue 5 Mar 2013

@aaronthornton Alack I don't seem to have access to that particular mockup.


Jon Lemmon Wed 6 Mar 2013

@matthewbartlett you should now


Joshua Vial Fri 8 Mar 2013

I think the idea of temperature check and a sliding scale from red, orange, yellow, green where you choose a colour and write a comment would be perfect.

I think it would be better to have this always available though as a mood gauge where people can answer the question about 'how are you feeling about this discussion'. As more people vote the colours would get brighter and as they atrophy over time the colours would fade (css transparency filter or something).

That way it feels more living and less static than a vote and would provide a place where people could post meta level comments which you can see when you hover over the mood chart.


Richard D. Bartlett Fri 8 Mar 2013

We've been talking about doing a pretty serious overhaul of the UI. As part of this I think it could be a good idea to include some designated space for experimental ideas that we can deploy in specific groups. Possibly not true 'plugins' per-se, but proto-plugins. Decaying colored mood sliders for instance, or my XY scatter plot (agree <=> disagree vs care <=> don't care).

It would be nice to have a place for developers to play with ideas.


Josef Davies-Coates Mon 8 Jul 2013

I'd realliy like to see this feature too. In some cases I really want to be able to do dotmocracy-style proposal/ idea brainstorming before making a formal proposal.