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Proposal: make [Message Inbox], when truncated, show only the latest messages

by bart (Canon)
on Nov 19, 2006 at 22:45 UTC ( #584985=pmdevtopic: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

My previous root node in this section made me think, why people could prefer to use a Jeopardy style ordering (newest stuff at the top), which, to me, seems a most unnatural thing to do — especially for several messages in the same conversation, that appear to go backwards as it progresses.

I could only think of one reason: to always see the newest messages, in what could be a huge pile. The pile could be that huge, that it gets truncated. For example, the Chatterbox Sidebar only shows at most 2 messages.

Wouldn't it be a good idea to show just the last messages in your inbox, instead of the first? I've tested it, that's what the Chatterbox does. And Message Inbox, too. Even if it does say at the bottom "Plus 2 earlier (of 5) messages not shown.", those are actually the more recent messages.

My proposal: the way I'd prefer it, is that the sublist of messages get selected in reverse chronological order, for example the latest 10 by default, but that the display order is chronological, if that's what the user chose in his settings.

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Re: Proposal: make [Message Inbox], when truncated, show only the latest messages
by jhourcle (Prior) on Nov 20, 2006 at 15:17 UTC

    I agree, from a usability standpoint, that your suggestion makes perfect sense.

    I will, however contrast it from a system pont of view.* If you make it easy for the user to never have to go into their mailbox, they're less likely to go in there and clean things up.

    I'm not going to pretend that I know what the correct balance is between the two (or even if the issue w/ not cleaning up is significant), but I've seen systems where a few people never weed their messages, and they might collect up thousands.

    * (I don't know anything about this system, but I have administered mail systems and portal sites in the past)

      I will, however contrast it from a system pont of view.* If you make it easy for the user to never have to go into their mailbox, they're less likely to go in there and clean things up.
      That is, pardon my French, baloney.

      I've heard of people here who allegedly keep more than 1000 messages in their inbox. That's part of why they added filtering on message content in Message Inbox (the person who added that, is one of those people).

      This is not the way to force people to clean up. Instead, you to take harder measures, like putting a hard limit on the number of messages the system will hold, and automatically throw away older messages, when the inbox size grows above it.

      Not that I really want this, but it surely sounds better to me, than what you are saying.

      Is there a reason to limit the inbox size?

        Why bart, you sound positively bitter. :-)

        ---
        $world=~s/war/peace/g

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