Increase assigned topic visiblity

I think assignments need more visibility. I’ve found it very easy to not realise that I’ve been assigned something, and to lose track of whether I have anything currently assigned. If you want things that have been assigned to be dealt with, then the person being assigned needs to know, and be reminded, that they have things on their plate.

The most obvious place for that is, of course, notifications. Anything other than a manual self-assign should be called out in a notification. So if anyone else assigns you something, or even if the self-assign regex catches something, you should get a notification, because I trip that thing accidentally at least as often as I actually want it to do its thing. (It’s a good idea, don’t get me wrong, I’m just not very good at remembering that the magic words are always magic).

I also find myself forgetting that I have things to do simply by virtue of the fact that the assignment list, and even its existence, is somewhat buried. We have magic header entries for “New”, “Unread”, etc; why not “Assigned”, also?


That sounds more palatable than the approach I was thinking of i.e. “Nag” notifications similar to “x open Flags”, “problems”


Aha I realise now why you don’t get a notification for @matt can you add this to your list, we have built in protection to avoid “ultra” notification. If you get an @mention notification for a post we avoid sending you a “x was assigned to you” notification. I guess in this case we can simply reverse it. Make the @mention notification weaker than the “assign” one, so you only get an assign notification on the post!


I made a couple of improvements here visibility wise.

Previously we used to rely on a crazy side effect in Discourse where whispers that are also moderator actions notify users. This is mega odd and already leads to issues where people got empty push notifications and double notifications on assign.

I fixed core so moderator actions no longer notify even if they are whispers. I then amended assign to be explicit about a push notification for assigned topics.

All of this shuffling now means that when you assign stuff to people they are not over notified AND get a proper push notification.

The assign stuff on mention where we silence the notification is something I still need to think about. I think the only thing we can do here that is simple and consistent would be to remove the silencing and then have 2 notifications if assign on mention happens. But… I am not sure, maybe this enters into the user option world?


To clarify: If I mention somebody in a post and then assign the topic manually they will get two notification right?

+1 on this one and the general OP message. I think especially for teams new to this, more visibility would be great. People are generally lazy to learn new things and it’s especially hard to make a new todo list as a habit (in my experience anyway). So if I am going to push my team into using this, it needs to be mega obvious. :slight_smile:

Would you consider this as a site option?

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Yes, the existing edge case we have now is around assign regex where me typing @samuel can you add this to your list, anywhere in a post causes something to assign to @samuel. In this edge case @samuel only gets an @mention notification.

If you click the assign button now, post my changes, everything works correctly in a sane way.


Aha! I had always been wondering how it is that stuff gets done so fast when you guys say “can you add this to your list” to each other. :heart_eyes_cat:

I will think on using regex like this in my community.