Thu 9 Aug 2012 7:38AM

Noise Level

PS Paul Smith Public Seen by 78

Paul Smith Thu 9 Aug 2012 7:38AM

We've got an awesome Notification system in now and Jon pointed out that one of the things holding back Loomio being more widely used to gather feedback from users was that the Loomio User group generates a lot of dashboard noise (https://www.yammer.com/loomio/#/Threads/show?threadId=198379011 ).

A possible solution to this would be a feature where you can set the level of notifications for each group or discussion. Eg/
Hide (no notifications),
Digest (one notification per [day][hour][etc]),
Star (full notifications for every action)

If this tied in with the dashboard and notifications then users have more control over their loomio experience.

I have some ideas as to how the back end of this could work which I've posted in the Loomio->Code group.

Is this a necessary feature? How would we want it to look and function?


Richard D. Bartlett Thu 9 Aug 2012 10:11AM

The main question that springs to mind for me is where to put the options? I'd be inclined to put them under the Options button top right of this page.


Danyl Strype Thu 9 Aug 2012 12:55PM

Noise has its pros and cons. I found the frequency of noise from the Yammer group so irritating I filtered it into a tiny black hole. I highly discourage coding a system which sends out email for every new notification. There's another black hole waiting for such email noise, def against making it the default. My suggestions:
* weekly digest as default
* daily digest as an option
* opt-in option for admins or power users who want to know every time a pin drops in the group

On the other hand, I like the way Loomio only emails me when there is a new discussion, or a new proposal, and gives me a potted summary, so I know if it's some I want to comment/ take a position on, or not. The level of noise is currently about right, keeping me in the loop, but not flooding my channel. It would be awesome if I could post a comment by replying to the email about the discussion and take a position by clicking links in the email


Robert Guthrie Thu 9 Aug 2012 10:27PM

A choice between daily/weekly digests and immediate notifications would be great. I think it's a easy yes but only part of the solution.

My suspicion is that we want a global setting for this (daily, weekly, immediate).. with an option to get immediate notifications from groups that you select as important.

The reply to email to contribute to the discussion would be good.. but the email could go stale in the sense of the discussion.


Paul Smith Fri 10 Aug 2012 12:31AM

Yeah I'm thinking Global setting + per Group setting + per Discussion setting

So you could in Global settings say you'd just like a daily digest but then:
Hide a group you don't want notifications from or subscribe to a public group you're not in but still want to follow.
Follow specific discussions within a group that you've hidden overall.

I might try map out some Use Cases's this weekend in an editable by everyone google doc as there's quite a bit going on here.


vivien maidaborn Fri 10 Aug 2012 7:17PM

Awesome conversation and important I reckon to get right as part of our invite, engage , discuss continuum. Can we test this with users, I feel like it is a perfect thing to get guidance from our different user profiles for.
If this was on our new feature board I would vote for it!


Jon Lemmon Fri 17 Aug 2012 3:25AM

We did a bit of brainstorming this week with the UX user tests. Here is a conceptual mockup to summarize what we were thinking in regards to noise-level:


The main ideas we had were:

  1. Reduce the number of notifications people receive internally on the site (at the moment I've currently got 37 unread notifications, which is way too many!). So the idea is that we will only show notifications for @mentions and when people have liked your comment
  2. If you WANT to receive notifications for a particular discussion, you can "follow" the discussion to start receiving more information about it
  3. For information about what's happening within your specific groups, the My Groups drop-down will display some basic information for each of your groups (e.g. a number next to each group name representing the number of discussions with new activity since you last visited the group page)
  4. Remove the homepage dashboard completely OR allow the user to specify which groups' discussions appear on the dashboard
  5. Show discussions you are "following" at the top of the dashboard

Thoughts? Feedback? Note that the above doesn't include anything about email notifications.


Richard D. Bartlett Fri 17 Aug 2012 4:59AM

Shit yeah this all looks great.

Using Google Presentations rules.


Joshua Vial Sun 19 Aug 2012 9:36PM

I wouldn't want to receive a notification when someone likes my comment but I would when someone replies to one.

I'm assuming you would auto follow any loomio you create?

Mockups look great


Jon Lemmon Sun 19 Aug 2012 10:05PM

@Josh, yeah that would be the idea.


Benjamin Knight Thu 23 Aug 2012 9:47PM

@Jon, these mockups are great!

Would the default also be to auto-follow any Loomio you've commented on? And to be notified about any Loomio you're involved in that's closing in 24-hours (or however long)?

I think as long as noise level can be customised, it's safest to start with a relatively high level of notification - this is because nearly every user is new at this stage, and the average user is only a member of one or two groups, having very few discussions/decisions.

This will obviously change a bit further down the track, as there are more and more users as habitual as us, but it's a wee way off. I think the typical new user is pretty keen to be kept up to date with pretty much everything that's going on (as long as it's not flooding their email inbox).


Danyl Strype Sun 2 Sep 2012 1:47PM

I can handle a lot more dashboard noise than email noise, since I can avoid it by just not logging into Loomio, and still get other things done. Would be good as a power user to have fairly granular control over it, but I like the idea of setting smart defaults, based on user feedback, and putting those controls somewhere accessible but not intrusive.

BTW "Like" now has an unmistakable design smell associated with FB. Can you please replace "Like" with "Agree", or even "Sweet" or "Nice"? I'd like to be able to choose my own positive feedback word, so instead of "Liked by Strypey, x, y, and z, it just says "Sweet, nice, good one, bonza, ka pai", with each word linking to the profile of the user who said it. I'd also like a polite way to express strong disagreement.

I agree that I don't need to be notified every time someone "agrees" or thinks my comment is "sweet" or "nice". I also agree that I would like a dashboard notification when there are new comments on a discussion I'm following, but only one notification for each discussion, not one for each comment (as default at least).


Benjamin Knight Sat 8 Sep 2012 1:25AM

I've had comments from three new users that they'd really like more email notifications (even just for comments in discussions they'd commented in) - I think this is particularly important for the early engagement phase, where people aren't habitually checking - and new users are typically only involved in one or two conversations, with low traffic. As long as the level of email notification is really easy for people to reduce, I'd be inclined to start with more rather than less email alerts. Clearly high-volume users will want almost no email notifications at all, so we'll just need to make that a very easy option.


Richard D. Bartlett Sat 8 Sep 2012 2:46AM

I'm spec'ing up some features on this right now Ben.

This is one of those features that's all about getting the right compromise. Right now we have at least 10 events that generate in-site notifications and/or emails. Giving the users full customisable control over which events they'd like which kind of notification for would be a UX nightmare (10 events * either/neither/both in-site and email notifications = 30 options per group), so we're making some educated guesses and giving them 3 options per group instead: default, more, and less.

I doubt it will be perfect in the first iteration but here's what we're thinking (work in progress - comment most welcome):


It's going to take a lot of user testing to hit the right compromise but this feels like a 'good enough' place to start.


Paul Smith Sun 9 Sep 2012 1:20AM

@Richard That's awesome, seems like the whole thing is coming along nicely. All makes sense at first glance to me UI wise but I've been thinking about it for a while.


Danyl Strype Tue 11 Sep 2012 1:07PM

I take your point, but let's take "noise" literally for a sec. You walk into a cafe The music is painfully loud. You immediately go somewhere else. You walk into the next cafe, the music sounds like it might be good but you can hardly hear it. You might sit right next to the speakers, or ask the barista to turn it up a little.

I really think the default needs to be less noise, with a really easy way to "pump up the volume". I like the way the new CreativeCommons.org.nz (using WordPress) allow users to come to the site and read (silent), subscribe to a comment thread on one blog post (quiet) or subscribe to the blog itself (noisier). [10 points for pimping the new CC site] :)


Benjamin Knight Thu 20 Sep 2012 4:48AM

@Strypey, I guess my concern is that if the default setting is too quiet (as it currently is), then new people who walk into the room won't even know that there's a stereo in there at all.

How's that for over-analogizing!

I'm not suggesting this needs to be permanent, but when we're at a stage where nearly everyone is a very new (or first-time) user, I'm inclined to bias things to making it easy for noobs. This can always change as we get further down the track.

As Keong would yell, USER PROFILES!


Paul Smith Fri 19 Oct 2012 12:19AM

Just updating this thread with some yammer conversation with JV before it gets lost in yammer history.



Danyl Strype Tue 23 Oct 2012 2:23AM

"I'm inclined to bias things to making it easy for noobs. "
I agree. My point is that turning the volume up is always easier for noobs than turning it down. If they struggle to turn it down, they'll just turn it off. As I've said before, nothing turns me off a social tool quicker than being bombarded with email every time someone farts in a chat room :P