Fewer steps to create a private message?

I’m trying to train my users to use private messages instead of email, but one of the stumbling blocks is that if you want to send a private message and nothing else (ie, you’re not reading topics and can thus reply easily), you need to follow these steps (I think):

  1. Click your avatar
  2. Click the envelope icon.
  3. Click the envelope icon again to go to the Inbox, parsing all that’s there.
  4. Scan for and click the New Message button.

Step 3 is the kicker—it’s completely unintuitive that you would have to click a button twice to do what you want.

One solution might be to add a New Message link to the Messages list in the avatar drop-down. Then you’d do the following:

  1. Click your avatar.
  2. Click the envelope icon.
  3. Click New Message right underneath the envelope icon, without having to parse a completely different page design.

Or am I just missing something? I’m embarrassed to explain that double-click to my users.

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The other way to do it is click the user’s avatar that you want to send a message to (which is in view because you want to contact them, on there’s a message link on the user card.

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Sure, but if you’re not reading existing topics and just want to message a user, you’d have to happen to see their username or do a search for them first (and click). Again, it’s not impossible; I’m just saying that for a non-technical user, the bar to using private messages is pretty high.

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A bit easier for user would be if search results give a profile as first hit when searching @username.

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We put some thought into the DM Message area and invented some “tweaks”. I will publish it during the next days.

Teaser:

image

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I like the direction! For my group, I’m trying to encourage use of Discourse for both public and private communications to avoid the need to share email addresses, so surfacing the private message capabilities a bit is welcome.

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This has been asked for in the past, so I went ahead and created a new theme component that adds it: Add a New Message button to the PM notification menu

There’s an existing topic that contains a little reasoning about why we don’t have a button in the dropdown by default:

Another quick way to create a message is to click the “new topic” button and selecting “new message.” This isn’t particularly obvious, so I hope to add some kind of new user education that points this out in the future!

Screen Shot 2021-11-24 at 11.37.27 AM

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Yeah this is a case where you have to study the history. Elevating private messaging to such a first class citizen would reverberate througout millions of communities… and not in a good way. As a configuration option, it’s fine.

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Lovely, thank you!

Agreed.