New inbox necessary improvements (Dec.2020 update)
There was a post of mine on this, but somehow it has disappeared and the contents were somehow obsolete anyway, so here is an updated version (December 2020).
To begin with, because a picture is better than a thousand words, here are two screenshots.
The first one is a screenshot of what I see of the Viki messaging system, on my 17'' laptop. A total of FIVE messages. I think you would agree that it's unacceptable. Even on my 6.9 inch smartphone I can see 6 to 7 messages!
And this is what I see in Microsoft Outlook, on the same 17'' laptop screen. Thirty two messages in each page. And look at the neat little folders on the left.
Keeping this in mind, let's get into specific improvements that I suggest.
- The loading time is unacceptable, it should be fixed.
- Fix the need to refresh the page for everything: now it’s needed not only to show new messages but also to move from message to message etc.
- Settings should be remembered since we’re logged in users. Why reset them when we clean history, cookies and cache from our browser? Can’t they be stored as our preferences with our user profile?
- Get rid of the preview pane. Make it so that you can view the message when you click on a message header. OR make a preview optional (like in hotmail) for those who want it.
- Together with the preview pane, get rid of the insulting “Get chatty” thingie. Not all of us are here to “chat”.
- In the message overview on the left, make spacing between headers as narrow as possible and compact the lines, so that the maximum number of messages can appear in one page, even for screens that are not huge. In my 17'' laptop I can see a total of 5 messages (see screenshot above). What a waste of space! Make the message view wider, window-wide, so that sender, subject and date can all be on one line. This way more messages will be seen at the same time. If there is no preview pane, the sender, subject and date can fit in one line so this by itself will help a lot!
- If necessary, 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.
- Get rid of the Announcements tab which is used once every blue moon. I would just put tabs for Personal/Group or Received/Sent (where “Sent” are the ones initiated by you). Make it easy to differentiate between personal and group messages, received and sent.
- It’s good that you now show exact dates of messages, not "X days/weeks/months ago". But the date is not visible for ourselves, and not for today.
- Give us more than one pages of messages, as we had before, instead of only a Search feature, so that we can easily go to messages from a few days or weeks ago.
- The links on top are useless. Perks? Really? Once you visited that one once, at the very beginning of your volunteer “career”, you’ll never visit it again. And they are all relative to the Volunteer website. Even the logo on the left. There’s no link to the main viki.com website. I would put links to “Explore”, “Help” and “Discussions”. And the "Search for a drama" field.
- Give us the ability to organize one's mailbox in different ways, according to our needs. Make a good, comprehensive sorting method, just like every mail program:
- By date,
- by “recipient”
- by “sender”
- by “subject”
- Contact list/Address book. To save the individuals we converse with often in an address book. Autosave after sending them a message or a reply.
- Implement 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)
- A “Subject” line which we had asked, has already been implemented, but not the “sort by subject” which would group, for instance, all messages regarding a specific project. We do have the chat right now, but sometimes we don’t need the whole team to see every single thing we write.
- Implement a search feature, (as you promised)
WRITING, REPLYING, DELETING
-. When you have already dealt with a message (read it or replied to it), if you click on another one, the first one becomes “read” but it doesn’t take you to the next one. You have to refresh the page. Fix this.
-. When you want to do some cleanup, and - scrolling interminably - you find a message you want to delete it and do delete it, afterwards you are taken to the beginning of the message list again, instead of staying where you are, to continue going back in time and cleaning more of the useless stuff. Please make it so that it stays where you left before the deleting.
- Make deleting a message simpler: select a message from the list of messages and delete it without having to open it. With just a confirmation window in case of mistake.
- Make mass selecting and mass deleting of messages easy and quick. Maybe with radio buttons next to message headers, just like in Android phones.
- When creating a message, get rid of username validation. Make it like the old system, where the system tells us in case the username we have typed is not correct.
- Username autocomplete suggestion if we have already written to this person before or is in our contact list (when the contact list feature is created)
- Search for username. This is nowhere to be found in Viki generally. Impossible to find someone unless you know them already.
- When creating a message, give us the possibility to copy-paste a list of many recipients, instead of asking us to add them one by one. This is very important. Sometimes we ask all the subbers of a certain language whether they are interested in participating in our new project. There may be as many as 50 recipients. Don’t make our lives more difficult!
- When creating a message, after you write the name of the recipient and click on “Add”, it jumps to writing the message and the “Subject” field does not show. You have to scroll up again to see it. This is a bug, fix it.
- Find a way to answer privately to the original sender of a group message.
- Disable “ENTER” sending the message as default, because every time we clean our cookies and cache we have to remember to disable the option. Just keep the “Send” button as Send. Or, as I said at the very beginning, remember our settings.
- Enable removing someone from the chat and adding someone from the chat. Since you've made it more like a chat than like an e-mail client, then go all the way, and adjust this as well. The way it is now, if someone is no longer in the group, or if there is a new member, you have to make a new conversation.
- Remove the character limitation for messages we write, or make it at least double.
- When a message is slightly longer, there is a little downwards-looking arrow to show the rest of it. Well, sometimes for some people that arrow isn’t there, they can’t see it. A workaround is to make the browser window much smaller (like 50%) until it shows, and then zoom in again to 100%. But it’s annoying to have to do that, and many people don’t even know there was more to the message, so they will never think of doing that, and they might miss important communications.
- The vertical scrollbar at the right of the preview is very thin and sometimes disappears completely. Please fix this.