Show recipient in "sent" personal messages

I really like the improvements to the PM system, except for sent messages, where we’re pretty much back to this issue:

At the moment, messages display my avatar (maybe unnecessarily; it’s my sent box, after all), but do not display the recipient unless they reply. Most messages I send are moderation messages, where the vast majority go unanswered. So my “sent” box has hundreds of messages with only my avatar, and no easy way to distinguish one from another.

Recipient should always be shown for sent messages, IMHO, regardless of replies.


Where would you show the recipient avatar?

I’m not sure I like it being always there since it would be the only place where the topic list would behave this way…


Where it always used to be shown until this recent change. In the place now occupied by my avatar.

Surely the name of the recipient is the most important factor in any messaging system, whether PMs or e-mail. This is really not at all helpful or informative:

And it goes on like that, screen after screen, with very few replies.


It is also the only place where a topic has a specific intended recipient.

I tend to be more visual than I realized until recently (Apr 1 spinning clown avatars) so seeing custom “to” avatars would probably be the quickest recognition cue for me, when they’re custom - I think membername could work and having that information there would be a big improvement

Currently the layout is
message title - message creator (in this case, self) - number of replies - age of last post

I think treating the intended message recipient as a kind of category in terms of layout could work
membername - message title - message creator (in this case, self) - number of replies - age of last post
message title - membername - message creator (in this case, self) - number of replies - age of last post


@zogstrip I think she has a point here, that display is quite redundant with the same self-repeated avatar over and over…


I follow, but it would be a fairly complicated change. Also, need to handle cases where the “to” address is targeted at a group or there are 20 different users allowed in the PM.

I get the problem, just can not think of a trivial way of improving this.


I know this doesn’t help mobile or those mouse inclined, but I think showing the first recipient in the group or showing a group icon/avatar would work? Maybe with a hover over list of the first X recipients? (the part that isn’t mobile friendly).

Mobile will at least have the group icon/avatar to signify it is multiple recipients.

1 Like

I’m still not clear as to why desktop and mobile topic lists use different identical templates.
But I’m thinking it could be doable using the plugin-outlet.

For the latter two cases - couldn’t it be visually the same as what it looks like now when you send a personal message to several people and they respond (with multiple avatars). When the group goes over what the maximum the UI can display in terms of avatars maybe just add some sort of … symbol at the end.

Regardless, a fix for this would be super useful for my community too. We’ve taken to just asking for people to give a short response to pms they recieve even when it’d usually be unnecessary.

1 Like

I bumped into this yesterday.

Over the past few weeks, as I’ve seen users post that haven’t updated their avatar or profile, I’ve been sending them a message to nudge them to do so, with a link to a pinned topic we have. It’s been effective. Most of the users have updated their profile, and our topic list page now has far more avatars than letters.

But now that it’s been a few weeks, when I see a new post by someone with a letter avatar, I have this anxiety as I’m about to message them, “hmm… did I already send this message to this person?”

I go to my sent messages, and there’s no easy way to tell. There’s a bunch of messages in the list with just my avatar.

I try searching my messages for messages with their @username, but that doesn’t work either.

My workaround now is to always include their name in my outgoing message, “Hey Julie, …” and then search my messages for “Julie”. But it’s significantly more effort.


Er wait. We already changed this, per

Are you not on latest?

Also @sam … Vinoth didn’t seem to think the below was an issue? You may wish to test these scenarios as I was told it was relatively simple, and you are implying that’s not the case.


Hmm… yeah, looks like we may not be on latest at the moment. Maybe 1 day or so behind the commit with that change:

Discourse 2.2.0.beta9 - version 12df8c5c82588e7b5ad8adb6462c45abddb39d97

You are being deployed right now :slight_smile:

@codinghorror, looking at how @vinothkannans change operates it seems fine to me my reading of the new logic change is:

  1. We unconditionally show message creator
  2. We unconditionally show last poster
  3. We show frequent posters on the message if we have enough
  4. If we don’t have enough slots to fill the 3 frequent poster slots we start taking users from topic_allowed_users

Change seems fine to me with the caveat of not handling topic allowed groups, for example if an end user on meta sends a message to team and looks at the sent list, they will not see the team avatar. They will see our individual avatar though as we reply. We should think through what the ideal thing is to do here.


Thanks! Looking good on my end at first glance.