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Less is more - the new notifications from Stackfield

4 min read  •  October 10, 2018
With today's update, we've redesigned one of the most important features – the notifications. With them, the successful use of a collaboration platform stands or falls, which is why we also needed and took some time to improve it in such a way that even large teams can use Stackfield without many distractions by unwanted notifications. At the same time, the overhaul of notifications is not a big, new feature, but rather a lot of small improvements that create a completely new notification concept:

Notifications, only if they are relevant

Really fundamental is the change that now only (red) notifications with the number of activities will be displayed next to the room name if the change is actually relevant to you, for example if a comment was left on one of your tasks. Previously, notifications were sent for any activity in a room, which could be confusing if there’s a large number of participants in a room.

For less relevant activities, a white circle next to the room and the room name itself are displayed in white, so that even in these cases it can be seen that something has been changed!

Possibility to pause notifications

Even though the number of notifications has been significantly reduced, there are times when you do not want to receive any notifications at all. For this case there is now the possibility to pause notifications, more specifically the e-mail, mobile app and desktop notifications. The rooms and activities on Stackfield itself will continue to be updated, so that no information is lost and it is also clear that something has happened in a room!

The option to pause notifications is displayed after clicking on your own profile picture in the lower left corner or the name of the organization in the upper left corner. When activated, no notifications are sent until the end of the day. On the following day, this function is reset and notifications are sent as usual. If the notifications are paused, the other participants in the organization / rooms are notified about that by a red circle on your profile picture, which indicates that no notifications are being delivered. Your own status will now also be displayed in the lower left corner on your own profile picture so that it is always directly in view and no confusion about the state of your notifications can arise.

New marking for unread entries in the communication module

So far, new activities have been displayed in the communication module via a blue bar on the side of each new element. This was a pretty straightforward way to show the newness of the entry, but with the increasing amount of information in the stream, this marker could easily be missed. Therefore, by now using a horizontal bar over the entire width of the module, a clear optical border between the new and old entries in the communication module is drawn. Upon entering a room in which have been activities since the last visit, this marker and the new entries are also automatically displayed and the manual scrolling or search for the last known entry is completely eliminated, making the changes easier and faster to see.

Countdown for reminders / due dates

While working on Stackfield, most users do not directly open the Dashboard if new notifications are available. In order to be able to see directly in such cases that something is due shortly, we have integrated a small flag at the menu entry of the dashboard in the sidebar, which shows the time until the next due date/event.

Grouping of notifications

While you are not online, it’s quite common that several changes are made on the same element / entries. This has in the past caused several notifications to be displayed for each element (if you have been involved in working on the task/event/etc.). In order to create a clearer structure and tame the potential flood of notifications, notifications associated with an element are now grouped together. Here, the last change is shown at the top and older notifications can be displayed with one click.

E-mail alerts for @-mentions

The direct mentioning of users is usually used when something important is discussed or needed. In order to give the needed importance to the mentions, e-mail notifications are now also sent when a person is addressed by the @-mentions.

E-mail notifications for approvals

Like the @-mentions, the approvals are also an important aspect of the daily work on Stackfield. Since the approvals are also an essential part of the workflows for tasks, in the case of an assigned approval, an e-mail notification will be sent to the responsible person.

Settings for notifications in the user account

The number of notifications is drastically reduced by the new features, but there is still a risk that a large number of unwanted notifications will be sent simultaneously when using Stackfield on multiple devices and with many users within the rooms. In order to be able to better filter which notifications you want to reach yourself, we have completely revised the settings for the notifications in the user account.

This makes it even easier and more precise to determine in which cases notifications should be sent and how the notifications should be delivered.

It is also possible to specify at which times notifications should be sent. If, for example, no more notifications are to be sent at the weekend or after work, this can be defined with just a few clicks.

All these features are designed to make working on Stackfield as efficient as possible and to reduce disruptive factors - as always, we welcome any feedback on the new features, as well as reports on whether the changes are an improvement in your daily work!

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Christopher Diesing
About the Author:
Christopher Diesing is the COO of Stackfield. He loves all kinds of marketing, product design as well as photography.
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