Ideas (proto-proposals)

MB Matthew Bartlett Public Seen by 98

I start a discussion

… and choose a title and write a first comment (I've ditched the context panel). I could have also inserted a picture here. Then I press 'Start discussion' (or Done, which Safari on the iPhone provides)

Other people add some comments. I've flipped the discussion order, so new comments get added at the bottom. When you land on a discussion, the top comment is the first one you haven't yet had a chance to read. 'Show earlier comments' does what it says. Now I've had an idea for a possible solution, I'll click 'New idea':

... and write it up:

Ideas show up at the top of the discussion. There can be more than one at once. People can indicate their support for the idea. You may have to swipe down a little into the comments section before you see the commenting ('Say something...') box.

... or they can support more than one idea:

Clicking an idea lets you read the detail, and from their you can add your support, or turn the idea into a proposal. It might be good to require say two supporters (a bit like seconders in Robert's Rules) before an idea can be elevated into a proposal. I'll click 'Promote to proposal' now

... which fills in the idea details into a new proposal form. I may want to flesh out the idea, or edit a little for clarity at this point.

The current proposal lives at the top of the page. You can still have only one proposal at a time, but people can continue to add & support ideas. At times one of the other ideas might be obviously much more popular than the current proposal. Perhaps the proposer will get the hint and close it early?

Click on a proposal to get the full detail, and to state your position on it.

An attempt at mobile-first design.


Richard D. Bartlett Thu 22 Aug 2013 5:04AM



Simon Tegg Thu 22 Aug 2013 5:04AM

Ooooh, likey likey


Matthew Bartlett Thu 22 Aug 2013 5:07AM

I feel like this is barely comprehensible in this format. Perhaps I'll record an explanatory screencast.


Richard D. Bartlett Thu 22 Aug 2013 5:13AM

Can you tell me more about the bar with the "Prev/Next Done" buttons above the keyboard? I'm not familiar enough with mobile to know if that is a native thing or a web thing.


Richard D. Bartlett Thu 22 Aug 2013 5:13AM

@matthewbartlett it might be more comprehensible an imgur album with captions


Matthew Bartlett Thu 22 Aug 2013 5:33AM

@richarddbartlett native Safari browser stuff. 'Done' submits the form


Richard D. Bartlett Thu 22 Aug 2013 5:39AM

Oh is 'Prev/Next' just standard browser navigation? I misunderstood it as being a way to cycle through multiple Ideas.


Jon Lemmon Thu 22 Aug 2013 6:09AM



Matthew Bartlett Thu 22 Aug 2013 7:55AM

@richarddbartlett Yeah it's Safari's standard navigation for forms. I've added captions now.


Sophie Jerram Thu 22 Aug 2013 9:27AM



[deactivated account] Thu 22 Aug 2013 10:11AM



Anna Guenther Thu 22 Aug 2013 11:13AM

It's like you want me to throw another party @matthewbartlett :) WELL DONE!


Chris Taklis Thu 22 Aug 2013 11:17AM

yaba daba doo


Matthew Bartlett Thu 22 Aug 2013 6:21PM

Thanks all! Totally open to blisteringly negative feedback too, y'know.


Dean Satchell Thu 22 Aug 2013 9:51PM

Good thinking @matthewbartlett ! I like the concept of requiring support before an idea can become a proposal. I wonder if a proposal could be revoked the same way - by supporters removing support (say, if another idea emerges that is better, ie has a high level of support). I'm wondering too, perhaps if there is to be a threshold of support for allowing an idea to become a proposal, that the level be set before discussion perhaps? A large group might require a larger level of support than a small group.


Matthew Bartlett Sat 24 Aug 2013 1:41AM

@miguelpradosrodrig & @carlscrase — I'd love to hear your thoughts on the mockup, if you have a moment.


Carl Scrase Sat 24 Aug 2013 1:49AM

I dont have time to comprehend all this at the moment. Will try and come back to it.


Miguel Prados Rodriguez Sat 24 Aug 2013 6:25AM

I think it might be a good idea to be able to "rate" comments in the mobile app (actually I think it is a good idea to do it on the web also).... this way the proposal can emerge from the best rated comment (whether in favour or against)...

You may also take a look at (and this is the "link" you are looking for larger groups) http://www.appgree.com/what-is-appgree-2/ (I know them if you want to get in touch).


Matthew Bartlett Sat 24 Aug 2013 7:48AM

@miguelpradosrodrig Appgree is really intriguing! Thanks for the link & thoughts.


Chris Taklis Wed 23 Oct 2013 7:14AM

I don't see ideas anymore in pivotal ticker.

Than means is ready??? Or it is abandoned?


Rob Guthrie Thu 24 Oct 2013 4:27AM

@christaklis - we're doing a bit of a cleanup. Right now that means removing all longer term items from pivotal. We'll be filling up the backlog with way more descriptive and thought out tickets over the next few weeks.


Simon Tegg Fri 21 Feb 2014 8:04PM

This article could help inform the design of the 'ideas' feature http://positivesharing.com/2014/02/kill-suggestion-box-heres-much-better-way/


Alanna Irving Fri 21 Feb 2014 10:56PM

@mixirving and I have been riffing lately on what it it would be like to incorporate and anti-groupthink component to ideas. Meaning, you are asked to give input before being influenced by other people's input. Then later everyone shares.


mix irving Fri 21 Feb 2014 11:58PM

I really want to try that out too. 'Decorrelating Errors'

like Alanna says, studies suggest people express more diverse ideas if they aren't hearing others ideas before they communicate.

I think we could trial this before building the feature.


Joshua Vial Sat 22 Feb 2014 12:18AM

I love the line of thinking around reducing group think - as someone who facilitates quite a few digital groups I feel like I have a tiny handful of tools compared with in room facilitation - being able to create a proposal where comments or votes weren't displayed for 24 hours, or couldn't see what the decisions were until you had voted yourself or a modal questionnaire you had to complete before you had access to the comments section would be pure awesome.


Alanna Irving Sat 22 Feb 2014 1:00AM

I think "facilitation modules" is a neat framework to think about this in for Loomio. It's critical we keep the basic experience dead simple. But I think optional facilitation tools would be excellent.


Jon Lemmon Wed 26 Feb 2014 9:53PM

Great idea. Yeah, it'd definitely be a discussion plug-in.


Jon Lemmon Wed 26 Feb 2014 9:55PM

Also, @simontegg amazing how similar that article is to our proposed workflow for ideas!!


Mads Ringblom Mon 13 Oct 2014 8:02PM

@matthewbartlett pointed me in the direction of the idea feature in another discussion, so I just got an idea for this and thought this might be the right place to put it :)

Instead of a seperate section with ideas you could add a type of comment called "idea" and allow to sort comments.

It's just because sometimes you get the idea while reading the discussion and you don't want to scroll all the way to the top to add your idea. (I've previously suggested a 'type-of-comment'-feature elsewhere but as a more complex feature)
The mockup is partly stolen from the idea-feature mockups:


Matthew Bartlett Mon 13 Oct 2014 8:16PM

I'm sorry all the images in the context panel have died — my host went belly-up and I'm having trouble getting my domain back :( But yours @madsringblom & @jonlemmon's mockups are better anyway :)


Joop Kiefte (LaPingvino) Sun 26 Oct 2014 10:40AM

@matthewbartlett lucky enough you can change your own post there, so maybe put the images up on imgur (that is nowadays quite a known reliable image host) and change the embeds.


Matthew Bartlett Mon 27 Oct 2014 11:52PM

There you go @joopkieftelapingvi :)

And here's the imgur album, where the sizes are better.


Joop Kiefte (LaPingvino) Mon 3 Nov 2014 4:54PM

Sounds really good :)