Comment order patterns

21 Aug 2007 - 6:22pm
7 years ago
4 replies
402 reads
beril guvendik
2006

I am currently looking at 2 web-based bug tracking applications. On their
bug view pages, both of them have a block of meta-data information (summary,
severity, assignee etc.) at the top portion. Below this portion, they both
list the comments/updates which were entered by various users.

Here's the catch: one of them lists the comments in chronological order, the
other one in reverse chronological order. I personally think chronological
listing makes the most sense as:
1. I know exactly where to scroll my browser window to find the latest
comment (the very end).
2. If I am new to a specific bug report, I can easily read the progress from
top to bottom.
I looked briefly at two other commonly used bug trackers and they seem to be
using chronological order as well.

Does anyone have a good argument for one approach or the other?

Thanks,
Beril

Comments

21 Aug 2007 - 6:37pm
Rob Adams-Kane
2007

When there's a list, should it not be sortable? I'd guess that was a basic design pattern.

-----Original Message-----

I am currently looking at 2 web-based bug tracking applications. On their bug view pages, both of them have a block of meta-data information (summary, severity, assignee etc.) at the top portion. Below this portion, they both list the comments/updates which were entered by various users.

Here's the catch: one of them lists the comments in chronological order, the other one in reverse chronological order. I personally think chronological listing makes the most sense as:
1. I know exactly where to scroll my browser window to find the latest comment (the very end).
2. If I am new to a specific bug report, I can easily read the progress from top to bottom.
I looked briefly at two other commonly used bug trackers and they seem to be using chronological order as well.

Does anyone have a good argument for one approach or the other?

Thanks,
Beril
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Rob Adams-Kane
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21 Aug 2007 - 6:56pm
bminihan
2007

The argument for reverse-chronological order could be made if the bug list
is long and/or paged, and what your role is. If your job is to go in and
act on the latest one, you wouldn't want to always jump to the last page to
see it (click to visit the page, click to jump to the last one, or click
click click click click if there's no "jump to end" link/button). If your
job is to go in and review the entire history, you would want to start from
the beginning.

As mentioned, the list should ideally be sorted and remember your choice for
you. Basic design-pattern or no, it's not terribly surprising how little
time developers take to do something that seems simple and obvious
(particularly to those of us who don't have to keep the thing from
forgetting all its data or going down every 17 seconds - not an excuse, just
an oft-heard reason for not following obvious design patterns =]).

- Bryan
http://www.bryanminihan.com

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Beril
Guvendik
Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2007 7:22 PM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Comment order patterns

I am currently looking at 2 web-based bug tracking applications. On their
bug view pages, both of them have a block of meta-data information (summary,
severity, assignee etc.) at the top portion. Below this portion, they both
list the comments/updates which were entered by various users.

Here's the catch: one of them lists the comments in chronological order, the
other one in reverse chronological order. I personally think chronological
listing makes the most sense as:
1. I know exactly where to scroll my browser window to find the latest
comment (the very end).
2. If I am new to a specific bug report, I can easily read the progress from
top to bottom.
I looked briefly at two other commonly used bug trackers and they seem to be
using chronological order as well.

Does anyone have a good argument for one approach or the other?

Thanks,
Beril
________________________________________________________________
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22 Aug 2007 - 12:12pm
Nir Yariv
2007

Enabling a different sort order doesn't solve the real issue, IMHO -
you want the page to show the right info without having to change it.
(Also, many implementations don't remember and apply your chosen sort
order when revisit the page or look at another one)

One way to tackle this might be like gmail's handling of email
threads, where messages are chronologically ordered but are compressed
by default, except those that are new to the user.

Of course, this requires the developer to add support for remembering
a users' last visit to the pages so they might as well remember their
sorting ;) If this is an issue, you might just have a default setting
of last 3(?) messages open and the rest compressed.

- Nir

On 8/21/07, Bryan Minihan <bjminihan at nc.rr.com> wrote:
> The argument for reverse-chronological order could be made if the bug list
> is long and/or paged, and what your role is. If your job is to go in and
> act on the latest one, you wouldn't want to always jump to the last page to
> see it (click to visit the page, click to jump to the last one, or click
> click click click click if there's no "jump to end" link/button). If your
> job is to go in and review the entire history, you would want to start from
> the beginning.
>
> As mentioned, the list should ideally be sorted and remember your choice for
> you. Basic design-pattern or no, it's not terribly surprising how little
> time developers take to do something that seems simple and obvious
> (particularly to those of us who don't have to keep the thing from
> forgetting all its data or going down every 17 seconds - not an excuse, just
> an oft-heard reason for not following obvious design patterns =]).
>
> - Bryan
> http://www.bryanminihan.com
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Beril
> Guvendik
> Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2007 7:22 PM
> To: discuss at ixda.org
> Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Comment order patterns
>
> I am currently looking at 2 web-based bug tracking applications. On their
> bug view pages, both of them have a block of meta-data information (summary,
> severity, assignee etc.) at the top portion. Below this portion, they both
> list the comments/updates which were entered by various users.
>
> Here's the catch: one of them lists the comments in chronological order, the
> other one in reverse chronological order. I personally think chronological
> listing makes the most sense as:
> 1. I know exactly where to scroll my browser window to find the latest
> comment (the very end).
> 2. If I am new to a specific bug report, I can easily read the progress from
> top to bottom.
> I looked briefly at two other commonly used bug trackers and they seem to be
> using chronological order as well.
>
> Does anyone have a good argument for one approach or the other?
>
> Thanks,
> Beril
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
> Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
> Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org
>

22 Aug 2007 - 12:58pm
Christian Sosa-Lanz
2006

While I agree with the previous replies, the old static list approach
sometimes has to e addressed. I find that in bug tracking, the people
involved in the issue keep up-to-date on new comments. So when the go
to the page, they need to see the latest comment and it need to be as
in-your-face as possible. When it is at the bottom, it's easy for it
to get lost or overlooked. IFF the entire conversation needs to be
review, it is still easy to do so. This is similar to how email
threads are written, so it's not completely foreign.

It comes down to the most common task. Review the entire thread or
read the latest comment.

Christian

On Aug 21, 2007, at 4:22 PM, Beril Guvendik wrote:

I am currently looking at 2 web-based bug tracking applications. On
their
bug view pages, both of them have a block of meta-data information
(summary,
severity, assignee etc.) at the top portion. Below this portion, they
both
list the comments/updates which were entered by various users.

Here's the catch: one of them lists the comments in chronological
order, the
other one in reverse chronological order. I personally think
chronological
listing makes the most sense as:
1. I know exactly where to scroll my browser window to find the latest
comment (the very end).
2. If I am new to a specific bug report, I can easily read the
progress from
top to bottom.
I looked briefly at two other commonly used bug trackers and they
seem to be
using chronological order as well.

Does anyone have a good argument for one approach or the other?

Thanks,
Beril
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
Questions .................. list at ixda.org
Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org

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