Meta observation: lower response rate to web- and group-related suggestions

Here's a meta-observation. I have several years of experience here on the forums with filing bugs and proposing improvements for Zotero. On the whole I am quite impressed with the developers' response to these suggestions, both content-wise and in terms of follow-up in Zotero development.

One thing that has struck me though is that whenever I file proposals to do with the web interface (esp. display of libraries) and with Groups (web and client functionality), there are long silences and threads remain unanswered for a long time. It seems these threads are patrolled less intensively. Consequentially, it is very difficult to know whether the proposals have been seen, let alone whether they are being considered.

I don't know whether this is just something about forum activity or whether perhaps development of user-facing web and Groups functionality is rolling at a slower pace (a look at the state of the Groups web interface after two years suggests to me that it is at least partly the latter though). Anyway, the effect of this lack of responsiveness is that it becomes less rewarding to actually suggest improvements in these areas. This is a shame, because I think user interface design especially in this area could benefit more from user feedback than it has done so far.
  • I have noticed the same slow (or no) responses as well. I think the biggest reason that there is much less activity in this area is because the community cannot chip in to help fix the bugs. AFAIK there's only one person responsible for the website, so naturally changes would take longer.
  • I do read all of them. Unless I have very specific remarks (for example why something can't or probably won't be done) I often do not respond right away in the hopes that other people will chime in with their opinions on proposed changes.

    Suggestions and input, especially of the well thought out and detailed variety you make elsewhere, are definitely appreciated.

    I will also admit that I often do a poor job of going back to threads there hasn't been new activity on to give additional input after I've thought about it, but they do all get read and considered.
  • Good to hear that they are read and considered. I think it would definitely help if you would at least respond to detailed proposals and give a hint of how you consider them and what you think you can do with them, because the general activity in this part of the forums is low anyway so it doesn't happen that often that others chime in with additional suggestions. (Also, the additional suggestions often do not radically change the proposal.)

    For instance, the exchange on the other thread is productive and your response makes it clear that the proposal has been seen and considered.
  • Two thoughts

    One is that the web interface is "convenient" (not software install and accessible anywhere), but the exe is a much more useful tool. The Firefox plug-in is the exception, but I would imagine IE owns most of the market, particularly in workplaces, and browsing libraries in IE is far less functional than in the exe. So, on a certain level there may be less development "pressure" for the web interface.

    Second is a suggestion to maybe make a sticky thread that just has "to do" items. You could restict posting to admins and just have one post per idea, which links back to the thread where the idea is discussed. That way there is a visble capture of the idea and posts could be edited when/as suggestions are impemented, providing a change log.

    BTW -- not sure if a suggestion has been made, but the menu header for the Zotero home page, in IE, overlaps "My Library" and "Groups". Doesn't happen in FF or Chrome. They do both work, but not a good look and not recognisable if you aren't familiar with the page...
  • (please post separate issues - i.e. here your issue with menu header display in IE - in a separate thread.)

    You suggestion, which certainly makes sense, is essentially an issue tracker, which already exists for Zotero in general:
    That doesn't currently function in any meaningful way for the webpage - (the development for which is still going on on trac, e.g. ) which may be one of the reasons for the communication problem.
    Doubling up such functionality takes too much dev time.
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