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Chiara
Site Admin


Joined: 29 Sep 2000
Posts: 322
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:03 pm   

Feedback from an 'outsider'
 
I've finally heard back from one of the not-mudders I invited to beta test the site. I'm posting her comments here for discussion.

***********************************

any reason why the friend's name and email fields are so small, given there's more room on the page

predefined category, death
offers fields for description, and # of hours to delay, but they appear to be disabled (bit confusing)
(yes I know it says it's a default category and can't be changed but that doesn't seem like it would prevent a description/notification time)

Email category: death > OK this confused me. I thought at first (intuitively) this is where I entered whatever message I wanted for friends with that category on. But now I realize (after finishing the message), that I think it's saying, it's (a) a one-time thing and (b) that it's just going to immediately email my friends telling them I've died, like right now, and that is definitely not what I had in mind.

Now... I am wandering... I clicked on all the links... I am not finding what I feel like I ought to be finding.

I feel like, given what I think-I-know-from-so-far, I should be able to see a link or button that lets me create/edit a message (not a "send email immediately" but a "future message for the system to send should that time arrive" in some fashion) for (a) a given category as a 'default', or at least (b) a given person+category as a specific.

I got the idea from the site that for example, you know my impression of what to expect from reading what it is, that I enter my best buddies Joe & Scooter in Virginia (a couple), and then I can set it up so if I die (or whatever), they get an email (if my 'trusted advisor' comes in after my death and says so, anyway). I guess if I uncheck all but death then they don't get an email for anything else.

I think in my head it seems like you'd have a person, and you click on the person, and then for each major category (death/accident/absence/disaster) you could basically have three choices for them: (a) use the 'default' for that category that you have set up [maybe it should automatically have boilerplate text you edit so checking for its existence is less a pain]; (b) do not send them anything for this category; or (c) enter my custom message to this person for this category. By default everybody would come with the 'default' checked.

Which means that also as a main option you'd have a category like death, and you click on it, and you can customize the default message. Which brings me back to the 'email category: death' which makes me think it's going to send an email to my friend 'immediately' it says with my message.

There is an email link that lists emails sent. This definitely makes it sound like an outbox, like I'm sending emails right now. It does not make it sound like any kind of "custom messages" that are merely prepared for future email, so if that's what it really is, I think maybe the terminology might be reconsidered.

"predefined category" implies to me that I must be able to create custom (NOT pre-defined) categories (or it's just a 'category', if that's all that's available). Like, one where the 'description' and 'hours to notification' fields worked, for example. But I can't find any link like 'my categories'.
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Tarn
GURU


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 853
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:40 pm   Re: Feedback from an 'outsider'
 
Chiara wrote:
I've finally heard back from one of the not-mudders I invited to beta test the site. I'm posting her comments here for discussion.

***********************************
Email category: death > OK this confused me. I thought at first (intuitively) this is where I entered whatever message I wanted for friends with that category on. But now I realize (after finishing the message), that I think it's saying, it's (a) a one-time thing and (b) that it's just going to immediately email my friends telling them I've died, like right now, and that is definitely not what I had in mind.

Now... I am wandering... I clicked on all the links... I am not finding what I feel like I ought to be finding.


That matched my expectation too- I had anticipated seeing "Friends", "Trustees", and "Messages" tabs at the left. I was disoriented for a (very short) while, but then understood the layout. I wasn't sure exactly what to suggest, and I figured out the interface pretty quickly, but her comments are good.

The present arrangement is quite powerful (custom message per recipient per category) but it would also be nice to share messages for several friends. Her suggestion of a single default message per category, entered on the category page, is probably enough for most users, and also pretty simple to present to the user (a checkbox for use default, and if it isn't checked they can type in a custom message per friend).

-Tarn
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:59 pm   
 
I'll actually change the Death category so that you can't even click on it. Since it's Predefined and cannot be edited, and it doesn't make sense for you to send your own immediate message for the Death category, I think it's just best to remove the hyperlink for it.

I think the site actually works the way she wants: click on a Friend's name in your list to edit their custom messages. The problem is that the custom messages are at the bottom of the Friend page and unless you notice the scrollbar on your browser, it's easy to miss them. I'll add some sort of tab or header to the Edit Friend page to make it more obvious where the custom messages are.

As far as a default message for a category, I'm currently against that idea. Your poor friend is already getting an impersonal message sent by your Trusted Contact. The last thing they need is a default message from you too. I think you should either customize the message for your specific Friend, or not have any custom message at all.

(turns out she was only using the Full account and not the Premium account, so that's why she didn't see the custom messages option)

Quote:
I had anticipated seeing "Friends", "Trustees", and "Messages" tabs at the left.

I'm confused...isn't that what the site already has?
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Tarn
GURU


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 853
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:54 pm   
 
Zugg wrote:

As far as a default message for a category, I'm currently against that idea. Your poor friend is already getting an impersonal message sent by your Trusted Contact. The last thing they need is a default message from you too.
...
I think you should either customize the message for your specific Friend, or not have any custom message at all.


If they're actual friends, I agree. I could see a set of standard messages going to to "mods@somemessageboard.com" or "admin@somebusiness.com" type addresses that aren't actually close friends or even individual people. Some people may use the automatic mailing primarily to give contact information for someone who can answer further questions rather than to write an extensive letter.

There's little information on how people will use this since you seem to be first to market.

Quote:

Quote:
I had anticipated seeing "Friends", "Trustees", and "Messages" tabs at the left.

I'm confused...isn't that what the site already has?


Logging in as account owner, I see links for "Friends" and "Trusted Contacts" in the navbar on the left. Below that are "Your Account Info" and "Email history" links.

It took me a little while to figure out that defining messages was under "Friends" and then clicking the individual friend link- I was looking for a direct "Messages" link.

My intuition about the user interface quite likely doesn't match the mass market, but reading through the "outsider"'s opinion it seems like we needed the same little bit of guidance when seeing everything for the first time.

-Tarn
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:27 pm   
 
OK, I can understand that. I could add a link for Custom Messages, but then you'd still need to select which friend you want to store the messages for. So then it would just be another list of friends and would still be a 2-step process (click a friend, then modify the messages).

I have added some text to the top of the Friends list that tells you to click a friend's name to add a custom message (if you have a premium account). When you click on a Friend's name now, it will also give a link at the top to let you jump down to edit custom messages. If you don't have a premium account, it will tell you in the Edit Friend page that custom messages are available for Premium accounts and has an Upgrade link.

I have also modified the Edit Category page. First, the Death category is no longer a link that can be clicked on. And for Predefined Categories, you only see the Description and not the "Delay" field (since it's always zero for other predefined categories). If you don't have a Premium account, it tells you that Premium accounts can add custom categories and gives an Upgrade link.

Down in the section for sending an email to the category, if you don't have a Premium account, it tells you that Premium accounts can store custom messages for each category and gives and Upgrade link. If you *do* have a Premium account, it gives you the link back to your Friends page with instructions for adding a custom message to your friends.

Hopefully some of this extra description will help. If you have an idea on how the custom messages might be handled better, let me know. But part of the original problem was that the poster didn't realize they needed a Premium account for this feature, so adding these messages should help inform people about this and also encourage upgrades.

Note that if your account is still in Trial mode, the Upgrade page lets you change your account type at-will immediately.
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