New inbox problems and suggested fixes
Let’s summarize. Friends, if you can think of something else I didn’t include, please tell me and I’ll add it. Of course this is my personal view, you may not agree with some:
WHAT I LIKE
- The fact that group messages are grouped into one message and you don’t have to delete 100 single messages to get rid of all of them.
- The fact that the messages have actual dates instead of “days/months/years ago”.
- That there finally is some sort of sorting, although VERY limited.
- That you can mark a message as unread. Not essential, but nice. I would like the read messages to be un-bolded, though.
- That you can have a conversation with several people about a single topic.
- Message subject (but it’s pretty useless if you cannot sort by subject)
- That when you view all the participants of a conversation, you have the option of sending a personal message to any of them by clicking on the little envelope. (However it’s a new message, not including the previous conversation)
WHAT I DISLIKE
- Because of the preview pane and of the excessive space between message headers, very few messages are visible, making it difficult to find a slightly older message. Which for us may mean today’s, because if you just became moderator or CM, you may get 20 new messages in one day.
- Mass deleting messages is impossible now. You cannot select different messages and then click “Delete” as you could before. You have to do it one by one. And that needs two clicks. No little bin or other delete button easy to click near the message.
- It’s not obvious which messages are group chat and which ones are private. You might get into lots of trouble, sending personal things and everybody reading them.
3a Even if you know that it’s a group message, there’s no way to send a private response. You can write a new private message if you click on “See all members” and then on the little envelope near the person’s name. But it is a brand new private message. You lose the original message the sender wrote so you won’t have an overview of the whole conversation with him/her. To circumvent that, you have to copy paste the original message in a separate text editor and then copy paste it in your new private message with the words “you wrote:”. Which is a hassle.
- Username validation is completely useless. If the username was not correct, the old inbox told us so. Most of the time it is correct, so we don’t need an extra step.
- Announcements tab? Really? Viki announcements come rarely, compared to Notifications by channel managers. Why waste a whole tab for them? We usually delete them after reading them. But notifications asking for help to request licence for a show, which are the most bothersome thing in our inbox, were best kept separate. You could put announcements and notifications together, if you want. Oh, hey, I just saw we cannot send notifications to channel fans anymore! Not even useful things about when the episode is airing or whether it’s been subbed already.
- Deleting a message becomes laborious, with all the confirmation steps etc.
- “To create a new line within a message and not send it yet, press “shift + enter” and continue writing your message”. Why add a new difficulty? Since there is a perfectly good “SEND” button?
- Sent messages and incoming ones mixed all together which makes it messy and difficult to understand.
- The empty textbox in the middle with “Get chatty” is downright insulting. We use messaging not to chat but to discuss important issues on our projects.
- The search for dramas on the message page is missing now. Probably because we are not on the viki page anymore, but on a separate website.
- We cannot leave a chat or conversation while keeping the original message the CM sent. Leaving the conversation (not seeing everyone’s responses) can be done only by deleting the whole thing.
- There is no easy way of accessing older messages. You can only reverse the order to put older first, but this may mean years ago. If you just want to find a message from a week ago, you have to scroll interminably. I know you will put a “Search” feature, but sometimes you don’t remember the username of the person nor the subject line.
- Even scrolling through the messages is problematic. This may be a temporary bug, but I cannot scroll past the end of my window - maximum 15 messages.
- Loading time when first opening the inbox. The previous one didn't have any loading time. What's the reason for this? Can't it get fixed somehow?
UPDATE: THE FOLLOWING HAVE BEEN FIXED in version 2
- The e-mail icon for direct messaging on viki members profile has gone! Now we have to manually copy-paste the username in making a new message, when before it was automatic.
- No quick access to sender’s profile page. Before, clicking on the sender’s name brought us immediately to his/her profile page. Now we have to copy the username and write the link in the browser manually. Some new users may not even know what the URL to write.
- Read messages are in bold, so they look unread. This convention is what we are used to from all other messaging programs, so it comes natural to us to think that bold = unread. Unread message titles letters become blue if you manually mark them as unread - but not when you have just received them. And… why have us learn another convention when we are used to that one for decades now?
HOW TO IMPROVE
- Get rid of the preview pane. Only when you click on a message header you can see it. And get rid of the insulting “Get chatty” thingie.
- Make spacing between headers as narrow as possible, so that the maximum number of messages can appear in one page. If you don’t have the preview pane, the sender, subject and date can fit in one line so this by itself will help a lot.
- Get rid of the user icon, it takes up space. And no need to add all the participants near the subject. Just the first sender. We can see the participants once we click on the message.
4… Make mass selecting and mass deleting of messages easy and quick.
- Make deleting a message a one-click business
- Make it easy to differentiate between personal and group messages, received and sent. Maybe different tabs?
- Get rid of username validation
- Get rid of the Announcements tab. Or make an Announcements/Notifications tab. That is, IF Notifications are enabled again. I would just put tabs for Personal - Group - or Received/Sent.
- Make a good, comprehensive sorting method. By date, by sender, by subject
- Folders (as you promised) so that we can sort by project or by groups of people (i.e. Italian subbers, Ko-En subbers, Moderators, Channel Managers, friends or whatever)
- Search feature (as you promised)
- Find a way to answer privately to the original sender of a group message.
- Give us pages of messages, as we had, instead of only a Search feature, so that we can easily go to messages from a few days or weeks ago.
- Disable “ENTER” sending the message. Just keep the “Send” button as is.
- Put a link to the drama search feature. It’s not difficult.
- Fix the need to refresh the page to see any new messages.
- Fix the loading time.
- Fix the no-scroll bug, make it possible to scroll to years ago.
THE FOLLOWING HAVE BEEN DONE in v.2
- Bring back the e-mail icon for direct messaging on viki members profile.
- Bring back quick access to sender’s profile page just by clicking the username on the message.
- Make unread messages bold and read messages not bold. The sender name and the date is in smaller font and grey colour, so it is already distinguishable from the message subject. If you like the blue that much, okay, than make the unread ones blue right away, not only when we manually mark them as “unread”.