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Feature #481

ability to archive inactive groups and blogs

Added by Michael Mandiberg over 8 years ago. Updated over 3 years ago.

Status:
Assigned
Priority name:
Normal
Category name:
Groups (misc)
Target version:
Start date:
2010-12-14
Due date:
% Done:

0%

Estimated time:

Description

After using the Commons for a year or so, about half of the groups and blogs I am in are now dormant. They were created for working groups, or classes, or other fixed-period endeavors. The result is that my dropdown menu is pretty cluttered. A number of times I have clicked into the wrong long-dormant blog, and posted there (awk). I don't want to un-join the groups/blogs b/c I will loose access to the info in there, but I would like to be able to archive them so they don't show up in the drop down menu. Or there could be a menu item at the bottom that said "archived groups." Just a thought about interface.

ViewAllGroups.png (14 KB) ViewAllGroups.png Chris Stein, 2011-07-11 11:37 PM

History

#1 Updated by Boone Gorges over 8 years ago

  • Category name set to BuddyPress (misc)
  • Status changed from New to Assigned
  • Assignee set to Boone Gorges
  • Target version set to 1.2

That's an awesome idea, Michael. There are several big changes that would have to happen to BuddyPress to make this feasible, but I'll try to think about some workarounds.

#2 Updated by Boone Gorges about 8 years ago

  • Target version changed from 1.2 to 1.3

I still like this idea, but it's going to have to be bumped to the next version - there's too much work to be done to make this feature work right to squeeze it in the next few weeks.

#3 Updated by Boone Gorges almost 8 years ago

Chris/Michael/Matt, can I ask you to chime in on this? I like the idea, but I want to make sure that it's implemented in a way that doesn't produce a large amount of clutter in the interface.

Here's one possible schema:
1) Add an archive/unarchive button in group headers/group directories
2) Filter archived groups out of all group lists, except for...
3) Add a tab under http://commons.gc.cuny.edu/members/[yourname]/groups (between 'My Groups' and 'Requests') called 'Archived Groups'. It would look and act just like the My Groups tab, except that it'd show archived groups.
4) We might also add a small link near the bottom or top of other group directories reading "This list shows only active groups. [[Show my archived groups]]"

This adds very little to the navigation, which I think is important, given that the whole purpose is to declutter the navigation.

#4 Updated by Matt Gold almost 8 years ago

Those sound like excellent suggestions, Boone. The only other thing I can think of is how we'd handle archived groups in the drop-down menu of the sitewide nav. Perhaps a single link to "Archived Groups" that, when clicked would take one to a full list of either "My Archived Groups" or "Archived Groups," depending on the menu (My Groups vs. Groups).

#5 Updated by Boone Gorges almost 8 years ago

The only other thing I can think of is how we'd handle archived groups in the drop-down menu of the sitewide nav.

My thought about this is that people archive groups in order to make their nav shorter. Thus it seems a little counterproductive and unnecessary to put a link in the sitewide nav. IMO it should just be a subsection of Groups.

As for "Archived Groups" vs "My Archived Groups". I was imagining making the archive process user-specific, so that I could archive (essentially "hide") a group for myself, but that it wouldn't affect others' group lists. This seems more flexible, and less intrusive, than the option of making archiving an all-or-nothing, group-level action. If we go with my suggestion, there will be no general "Archived Groups" section, since there will be no such thing as archived groups simpliciter. There will only be My Archived Groups, under My Groups.

#6 Updated by Matt Gold almost 8 years ago

My thought about this is that people archive groups in order to make their nav shorter. Thus it seems a little counterproductive and unnecessary to put a link in the sitewide nav. IMO it should just be a subsection of Groups.

I see that point, but having a single link that could potentially go to a listing of twenty groups would be a useful time-saver. Otherwise, people may wonder how to access groups they've archived.

I don't feel strongly about this, but I think we should have Chris chime in as our usability guru.

As for "Archived Groups" vs "My Archived Groups". I was imagining making the archive process user-specific, so that I could archive (essentially "hide") a group for myself, but that it wouldn't affect others' group lists. This seems more flexible, and less intrusive, than the option of making archiving an all-or-nothing, group-level action. If we go with my suggestion, there will be no general "Archived Groups" section, since there will be no such thing as archived groups simpliciter. There will only be My Archived Groups, under My Groups.

Great. Thanks.

#7 Updated by Michael Smith almost 8 years ago

I think it would be great to find a way to organize the drop down of groups and even blogs as well. But I think that just focusing on the idea that a user will wish to use (not archived) or not use (archived) a group and/or a blog may be too limiting.

I don't know what the programming lift would look like but, could it be possible to allow users to create their own organizational structures for their groups and blogs? Could we use categories or tags that a user gives to groups and blogs and that would organize them into parent directories that would show up in the drop down?

Wordpress uses the page Parent and Order functions, but I'm not sure if we could somehow take advantage of that plugin as a foundation.

Eiter way, I'm all for building user controlled organizational options for the main drop-downs of the Commons.

#8 Updated by Chris Stein almost 8 years ago

Sorry there's such a gap between your request and this Matt. I've been doing the summer thing the last couple of weeks and I'm just kind of getting back into school stuff.

This is kind of two things now. The original idea, something to remove little used groups/blogs from the navigation and Michael's suggestion that really goes more into rethinking the Commons bar and giving users more control over what's there.

In terms of the first idea I think it could be very helpful to users like us who have many groups and use the Commons a lot. For newer users it's probably not an issue. Instead of using the word "Archive" I might suggest "Inactive". Archiving has a finality to it and the concept of putting something away that might be confusing when you're only doing something for yourself: I do agree with Boone that actions here should be on a per user basis and not effect other members of the group or blog. I also think that where you put the Active/Inactive button and the wording will be important. If there are separeate Manage Groups and Manage Blogs pages then I think it would be easier to understand that you're doing an action just for yourself. If the button is on the admin page of the blog or group then putting a word like I or my in the button would help (eg "Add blog to my Inactive List").

One possible way to address the problem of how to let people know they are not seeing all of their groups/blogs in the dropdown is to add a "View All Groups" link to the dropdown that takes them to the page where they can see all of their groups (see image). This is actually what happens now when you click My Groups or My Blogs but I'm not sure if people know or use that and the link would also be a cue to people that they are not seeing all of their groups in the dropdown.

Another way to deal with this is to add some kind of automatic filtering, for example the dropdown might only show the 10 or 15 groups you last accessed. Not sure about that but it leads into what Michael talked about which is giving users more fine grained control over what shows up in the Commons Bar.

I think that more control over what shows in the Commons Bar is something we should look into but that it should be part of a larger look at the interface. I've heard from a few people that the interface can be a bit confusing. If you count both the commons bar and the main navigation ther are about 14 options. Adding the dropdown items in those 14 and it's probably double that. It's probably too many. How and where to simplify that is not a simple question and needs some thought and planning. For power users the ability to totally customize it would be cool but for the novice users there needs to be some kind of default configuration that is straighforward and easy to use.

If others think that's something we should tackle we can start another ticket on it.

#9 Updated by Michael Mandiberg almost 8 years ago

Agreed that there are now two different features at play. And we should watch out for scope creep. All I suggested was the ability to hide groups, rather than a more extensive ability to customize the interface.

One note: "Hide/Unhide" might be a good wording that gets at the non-finality. Also, it is only four characters, which makes it easier to fit into little spaces, design-wise

m

#10 Updated by Boone Gorges over 7 years ago

  • Target version changed from 1.3 to 1.4

I've got something in the works for this, but I'll need significant UX help before I can launch it. Pushing it to the next cycle. I'll post specific questions soon.

#11 Updated by Chris Stein over 7 years ago

OK, sounds good. When you're ready for that I think we can also look into breaking this up into a couple of different tickets if we still want to pursue both ideas that came up.

#12 Updated by Boone Gorges almost 7 years ago

  • Target version changed from 1.4 to Future release

This needs too much UI work to fit into this release. Let's revisit after 1.4.

#13 Updated by Chris Stein almost 7 years ago

OK, it may also be easier to address this after other CBox related interface changes.

#14 Updated by Boone Gorges over 3 years ago

  • Category name changed from BuddyPress (misc) to Groups (misc)
  • Assignee changed from Boone Gorges to Samantha Raddatz

Changes in BuddyPress over the last couple years have made this easier to address technically than it once may have been.

Sam, this is another one for you to read over and give some suggestions about.

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