Summary Email feedback

@Steven Besides using the rails console, there’s no easy way. I’ll try to add a way to do that. :pencil:


During this transition, is there a possibility you’d be willing to support the traditional/legacy summary email format alongside the new format? This will be a big change for our community that we’d want to roll out/announce ahead of time but otherwise we like to be on the latest beta. Or do we need to switch to a stable branch that does not include the new format?

FWIW, I am very happy with the new summary email format and like the direction. It’s very slick!

No, this is the new digest / summary email format for 1.7, we do not retain old code in new releases.

1 Like

makes sense. I figured as much.

Thanks for this new feature, worked great !

I added a way today. After generating a preview, you can send the result to any email address.


shweet! :lollipop: thank you!

It looks impressive, but I have to say it seems far harder to skim to me. This is what I see with the new and old:



Sorry to be negative, but to me this has lost a lot of value. The information density has dropped way down, and the irrelevant information has taken on far too much prominence. For me, using this to see what is happening on meta has taken a huge step backwards in engagement.

But hey, hopefully that is just me and everyone else will be thrilled. It does look pretty.


Pure information density is not the goal here, though. The idea is to entice people who have been away for a week or more to come back.


I think some of the spacing is a bit too much, and we can fix it over time.

Your screenshot shows that if there’s a preview image from the topic, then it adds a lot of vertical spacing around the topic title’s row and can cause the title to wrap, while the row below with the avatar and username has nothing on the right side. I’ll move the image to same row as the avatar.

I think adding information that was missing from the old summary email is an improvement. I recognize avatars for most people, so seeing them while scanning is good info. The reply count is also something I glance at.


But this will do the opposite - because it requires more cognitive energy to get a glimpse of what they’ve missed.

The digest email has always been used to send members what they have missed in a format that they can review quickly and easily - that’s what the name suggests and this new update deviates from that significantly unfortunately. It needs to be much more concise so that the information can be absorbed quickly and easily.

How about an amalgamation of the two? New style (as per @neil’s post above) for popular posts, and the old style for popular topics? That way we can max the popular topics count to around 200 easily without the email becoming too long and laborious to scan/digest.

1 Like

One thing that really helps in this type of discussions are mockups.

Talk is cheap, mockups, prototypes and Pull requests go a long way to compare alternatives.


I’ll see if I can do something on the weekend - can you generate one in the ACP and send it to my email please? (I had it set to daily so the ones I have are not a good indication of the info contained).

I would probably opt for:

  • Hot Topics (most active threads)
  • Popular Posts (most liked or replied to posts - or whatever algo you currently use)
  • Latest Topics - (list of all the latest topics - number as specified in the ACP)

FYI there is a new feature to email yourself the summary email from the preview. So you can choose the last seen date and username, then generate a preview and email it to yourself for testing.

I’m not on the admin team here Tobias (I haven’t updated my forum - have held off because of this change).

I sent you one @AstonJ using the handy new feature I added yesterday.


I agree with @mcwumbly that modifying the header/button color would be key.

Also I noticed on mobile that there seems to be some unnecessary clipping on the date (see below). But huge improvement on this. Love it.


Thanks Neil!

There were only:

  • 5 items in Popular Topics
  • 3 items in Popular Posts
  • 3 items in ‘New in topics and categories you follow’

Is that the max for each item as set here on meta? (If not can you put in an older date so I get an email with it maxed out please?) Also I guess these quantities can be customised via the ACP for our individual forums? (Which ones?)

I assume ACP is short for Admin something something… So, yes you can configure these values in Admin > Settings. Search for “digest” to find all of them.

Yes those are what’s configured on meta.


You should mention the mail size limit for Gmail; more than (x) kb of content where (x) is I think 102kb and everything else is automatically suppressed.