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Re-thinking the functionality of activity, notifications and comments

UnderDogUnderDog Moderator
edited February 2011 in Questions
Let's start with a quote from another thread:
In closing I only have one misgiving about the functionality of vanilla two. I do not feel that the “activity, notifications, discussions and comments” functionality is as intuitive as it could be. I consider confusion of my users to be a very bad thing. Perhaps this complaint is a nitpick but it bugs me.
What do you guys think, should we re-think the functionality of activity, notifications and comments in discussions?
How do we approach our audiences with those functionalities so that it's not confusing to them?
Do we fix it with plugins or with changing the core sourcecode?

Comments

  • I think that the distinction between activity and notifications could be made a bit more clear. I also think notifications could be vastly improved (the number of unaddressed notifications should be reduced if i view a thread or post that's listed in my notifications)

    Currently it seems you have to visit the notifications tab for them to go away.

    My addons: NillaBlog | Vanoogle

  • judgejjudgej
    edited February 2011
    I agree, it is not very intuitive. Two mouse clicks and most of my average users don't have a clue what they are being presented with.

    I think the problem mainly comes from the lack of words and titles to describe what people are looking at. You kind of need to know what an activity is, in order to work out you are looking at activities. Most end users, if they don't get it immediately, will give up and not come back. People don't like to have to climb over a wall to get what they want - the gate should be open all the time.

    -- Jason
  • Notifications do not work properly on this site even. If you have, say 24 of them, click on notifications, go back, you see 0, but as new ones come, they are back to large number. Same with Inbox.
  • Do we know if this is on the team's To-Do list?
  • My current understanding that we don't have bug tracker (one at GitHub is actually not used and absolutely not suitable for end users) and we don't have any official To-Do list.
    And this is two things that must be done properly. So new developers could understand where they can help.
  • I am sure Mark and the core team have a prioritized development to do list. My question is what is in the next version and on the drawing board for subsequent versions.
  • yeah, I am sure that they have some list.
    It is just not public.
    They told recently that they want implement caching and spam control, but time frame for this and all other things remain unknow.
  • LincolnLincoln Community Instigator Vanilla Staff
    @tester13 GitHub is indeed used for issues, don't know where you got that information. It's sometimes slow to be updated as we tend to attack it in waves.

    There are additional features & priorities outside of the GitHub tracker, but it's the canonical bug list still.

    Sr Developer at Vanilla Forums [GitHub, Twitter]

  • i've been having similar issues with notifications with my audience not getting how notifications work and on top of it, the notifications are simply not working very well ... Todd Burry has busted his butt trying to help me fix the problem directly and he even wrote a plugin fix for my very strict host, BlueHost. notifications started working, sporadically about 2 weeks ago, but only some are coming thru.

    it's a huge issue for my boss and one that unfortunately might make me have to move away from vanilla.
  • If you add "Like" and "Friends" feature (Fac*book?) and if notifications work as expected, then the vanilla does not just appear as a forum software, but also social networking... and it's cool! It's just that social networking features in fanila looks... errr... not so good (In my opinion) :-/
    Looks like doubt when making it.
  • edited March 2011
    @Lincoln
    I know about GitHub, but it is hard to take it very seriously with top priority problems being about 1 year old, and many 6-7 months old. But may be I do not understand something here.
    Looking at this forum I think that most members do not report bugs on GitHub anyway, so you need to come with better solution (with source code on github still).
    More frequent pull approvals and releases could be also good (ala 15 days per small release).
  • LincolnLincoln Community Instigator Vanilla Staff
    There are no "top priority problems" that are 1 year old, or even 6 months old. Most of those are requests or future features that we've simply left open as reminders.

    We frequently ask people to post bugs to GitHub, or post them there ourselves.

    Don't tell me what I need to do.

    Sr Developer at Vanilla Forums [GitHub, Twitter]


  • Don't tell me what I need to do.
    Sorry, I didn't mean to offend you.
    All I want to say is that forcing ordinary users to report on github is bad idea, and reality proves it.

    As for github bugs list I still do not understand how to find all current and actual bugs, who is assigned to work on them and their status.
    Please, help me with it.

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