Author Topic: Activity Feeds  (Read 5242 times)

pixelprodigy

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Activity Feeds
« on: January 27, 2009, 05:00:06 AM »
This post is kind of an extension of this post but rather different so I decided to start a new thread:

http://forums.opengoo.org/index.php?topic=781.new;topicseen#new

I work with columbusgeek and I am with him saying we have searched and tried nearly every Project management app out there and they all seem to lack key features, or if they have the features, they loose the plot when it comes to useability.

OpenGoo is as close as it gets to being the best app available, I do feel however that it does also need to address the change in the industry from traditional project management apps to address a social aspect to it. Activity feeds (thanks to the likes of facebook) are fast becoming the next best thing in project management, the ability to look at a timeline of activity (more importantly being able to drill down into a users activity) and then comment on that activity is a particularly new trend I have found in all of the bigger "WebOffice/Portal"

I feel your dashboard, especialy the list view is a very similar concept to what I am describing above, all be it a very minimal version. One thing I noticed that was missing was if a task is completed it does not show up in the dashboard view. This is as columbusgeek suggested in his last post and re confirms what I have been thinking about for a few days now.... which is what started my long post ;)

The basic idea behind the activity feed is that it provides a quick view of what has happened in a timeline but the details are important, so instead of milestone it would be "milestone completed" or "milestone created" along with who created it and and when. One key feature is that the stream is then used to drive easy collabortion in the team by allowing comments on each activity and the comment itself is then added to the top of the stream. As with your current dashboard list view, its based on time, so everything is in order so its hard to miss anything new that has happened in your spaces.

A good example of this is that I received an email from Matt (columbusgeek) this morning with a comment attached to a milestone but when I opened it using the link it didnt go directly to the task, and I checked my dashboards but found nothing so went looking for the milestone where it was and then I saw the comment. This entire process would be avoided as all I would do when logging in is go to my feed and process it kinda like we do with email. One bonus of working like this is that it reduces the number of emails coming in that need to be dealt with as the system gets busy the system emails become a bit of a pain, the activity feed will reduce this by allowing users to turn off email updates and rather use the feed to process everything.

Here are some links to some apps that have started to implement activity feeds that mat be of assistance if you feel this suggestion to be interesting ;)

1. cyn.in (we are still considering using this along side opengoo for our documentation etc but the overlap is so much its a little impractical however they have a wonderful adobe air app that pulls in the activity feed and allows one to react directly from there without opening the web app)

see link here: http://blogs.adobe.com/air/2008/12/adobe_air_powered_cynin_deskto.html

2. http://www.producteev.com/ a very new service with a large focus on activity and social media integration, I just fee the interface and way tasks are managed is not ideal for large multi tier projects.

3. http://www.liferay.com/web/guest/home

4. Facebook of course... the new updates they made to the activity feed where people can now comment on each status update was very clever indeed and its no surprise many apps are adopting this.

There are others I can dig out if needed but those are the main ones I can think of but if this idea is interesting I would be happy to provide more feedback if needed.

In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoy using opengoo and feel it has a very bright future. I dont usually take time to provide feedback unless I have allot of faith in a product and see the potential. We are a professional CMS theming company and are also considering doing a few themes for opengoo and making them available on our website with a "we recommend opengoo" plastered all over ;)

Thanks again to all of you for the hard work to produce such a great app for us to use!!

Karl

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Re: Activity Feeds
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2009, 05:57:50 AM »
This is a very interesting thread. I fully agree with it.

ignacio

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Re: Activity Feeds
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2009, 09:11:44 AM »
I also agree it would be useful to have this activity feed.

Note that nowadays you have an RSS feed you can subscribe to and you will receive all activity relevant to you. You can subscribe by clicking the orange RSS icon in the address bar. The problem I'm having with this feed is that you usually get too much info and so I sometimes end up marking all as read without looking at them in detail.

The feed you are describing would already be better than this RSS feed because you would be able to filter it by workspaces and tags, but another filter I would like to have is only show activities related to me (i.e., I'm subscribed to the object, or I'm assigned to the task, etc).

columbusgeek

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Re: Activity Feeds
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2009, 05:18:08 PM »
Nice post PixelProdigy.  That would be a great way to reduce clicks and increase knowledge without hitting overload as ignacio  pointed out.

conrado

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Re: Activity Feeds
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2009, 05:48:07 PM »
Thanks PixelProdigy for taking the time to write this very interesting post.

I fully agree with it as well.

You can rest assured it is in our -half mental, half written all over the forum and blog- roadmap.

It just takes time to design a really good solution for hard issues like this, balancing ease of use and functionality.

We'll get there.  ;)

Glad you are enjoying OpenGoo!  :D
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pixelprodigy

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Re: Activity Feeds
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2009, 04:24:17 AM »
Thanks for the feedback on my post :) Im glad you like the ideas.

I agree RSS is handy for now and will use it but a little noisy as you say, so much to look at.

A filter on the stream would be crucial, so you can filter to see only comments recently added, or tasks completed and further filtered by date and user.

I know that something like this will take time and planning to implement properly so in the mean time I guess you can just look at everything from the point of view that the dashboard is key. Your list view I feel is half way there already so by building on this will be a good start.

I would say a first step in the right direction is adding tasks completed to the list as this will have a huge impact already at how the dashboard s used.

pixelprodigy

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Re: Activity Feeds
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2009, 07:55:05 AM »
Hi Guys,

Today I got renewed vision for this activity feed when I discovered something on opengoo today. I got so excited when I realised this I actually called our colleagues to show them and decided to post it here to get some thoughts from the community.

To recap, as I originally mentioned, an activity stream will allow you to see a snapshot of what is happening across your projects.

I was wanting to attach an object to a note and when the popup window that allows me to choose which items to select, I noticed that the "ALL" view allows me to see everything that has happened very similar to an activity stream.... with filters along the left side allowing me to drill into my activities.

See this image

http://skitch.com/pixelprodigy/bd2mp/path-finder

I am not sure how easy it would be to add this view to a tab across the top next to dashboard called activity, but this alone will (at least for me) have  abig impact on how I use opengoo. The image above gives me a really good idea what happened the last day or so across all our projects. Thats priceless as they say :) Mostly because it allows me to process through the system that much easier and faster without missing anything.

The main difference I see is that when an object is clicked, it will open instead of attach to something. Then once it opens, a comment can be left on it completing the workflow.

Im hoping this is enough to have this post moved to feature request  ;D
« Last Edit: February 06, 2009, 07:57:27 AM by pixelprodigy »

conrado

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Re: Activity Feeds
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2009, 11:17:41 PM »
Now I am lost. Isn't that just like the List View in the dashboard?
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pixelprodigy

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Re: Activity Feeds
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2009, 03:41:08 AM »
Hi,

I actually thought there was a difference in the data and it had more info in this view, but upon more inspection I see they are the same. The key difference though is that you can filter by type of activity and not only workspace and tag.

I tried marking a task complete to see if this shows up in either and it only shows the creation of the item but not the actual marking of complete.

Having an activity type filter on the dashboard view and seeing completed tasks would go a long way to improving the useability, especially managing data across 30+ workspaces.

Also, I dont see any comments in the dashboard other than mine but I think this is fixed in the RC version. I have not upgraded to the latest RC version, we will do so this week and I will see what changes there are etc.

Sorry to confuse you, just trying to lend some useability expertise and as I said before, I am super impressed with opengoo and enjoying using it. My feedback is as a user of the system with allot of data that is growing daily and I do struggle a little to easily get an overview of what happened the last day or so.

Due to the large amounts of data, as a manager of all these projects, I set time aside each day to "process" opengoo but currently I have to go into each project one at a time and open the tasks and go to view completed and try see what is done that was not done the day/s before to figure out what has changed in terms of tasks & comments is the same, I have to open them to see if there are any comments. Yes I would get an email if i was subscribed, but I am not always subscribed if I dont create it so I do miss comments. It is for this reason, having this in the dash, filterable as mentioned, I could process directly from the dashboard without to much sifting and clicking through pages.

Thanks for taking the time to listen to my suggestions..

Cheers,

Andy

conrado

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Re: Activity Feeds
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2009, 11:06:10 AM »
Hi Andy.

Please, do not apologize if I get confused! (where is my nerd emoticon when I need it!   :P ) Your contributions are very valuable. The fact that you put so much thought and detail in what you write is what makes it so valuable.

As I said on previous comments, coming up with the 'best' solution (at least the best in the context of OpenGoo) not only takes time... it might never happen, as it is a continuous work. But to put effort on implementing something for which a design decision has still to be made might prove a bad time-investment.

What I am positive for at this time, is the need for task completion needing to be informed in a way. It might be as simple as showing the status changes on the list view at the overview. But then, there might be other things to show there... and then we might need to add filters to the list view...

On the other hand, it might be as simple as adding the 'status change' option at the 'order by' filter field in the tasks tab. You can go to 'All' Workspaces, and then group tasks there, and order by 'status change'.

But every 'simple' solution will take some time. And then, adding too many possibilities would clutter the interface.

So, the questions that we (developers) have to ask ourselves are:
  • Do we implement both (all) solutions?
  • If so, in what order?
  • Is this most urgent than other new features, or delayed improvements (or sponsored improvements)?
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