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Release Notes - April 7, 2015

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Read the previous Release Notes

 

We’ll be the first to admit it: contacting other geocachers hasn’t always been the easiest thing to do on Geocaching.com. We heard your feedback and that’s why we’ve created the brand new Message Center beta.

 

With this new feature, you can send and receive messages from Geocaching.com. It’s still in beta testing, which is why we’d love your feedback for the final release. After you send a few messages, fill out this survey and tell us what you think.

 

Features include:

 


     
  • Access the Message Center from the new envelope icon in the header
  • Start a new one-to-one conversation with another geocacher
  • Send an image (and you can even drag and drop the image into the Message Center!)
  • URLs will automatically hyperlink in messages
  • GC and TB codes will automatically hyperlink in messages
  • Check “Press Enter to Send” to default send by pressing the “Enter” button
  • Hide message threads from view in the Message Center
  • Block another geocacher’s messages from appearing in your Message Center
  • Receive email notifications about new messages

Note: The Send Email to User feature will continue to exist for the foreseeable future.

 

Have questions? We’ve got answers. Check out this FAQ in the Geocaching Help Center.

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Note: The Send Email to User feature will continue to exist for the foreseeable future.

 

 

Please keep the old feature permanently. The new one is very slow and it requires a lot more clicking and involves distracting graphics, colors etc

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Is this somehow related to the fact that the site is really slow since some time (Accessing from Germany, it varies between response time of 25sec up to unavailable).

Edited by Lineflyer
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Is this somehow related with the fact that the site is really slow since some time (Accessing from Germany, it varies between response time of 25sec up to unavailable).

 

All hands are on deck working on the slowdown issue. They're trying to get it addressed ASAP.

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Yep I'm having the same issue with the site running really slow. Just logged a find and had to wait at least a minute for the page to load.

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Is this somehow related to the fact that the site is really slow since some time (Accessing from Germany, it varies between response time of 25sec up to unavailable).

It's not just Germany this time. Accessing from California is agonizingly slow, even for normal cache page loads.

 

This messaging system seems similar to Facebook's. I'll use it a bit more before deciding if I like it or not. I wish Groundspeak did an anonymous remailer instead.

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Let me be the first to say, without even looking at it yet...

 

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!!

 

An in-site message center was definitely needed. Hopefully in the future when it's on the apps, it'll help with contacting unvalidated users.

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An in-site message center was definitely needed. Hopefully in the future when it's on the apps, it'll help with contacting unvalidated users.

 

I guess it will rather demotivate owners of Earthcaches and virtuals and more complicated caches in general. It's inacceptable for me to have to log in to gc.com and to deal with the slowless of the site while the old system allowed me to receive all mails by cachers on my e-mail account and not somewhere inside gc.com.

Note that the notifications do not contain the messages!

 

Again it seems just to be a gimmick for smartphone users (the questions in the survey confirmed that impression).

 

Moreover I just realized that messages can only be 1000 characters - inacceptable for more complex caches and not a reasonable choice to replace the old system.

Edited by cezanne
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An in-site message center was definitely needed. Hopefully in the future when it's on the apps, it'll help with contacting unvalidated users.

 

I guess it will rather demotivate owners of Earthcaches and virtuals and more complicated caches in general. It's inacceptable for me to have to log in to gc.com and to deal with the slowless of the site while the old system allowed me to receive all mails by cachers on my e-mail account and not somewhere inside gc.com.

Note that the notifications do not contain the messages!

 

Again it seems just to be a gimmick for smartphone users (the questions in the survey confirmed that impression).

 

Moreover I just realized that messages can only be 1000 characters - inacceptable for more complex caches and not a reasonable choice to replace the old system.

 

id say 90% of the messages I send are answers to earth caches or virtuals and the new system would make it exponentially more time consuming so I just hope the foreseeable future doesn't come and the send email feature is never removed.

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Just tried it and it's very slow, but I guess that's a symptom of the general site slowdown tonight.

 

So having said that here's some POSITIVE feedback:

 

1. It looks good, and I like the ability to send pictures - useful for those hide queries/hints to COs.

2. It looks like someone realised that the recent search update was seriously lacking some guidance, so WELL DONE for adding a link to a comprehensive FAQ right there in the middle of the new message page.

3. I just tested it by messaging my wife's (rarely used) account, and just discovered that she can not log in until she has validated her Email address - WooHooo, have another WELL DONE. I'm sure she was able to log in a month or so back and has never validated her Email address.

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I got this when attempting to reply to a message :

 

A script on this page may be busy, or it may have stopped responding. You can stop the script now, open the script in the debugger, or let the script continue.

Script: https://www.geocaching.com/account/bundles/plugins?v=_VIceumNJ5CCXbxduk7HsYlwOtcVoDY2DccGf6Z2MHM1:1

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I'll wait and see if some of the performance issues get ironed out and then try again. Right now it is too slow to be useful.

 

I typed in a friend's handle. Nothing happened. Several seconds later I finally got the drop down box showing a list of names to pick from. After selecting a name, there doesn't appear to be a visual indicator to tell me that my selection actually was accepted. I didn't see anything happen for a few more seconds and then finally the box where I actually type the message appeared. Until then I was just randomly clicking around the screen trying to figure out where to type.

 

And, then finally, the message sent. I think. It took a few more seconds again before the conversation showed up on the left side.

 

Tried sending messages to a couple of different friends. One time I got a "Communication Error" when I sent the message, so I went back and entered the message again, only to discover there were now two messages to the same friend under Conversations.

 

Also couldn't seem to find a way to message more than one friend at a time. It would be most useful to be able to have a group conversation when planning a caching outing, but I don't see how and it didn't seem to appear in the FAQ.

 

So, initial reaction was "Cool. This looks like Facebook's messaging system so it should be instantly familiar to many people." Second reaction was "Well, maybe once the performance issues are ironed out it will be OK." Third reaction was "If I can't send a group message (or it isn't immediately obvious to me how to send to multiple people at once) then this really isn't an improvement at all."

 

I'll withhold final judgement and fill in the survey later when I get a chance to use it for more than three minutes.

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Just tried it and it's very slow, but I guess that's a symptom of the general site slowdown tonight.

 

Just partially. There is no need to wait for the system to find a geocacher in the database if I already know whom I want to contact.

Before the system finds the cacher nothing further can be done.

 

The limitation to 1000 characters is fine for chatting, but not a good idea for sending back and forth questions and comments about a more

complex cache. If they ever remove the old messager system, I will archive my virtual instantly.

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Can you put the envelope on the left or at least left of my name, it looks terrible now.

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Played around a bit, figuring the slow search will be fixed soon.

None of the cachers I partially added came up on the drop down.

Realized that with folks with similar names, no way for me to be sure from a drop-down it's the correct person I'm "messaging".

As long as there's still a way to contact on their profile, I'll go there, thanks.

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The FAQ says, "Go find an EarthCache (we promise sending your answers will be a whole lot easier!)". Could you explain? I can imagine a few things that would me sending EarthCache answers easier, but I'm not seeing any of them here. All I see is yet another way to send a message that not even remotely easier than the existing way where with 2 clicks and no typing, I'm in a box writing up my answers. As far as I can see, this new feature does nothing to help me send in EarthCache answers, while on the other hand, it forces me to figure out and type in the owner's name to send him a message. Is this a feature that only makes sense to someone using a smartphone? As far as I can see, the only addition here is the ability to attach pictures, and I'd rather just see that added to the old message facility.

 

Oh, and when I tried to send myself a message, in addition to me and the other geocacher with a name starting with dprovan, it also offered me "dprovan Wherigo" (with "Wherigo" not capitalized, which I have to explain here because this BB system insists on automatically capitalizing it), a user name that doesn't show up in the "find geocacher" search. Anyone know where that came from?

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1. Username search shoudl always show any exact match first. Names are unique, but if there's text after a word in someone else's name (eg "MyName" and "MyName IsLonger"), then searching for "MyName" should display MyName first, then all the other matches. If there's a user named "MyNam" then that should appear first before MyName, etc.

 

2. The whole thing needs more responsive design. If something is working, communicating, thinking - display an icon or an animation. Username dropdown? Show the dropdown right away, with a loading icon which remains while typing. I've built live text lookup fields for my company's web app, and it's certainly not easy to make it seamless and perfectly intuitive. This needs a bit of work. BUT, at least up and down highlight the currently selected username that Enter would select! *cough*advancedsearch*cough*

 

3. As I mentioned in the preview group - the interface is just way to bbulky on desktop. Too much padding, too much whitespace. I'm having to scroll up and down to go from username or conversation selection to the message entry box. It doesn't need to be anywhere near that puffed up on a desktop.

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Moreover I just realized that messages can only be 1000 characters - inacceptable for more complex caches and not a reasonable choice to replace the old system.
If you need more than 1000 characters, then you could send multiple messages. They'll appear one after the other in the recipient's message feed.
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If we can send a photo, why not a file or a link? I see plenty of use for both of those. Link? link to a sharable non-public bookmark. File? link to a text file for the days activity or what not.

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The FAQ includes:

Will Message Center be available in the Geocaching Intro app?

 

Absolutely!

Will the Message Center be available in the paid app too? It would be a shame for users to upgrade to the paid app, only to discover that it lacks certain functionality.

 

And will the Message Center be available to API partner apps too?

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3. As I mentioned in the preview group - the interface is just way to bbulky on desktop. Too much padding, too much whitespace. I'm having to scroll up and down to go from username or conversation selection to the message entry box. It doesn't need to be anywhere near that puffed up on a desktop.

Totally agree with this. Also just tried it on my smartphone and it's HORRIBLE, you have to shrink it down to fit the screen to the point where it's virtually unreadable. Kill this experiment before it breaks free of its shackles and destroys the lab Dr Frankenstein.

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I'll have to play with it more once the performance issues get ironed out, and I understand that it's still in beta, but here are a few of my first impressions (in no particular order):

 

  1. Like thebruce0 mentioned, it takes up a lot of unnecessary space. For example, I don't need a huge ~730x430 pixel white area with a little message in the middle saying "Send a new message" with a curly arrow pointing to the "To" field, which I've already filled in. That entire area is unnecessary and should collapse down (or up, as it were).
  2. Clicking in empty space in the "To" field seems to toggle the arrow on the right up or down, but it isn't obvious what's actually happening. If that arrow is related to the drop-down list of suggested usernames (which is what I suspect), then the large distance between them is very confusing and that connection isn't obvious. Either the arrow should be aligned above the drop-down, or the drop-down should extend the width of the field over to the arrow. Either way, they need to be closer together. If the entire interface was smaller and didn't waste so much space, this might not be as big a problem.
  3. The "Add Conversation" button is greyed out and non-functional. Perhaps this is just due to the beta status.
  4. When this is rolled out, will there be a link on each user's public profile page that links to the new Message Center and pre-fills the "To" field with their name? Personally, I feel such functionality would be a show-stopper for many. If we're forced to type in the username every time, then this new messaging feature will be a non-starter.
  5. Here's 1000 characters:
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Curabitur volutpat mi nisi. Quisque tristique libero sed elementum posuere. In euismod efficitur erat imperdiet congue. Vivamus faucibus dapibus ante at sagittis. Donec ultricies ut nulla nec accumsan. Praesent imperdiet sodales vulputate. Morbi molestie eget lacus quis ultricies. Donec quis vulputate mauris, sit amet hendrerit ex. Suspendisse eget fringilla mauris. Nam et fermentum enim. Nam dictum nisl mauris, in convallis enim fermentum sit amet. Proin at orci sit amet nulla maximus egestas. Pellentesque non euismod augue. Nunc in pretium ex, vehicula condimentum urna. Quisque pulvinar ex vel porta scelerisque. Nunc luctus sollicitudin erat non consequat. Donec eget sodales tortor, eget sollicitudin odio. Etiam pharetra condimentum tellus a sagittis. Nullam gravida sem sed consectetur condimentum. In nec purus quis neque venenatis porttitor sit amet at odio. Quisque magna risus, congue at condimentum sit amet, placerat at amet
    That really isn't that much. I expect most people who have sent messages through the current system will have sent messages longer than that. The limit of 1000 characters could be another show-stopper.
  6. The content field doesn't expand as you type (nor is there a way to manually expand it), which means it's difficult to read what you've typed if you go over two lines. To make things worse, since the field is so small that there isn't enough space for a scroll-bar, you have to click on up or down arrows to scroll or use the keyboard arrows. Not very user-friendly.

Overall, at first glance, this new system appears to have been designed as a chat system for smartphone users. Personally, that just means it's something I have no interest in using. The type of content I send to other cachers is usually much longer than that of typical chat sessions, and I use my desktop to do it. I'll wait to see how things progress during the beta, but unless I can still send a block of text to another member without any more clicks than the current system, I'm not interested and would prefer the current system. The addition of being able to attach an image is nice, but not enough to trump usability.

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Moreover I just realized that messages can only be 1000 characters - inacceptable for more complex caches and not a reasonable choice to replace the old system.
If you need more than 1000 characters, then you could send multiple messages. They'll appear one after the other in the recipient's message feed.

 

Even right now with 5000 characters it happened occasionally that I needed to send another message. With 1000 it will happen in most cases and as I said I'm not willing to deal with that inconvenience. It's like having to communicate a longer story via sms just because some people enjoy chatting via their phones.

 

Also replying gets enormously annoying if one has to split up the answer between separate messages. The context gets lost at all.

 

I do not care if they wish to offer this system in addition to the old system, but I'm strictly against the new system being the only one.

 

I cannot understand why Groundspeak invests so much time and energy into making changes that make life for a certain group of users so much more difficult.

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[*]Receive email notifications about new messages

 

Though the default is "send notifications" (I checked it) I did not get any notification even though a friend replied to a test message of mine instantly. That's even worse than receiving a notification but not the contents of the text. In any case, the new system is not able to compete with the old one from the point of view of desktop users who do not use the system for chatting.

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I'm also a bit disappointed that new, somewhat major changes are being rolled out while the previous ones aren't yet complete. It would be far better to tweak and complete the other recently-released changes (new Search and site layout) to get them complete and usable, then move on to new features. I fear we'll be left a whole bunch of potentially-neat things that aren't user-friendly (new Search and site layout), don't do everything expected by users (new Search), or just don't completely work (the current maps have never worked reliably, corrected coordinates are still a work in progress, etc.).

 

Shiny new things are all well and good, but if users can't use them or they don't work properly, what good are they?

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I like the new messaging system.

Now that images can be sent, it will make it much easier to communicate with others about geocaches and trackables.

It also seems to have a better design. It seems more modern, so is likely to attract younger geocachers.

I don't see what people mean when it is slow and not user friendly (although the whole site was slow earlier), I think it is much better than the email system.

 

There are only a few things I would change: Remove the character limit as 1000 is way too low, and allow more images to be uploaded.

 

I don't see what everyone else is moaning about. Groundspeak seems to be adapting the website to keep in line with modern trends and fashions, which they need to do to keep the sport of Geocaching alive.

 

Edit - I'd also like to point out to other cachers that this in in BETA stages of the development of the website. This means it is being TESTED and they are asking for your CONSTRUCTIVE feedback, not just saying to take it down because you don't like it. Tell Groundspeak how to improve the messaging system.

Edited by JamesA60
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Oh, and when I tried to send myself a message, in addition to me and the other geocacher with a name starting with dprovan, it also offered me "dprovan Wherigo" (with "Wherigo" not capitalized, which I have to explain here because this BB system insists on automatically capitalizing it), a user name that doesn't show up in the "find geocacher" search. Anyone know where that came from?

 

That is an unvalidated account owned by you (same email address as your main account). You can message unvalidated accounts, but they cannot be emailed through the site and as a side-effect do not show up when searching for them.

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I'm also a bit disappointed that new, somewhat major changes are being rolled out while the previous ones aren't yet complete. It would be far better to tweak and complete the other recently-released changes (new Search and site layout) to get them complete and usable, then move on to new features. I fear we'll be left a whole bunch of potentially-neat things that aren't user-friendly (new Search and site layout), don't do everything expected by users (new Search), or just don't completely work (the current maps have never worked reliably, corrected coordinates are still a work in progress, etc.).

 

Shiny new things are all well and good, but if users can't use them or they don't work properly, what good are they?

 

We are not done with any of the items you have mentioned. They are all staggered in various stages of the process from whiteboard to finished product (search is in beta and readying for the next round of improvements based on user feedback, site layout is in an interim stage while we work on some upcoming features that will lead to changes there, maps are in the initial stages of User Insights, etc.).

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I'm also a bit disappointed that new, somewhat major changes are being rolled out while the previous ones aren't yet complete. It would be far better to tweak and complete the other recently-released changes (new Search and site layout) to get them complete and usable, then move on to new features. I fear we'll be left a whole bunch of potentially-neat things that aren't user-friendly (new Search and site layout), don't do everything expected by users (new Search), or just don't completely work (the current maps have never worked reliably, corrected coordinates are still a work in progress, etc.).

 

Shiny new things are all well and good, but if users can't use them or they don't work properly, what good are they?

 

We are not done with any of the items you have mentioned. They are all staggered in various stages of the process from whiteboard to finished product (search is in beta and readying for the next round of improvements based on user feedback, site layout is in an interim stage while we work on some upcoming features that will lead to changes there, maps are in the initial stages of User Insights, etc.).

Thanks for the update. This is exactly the kind of information I'd like to see more often. Knowing that some of these features are still being developed could help deflect some of the criticism. For example, I think we were all under the impression that the new search was being rolled out as a largely finished product, especially since the old functionality was removed at the same time. I don't recall seeing it billed as a beta before now, but that's good to hear. I look forward to seeing the changes.

 

I'll reiterate that better communication up front would lead to better reception. If something that's being rolled out is basically still in beta and nowhere near finished, tell us it is so we don't expect it to work like a finished product. I see you've done this with the new Message Center, so that's greatly appreciated.

 

It would also be nice to have old functionality remain in place until the new replacement functionality is complete, but I understand that this isn't always possible due to behind-the-scenes technical requirements. Please try to do this wherever possible, though.

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So far, so good. But I need to test it with a non-validated email member, and be able to see how it will look and work within the Apps.

 

When I get the chance to test within those situations, I'll add feedback to the survey.

 

But, so far so good...

 

(Would have been nice to hear a run-up in the threads related to this release, however! Had I known something like this was coming, I bet our conversations would have had less angst.)

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I also am waiting before taking the survey, but my first impressions are:

 

1) Too much frivolous white space and goofy dotted lines and arrows pointing me to some text space wayyy too far away from where I would expect my text box to be. Just give me a text box, OK... this is too precious and cute. Don't need the fluff, don't want the fluff.

 

2) Nice that you thought to add photos (please allow me to rotate them, though) and that URLs, GC#s and TB#s are turned into hyperlinks. Well thought-out functionality.

 

3) Email notifications, however, don't make one bit of sense to me. If you are going to send me an email notification, why not simply email me the whole danged message? That one really baffles me. There must be something that I'm missing.

 

I'm assuming that the slowness is temporary... either a low-end server is being used for the beta, or some other issue. I'm not gonna make a big deal out of that. But #3... I'm just confused.

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I like it so far. (but could definitely use a little tightening up appearance-wise)

 

I may have missed it, but will there be an option for a multi-user conversation instead of only one-to-one?

 

-TWT

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Email notifications - if this were more like a message inbox for the website, then email notification of a new message would make more sense. Forums with private messaging do this. But if the feel is more like a conversation/chat, then email notification of new comments is strange. So I agree that if you email notifications, then send any unread comments from the conversation in the email itself; user still needs to go to the site to catch up and reply.

 

Email notification of new chat messages without the text is strange.

Email notification of new inbox messages is typical. This isn't a message inbox, it's a chat system.

Email notification with the text of new messages is the way to go.

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The content field doesn't expand as you type (nor is there a way to manually expand it), which means it's difficult to read what you've typed if you go over two lines. To make things worse, since the field is so small that there isn't enough space for a scroll-bar, you have to click on up or down arrows to scroll or use the keyboard arrows. Not very user-friendly.

^ #1 issue for me. How can you proofread when you can't even see what you've just written?

 

EDIT: Thinking about it, that (above) is #2. #1 issue for me is: Can we please have a profile setting to deflect incoming messages to email? Thank you. I prefer to live outside the walled garden.

Edited by Viajero Perdido
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This may not be a problem for everyone, but I have set up an email rule for New Geocache notifications to be sent to a special folder. My New Message notifications are also ending up in that folder, due to the way the subject is worded. I haven't yet taken the time to look into it, and am confident that I can figure it out, but a more unique phrasing of the email notification subject would surely be helpful. This is not the first time Groundspeak programmers seemed to have not realized that some of us have email rules set up based on the subject verbiage. Please try to respect that with new features. I just had to recreate all of my rules after the recent change to HTML notifications.

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Ok... Am I being dumb? Where on a user's profile is the button to send them one of these new messages? The "send message" button still goes to send them an email the old way, right? Or if I click that to send someone a message does it now send them an email the old way and also show up under the new envelope icon too?

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I've tried to use it half a dozen times over the past several hours. Every time I get a message "Communication Service Error please try Later"

 

I'm using an Android tablet using the default android browser.

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[*]Receive email notifications about new messages

 

Though the default is "send notifications" (I checked it) I did not get any notification even though a friend replied to a test message of mine instantly.

 

Update: Today in the morning I at least got a notification for a new message sent to me. The ones from yesterday are still missing. Definitely not a fault of my mail system and my settings.

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One side effect of the addition on the message button seems to be that on smaller screens the top nav bar is wrapper - certainly for non-premium members.

 

This certainly causes problems in Chrome on a Windows machine and Safari on an iPad - the problem on the iPad is just about constant on every screen, which is a shame as the changes to the top nav were super when using the iPad - I spent quite a lot of time defending the changes because they worked better on a tablet :-)

 

I'll attach a screenshot from a Windows machine using Chrome. This replicates the Safari issue. On the Windows box it solves itself if I full screen the app, but I've got to get to a fairly wide screen to do this and, again, one of the benefits of the redesigned top nav is that there's no need to be in anything like a fully wide screen.

 

I did try and look at the stylesheet to see if I could find the problem but it's a condensed sheet that makes it virtually unreadable :-)

 

16452732674_2cfd5b27b8_z.jpg

Edited by Blue Square Thing
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Email notifications - if this were more like a message inbox for the website, then email notification of a new message would make more sense. Forums with private messaging do this. But if the feel is more like a conversation/chat, then email notification of new comments is strange. So I agree that if you email notifications, then send any unread comments from the conversation in the email itself; user still needs to go to the site to catch up and reply.

 

Email notification of new chat messages without the text is strange.

Email notification of new inbox messages is typical. This isn't a message inbox, it's a chat system.

Email notification with the text of new messages is the way to go.

This.

 

My first tests prove that this is more cumbersome than just having the "email user" link to send an email directly, and then handle messages within my own email inbox. I struggle to see how this will be better for things like logging Earthcaches or Virtuals or whatever over just going to a profile and sending an email to their inbox.

 

Also, I peeked at the survey. I think that the survey shouldn't mention features not yet available--we can't email from the App yet, so how can any of us say if we like that feature or not?

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#1 issue for me is: Can we please have a profile setting to deflect incoming messages to email? Thank you. I prefer to live outside the walled garden.

 

+1

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[*]Block another geocacher’s messages from appearing in your Message Center

 

I wonder about something else: The new tool is marketed as making it easier to send answers for ECs (at least for app users once the new feature mentioned in the survey is available). But what if the sender is blocked by the recipient?

 

A system where some cachers can be blocked cannot be reasonably used for Earthcaches.

 

Better market the new tool as a chat box - it's nothing more than that.

Edited by cezanne
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I like the new message system. It works fine and fast for me. Thanks for working on it!

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1) I would like copy message to my mail from this message center which I send, as the old messaging system. Can I do it? If not, why?

2) Why isn't text of message in notifications mail? I have to go to new message center to know whether the message is important. May you send message with notification mail as old system? If not, why?

3) I would like send answer to message from another geocacher directly through email as old messaging system, when he didn't check "do not send email". When I have to go from email to www.geocaching.com - it is for me complicated. And for server geocaching.com it's higher load (when for answer we have to go to server), when now (in last week) it goes so slowly...

4) I would like send notifications of all answers, not only about some messages (after half hour)

5) I send message to anybody - then I turn out message centrum. When somewhere aswer to me, before half hour - then email don't come to me, and icon in the corner on geocaching.com does not indicate that the message came from. It's bad, because I don't know, than somebody answers me.

 

How long will be messages on server? And how can we find something between messages? Will be some finding tools? When I will after year look for something... Between my mail I can find by text long time ago...

 

If I have the option to send me a message (and copy of my sent messages) to my mail and I will be able to answer the mail, it will be great. But else I please to choice to blocked to send me messages from this message centrum. I want to have all message from GC on one place (in my mail).

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Just an idea for sending a mail with answers to the CO of an earthcache (as it's supposed to be easier with this chatbox). I've been using GC Little Helper for years now and it puts an envelope next to the CO's name on the cachelisting. Just clicking on that opens the "send message" to the CO and even puts the GC code and cachename in the message and can add a signature. Maybe that approach would make life a lot easier than going to the message center, looking up the CO and typing the answers. The same goes for previous loggers, one click next to their name is enough to send them a message)

I also prefer mail above visiting the site to read any message or answer. I do see why GS prefers people to read messages online though (although my adblocker takes care of that :) )

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[*]Block another geocacher’s messages from appearing in your Message Center

 

I wonder about something else: The new tool is marketed as making it easier to send answers for ECs (at least for app users once the new feature mentioned in the survey is available). But what if the sender is blocked by the recipient?

 

A system where some cachers can be blocked cannot be reasonably used for Earthcaches.

 

Better market the new tool as a chat box - it's nothing more than that.

 

Good catch, hadn't seen that. However if the sender is told that the message is blocked, that would be better than not knowing if the message was sent at all. But then being told you're blocked in a sense defeats the purpose of blocking (most places I know of that allow 'blocking' treat it more like ignoring, for the safety of the blocker in the case of bullying).

 

If users aren't informed that their message doesn't get through because they're blocked, then I agree it can't be used to reliably send answers. The CO would then have to contact the user asking why they haven't received any answers, the user would say they did, the CO would remember they're blocked, and yadda yadda. Very rare case to be sure, but it is an inconsistency.

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Good catch, hadn't seen that. However if the sender is told that the message is blocked, that would be better than not knowing if the message was sent at all. But then being told you're blocked in a sense defeats the purpose of blocking (most places I know of that allow 'blocking' treat it more like ignoring, for the safety of the blocker in the case of bullying).

 

At least the system mentions that the blocked person cannot see that he/she is blocked. I rather guess it works like ignoring forum posters.

 

I can just speculate but I think that what Groundspeak did was very heavily influenced by Facebook and Co and there it's about liking and not liking people with all the implied consequences.

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#1 issue for me is: Can we please have a profile setting to deflect incoming messages to email? Thank you. I prefer to live outside the walled garden.

 

+1

 

Agreed.

 

Also, an an EC owner, if I start having to log in to check messages, I will most likely archive our three EC's. It is currently quick and easy to read the answers in the e-mail notification and if all is well, I'm done.

 

We are a husband/wife team. Mr. Car54 has a smart phone and is a tech geek (writes code for a living). He has the paid app on his phone. I have a flip phone and use a handheld GPS and I plan to keep it that way. I am the one who uses the website - from a PC - to submit caches, plan our caching outings, create bookmark lists, submit PQ's, log caches, etc. The more you make it difficult for the PC user (me) to use the site, the less likely we are to use your services. No angst - just sayin'.....

 

Mrs. Car54

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Thanks for your continued work towards improving the tools intended to make Geocaching fun & easy. :D

 

I can see the merit in an in-system chat function but my question here is whether you have a working group of "in the field" (i.e.: not lackeys) geocachers you are working with to understand various important workflows in your development process.

 

It seems a current theme in this thread (with which I agree as it was my #1 concern in testing the tool) is the mismatch between end-user need and developer expectations. Most specifically around the point advertised as the chat system to be used for submitting answers for EarthCaches (and virtuals). So let's take virtuals right out of the discussion for the moment as they are grandfathered ergo the assumption is Geocaching.com would like them to just go away eventually.

 

It seems to me that there would be several of us out here willing to work with your development team (business/process analysts?) to help you understand our expected workflow in not only discovering & logging, but also approving answers for EarthCaches. These are - and assumedly will remain - an important part of the game.

 

Perhaps the bigger question is why there is a feeling from the user community that we are "out here" and not deeper engaged in the development of functional requirements? I thought a role had recently been hired at Geocaching.com to do exactly that? Perhaps we need a bit more exposure to that person and how we can collaborate earlier in the development process.

 

All that said, I personally am very happy to help however I can in making the game better, so please feel free to contact me if that's of any value.

 

Thanks, and have an awesome week.

 

Cache safely, and cache often.

LANMonkey

(Vancouver, BC)

 

Podcaster, vlogger, & IT Project Manager.

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#1 issue for me is: Can we please have a profile setting to deflect incoming messages to email? Thank you. I prefer to live outside the walled garden.

 

+1

 

Agreed.

 

Also, an an EC owner, if I start having to log in to check messages, I will most likely archive our three EC's. It is currently quick and easy to read the answers in the e-mail notification and if all is well, I'm done.

 

We are a husband/wife team. Mr. Car54 has a smart phone and is a tech geek (writes code for a living). He has the paid app on his phone. I have a flip phone and use a handheld GPS and I plan to keep it that way. I am the one who uses the website - from a PC - to submit caches, plan our caching outings, create bookmark lists, submit PQ's, log caches, etc. The more you make it difficult for the PC user (me) to use the site, the less likely we are to use your services. No angst - just sayin'.....

 

Mrs. Car54

 

+1

Agree totally. Except my hubby and I do not even use/own a smart phone. I am the one using the PC to do anything with caches and John will use his to deal with the benchmark hunting.

 

The more difficult and time consuming you make it for the PC users (both of us) to use the site, the less likely we are to use your services and stick around with this hobby. No angst - just sayin'.....

 

Shirley~

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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