Notification enhancements



  • As part of my ignoring topics work, I added some code to filter notifications based on ignored topics and categories.

    But what about other notification filtering? The main thing is upvotes, I'm sure. Mentions are useful things, but the upvotes are a lot. But what makes sense for a filter?

    • Suppress them all?
    • Suppress all but the first?
    • Allow the first, then every 5th? 10th?

    User configurable? Site configurable?

    Discuss (on topic, please).



  • @boomzilla The rule virtually every notification-providing system gives is:

    • Notifications should be actionable

    In a forum context, that means basically replies and PMs and... that's about it.

    Since I'm sure a bunch of people like the system the way it is because they somehow give a shit about "likes", I'd recommend a single radio button with these two options:

    • Notify on like, follow, bookmark, replies, chat
    • Notify on replies, chat

    If you wanted to add a third "off" setting, that'd be ok too, although I'd wager 99% of people wouldn't use it.


  • sockdevs

    @boomzilla Re: upvote notifications

    personally i'd do:

    if ((post.upvotes < 10 && post.age < '7 days') || post.upvotes % 10 === 0) {
       Notification.issue();
    }
    

    that would give you nice feedback while the post is still "fresh" but prevent extended notification spam by things like the likes topic.

    i'd also make the cutover thresholds (10 and '7 days') user configurable with defaults. I suppose one should probably be able to turn off upvote notifications entirely too....



  • @accalia I want to be notified for replies even if it's been 47 years.

    And when the posts are less than 7 days old is when 99.9% of the upvote notifications happen, which I don't want to see. I also don't see what he date has to do with any of this. People interested in upvotes are still going to be interested in upvotes for posts over 7 days old; people not interested will never want to see them regardless of post age. Not to mention that from a user's perspective, rules like that just make the software's behavior unpredictable and scary (who would guess in a MILLION YEARS that the DATE determines how many notifications you get?)-- unless you put a giant paragraph somewhere explaining it to them, which still won't work because nobody will read it.

    I think you're way over-thinking the problem. Just a simple on/off toggle is fine. KISS.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @boomzilla said in Notification enhancements:

    User configurable?

    I'd go with what Flarum has: http://flarum.org/img/features/screenshots/notifications-preferences.png

    Some people may want upvote notifications, some don't. Same for bookmarks, replies, mentions, etc.



  • @asdf Even if we decide on the 2-position toggle, make sure whoever implements it does so flexibly-enough that we can move to the toggle each type individually UI later on if we decide to.

    BTW, why does the Email column have three states? Grey, Red X, Green Checkmark? I don't understand what Red X means. The user hasn't entered an email address yet? Perhaps? But one of them's a checkmark... which implies they have.

    Oh wait. Does Grey mean you can't get an email for that no matter whether you want to or not? Like if someone locks your topic, it's impossible to get an emailed notification of that? Yeah. Let's not do that. That's awful. And the UI's confusing.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @blakeyrat said in Notification enhancements:

    why does the Email column have three states? Grey, Red X, Green Checkmark?

    No idea. Maybe that's a global setting, which cannot be overridden?

    @blakeyrat said in Notification enhancements:

    Let's not do that.

    Agreed. I just want to be able to decide whether I get a notification/email for each type of notification.


  • sockdevs

    @blakeyrat said in Notification enhancements:

    Grey, Red X, Green Checkmark?

    Grey: Disabled by software/admin, you can't get emails for these

    Red: disabled by user, you won't get emails for these because youo said you didn't want them (or it was the default)

    Green: enabled by user, you will get emails for these because you said you wanted them (or it was default)

    thanks to facebook's notifications settings that's more or less the standard these days.

    still terrible design, but hey. facebook did it first so it must be right :rolleyes:



  • @asdf said in Notification enhancements:

    I just want to be able to decide whether I get a notification/email for each type of notification.

    That would be one easily understandable for even those with Thick-Skull Syndrome.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @accalia said in Notification enhancements:

    Grey: Disabled by software/admin, you can't get emails for these

    They could have at least added a lock symbol with a tooltip…



  • @accalia said in Notification enhancements:

    Grey: Disabled by software/admin, you can't get emails for these

    Things that are not available to the user, and the user has no way to make the thing available on their own, should not show up on the screen. This is 1984 UI design, guyz. Let's not back-slide to the 1970s.


  • sockdevs

    @asdf said in Notification enhancements:

    @accalia said in Notification enhancements:

    Grey: Disabled by software/admin, you can't get emails for these

    They could have at least added a lock symbol with a tooltip…

    it would have been better UI design to have a closed lock instead of the grey X yes.



  • @accalia You also shouldn't use a ginormous red X just to indicate "off". Checkboxes already have a perfectly fine way of indicating "off" that doesn't look scary (like you're about to delete something) to click.


  • sockdevs

    @blakeyrat said in Notification enhancements:

    @accalia You also shouldn't use a ginormous red X just to indicate "off". Checkboxes already have a perfectly fine way of indicating "off" that doesn't look scary (like you're about to delete something) to click.

    /shrug not gonna disagree, but Flarum ain't my app, if they want to ape facebook and facebook's terrible UX it's no skin of my neb.



  • @accalia Jesus. I know PewDiePie fans can be kind of dense. I'm talking about the UI, I wasn't somehow asserting that you invented it, your name appeared on the damned post because NodeBB put it there.

    And for the record, if the user can't toggle the option because it's disabled by an admin, the correct solution there is to simply not display it at all. I can imagine one scenario where you might want to:

    1. If the admin can easily turn the option on for a specific user
    2. If other users already have it turned on

    In that case, it might help with user questions like, "how some Sally sees this option and I don't?" But even then: wait until questions like that actually become a problem before "solving" that problem.

    Software's difficult enough for people without shoving a billion options they can't even use in their faces.


  • sockdevs

    @blakeyrat said in Notification enhancements:

    I know PewDiePie fans can be kind of dense.

    how is that at all relevant to the discussion at hand?

    @blakeyrat said in Notification enhancements:

    And for the record, if the user can't toggle the option because it's disabled by an admin, the correct solution there is to simply not display it at all.

    there are situations where showing the option is benefitial, such as the one you mention in your very next sentence.

    UX is not so cut and dry as it seems. and we don't know the history of the product. For example if Flarum previously supported those email notifications then removing the option entirely is incorrect because the user will be confused by the lack of the option that used to be there, particularly when the options are laid out in the grid pattern as they are for flarum. In this case it would be correct to continue to show the disabled option during a transition period. I think they chose the wrong symbology, a lcok with explanatory text and/or tooltip would have been more correct. even more correct would ahve been dropdowns woth options like "do not notify me", 'notify me', and 'notify me via email" would have been most correct, with the last option being missing for those settings that did not allow email notifications



  • @blakeyrat said in Notification enhancements:

    Things that are not available to the user, and the user has no way to make the thing available on their own, should not show up on the screen.

    But they wouldn't know that it's a thing they could ask for, either, so I could see why you'd want to still identify it as a setting.



  • I have a ghost notification. Despite having all notifications cleared, there's a stubborn little "1" stuck, as it were, on the end of my bell.



  • @tufty I get those now and then. Try the "Mark all notifications read" option on the menu.



  • I generally want to see each like, but if I have an unread "like" notification and another "like" notification streams in for the same post I'd be fine with them combining (and not generating a second notification).



  • @tufty said in Notification enhancements:

    I have a ghost notification. Despite having all notifications cleared, there's a stubborn little "1" stuck, as it were, on the end of my bell.

    Bonus Tip: Try double-clicking it



  • @tufty said in Notification enhancements:

    I have a ghost notification. Despite having all notifications cleared, there's a stubborn little "1" stuck, as it were, on the end of my bell.

    :giggity:

    @boomzilla said in Notification enhancements:

    I get those now and then. Try the "Mark all notifications read" option on the menu.

    There's probably one just far enough down that it isn't showing up in the drop-down. The See all notifications link should show it, though.

    @julianlam said in Notification enhancements:

    Bonus Tip: Try double-clicking it

    Click it three times, you're playing with it.



  • @anotherusername said in Notification enhancements:

    There's probably one just far enough down that it isn't showing up in the drop-down. The See all notifications link should show it, though.

    Yeah, the problem there is that it's not easy to differentiate between unread and read. Seems like anything that isn't read should be shown as a priority, no matter how old it is relative to other notifications.



  • @blakeyrat said in Notification enhancements:

    nd for the record, if the user can't toggle the option because it's disabled by an admin, the correct solution there is to simply not display it at all.

    I can go either way. It depends on the information.

    I would present it to the user, obviously disabled, but with information as to why it is disabled. "This option can only be controlled by your administrator. Speak to that fucker if you disagree".

    • If the option is something the user would normally expect to be able to control, this shows them that they can't
    • It prevents users from making requests to design / developers for a feature that is there, but disabled
    • It lets them know who they should contact if they want that option

    I guess I see options as a trinary of:

    • Do you have permission to know about the state of the option?
    • Do you have permission to modify the option?


  • @boomzilla said in Notification enhancements:

    Yeah, the problem there is that it's not easy to differentiate between unread and read.

    Oh, I guess they have a different color background. I guess when I've looked before the unread notification wash pushed too far down the page. So a filter there would be good, too.



  • @boomzilla yeah, it'd make more sense if the unread ones remained pinned to the top of the list until they were read.



  • @anotherusername said in Notification enhancements:

    @boomzilla yeah, it'd make more sense if the unread ones remained pinned to the top of the list until they were read.

    I used to do that... but then the menu would do some shenanigans and mess with your head, since the "read" and "unread" would be sorted by notification time.

    e.g. * denote unread

    * 2m, blakeyrat replied...
    * 6h, loopback0 and fifteen others upvoted...
    * 7h, boomzilla replied...
    10s, ben_lubar replied...
    5m, new chat message from loopback0
    15m, accalia upvoted
    

    Click the upvote notification by @loopback0 (and 15 other suckers), and go to said post, fine.

    Now if you open the notifications menu again, BAM, that notification is at the very bottom. As you say, because raisins. That really messes with your head when you literally just saw it as the 2nd item on the list.

    Obviously doesn't seem so bad with 6 items, but scale it out to ~20ish with a small-ish menu and you see why it's messy.



  • I want ALL the notifications!



  • @julianlam well, you could sort by "unread" then "date" to query the top 20, but then re-sort them by date when they're actually displayed so they're in the expected order.



  • @anotherusername Do we really need to see the notifications that have been marked as read? That seems like a good use for the "all notifications" page if you want to go back and see something.



  • @anotherusername said in Notification enhancements:

    you're playing with it

    :giggity:


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @boomzilla said in Notification enhancements:

    Allow the first, then every 5th? 10th?

    How much effort would it take to allow one upvote notification per post (or perhaps per topic) per, say, day?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @accalia said in Notification enhancements:

    Grey: Disabled by software/admin, you can't get emails for these

    That should probably be a dash or something, then. I realize I'm bikeshedding some, but the different symbol, to me, means "something about this is different than an X". And after reading your post and @blakeyrat's above, I'm thinking a mouseover saying what the icon means wouldn't be a bad idea.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @accalia said in Notification enhancements:

    how is that at all relevant to the discussion at hand?

    Pssst, he was calling you stupid.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @tufty said in Notification enhancements:

    there's a stubborn little "1" stuck, as it were, on the end of my bell.

    You have a problem with your bell end, is what you're saying?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @julianlam said in Notification enhancements:

    I used to do that... but then the menu would do some shenanigans and mess with your head, since the "read" and "unread" would be sorted by notification time.

    This seems like an appropriate place to gripe a bit about that. If I have like 23 notifications, then the menu will do something roughly like show the newest 6 or so, with that awful beige background color I complained about in a different context, and then however many left below that that are older that will fit in the dropdown area. But what I'll find is that as I click them, new ones will appear as if by magic, somewhere down below. That's really disorienting, because the only way you can find them is by going "oh wait, there's no notifications left up top here, but the bell still has a number. Maybe if I scroll down....wait, that wasn't there a minute ago!"

    Further, it'd be nice if that dropdown area was a bit taller. It's silly that it can only display 3 or so at a time without scrolling. Even people on phones have more vertical space.


  • sockdevs

    @FrostCat said in Notification enhancements:

    @accalia said in Notification enhancements:

    how is that at all relevant to the discussion at hand?

    Pssst, he was calling you stupid.

    he was doing a terrible job at it then.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @accalia said in Notification enhancements:

    he was doing a terrible job at it then.

    Or you were just too stupid to pick up on it

    #justsayin


  • sockdevs

    @FrostCat said in Notification enhancements:

    @accalia said in Notification enhancements:

    Grey: Disabled by software/admin, you can't get emails for these

    That should probably be a dash or something, then. I realize I'm bikeshedding some, but the different symbol, to me, means "something about this is different than an X". And after reading your post and @blakeyrat's above, I'm thinking a mouseover saying what the icon means wouldn't be a bad idea.

    i agree, the symbology's wrong there. but then that is how bookface used to display it and it seems everyone loves copying bookface....


  • sockdevs

    @Jaloopa said in Notification enhancements:

    Or you were just too stupid to pick up on it

    0_1461340408604_I See What You Did There (1).png


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @accalia said in Notification enhancements:

    i agree, the symbology's wrong there. but then that is how bookface used to display it and it seems everyone loves copying bookface

    All the more reason to call it out as bad when an opportunity presents itself, then.

    Don't copy Facebook. Just because they're big doesn't mean they're right.


  • sockdevs

    @FrostCat said in Notification enhancements:

    @accalia said in Notification enhancements:

    i agree, the symbology's wrong there. but then that is how bookface used to display it and it seems everyone loves copying bookface

    All the more reason to call it out as bad when an opportunity presents itself, then.

    Don't copy Facebook. Just because they're big doesn't mean they're right.

    QFMFT



  • @FrostCat said in Notification enhancements:

    How much effort would it take to allow one upvote notification per post (or perhaps per topic) per, say, day?

    I haven't investigated how upvotes are stored. I suppose that if they have time stamps, probably not too difficult, per post.



  • @julianlam said in Notification enhancements:

    @tufty said in Notification enhancements:

    I have a ghost notification. Despite having all notifications cleared, there's a stubborn little "1" stuck, as it were, on the end of my bell.

    Bonus Tip: Try double-clicking it

    This is a dumb tip. Web pages don't get double clicked. This is a good way to have a user accidentally destroy data without even knowing why.

    Especially the multi-second delay between double-clicking, and any UI changing. With no spinner. Or "this was done" notification. Or ability to undo.



  • @boomzilla said in Notification enhancements:

    Allow the first, then every 5th? 10th?

    I'd make it a simple "notify me very X likes", and make X a configurable setting (either per-user or system-wide).

    Or maybe make the first notification at 5 likes, then 10, then 20, and keep doubling from there.

    The exact number of likes that should trigger a notification is debatable, but one thing is clear: since virtually every post in this forum gets 2 or 3 likes, getting a single like on a post is nothing you should be notified about.



  • @FrostCat said in Notification enhancements:

    You have a problem with your bell end, is what you're saying?

    Not any more, it would seem. The little red thing on my bell end has gone away. I'm sure it will come back, though. These things usually keep cropping up.




  • mod

    @anonymous234 said in Notification enhancements:

    getting a single like on a post is nothing you should be notified about.

    I like to know the very first like: it indicates I've said something witty. After that, I like the doubling, but at big numbers I'd start to go by 50s. So it'd go:

    1, 5, 10, 20, 40, 80, 100, 150, 200



  • @Yamikuronue I'd go with 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50; the chances of needing more are minimal



  • @boomzilla

    Let's look at what makes sense, and go from there.

    Suppress them all?

    Yes

    Allow the first, then every 5th? 10th?

    Does not make sense, at all.

    Suppress all but the first?

    Yes and no..


    My suggestions

    1. Suppress all but the latest per thread, and float the latest like. (Bonus points: Suppress all notifications for the thread you are viewing)
      So basically if a post gets liked, that notification floats, all other like notifications for the thread are removed.

    OR

    1. Add a separate page for like notifications. The notification makes no sense without knowing what's in the post, so I have to click it anyway. I'd rather just have a separate page I can check whenever I get the time. Give it an unread state, like a thread, and (user option) notify me only when it updates.

    (I know, #2 isn't going to happen, but that's how I'd design it).


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