[Savane-dev] [task #1074] mail notification content improvement (November 23, 2004 - 10:29)


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		task #1074, project Savane

 OVERVIEW of task #1074:


                 Summary: mail notification content improvement
                 Project: Savane
            Submitted by: yeupou
            Submitted on: mar 23.11.2004 à 10:29
         Should Start On: mar 23.11.2004 à 00:00
   Should be Finished on: mer 23.11.2005 à 00:00
                Category: Web Frontend
                Priority: 1 - Later
                  Status: None
                 Privacy: Public
             Assigned to: None
        Percent Complete: 0%
             Open/Closed: Open
                  Effort: 0.00
         Planned Release: 


Efforts have been made in the latest development. The result is far from
perfection but lisibility is probably now better.

 I expect more improvement to be made for notification in the future. But that
a part hard to improve. Most of the time, the complainers have a very specific
vision of what would be the perfect notification while they do not have a
clear idea of what the notification could contain. For instance, persons that
usually tracks issues where item update only contain 2 lines followup comments
tend to think the separators to be overly line consuming; but if they were
receiving followup comments of 50 lines including bits of code, with 6 fields
being updated, they would clearly understand the waste of one line as
separator that greatly enhance lisibility.

My personal stance is that what should matters most is not the amount of lines
used by the lisibility in itself.  Tests should always be made with item with
long comments and many field changes.
Having less information is usually convenient for regular users, since they
know exactly where they should be looking. But the interface should be
newcomers-proof as much as possible. 
For instance, a first paragraph saying the mail is a notification about this
item on this tracker on this installation is probably useless for many users.
It is not for newcomers, it is not completely the case for persons that uses
several instance of Savane. One could interpret the mail header to get clues
about the context; but it is not sure at all.

Many users never read what is written, even when should. I tend to think that
it is up to them -- it is their problem in the end if they missed something by
not reading. But users that do read what is written should never miss
something because we were pretentious enough to assume that everything is
crystal-clear and does not require any comments.
I personally rarely read some parts of the Savane interface. I almost never
read the Label of the fields (like Category, Privacy), I only click on the
select boxes. Maybe it would be even more confortable to me if there was no
such label. It would be possible to get a form even smaller, with less lines
wasted. That would be me just taking into account my own usage of Savane and
what would be very efficient for me. 
It is probably the way Emacs was designed. Emacs is powerful, I use it
everyday. But it tooks me weeks just to understand how to do the most basic
Savane should not be an Emacs, should not be a tool designed for computers
If we can make happy both computers experts and the rest of the world, ok. But
when we cant, we should make an effort towards the rest of the world.

These two points (items will plenty of info, problem of accessibility to end
user with little computing knowledge)
are  why the latest changes made to notification did not reduced verbosity and
separators line consumption.

I'd like everybody that want to work on notification content improvement keep
these two points in mind. It does not means that separators and verbosity
should never be changed. It means that when we'll speak about changing it,
we'll do it with in mind that the result will be as easily understandable to
most users. 


That said, I wonder if the section "Overview" is justified in mail changes
notifications. Maybe it should be sent only in the first mail and the update
notification should only mention what changed.
It would greatly reduce mail size and would allows us to change things more
easily, as we would no longer need big OVERVIEW/CHANGES separators.

That's, I think, a starting point for future improvements. But I have no clue
whether the overview section is felt as important to users or not. I know that
a few said it was useless. But a few complainers is not enough to know what
the others thinks.


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