Incredibly Ticked Off

26 May 2011 - 9:08pm
3 years ago
25 replies
1484 reads
Samantha LeVan
2009

Tonight I responded to a discussion board post seeking advice on getting a job in UX. In context, it was nice and normal and addressed the concerns in the original post. However, for some reason, my post went to an email list completely without context. Shortly after, I received an email from a CEO believing I was directing my response to her, which would have been completely inappropriate, and out of context - downright rude.

I'm now embarrassed and concerned - who else did my post go to? To protect my professional integrity, I'm no longer going to affiliate myself with this website until the discussion board bugs are resolved. I'm sorry I have to do this because I love the organization.

Putting this out there so if you got my post as an email you know that I'm not trying to suggest that everyone in IxDA revamp their resume.

Signing off... Samantha LeVan

Comments

26 May 2011 - 11:42pm
Elizabeth Bacon
2003

Samantha,

Sigh. It's not your fault! That CEO sounds like a less than internet-savvy person if she thought you were addressing her personally. There are 20,000 members of IxDA and a large number choose to receive IxDA Discussion posts in the form of email. The email address's "from" field sounds like it's still your personal information, which has been the source of design perturbation on the IxDA board since early last year when we switched technology platforms. Anyways, I'd just suggest you take a deep breath and realize it wasn't your mistake; that CEO gaffed in her understanding of your message's context. Maybe there IS a new bug in the lack of context that went with your email? I'm personally opted out of email except for the Discussion digest so I don't know how it looked.

Cheers,
Liz

27 May 2011 - 4:00pm
tonyzeoli
2008

Elizabeth:
Agreed on the mistaken identity. I hadn't been following the list for a while, but just got your email through the list, which was addressed from you and not the list.
"Elizabeth Bacon to tonyzeoli"
There is text and a bunch of links in the footer that clearly reference IxDA. While I understand mixing up the two, it's odd that the CEO wasn't reminded of source of the email from that text and those links.
Tony Zeoli
On Fri, May 27, 2011 at 1:01 AM, Elizabeth Bacon <lists@elizabethbacon.com> wrote:

Samantha,

Sigh. It's not your fault! That CEO sounds like a less than internet-savvy person if she thought you were addressing her personally. There are 20,000 members of IxDA and a large number choose to receive IxDA Discussion posts in the form of email. The email address's "from" field sounds like it's still your personal information, which has been the source of design perturbation on the IxDA board since early last year when we switched technology platforms. Anyways, I'd just suggest you take a deep breath and realize it wasn't your mistake; that CEO gaffed in her understanding of your message's context. Maybe there IS a new bug in the lack of context that went with your email? I'm personally opted out of email except for the Discussion digest so I don't know how it looked.

Cheers,
Liz

((
27 May 2011 - 4:00pm
DrWex
2006

On Fri, May 27, 2011 at 12:47 AM, Elizabeth Bacon wrote: > The email address's "from" field sounds like it's > still your personal information, which has been the source of design > perturbation on the IxDA board since early last year when we switched > technology platforms.

So what is being done to fix this? It's a fundamentally broken system that leads to these sorts of errors and as you say it's been broken for over a year.

27 May 2011 - 12:31am
Samantha LeVan
2009

LOL I totally just did something because of the bug! I got an email from someone who was trying to make me feel better but without knowing what he was replying to I misunderstood and thought he was going the other way. Arg! Now to send my own apology email. Ha.

27 May 2011 - 7:59am
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

Hey,

I agree with Liz, the misunderstanding is totally on the part of the person who responded to you. They should have read  the message more carefully and seen that it's coming from a mailing list.The way the emails works is pretty normal for mailing lists, with the senders name in the "From" field... This is how it worked on the old mailman list as well.

On that note, there isn't really a bug with the email right now. However, we're always open to suggestions to change/improve things.. and better yet, for people to help us do that. How would you change the notifications to avoid this type of misunderstanding? 

Matt

27 May 2011 - 9:49am
Samantha LeVan
2009

If there was a way for the original post to be quoted before a response is shown in the email, and for the email to come from the organization rather than the poster (to protect privacy), I think some of these issues could be avoided. It's hard to say though, I'm into research and would want to see what other people have experienced first.

27 May 2011 - 9:56am
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

For reference, the use of people's individual names and addresses in the "from" field was a change implemented after great outcry from the community. We originally had emails coming from the org. I'm open to changing this, but like you said, we'd have to evaluate the actual desire and use to see what would work best.

Quoting is a good idea, and can currently be accomplished manually by using the quote button in the text editor on the site. For example:

If there was a way for the original post to be quoted before a response is shown in the email

I will add the idea of automatic quoting in email notifications to our backlog and explore it when we can.

27 May 2011 - 4:00pm
Kevin Fox
2005

On May 27, 2011, at 12:16 PM, Matt Nish-Lapidus wrote:

> For reference, the use of people's individual names and addresses in the "from" field was a change implemented after great outcry from the community. We originally had emails coming from the org. I'm open to changing this, but like you said, we'd have to evaluate the actual desire and use to see what would work best. > > Quoting is a good idea, and can currently be accomplished manually by using the quote button in the text editor on the site. For example: > >> If there was a way for the original post to be quoted before a response is shown in the email >> > I will add the idea of automatic quoting in email notifications to our backlog and explore it when we can. > >

27 May 2011 - 4:00pm
tonyzeoli
2008

It is easier to filter addresses by the org email than each individual user. Just my two cents.

On Fri, May 27, 2011 at 12:02 PM, Matt Nish-Lapidus <mattnl@gmail.com> wrote:

For reference, the use of people's individual names and addresses in the "from" field was a change implemented after great outcry from the community. We originally had emails coming from the org. I'm open to changing this, but like you said, we'd have to evaluate the actual desire and use to see what would work best.

Quoting is a good idea, and can currently be accomplished manually by using the quote button in the text editor on the site. For example:

If there was a way for the original post to be quoted before a response is shown in the email

I will add the idea of automatic quoting in email notifications to our backlog and explore it when we can.

27 May 2011 - 4:00pm
Lisa Goldberg
2007

I have consistently found this interface to be confusing. If the emails said they were coming to the list rather than to me, the confusion would be eliminated. That is more of a standard format in my experience.

Lisa

27 May 2011 - 4:00pm
Kevin Fox
2005

The oddball thing about the IxDA list is that it sends emails "To:" the recipients' individual email address instead of "To: the list with the recipients bcc'ed (as is the norm for most mailing lists).

This removes one indication the recipient has as to who the intended audience is, and might be worth changing to better comply with mailing list conventions.

-Kevin

On May 27, 2011, at 11:21 AM, Samantha LeVan wrote:

> If there was a way for the original post to be quoted before a response is shown in the email, and for the email to come from the organization rather than the poster (to protect privacy), I think some of these issues could be avoided. It's hard to say though, I'm into research and would want to see what other people have experienced first. > >

27 May 2011 - 4:00pm
Fredrik Matheson
2005

I think " via IxDA.org" would prevent any misunderstandings.

In time, however, I hope we can switch to a tool like Socialcast that lets you follow, like, tag etc and enables participation via e-mail, web, app, API, bookmarklet, etc. That would enable more fine-grained discussions, easy filtering and would allow us to follow people and themes of interest to us.

> >

27 May 2011 - 4:00pm
Kivi Shapiro
2007

There does seem to be something going on with the "to" field. Compare the attached screenshots of this posting and one from another list, as viewed in Gmail. In our list, with the "from" and "to" both showing people's names, it's easy to confuse list postings with personal messages. This even though the subject line does clearly include the list name.

What’s also odd is that Samantha's correspondent successfully replied only to her and not to the list. We normally have the opposite problem: because “reply-to” is set to the list address, replies that are meant to be personal end up being broadcast.

Kivi

On 27 May 2011 09:51, Matt Nish-Lapidus wrote: > Hey, > > I agree with Liz, the misunderstanding is totally on the part of the person > who responded to you. They should have read  the message more carefully and > seen that it's coming from a mailing list.The way the emails works is pretty > normal for mailing lists, with the senders name in the "From" field... This > is how it worked on the old mailman list as well. > > On that note, there isn't really a bug with the email right now. However, > we're always open to suggestions to change/improve things.. and better yet, > for people to help us do that. How would you change the notifications to > avoid this type of misunderstanding? > > Matt > > (((Plea

27 May 2011 - 4:00pm
tonyzeoli
2008

Matt:

I belong to a bunch of Meetup groups.

Usually, mail is sent to the list and that's how you see it come through in the To field, like this:

fromAndy andrew@(domain deleted) reply-tonewtech-1@meetup.com
tonewtech-1@meetup.com
dateFri, May 27, 2011 at 5:12 AM subjectRe: [newtech-1] Q: for ATT --> Verizon iPhone users, did call* service improve? mailing list<newtech.1-list.meetup.com> Filter messages from this mailing list signed-bymeetup.com unsubscribeUnsubscribe from this mailing-list Important mainly because of your interaction with messages in the conversation.

This is yours just now:

from Matt Nish-Lapidus mattnl@gmail.com reply-todiscuss@ixda.org
totonyzeoli@netmix.com
dateFri, May 27, 2011 at 9:20 AM subjectRe: [IxDA] Incredibly Ticked Off mailing listdiscussion.ixda.org Filter messages from this mailing list

Notice that the "to" address is "newtech-1@meetup.com" in the first example and my email address in the IxDA example.

I wasn't party to the discussion some time ago, so forgive me if I'm stating the obvious or if this was already discussed.

There must be some setting somewhere that sends mail to the mailing list as being sent to the list name address and not to an individual.

Tony Zeoli



On Fri, May 27, 2011 at 9:20 AM, Matt Nish-Lapidus <mattnl@gmail.com> wrote:

Hey,

I agree with Liz, the misunderstanding is totally on the part of the person who responded to you. They should have read  the message more carefully and seen that it's coming from a mailing list.The way the emails works is pretty normal for mailing lists, with the senders name in the "From" field... This is how it worked on the old mailman list as well.

On that note, there isn't really a bug with the email right now. However, we're always open to suggestions to change/improve things.. and better yet, for people to help us do that. How would you change the notifications to avoid this type of misunderstanding? 

Matt

((
27 May 2011 - 4:00pm
Shaun Bergmann
2007

I use gmail to post and receive messages to and from the list, and I can definitely see some improvement in how the "From" field (or more specifically -- the "Reply" action) works.
This message clearly shows that Matt is the sender, the mini header displayed simply says "Matt Nish-Lapidus to me".  Once I've clicked on the subject line from the main list in my inbox, the resulting form no longer has any obvious mention of [IxDA], as the subject line is no longer displayed.

Sometimes one would like to reply to the person privately with something that may not be a value to the list as a whole. There is no initial indication that hitting the "Reply" button will NOT go directly and only to Matt Nish-Lapidus, and only if the person is astute enough to notice the autofilled "To:" box has the address of discuss@ixda.org instead of their intended recipient will they catch the "user error" before hitting the send button.

To reply (in gmail) directly -- and only -- to the sender doesn't even show up under the drop down of "more options" beside the Reply button.  The only way to do that as it stands is to hover the mouse pointer over the senders name and wait for the popup to display their personal address and then click THAT window's 'email' button.

9 times out of 10, when one hits "Reply", the message obviously goes back to the sender.  This scenario is some sort of modal exception to that rule.  I'm not sure how feasible it is to re-work the underpinnings of how the headers are assembled inside the guts of the mailing list functions, but could the "From" be slightly tweaked?
Instead of "Matt Nish-Lapidus to me",  something like "Matt Nish-Lapidus (via IxDA Mailing List)  to me"  Just to put at least something up as a hint to the end user that the message is being routed.
Shaun



On Fri, May 27, 2011 at 6:16 AM, Matt Nish-Lapidus <mattnl@gmail.com> wrote:

Hey,

I agree with Liz, the misunderstanding is totally on the part of the person who responded to you. They should have read  the message more carefully and seen that it's coming from a mailing list.The way the emails works is pretty normal for mailing lists, with the senders name in the "From" field... This is how it worked on the old mailman list as well.

On that note, there isn't really a bug with the email right now. However, we're always open to suggestions to change/improve things.. and better yet, for people to help us do that. How would you change the notifications to avoid this type of misunderstanding? 

Matt

(((Please
27 May 2011 - 4:00pm
Eric Scheid
2006

On 27/5/11 11:28 PM, "Matt Nish-Lapidus" wrote:

> The way the emails works is pretty > normal for mailing lists, with the senders name in the "From" field... This > is how it worked on the old mailman list as well.

It could be more a matter of the TO field being the recipients personal ID, and not the list ID. This is unusual amongst the many mailing lists I'm on, especially discussion forum lists.

e.

30 May 2011 - 1:51pm
hassan.schroede...
2009

On Fri, May 27, 2011 at 6:43 AM, Matt Nish-Lapidus wrote:

> I agree with Liz, the misunderstanding is totally on the part of the person > who responded to you. They should have read  the message more carefully and > seen that it's coming from a mailing list.The way the emails works is pretty > normal for mailing lists, with the senders name in the "From" field...

However, I'm on a lot of mailing lists, and IXDA's is the only one where the To is to me personally, rather than to the list.

Which, from watching this list since its revamp, seems to genuinely confuse a (to me, surprisingly large) number of people. :-)

FWIW,

27 May 2011 - 3:35pm
Kivi Shapiro
2007

There does seem to be something going on with the "to" field.  Compare the attached screenshots of this posting and one from another list, as viewed in Gmail.  In our list, with the "from" and "to" both showing people's names, it's easy to confuse list postings with personal messages.  This even though the subject line does clearly include the list name.

What’s also odd is that Samantha's correspondent successfully replied only to her and not to the list.  We normally have the opposite problem:  because “reply-to” is set to the list address, replies that are meant to be personal end up being broadcast.

What else is odd is that I sent this same message as an email response this morning and it hasn't shown up on the web interface yet.  I'm using the web interface this time and hoping it'll show up in email.

Kivi

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27 May 2011 - 3:59pm
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

There might be something up with posting to the list via email. I'm sending this as a test.

On Fri, May 27, 2011 at 4:35 PM, jkshapiro wrote: > There does seem to be something going on with the "to" field.  Compare the > attached screenshots of this posting and one from another list, as viewed in > Gmail.  In our list, with the "from" and "to" both showing people's names, > it's easy to confuse list postings with personal messages.  This even though > the subject line does clearly include the list name. > > What’s also odd is that Samantha's correspondent successfully replied only > to her and not to the list.  We normally have the opposite problem:  because > “reply-to” is set to the list address, replies that are meant to be personal > end up being broadcast. > > What else is odd is that I sent this same message as an email response this > morning and it hasn't shown up on the web interface yet.  I'm using the web > interface this time and hoping it'll show up in email. > > Kivi > > (((Please leav

27 May 2011 - 4:00pm
chrischandler
2008

Hahaha. What a great story!! I haven't laughed so hard in a long time.

If you are still associating yourself with this completely volunteer and free organization, I thought your response to the OP was great. I especially appreciated your mentorship offer.

And, since I understand both discussion boards and email, I wasn't confused at all when your email arrived in my inbox EXACTLY according to my expressed preferences. The fact that a supposed CEO got confused, which embarrassed you enough to send this is just some great unexpected comedy when I needed it.

-cc

-cc

Sent from a mobile device.

On May 26, 2011, at 10:19 PM, Samantha LeVan wrote:

> Tonight I responded to a discussion board post seeking advice on getting a job in UX. In context, it was nice and normal and addressed the concerns in the original post. However, for some reason, my post went to an email list completely without context. Shortly after, I received an email from a CEO believing I was directing my response to her, which would have been completely inappropriate, and out of context - downright rude. > > I'm now embarrassed and concerned - who else did my post go to? To protect my professional integrity, I'm no longer going to affiliate myself with this website until the discussion board bugs are resolved. I'm sorry I have to do this because I love the organization. > > Putting this out there so if you got my post as an email you know that I'm not trying to suggest that everyone in IxDA revamp their resume. > > Signing off... Samantha LeVan > >

27 May 2011 - 4:00pm
tonyzeoli
2008

Samantha:
I received your email through the IxDA list. Did you carbon copy the CEO inadvertently in your reply? I'm not sure how an email would get bounced from one list to another. That doesn't seem possible. If you respond to discuss@ixda.org, then only those list members should get it, no?
Tony Zeoli
On Thu, May 26, 2011 at 10:25 PM, Samantha LeVan <tigerfork@gmail.com> wrote:

Tonight I responded to a discussion board post seeking advice on getting a job in UX. In context, it was nice and normal and addressed the concerns in the original post. However, for some reason, my post went to an email list completely without context. Shortly after, I received an email from a CEO believing I was directing my response to her, which would have been completely inappropriate, and out of context - downright rude.

I'm now embarrassed and concerned - who else did my post go to? To protect my professional integrity, I'm no longer going to affiliate myself with this website until the discussion board bugs are resolved. I'm sorry I have to do this because I love the organization.

Putting this out there so if you got my post as an email you know that I'm not trying to suggest that everyone in IxDA revamp their resume.

Signing off... Samantha LeVan

27 May 2011 - 4:32pm
Shaun Bergmann
2007

FWIW in a system testing sort of way, I responded via email to this discussion on the list at 7:30 am PST.
It didn't show up at all.
For me as well, only through using the web interface are my messages coming through.

27 May 2011 - 9:10pm
Samantha LeVan
2009

Tony (et al),

All I did (or thought I did) was complete the "post a new comment" section of the discussion on the website. Since I don't subscribe to the email list I actually had no idea what would happen. I'm not sure how the list works so maybe everyone who subscribes to individual posts gets these responses one at a time so they appear more like direct emails than a message board digest?

I've been in touch with Liz and I realize this is a bigger issue than my own little embarrassment (which really shouldn't be mine, I know). It's great to see such productive discussion on potential improvements to the email list!

And Chris - hehe, glad you got a laugh!

Samantha

30 May 2011 - 1:51pm
tonyzeoli
2008

Hi Samantha:

I'm just replying to the email chain through Gmail and am not logging into the web admin. The "Reply To" once the email is received is discuss@ixda.org, so it threads back through the list based on the subject.

I can see how posting through the web interface might hide the issue from your view, until we all jumped in to let you know what we see on our end. Glad to be of help.

I just had a thought. If I click "Reply To" and get the "discuss@ixda.org" populating my "To" field, that means the CEO must have replaced that address with your personal address. Unless when he/she clicked reply, it put your email address, instead of the ixda.org address.

Kind of odd, right?

Even thought I just got this email from you to the list, on reply, I'm not sending to you, but the list. The mystery continues...

Tony

On Fri, May 27, 2011 at 10:12 PM, Samantha LeVan <tigerfork@gmail.com> wrote:

Tony (et al),

All I did (or thought I did) was complete the "post a new comment" section of the discussion on the website. Since I don't subscribe to the email list I actually had no idea what would happen. I'm not sure how the list works so maybe everyone who subscribes to individual posts gets these responses one at a time so they appear more like direct emails than a message board digest?

I've been in touch with Liz and I realize this is a bigger issue than my own little embarrassment (which really shouldn't be mine, I know). It's great to see such productive discussion on potential improvements to the email list!

And Chris - hehe, glad you got a laugh!

Samantha

30 May 2011 - 1:51pm
hassan.schroede...
2009

On Fri, May 27, 2011 at 7:22 PM, Samantha LeVan wrote:

> I actually had no idea what would happen. I'm not sure how the list works so > maybe everyone who subscribes to individual posts gets these responses one > at a time so they appear more like direct emails than a message board > digest?

They appear exactly like direct emails; that's the problem.

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