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Imported From: http://groups.google.com/group/in-portal-dev/browse_thread/thread/f3ad985f578238de#

Hi guys,

I've started to use admin-side form replying system in real conditions, and there's a lot of space for improvements. All needed features are there, but interface need to drastically evolve.

Actually, I clic on the form name from left column to see messages.
If I want to reply from this grid view, I need to:

1. double-click on submission to open it, or clic on submission once and then on "Edit" toolbar button
2. read the message
3. click on "Messages" tab
4. click on "Reply" toolbar button
5. write my reply
6. click on "Send" button
7. click on "Save" button

So in total, 6 clics are needed to reply to a single message, and of course I need to wait between each click for the interface to load.
My server is maybe slow, but even on a faster server, 6 clicks multiplied by dozen of messages counts too much wasted time.

Same problem if I select many messages in grid and edit them all: I won't save even one click, because I need to click on "next" toolbar button, and in next view, I need to click back on "General" tab to see the received message.
Of course, I could blindly click on "reply" toolbar button directly, and read the question that have been quoted in reply text area, but if message isn't to be replied by me (I've many admin on this project), then I've wasted another couple of clicks and load waiting time.

I hope I've convinced you that messages system is a real click-n-wait tale, here is my proposal, which is a merging of both tabs (general + messages):

- from messages grid, a single clic on a link (link for each line) open the new combined 'message + reply' text area
- below text area, new buttons : 'Send' -- 'Send and open next one'
- tabbing would be adjusted so if I type "tab" from text area, focus will be on "Send" button, and another tab press will focus on "Send and open next one"
- conversation appears threaded, with latest message on top of list

I'm also proposing something which is really simple but very useful: a system to save/recall preset replies. If you know gmail lab's one, then nothing else to add :)

Phil.

6 Comments

  1. Maybe we can go away from standard grid on Messages tab and user
    conversation-style display with reply textarea on top of the list (message
    order is reversed - newest on top).

  2. even having a tab is a non-sense for me, have ever seen an interface where message text and reply features are separated by a tab? :)

    Envoy

  3. Tabs are here because form submissions a submission details + conversation.
    It actually makes sense to open Messages tab by default since you see
    submission details in submission list anyway,

  4. but why not putting all info on same tab? Don't see any downside...

    Dmitry, are you around to give your opinion? :)  

    Le jeudi 23 ao

  5. Downside would be probably window height. There are a lot of fields on a
    General tab and putting whole message grid on it would allow to see only
    about 3 messages at once, which isn't good.

  6. my idea isn't to put all messages grid on it: you still click to edit a message, but opening window show all info, and default behavior is "send and open next one"

    Le samedi 25 ao