Poll

Which of these features do you use the most often?  See details below.

New
29 (39.7%)
Unread
29 (39.7%)
Notifications
15 (20.5%)

Total Members Voted: 53

Author Topic: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications  (Read 10273 times)

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Offline rknize

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Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« on: Fri, 10 May 2013, 12:26:01 »
I want to remove one or two of these items from our top-level menu to free up some space and set the stage for upcoming improvements.  They have overlapping functionality and don't all need to be there.  Here is what each of them does:

  • New - a list of topics to which you have posted in the past that contain unread replies
  • Unread - a list of all forum topics that contain unread replies
  • Notifications - a list of topics that you have elected to receive notifications about

The "New" feature is going get some enhancements fairly soon that will allow you to manage which topics appear in this query a little more directly.  It will still be driven by topics that you have posted in, but you'll be able to opt-out threads that you don't care about and maybe even opt-into threads that you haven't replied to yet.  It will probably also be renamed to something more intuitive, like "watch".

Even though "Spy" has some overlap with "Unread", I deliberately left it out of the poll because it is a live feed and I know it is popular.  The other difference is that Spy is a list of posts while Unread is a list of topics.  I was thinking of putting a link to "All Unread Topics" on the Spy page.  The Spy itself will get a face lift and have its guts replaced with something better in the near future.

It sounds like this "watch" thing is a lot like Notifications, so why bother right?  You can enable "Turn notification on when you post or reply to a topic.", disable email notifications, and select to be notified of "Nothing at all" to suppress the emails and get the same behavior.  Because these are global settings in your profile in SMF, it effectively kills the notification feature for all topics.  What if there are certain topics to which you wish to receive an email?  Some vBulletin configurations let you set the notification type on a per-topic basis, but SMF does not work this way.

My inclination is to move "Notifications" into the "Profile" sub-menu, move "Unread" onto the Spy page and also maybe into the "Profile" submenu, but I thought I'd get some feedback first.
« Last Edit: Fri, 10 May 2013, 12:28:05 by rknize »
Russ

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 10 May 2013, 12:36:17 »
I think its awesome the amount of time and effort your putting into fixing and making the forum better!

So just to make sure I understand the way it works now if I post in a thread it will always show up when I click "Show new replies to your posts." and I can't remove it right?

Because what your describing above sounds much better :)

Offline esoomenona

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 10 May 2013, 12:45:45 »
I can't do without Unread; All Unread in particular.

Offline hashbaz

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 10 May 2013, 12:48:02 »
I use new & unread both a lot.  I don't use email notifications at all.

Looking forward to the new watch list. :D

Offline rknize

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 10 May 2013, 12:54:14 »
I think its awesome the amount of time and effort your putting into fixing and making the forum better!

So just to make sure I understand the way it works now if I post in a thread it will always show up when I click "Show new replies to your posts." and I can't remove it right?

Because what your describing above sounds much better :)

Correct.  It's just a query on existing information about what threads you have replied to and the last post you have seen in each of them.  You have no direct control over what shows up in the results other than whether or not to post in a topic at all (or deleting your own posts).
Russ

Offline Soarer

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 10 May 2013, 13:05:06 »
No multi-choice polls?!

I use 'Unread' and 'New' plenty, but would be quite happy to see 'Notifications' taken off the menu bar and buried a little deeper.

One I never use is 'Home' - I just click the geekhack logo instead, it's a bigger target :))

Is 'Search' redundant, given there's both quick and advanced search top-right?

Offline esoomenona

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 10 May 2013, 13:07:40 »
One I never use is 'Home' - I just click the geekhack logo instead, it's a bigger target :))

I always hit the little geekhack, right under Home.

Offline rknize

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 10 May 2013, 13:23:21 »
Yeah, Home is kind of baked in there as a bookend.  I've been wanting to ditch it, but it is treated somewhat specially (as is logout).
Russ

Offline rknize

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 10 May 2013, 13:25:34 »
OK, you can vote for more than one now.  Somehow a few results got tossed when I did that, so feel free to remove your vote and re-vote.
Russ

Offline SmallFry

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 10 May 2013, 13:26:25 »
I seldom use Help, Notifications, or New, FWIW. I'd like to see Logout moved, but I usually use AdBlock and remove the Logout button. Clicking it on accident when trying to click the Spy is annoying, but nothing that can't be solved with a little AdBlock, like I said.
Also, VOTED!  :P

Offline badcop

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 10 May 2013, 13:26:45 »
i dont use any of them.  just spy
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Offline rknize

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 13 May 2013, 12:53:22 »
Not much feedback, but I am leaning towards moving "Notifications" under "Profile" and leaving the other two.  I'll let this run until the "Watch" feature is ready.
Russ

Offline Tym

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 13 May 2013, 12:54:08 »
Slightly confused? But do we get to keep "Spy" as that's all I ever really use.
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Offline The_Beast

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #13 on: Mon, 13 May 2013, 13:49:17 »
I only use unread. Once I'm done reading, I mark all as read. The only notifications I use are for my threads and CC.
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Offline rknize

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #14 on: Mon, 13 May 2013, 13:51:25 »
Slightly confused? But do we get to keep "Spy" as that's all I ever really use.

Yes, I left Spy out of the poll per the OP.  It's not going anywhere.
Russ

Offline The_Ed

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 14 May 2013, 21:35:15 »
Apparently only me and 2 other people use notifications the most... (Without emailing me of course). The current buttons take up less than half the width of my screen, so why do any of them have to go away? And besides, when people don't like a button they can just remove it for themselves with adblock or whathaveyou.
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Offline E TwentyNine

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #16 on: Tue, 14 May 2013, 22:19:54 »
I use notifications mainly and unread quite a bit.  In fact my bookmark to GH is my notifications page.

But "New" and "Notifications" overlap don't they?

If there are three threads with new posts where I have notify set (or where I've posted), they'll show up in "New".

If I go to Notifications, they'll also be the first three threads shown there, in bold, with the rest of my notify threads listed below not in bold.

This seems like a bit of overoptimization.  That menu bar is nowhere near the width of the rest of the layout and removing a word or two doesn't seem like it'll do much except annoy those who use the link you remove, and add a little whitespace.
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Offline The_Ed

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #17 on: Tue, 14 May 2013, 22:32:30 »
My bookmark is also to notifications. "New" shows every thread I have EVER posted in, whereas notifications shows only the ones I truly want to see updates on.
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Offline rknize

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #18 on: Tue, 14 May 2013, 23:23:30 »
So do either of you use email notifications?
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Offline The_Ed

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #19 on: Wed, 15 May 2013, 00:26:49 »
No email notifications, I just use notifications to make a list of things that I WANT to see the updates for. "New" gives me the updates to every thread I've ever posted in, many of which I don't care about afterwards. And "New" doesn't show threads I've never posted in but want to follow anyway. So yeah, notifications is my primary one as it lets me do what I need it to do.
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Offline E TwentyNine

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #20 on: Wed, 15 May 2013, 07:35:38 »
So do either of you use email notifications?

Yes, but I've been considering turning it off.  The emails are delayed and I filter them in a folder anyway so barely look at the content.

How is that a factor here?
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Offline Soarer

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #21 on: Fri, 17 May 2013, 18:05:40 »
How about shuffling the menu every five minutes so people have to think about what they're clicking :p

Offline rknize

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #22 on: Fri, 17 May 2013, 18:07:11 »
Don't tempt me.
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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #23 on: Fri, 17 May 2013, 18:10:26 »
Go on, get cross and ban someone. Not me of course - I'd never goad an admin :D

Offline rknize

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #24 on: Wed, 22 May 2013, 02:21:13 »
The new "Watch" feature has been beta-tested by the staff for a while now and it is ready to replace "New" in the menu.  You may have noticed that "Notifications" has already been added to the "Profile" menu.  Watches will be deployed in the next day or two.

Those of you who use Notifications strictly as a means to get a list of threads that you care about (and not really for the email notifications themselves) will hopefully find watches to be just as convenient.  Notifications can then be used for the purpose they were intended: for topics that are important enough to send you an email about.
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Offline E TwentyNine

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #25 on: Wed, 22 May 2013, 08:56:18 »
The new "Watch" feature has been beta-tested by the staff for a while now and it is ready to replace "New" in the menu.  You may have noticed that "Notifications" has already been added to the "Profile" menu.  Watches will be deployed in the next day or two.

Those of you who use Notifications strictly as a means to get a list of threads that you care about (and not really for the email notifications themselves) will hopefully find watches to be just as convenient.  Notifications can then be used for the purpose they were intended: for topics that are important enough to send you an email about.

This is a poor approach to implementation of new features.   Add "Watch" as a beta feature, let the general community put it through its paces and give feedback, then move forward with changes.

Regarding notifications and what they're intended for - the established usage is more important than intent.

To restate a previous point, trying to save 15 characters of width on a menu bar with plenty of whitespace by removing an option that 20% of those polled use often is a bit overkill.
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Offline rknize

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #26 on: Wed, 22 May 2013, 09:12:06 »
You complain a lot.  Have you had that checked?
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Offline E TwentyNine

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #27 on: Wed, 22 May 2013, 09:15:22 »
You complain a lot.  Have you had that checked?

That's a pretty defensive response.    I'm pointing out the flaws in your approach.
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Offline Lastpilot

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #28 on: Wed, 22 May 2013, 09:18:04 »
To be honest, I do not use any of these functions. Only Spy!

Offline rknize

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Re: Site menu poll: New vs Unread vs Notifications
« Reply #29 on: Wed, 22 May 2013, 10:05:20 »
You complain a lot.  Have you had that checked?

That's a pretty defensive response.    I'm pointing out the flaws in your approach.

You're right, it is.  I guess I should be used to your approach to feedback by now.

In any case my intention is to replace the New feature with the Watch feature.  If no action is taken, they are a 1:1 replacement.  A new thread will be started regarding it.

Here, I was pointing out the advantages of it over notifications.  You have already stated your opinion about the menu issue, so your comment was unnecessary.
« Last Edit: Wed, 22 May 2013, 10:16:00 by rknize »
Russ