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UI feedback: "mark as read/unread" button has no indication as to what it does until user clicks it

BurritoBazooka (talkcontribs)

I am talking about these circle thingies:

There is no indication that they can be clicked (until you mouse-over them), no indication as to what they do when you click them. I had no idea I could mark specific notifications as read/unread until I tested what clicking the little circle does, I thought it was only an indicator to make it more clear which messages were unread. I know some other users would be wary of "clicking things to test what they do".

I suggest a button-looking button that looks like this:

Roan Kattouw (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@Pginer-WMF: thoughts?

FDMS4 (talkcontribs)

Blue circles are commonly used for unread items and there are tooltips indicating the onclick action, therefore imo no change is needed (especially if it would clutter up the interface or affect the workflow).

BurritoBazooka (talkcontribs)

It's the first time I've seen them used this way. Doing this requires a user to know the established conventions before being able to know what features might exist in a UI and where to find them, and expecting a user to explore everything in a UI using mouseovers isn't conventional.

In some of the documentation I saw that MW has looked at other similar notification services on other websites, so I decided to purposefully check Facebook (a service I avoid using regularly, hence I didn't know this convention exists) to see what they do, and the main difference is that their "Mark as read" tooltip* shows up immediately, not after half a second, when the user might have already moved their mouse away from the circle. I think even such a change would help a lot. Such a change would not clutter up the interface.

* I think this tooltip is generated by my browser, not the website. On Facebook, the tooltip is generated by the website.

JMatazzoni (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@BurritoBazooka, looking at Facebook, suggests: "...the main difference is that their "Mark as read" tooltip* shows up immediately, not after half a second, when the user might have already moved their mouse away from the circle. I think even such a change would help a lot."

I've had the same thought. Tooltips and dynamic menus need delays to prevent pages from getting too "jumpy." But I agree that our delay is a might too long. I'm not sure what group manages this or how to tag a Phabricator suggestion on the topic...

Roan Kattouw (WMF) (talkcontribs)

The reason our tooltips appear in a delayed fashion is because we use native tooltips (as in, the browser and operating system are in charge of displaying them and decide when they appear and what they look like, we just provide the text) whereas Facebook uses artificial/"fake" tooltips that they made themselves (as in, they made an interface element that kind of looks and acts like a tooltip, but is completely controlled by them and doesn't use the native tooltip functionality). We could use an artificial tooltip here, but I'm not aware of a precedent for using them in MediaWiki.

JMatazzoni (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thanks Roan. It makes perfect sense to use built-in tools. So it sounds like the buck here would stop with Apple or Google, as the case may be. I assume they must have tested this stuff, but it still seems too slow to me.

FDMS4 (talkcontribs)

Unread eMails in Apple Mail and unplayed podcasts in iTunes are accompanied by a blue circle that doesn't even have a tooltip. That is not to say that un-delayed tooltips would be a bad thing, though I'm not sure if they would be compatible with MediaWiki UI.

Reply to "UI feedback: "mark as read/unread" button has no indication as to what it does until user clicks it"

Make my preferences applicable to all wiki languages?

Senator2029 (talkcontribs)

Whenever I go to a different language Wikipedia, it tells me have xx unread messages. Then I have to go set the the preferences. For me, the are identical regardless of the language wiki. Is their a global way to do this? Senator2029 (talk) 18:22, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

He7d3r (talkcontribs)

This request is tracked at phab:T16950.

Reply to "Make my preferences applicable to all wiki languages?"

Cleare all read notifications from the pane

Jmorgan (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Now that we have a much-improved Special:Notifications page where we can go to view historical notifications, can we get a button to "clear all read notifications" from the Notifications Pane? I currently have a month's worth of read Flow notifications in my pane, and it makes for a pretty long list—currently about 3x the height of my browser window. I don't need these anymore; if I want to see who pinged me three weeks ago, I can go to the Notifications page.

Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

The panel(s) always list a maximum of 25 notifications (including various combinations of bundled, read, and unread, but prioritizing unread).

If I understand correctly, you want a way to remove all read notifications from the panel(s), effectively like an email client's "archive" functionality.

That seems like a reasonable feature-request, though the required UI would add additional complexity, which might be considered undesirable. I suggest you file it as a phab task, but I would guess it would be triaged as lowest priority for staff-development time. HTH.

Jmorgan (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Sounds reasonable. Thanks, @Quiddity (WMF)

Reply to "Cleare all read notifications from the pane"

Notifications from deleted topics, how can they be made disappear, and why are they there anyway?

Sänger (talkcontribs)

I just wondered why there were 4 new notifications in my top bar, but none showed up in the list. In the list was just old stuff from yesterday. I had no possibility to say Alle Mitteilungen als gelesen markieren. I managed to get the number 4 disappear by marking one read topic as unread, and after that I could use mark all read, but still I had no clue what I had marked read, as even on Special:Notifications nothing was shown.

After that I went to my watch list, and there I saw 4 deleted spam posts for the Flow forum. I think they were the culprits for the ghost notifications. How come, that they are not markable without some minor hacking skills? Either they are in my notifications, or they are not. If nothing's in there, the number should be 0.

Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thanks, I've noted this at Phab:T93673#2607119.

Reply to "Notifications from deleted topics, how can they be made disappear, and why are they there anyway?"

Special:Notifications does not have a filter for cross-wiki notifications

WhatamIdoing (talkcontribs)

Special:Notifications has buttons for "All Read Unread" at the top. But it has no information for cross-wiki notifications. Perhaps that should be added as an option?

JMatazzoni (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Right, as Quiddity points out below, we do have that feature. But you can access a given remote wiki from the Notifications page only when you have unread notifications on that remote wiki. @WhatamIdoing, is that good enough? Or were you wanting something more?

Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

That's phab:T129366 ("List wikis and pages with unread notifications in the Notification Page left nav") - see task for mockups, and ongoing work. :-)

WhatamIdoing (talkcontribs)

I want access to the "already read" notifications without having to go back to the original wiki.

Jmatazzoni (talkcontribs)

So, doing that systematically and thoroughly—offering links to all the wikis where a user ever had a notification — isn't as simple as it sounds, since the infrastructure for cross-wiki was developed with the idea of bringing unread notifications to the panels. And the resulting list of wikis might be quite long for some of the people who would actually use this. But a cheat might be possible that would, for example, show all the wikis on which you'd had notifications in the last X days.

Still, even that would involve some thinking and work. In our user tests, we didn't see evidence that users have a lot of interest in going back to find old notifications. When asked to detail a time where they'd had to do so, most users answered with a variation on "Ummmm."

Can you perhaps lay out a few common scenarios in which people would have a need to check wikis where they have no new notifications?

WhatamIdoing (talkcontribs)

The scenario that is most important to me is this one: I got pinged when someone copied a message to multiple wikis, and now I need to check those messages (e.g., to see whether anyone replied later). Here's a recent example: Right now, the only ways to find those messages are either to have a particularly good memory (the method I used here), or to check dozens of wikis until I believe that I've found them all (the method I probably should be using, because there might have been four of those discussions rather than three).

Jmatazzoni (talkcontribs)

Just thinking, but what if you had a way to select wikis you wanted to bring up on the page? Like an autocomplete box that would let you mount wikis you want to look at? Might that be a good way to do it, instead of making the system keep track of all your activity? It would be a manual process, but you could stay on the same page.

WhatamIdoing (talkcontribs)

Sure, that would be fine, if I could quickly click through a list of all the options. (Well, in the worst-case scenario, it wouldn't be quick, because there are 800+ of options, but only 200+ that could be pinging me in this account.)

Could it give me a short list of the places I've gotten pings from most recently/most often? Even the top 10 would probably be adequate for most situations. (I do need it to cover more than just different languages of Wikipedia, so the exact approach used in Compact Language Links wouldn't work.)

Reply to "Special:Notifications does not have a filter for cross-wiki notifications"
Summary by Jdforrester (WMF)

There was a bug in how it worked in IE, phab:T142042; this is now fixed.

*Surak* (talkcontribs)

The notifications Project page informs me, "When someone takes an action that affects you on a Wikimedia site, colored badges will appear next to your user name, in the top right corner of any page of that site". I would laove to see this, but - in IE, only a 5x5 cm gray badge overlays the navigation menu

and makes it unusable. E.g., the wrong praragraph ending above results from avoinding the space of that badge, since I cannot continue typing there. And the wrong capitalization was created by the Editor I am forced to use here.

What can I do to get the control back from the Software to me?


*Surak* (talkcontribs)

Comparing to Firefox, I can see that the two Little badges on the navbar are displayed ith very large size on top of each other and the text.

Roan Kattouw (WMF) (talkcontribs)

That sounds like a bug in the recent changes to the badge design. Could you upload a screenshot of what the badges look like for you in IE, and tell us which version of IE you're using?

Roan Kattouw (WMF) (talkcontribs)

...never mind, I think I've found it:

Roan Kattouw (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I forgot to say this yesterday: this should be fixed now. Thanks for reporting!

Gryllida (talkcontribs)

FYI an ignore button (ignore a user) for notifications is proposed.

Reply to "Ignoring users in notifications"
Rbirmann (talkcontribs)

Hi all,

We have a corporate wiki running MW 1.26.2 and would like to be able to assign responsibility of keeping certain pages updated to certain team members (users). We use a simple template {{Responsible|username}} to add a small box on the top of the article text saying "This article is maintained by ''username''" followed by a picture of the assigned user.

We are trying to figure out a way of notifying the user whenever a new article is assigned to him by someone else, either by email or any other means.

Is it possible to do this using Echo? In other words, would it be possible to change the Responsible template to notify the user on save?

Any thought will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hello Rbirmann

At the moment, it is not possible to do that with the current features available with Notifications. You have to develop a new extension in order to send a notification when an article is affected to a user.

At the moment, there is a lot of requests for new notifications. Feel free to add yours!

Reply to "Notification from template"
Rich Farmbrough (talkcontribs)
User:Trizek (WMF) Hm... I like the feature. I suspect that a lot of people will get, as I did when I enabled it, a slew of years old notifications, which I didn't like. May I suggest you limit this to notifications to those left after the change to the default? All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 19:21, 12 May 2016 (UTC).
I might also suggest that 6 hours and 17 minutes is not very much notice. smile All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 19:23, 12 May 2016 (UTC).
Rich Farmbrough (talkcontribs)

Cross posted from en:WP:VP(T) . Rich Farmbrough 19:27, 12 May 2016 (UTC).

Trizek (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I've responded on English Wikipedia.

And concerning the short announcement, it is short because that feature is already widely used and that deployment will not have a massive impact. Or at least, I hope so! ;-)

Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Note, the plan to deploy by default was most recently announced in Tech/News on Monday, m:Tech/News/2016/19. The announcement today was just an extra emphasis, partially due to yesterday's uncertainty about whether the deployment train was stalled entirely this week (which was resolved last night). Hope that helps.

Rich Farmbrough (talkcontribs)

I know I should follow Tech News, but I don't. Nor do many people:

Rich Farmbrough 21:52, 12 May 2016 (UTC).

Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Tech/News doesn't have very many direct pageviews, but it's a newsletter which is delivered to many community and usertalk pages (including VPT) m:Global_message_delivery/Targets/Tech_ambassadors. That's where it is hoped most editors will see it. HTH! (Sidenote, sigs aren't needed in Flow posts. :-)

Rich Farmbrough (talkcontribs)
Sigs have proper time stamps. Rich Farmbrough 21:44, 13 May 2016 (UTC).
Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

We plan to fix those in Flow! phab:T94648. Thanks though ;-)

Reply to "Making Cross Wiki Default"

More than 2,000 Notifications, will start to be removed

Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs) - This update adds a script to delete any Notifications that are older than the most recent 2,000.

Up until now, they were stored indefinitely, meaning that some users have many thousands of read Notifications adding up in the database. 2,000 was chosen, because it is the number of Notifications that the "mark all as read" button effects.

Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

This change is mainly intended to reduce a performance bottleneck.

It will also enable future separation (perhaps even filtering) of the different types of Notification. There's a tangential discussion about some feature-requests related to this, at en:WP:VPI#Can we have a color scheme for the notifications count, please, and, if not, perhaps some other color than red? currently.

Ricordisamoa (talkcontribs)

What if I want to preserve important notifications and delete the newest instead?

Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

For indefinite preservation, I think the best option would probably be to enable the "email" preference for whichever notification types you want to keep records for.

Is there a particular type(s) of notifications that you're thinking of? Giving a few examples almost always helps. :)

Rich Farmbrough (talkcontribs)

I would have thought the number of users with > 2000 edits would be small. If you ware worried about database size, maybe deleted some of those millions of "users" who have never edited or been welcomed.

Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

This change was just regarding number of echo notifications, not edits.

Rich Farmbrough (talkcontribs)

I would have thought the number of users with > 2000 edits would be small. The number with > 2,000 echoes smaller still.

Rich Farmbrough 02:15, 7 May 2016 (UTC).

Reply to "More than 2,000 Notifications, will start to be removed"