Starting a new message while browsing a topic


Hi there,

We ran a contest in our community, and i wanted to contact several participants regarding their entries, so i came across this process which i think might be improved a bit.

How to send a message to a user while browsing a topic?

  1. Click on a user image/name then
  2. Click on “Message” button

So what i was expecting that the new message box will pop up without changing the current page. But It does change it to the user profile.

What are your thoughts about this behavior? In my opinion I’d rather have the same page without changing it.

(Dave McClure) #2

Great idea! Totally agree…

(Sam Saffron) #3

You can use the “Flag” button to achieve this exact workflow, that does not move you to a new page.

I am ok with the proposed change but will wait on @codinghorror to decide.

(Jeff Atwood) #4

Yeah flag covered this case already nothing to do here.

(Mittineague) #5

I do exactly that quite often.

It does work very well except for the limitations at times. i.e.
Max allowed content length
No “toolbar”

What do then is go to the message that doesn’t have the limitations of the modal and edit the OP

(Dave McClure) #6

I’ve always found the flag route to be an awkward way to initiate a PM, but maybe that’s just me…

Are there any metrics available for how often people use the flag vs. the message button to initiate a PM now?

(mountain) #7

(I agree.)

I would like to know the answer to that too.

(Kane York) #8

Nope, that isn’t measured at all.

(Jeff Atwood) #9

As I’ve said before: when two siblings are having an argument, before running to mom and dad, they need to be encouraged to work it out amongst themselves first.

Fair point that you might not reach for flag when you’re not having an argument, but it is there.

(Sam Saffron) #10

Sort of, I find it hugely disruptive to flow that we transport you to the “user page” when you hit the message button. I can not think of any reason to take you there, this is reminiscent of old forum software that has dedicated PM pages.

(mountain) #11

I am not speaking for @mcwumbly with this reply. But, I would assume he is not suggesting the option to PM a user (by a user) be removed from the flag-user modal. The option (and reason, intent) is as you stated:

Highly agreed.

This is the situation.

Just as I will not fully assume for @mcwumbly and speak for him, so as well, I will not assume a large number of users know that, seek it out for that purpose, or think that option on the flag modal can be used for a benign purpose.

(Jeff Atwood) #12

Well, it’s good for people to get familiar with flag – we always want to encourage flagging, not just as a “critical life threatening accident” but “cleanup on aisle 6” as well.

(mountain) #13

Agreed with that as well.

This situation is similar to the idea of training a user to accept a new definition to prior context and meaning.

We all agree, the flag icon is associated with “situations”. Either critical or minor/faux pas.

As I spoke in the topic I started, this all relates to consistency.

No one is going to click an icon designated in the collective consciousness (red means stop/warning; green means go/affirmative) to message a user for a reason not fully related to the context of that icon; what it represents.

(Sam Saffron) #14

I think the request here, that seems a bit muddled is to stop hijacking you to the user page.

If I am anywhere on the site and click:

I end up here and:

This is totally unneeded, we can spawn the PM dialog without forcing a page transition. That way you are not forced to “shift contexts” when you decide to PM someone.

(Jeff Atwood) #15

Oh, I see. Well it depends how much work it is. If it’s easy, I am for it, if not, I am not.

(Sam Saffron) #16

Its actually easier than taking you to the user page :slight_smile: that is pretty full of magic and hacky.

(Jeff Atwood) #17

If it’s simpler, then I am all for it. Sorry I did misunderstand the request; I thought custom UI was being asked for.

(Dave McClure) #18

@purldator, you mostly got what I was saying right (though I didn’t intend to suggest removing the PM via flag option altogether).

But the real lesson of this topic is, as @sam shows above:

whenever possible include pictures in UI conversations

(note to self)


@sam and @mcwumbly got my point. Two points i want to share with you guys as a result of this discussion.

The good thing i like here about the @team is how quick and responsive you guys are and the community to new ideas and suggestions. In 21 Hrs this small issue which is not a critical bug, but could improve user experience got resolved. So much respect for your efforts guys here. Claps hands

The other point could be a complaint. Whenever report something here, I feel like I’ve done something wrong. I feel the feedback i provide is either unimportant or a burden. I used to browse and contribute to Discourse community everyday. Now only when a problem pops up. Who knows what next.

We users/admin of Communities using Discourse, support you. We shall send you feedback and discuss even the tiniest details. That is what a community about, but from your side, try to make it friendly and welcoming. You can get much more from the community here, only if you show them the way.

Thank you for your time.

Some weekend ponderings on communication habits
(Sam Saffron) #20

OK this is now implemented per:

It actually removes more code than it adds :slight_smile:

Please don’t feel this way, we appreciate your feedback a lot, as an Enterprise customer you have significant amount of say in the product, especially when it comes to running your forum.

We always prioritize feedback from our paying customers.

On the topic of feedback I would love to see a topic from you with general feedback on Discourse since you started using it (either public or private, up to you). We learn a huge amount from new communities.