PM Outbox/Sent Suggestion

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SamG
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Re: PM Outbox/Sent Suggestion

Post by SamG » Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:23 pm

Eelke wrote:This is not about the functionality (I have little if any problems with that), this is about the terminology.
It's hard to separate the functionality from the terminology, it seems. Even you make the observation that "the current behaviour is unintuitive" (emphasis mine). If people are stumbling over the current terminology and not aware of the functional benefits (message revision and read receipt), removing the stumbling block could obfuscate the functionality even further. Not that I am opposed to helpful revision; I just don't follow that this is a terminology problem alone.

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Eelke
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Re: PM Outbox/Sent Suggestion

Post by Eelke » Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:45 pm

Well, yes... I did realize that it could in fact turn out that the only acceptable way to solve the problem with the terminology involved a functional change also (I think the idea to merge the outbox and the sent box into a single sent box and a read/unread field is a functional change that addresses the problem with the terminology). I just didn't want to make things too complicated. All I wanted to say is that I do not oppose the current functionality (as it seemed statm thought I did), it's just that I think the terminology is confusing.

Once users create the mental "mapping" of outbox to mean "messages I sent that have not been read by the recipient yet and I can still change" and sent to mean "messages I sent that have been read by the recipient and I can therefore no longer change" everything is fine. The problem is that this is not a natural mental mapping to create.

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Re: PM Outbox/Sent Suggestion

Post by SamG » Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:48 pm

Eelke wrote:Once users create the mental "mapping" of outbox to mean "messages I sent that have not been read by the recipient yet and I can still change" and sent to mean "messages I sent that have been read by the recipient and I can therefore no longer change" everything is fine. The problem is that this is not a natural mental mapping to create.
Agreed. I do see the problem. What's less clear to me is how to solve the problem without adverse side effects. In particular, further obscuring the editing capability by making the interface imply that what we have is a read receipt only.

In my e-mail outbox, I can edit. In my personal message outbox, I can edit. It's perhaps easier to learn and recall the map with those kinds of cues than with a sytem that seems to suggest read receipt functionality only.

But at this point I think that I border on splitting hairs. My point isn't to disagree with those who see a need for clarification, but simply to point out that if the goal is to keep everything accessible (and obviously that should be the goal), I think we have a non-trivial problem.

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Re: PM Outbox/Sent Suggestion

Post by doglet » Sat May 09, 2009 2:59 pm

This behavior was confusing, but now that I understand it, I am fine with it. Upon seeing this behavior, I immediately considered an Outlook analogy and thought, "in Outlook, what's still in my Outbox cannot yet be received by the user".
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Re: PM Outbox/Sent Suggestion

Post by Eelke » Sat May 09, 2009 3:30 pm

Sure it is "fine", it's not hard to understand. I do think that the analogy with email is fundamentally flawed, though. Which is the source of the confusion with newbies in the first place. You say, it hasn't been received while it is still in your outbox. However, it is received in the sense that once the recipient goes to their inbox, they can see and open the message. They also get notified of a newly received messages, eventhough they are still in your outbox and not in your sent box. How can the message be received if it hasn't been sent yet? :) (In case anyone was considering explaining again how phpBB's PM system works, that was a rhetorical question :))

It can be explained (and understood), sure. The problem is that it needs to be explained :)

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Re: PM Outbox/Sent Suggestion

Post by Acyd Burn » Sun May 10, 2009 10:02 am

crystalsc wrote:I'd like to add a suggestion. I hope this is the right place to do so as I'm new to phpbb and am unsure.

When you send a pm, it sits in the Outbox for quite some time. Some experienced users told me this is because it doesn't move to the Sent folder until the recipient receives it.
[...]
I would suggest rather than sitting in the Outbox it goes into the Sent folder but have some sort of notation that it has not been read yet (perhaps a red "x" or something). Because, well, if it's sent - it's sent.
Yes, i also want to see the outbox and sentbox merged. ;) Especially because you also can send to more than one recipient and the PM vanish from the outbox once at least one recipient read the message. There should be some more details to track such PM's - but not for 3.0.x ;)

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Re: PM Outbox/Sent Suggestion

Post by A_O_C » Sun May 10, 2009 2:39 pm

If I remember correctly, this is something you are planning for 3.2.x, no?

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Re: PM Outbox/Sent Suggestion

Post by Acyd Burn » Mon May 11, 2009 10:11 am

yes

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Re: PM Outbox/Sent Suggestion

Post by jrandyb » Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:09 pm

How about renaming "Outbox" to "Waiting to be read", I think that would clarify the PM dilemma. :D

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Re: PM Outbox/Sent Suggestion

Post by Pony99CA » Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:56 pm

jrandyb wrote:How about renaming "Outbox" to "Waiting to be read", I think that would clarify the PM dilemma. :D
I was going to suggest something like "Sent/Not Received (Editable)". That clarifies the terminology and explains the functionality at the cost of being a bit verbose.

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Re: PM Outbox/Sent Suggestion

Post by Dog Cow » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:07 am

Acyd Burn wrote: Especially because you also can send to more than one recipient and the PM vanish from the outbox once at least one recipient read the message. )
A feature I want is for the Sent box message date to show the date that the user read the message, and not the date that I sent it. Because sometimes those two dates may differ greatly.

On my site, I have the following PM boxes: Inbox | Sent Messages | Awaiting Pickup | Savebox

And then when you're in the Sent messages, a little description appears below which reads "These messages have been read by their recipient," and below Awaiting Pickup, the message changes slightly to be "These messages have not been read by their recipient."

For the rest of the boxes, I assume that no description is necessary.
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Re: PM Outbox/Sent Suggestion

Post by Pony99CA » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:56 pm

Dog Cow wrote:
Acyd Burn wrote: Especially because you also can send to more than one recipient and the PM vanish from the outbox once at least one recipient read the message. )
A feature I want is for the Sent box message date to show the date that the user read the message, and not the date that I sent it. Because sometimes those two dates may differ greatly.
But, as Acyd Burn mentioned, what if there is more than one recipient? Would you want the date the first user read it, the most recent read time or somehow showing all of the read/unread statuses?

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Re: PM Outbox/Sent Suggestion

Post by Dog Cow » Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:16 pm

Pony99CA wrote: all of the read/unread statuses?
All of them, of course. And the date that I sent the message too.
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Re: PM Outbox/Sent Suggestion

Post by GNandGS » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:01 am

Found this thread after being confused by the behavior - but figuring I wasn't "getting it" did a search. Thanks to email I agree with others and am glad to see some changes being thought of. Normally if I have a message in my Outbox it means there is a connectivity or configuration problem (or set for delay).

So far my users haven't noticed so until its a problem - it isn't. ;)

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Re: PM Outbox/Sent Suggestion

Post by KLNelson » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:36 am

I am on the side of counter-intuitive. I just wasted half an hour trying to figure out how to "send" the messages from my "Outbox" until I found this forum.

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