Private messages should have column labels


(Drew) #1

“Latest” topics have column labels:

Private messages have the same columns, but without the labels:

Mousing over the entry in the column tells you what it represents, but it’d still be great if private message columns had labels as well.


(Jeff Atwood) #2

Why? Anyone who has ever seen a topic list knows what they are. Why waste the space on an internal page that has nearly identical layout.


(Drew) #3

I have the most replies logged this year on the Discourse forum I use. 4348 replies and 8.4k topics viewed. To put that into perspective, those are about the same as your stats on the Meta for the past year: 4330 replies and 10.6k topics viewed. In other words, I’m outrageously active on the forum. Despite this, I couldn’t tell the replies/views columns apart.

Maybe those who chose the placement of the columns in the topic list may know the ordering of them by heart, but I doubt that’s the case for anyone else given that someone as active as myself didn’t.


(Joshua Rosenfeld) #4

I’m with Drew on this one. I’ve had similar issues identifying the columns, and have had to open /latest to double check. Never bothered me enough to post here, but I don’t get that many PMs.


(Régis Hanol) #5

There’s always the option to hover over the numbers :mouse:


(Drew) #6

Hovering isn’t possible with tablets. It’s also not obvious that hovering over the entry does anything, so users who aren’t aware of this would be out of luck.


(Sam Saffron) #7

Do we even need the views column there? I am not sure what value it is adding.

In fact, I would go as far as to say that having views there adds a negative value @codinghorror. Why does it even matter that I opened a PM I made 17 times?


(Drew) #8

I use it with limited accuracy to check if my message has been read yet. Doubtlessly that would be better off as a dedicated feature if it’s to be supported though. I agree that the views column isn’t really necessary.

Even without it though, the columns should still be labeled. How will I know what data the column of integers represents? I’d assume it’d be replies if I assumed it was a pick between replies/views, but that’s a lot of assumptions. I’m not getting how column labels would “waste the space”, as @codinghorror mentions, on the page when there’s already a row reserved for them with the Select Messages button:

There’s also no way for me to sort messages with the most/least replies without the column labels.


(Sam Saffron) #9

Understood, but taking the gmail analogy they get away fine without column headers.

I think the first thing to do is nuke “views” cause it just leads to confusion. You don’t care about views, what you care about is that people you are interacting with are up to date on the PM and read everything.


(Drew) #10

Yeah, Views should be nuked. As for the GMail analogy, they can get away with it because the data is self-explanatory. Travis CI and Arnaud Porterie are obviously people and the senders of the message. The long text is obviously the contents of the email. The column of times is obviously the time that message was sent. You can tell all of these at glance within a second of looking at contents. On the other hand, it’s not obviously apparent what an undescribed integer is. It could be a number of things.


(Sam Saffron) #11

I am not sure:

“Arnaud Porterie (10)” is an undescribed integer. What does this mean?

  • 10 people sent me this email?
  • Arnaud had 10 responses?
  • There are 10 replies in this email chain?

(Drew) #12

The “(10)” could be labeled better. GMail isn’t perfect.


(Jeff Atwood) #13

Didn’t you remove this column from the display?


(Sam Saffron) #14

Not yet, “views” is still there, we should remove, have a bookmark on this to make sure I eventually get to it.


(Jeff Atwood) #15

Did you want to make this change in 1.8 or did we do this?


(Sam Saffron) #16

I would love to get this done, but I do not think I will make it for 1.8, maybe @eviltrout can have a look?


(Robin Ward) #18

This commit adds support for it:


Provide sortable columns in private messages, similar to latest topics
(Robin Ward) #19