March 10th, 2015 01:19

Feature update: Volume

Rob Guthrie
Rob Guthrie Public Seen by 363

Exciting news! Today we’re releasing our Volume feature.

Volume controls how much you hear from a group or a discussion.

There are four settings for Group Volume:

  • Loud - this will email you whenever there is activity in the group.
  • Normal - this will only email you with important activity: new discussions and proposals, outcomes etc.
  • Quiet - this switches all the emails off. You’ll see new group activity on the dashboard.
  • Mute - this switches all emails off. You’ll only be notified if someone @mention’s you. This will also remove the group from your dashboard and the “Yesterday on Loomio” digest email.

By default, when a user joins a group, their Group Volume will be Normal. This means everyone will be emailed when you start a new discussion, raise a proposal, or set a proposal outcome.

When a discussion starts, it will have the same Volume as its group.

By default, when you participate in a discussion, the Discussion Volume will be changed to Loud, so all further activity will be emailed to you. You can change that behaviour on your email preferences page.

Where to next ?

Volume is a key piece of Loomio 1.0. One of the reasons we’re excited about releasing this today is that it brings us closer to a public Loomio 1.0 release.

Volume is an evolution of our notification system, previously called Following, which we've been developing with the input of the Feature Ideas group. Special thanks to everyone who has given us feedback and helped us make this release what it is.


So, what do you think? Do these settings make sense to you? Could the language be any clearer? How do you like to keep up with Loomio activity?

Marianne Elliott

Marianne Elliott March 10th, 2015 02:33

This makes great sense to me and I really love this feature, thanks so much.


Presley March 10th, 2015 04:35

Great work! What counts as "activity" and "proposal events"? Are "important events" just "proposal events" plus new discussions?

Rob Guthrie

Rob Guthrie March 10th, 2015 04:49

Activity is comments, votes, new proposals, proposal outcomes.

Yes @presley I think you're right - If proposal events are just new proposal, closing soon, and outcome created.

Rob Guthrie

Rob Guthrie March 10th, 2015 04:57

@presley Thanks for that question! I've updated the volume dropdown on discussion page to be specific.

Greg Cassel

Greg Cassel March 10th, 2015 05:14

Congratulations on this grand milestone guys. :)

Alanna Irving

Alanna Irving March 10th, 2015 09:25

This looks really really great! Awesome job :) Loving the evolution from "following" to this.

I have some tiny text tweak suggestions for the settings page to make things slightly clearer...

  • It wasn't really clear to me what "do not change" meant on the global settings page. When would someone chose this?

  • To change the volume of just one of your groups, visit that group's page. [add] You can also customise the volume for subgroups.

  • "@mentions When someone wants to get your attention, they'll @mention you. If you turn this off then people might not be able to contact you." - it's not very clear whether checking the box or unchecking the box is "off" due to they way this is phrased. Suggest "Email me when someone @mentions my name, regardless of other volume settings" or somthing.

  • "Proposal closing soon. Sent 24 hours before a proposal closes, this might be your last chance to participate in a decision." Suggest "Email me 24 hours before a proposal closes" because it's not 100% clear this is an email setting the way it's phrased.

Rob Guthrie

Rob Guthrie March 10th, 2015 09:40

Great suggestions @alanna.

'Do not change' is necessary so people can submit the form without changing their all groups' volume.

FYI: I'm pretty sure that we can remove the Proposal closing soon option from the email settings page, as those notifications are part of "Normal" Volume.

What do you think about changing "Normal" to "Medium"?

Also I'm pretty much totally certain that we should have "Turn off notifications from this group" in the email footers.

James Wilson

James Wilson March 10th, 2015 16:27

Excited by what has been presented and the ongoing discussions, Well done.

Carlos Gallo Garavano

Carlos Gallo Garavano March 10th, 2015 18:13

Filter Following

With the "Volume" function, disappeared filter "Following" of each group.

Now on the dashboard of Loomio user account, it is impossible to filter groups, that I am not Following.

All discussions of all groups are visible

I suggest restoring function: filter "Following"

Carlos Gallo Garavano

Carlos Gallo Garavano March 10th, 2015 18:47

The same situation with discussions (I'm not following) of each group

Carlos Gallo Garavano

Carlos Gallo Garavano March 10th, 2015 19:28

Is it possible, do not assign default volume and is the user that selects among the four options?
Loud - Normal - Quiet - Mute

Rob Guthrie

Rob Guthrie March 10th, 2015 20:26

@carlosgallogaravan It will be possible to filter your dashboard by volume level in the future.. so you could filter to only see normal and loud content.

In the meantime.. if you Mute a group then you will not see it in your dashboard, but I understand that this is slightly different to toggling following. Sorry for the inconvenience!

The default volume level for a user might be cool, but it would be more development and we needed to draw the line somewhere to balance functionality and speed of development. It might happen in the future.

Rob Guthrie

Rob Guthrie March 10th, 2015 20:29

Actually.. @carlosgallogaravan, I think that we should not restore "Following" but rather add "Participating" as a filter.

This would filter discussions to only those you have been participating in. IE: This button will filter discussions to only show those that you have started, or commented in, or voted upon etc.

Carlos Gallo Garavano

Carlos Gallo Garavano March 10th, 2015 20:31

Thank You @robertguthrie
I already tested the group Quiet and Mute, but continues to visible in dashboard

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett March 10th, 2015 20:33

FYI about 600 of the 180,000 visits to the dashboard in the last month have had the "following" filter active.

Carlos Gallo Garavano

Carlos Gallo Garavano March 10th, 2015 20:38

Thank You @richarddbartlett
Interesting information, which allowed to make decisions

Rob Guthrie

Rob Guthrie March 10th, 2015 20:39

@carlosgallogaravan it might be a bit confusing.. if you set the group to mute then it will not show in dashboard - BUT! discussions might have their own volume level overriding the group setting. In those cases you will need to mute the individual discussions.

Why would that happen? Because of the migration from following to volume, we have set all discussions that you were following to have volume normal or loud.

What can you do about this?
* Ensure that "Change discussion volume when I participate" (in the email settings page) is off.
* Set the group to Mute.
* Set any discussions that still show up in the dashboard to mute also.

New discussions will start as muted so they will not show up.

Thanks for the feedback and patience @carlosgallogaravan, it's helpful. Maybe we need to ask the user if they want to mute/change all their existing discussions when they change the volume for a group?

Carlos Gallo Garavano

Carlos Gallo Garavano March 10th, 2015 20:43

Thank You @robertguthrie
I will verify following your comments

Matthew Bartlett

Matthew Bartlett March 10th, 2015 20:49

Thanks for this work & lovely consultation, @robertguthrie.

One thing I'd like is an option to mute a discussion from the inbox.

Rob Guthrie

Rob Guthrie March 10th, 2015 21:45

@matthewbartlett that'll be in the L1.0 inbox.

Matthew Bartlett

Matthew Bartlett March 10th, 2015 21:50

@joshuavial ^

Joshua Vial

Joshua Vial March 11th, 2015 03:55

Awesome, looking forward to muting all the things.

Carlos Gallo Garavano

Carlos Gallo Garavano March 11th, 2015 13:43

Attached is a way to identify the four options volume

Name: Total, Normal, Minimum and Mentioned

Meaning of the symbols from left to right:
1- When I was mentioned
2- Information on the dashboard
3- Summary activity 24 hours
4- New discussion
5- Activity proposals
6- Activity in discussions

I hope I explained properly and allows to improve the use of volume

Rob Guthrie

Rob Guthrie March 11th, 2015 18:02

Wow, @carlosgallogaravan that's really cool. Definitely worth thinking about.

Carlos Gallo Garavano

Carlos Gallo Garavano March 11th, 2015 18:11

@robertguthrie Are the advantages of working in teams and sharing


Olover March 11th, 2015 22:10

Thanks for thinking about all this. I would just say that the label normal gives an idea of what people should select (or will influence people to select that option if they don't have a strong opinion themselves), having an effect on how people use Loomio. And I don't think that that option is necessarily the one that should be encouraged (or at least there could be differing opinions about that).

What if we use other labels such as all / most / some / only @mentions? These labels are in line with the idea of "information", since they describe the level of information one would receive, not the metaphor of "volume". This might imply looking at the metaphor of "volume" again, which I like in theory but I don't think works well with designations for the volume levels.

And there's a distinction between getting emails for those trigger actions, and getting notifications and/or a listing of missed activity on the dashboard and/or inbox, which are intra-Loomio notifications. I think that the "volume" setting should be clear about whether the user will receive an email or will just see that activity once they log onto Loomio.

I also think that people should be able to decide to mute or unfollow certain discussions, with the default being following. This would reduce the annoying effect of being always notified of everything inside Loomio without having to opt out of all notifications all together. You can opt out, but you have to do so for the specific discussion you don't want to follow anymore. My thinking here is that if people are allowed to opt out in general, and not on a discussion-by-discussion basis, they may do that and then miss out on things they might have contributed to if they had been notified. (Often people get emotional or fed up about a certain topic, and decide they've had it with Loomio as a whole, and then don't go back to readjust their settings once they feel more positive about things - because they're not being notified and might think nothing is happening!)

I am saying this because the mockup above seems to be for general settings, not discussion-specific settings. So that's another distinction to keep in mind.

I hope I'm on the right track here?

Carlos Gallo Garavano

Carlos Gallo Garavano March 11th, 2015 23:22

@olover I agree with your comments.
My proposal can be improved
Are general settings, each discussion and more complicated with increasing personalization.

Rob Guthrie

Rob Guthrie March 12th, 2015 02:17

I also think that people should be able to decide to mute or unfollow certain discussions, with the default being following.

You can do this. You can set the group level to Normal or Loud, and mute any particular discussion.

Rob Guthrie

Rob Guthrie March 12th, 2015 02:19

Now that we've released this, I don't think we'll be reconsidering the metaphor used for a long time. We've got to move on and this seems good enough to move forward with.

Greg Cassel

Greg Cassel March 12th, 2015 03:52

I like the metaphor and I don't consider "normal" to necessarily be the right or proper thing to do, haha. I really appreciate your thoughtful reflection and detailed engagement here @olover . (Bearing in mind I'm just a community member like you.) You have lots of good ideas.

Rob Guthrie

Rob Guthrie March 12th, 2015 04:47

It's true! I've also really appreciated your feedback @olover.

I think that it's just too much for me to be reconsidering this stuff now.

I need to duck out of volume thinking to work on other stuff just as intently.

Additionally I feel like I've looked at it for sooo long I can't be objective about it, and I just have to hope I've done a "good enough" job at this point. You are welcome to keep discussing it.. but I think I will mute the thread (haha!) and ask people don't mention me for a while.

Rob Guthrie

Rob Guthrie March 12th, 2015 04:52

Note: I'm still interested in bug reports! Just not redesign stuff until we get the whole L1.0 out the door.

Carlos Gallo Garavano

Carlos Gallo Garavano March 12th, 2015 07:53

Probably my fault for not knowing English and use google translator. Apologies if I interpreted wrongly

In recent reviews of this discussion, some users commented improvements or notify errors and should not exist complaints about the amount for suggestions that are written.

Another issue or story is that members of Loomio, have time and priorities to implement them.

Personally I do not feel I mentioned and I will continue writing my suggestions and comments.

It is also true that a lack of feedback, may be the failure of Loomio

Anake Goodall

Anake Goodall March 13th, 2015 22:32

this is a brilliant value add @robertguthrie thanks much!

Matthew Bartlett

Matthew Bartlett March 15th, 2015 23:30

Unsure it's working properly — I just got a notification about an outcome statement in a discussion I'd muted.

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett March 16th, 2015 00:37

Notifications ignore Volume at this point.

Matthew Bartlett

Matthew Bartlett March 16th, 2015 00:57

@richarddbartlett … though the label on Mute says "do not notify unless @mentioned"

Matthew Bartlett

Matthew Bartlett March 19th, 2015 20:35

I think this is still a bug: This proposal is turning up in my inbox, though the conversation it lives in is muted.