"Assigned" comments, more structure around resolving

Hi,

Though all in all I think the commenting around sections and rows is in an early stage of development, I really like the way you guys already included threading. My team has become jaded with the likes of Slack, Jira, etc. and their “endless” comment streams. It is really hard to keep context much of the time when streams get long.

You have a ton of potential with the threads, and I’d like to suggest some additional structure here that could really make them powerful. I hope you guys may be working on some of this already!

  1. When resolving the thread, leave that thread visible, so the participants in the convo can still see what was the result of the thread. I’d like to see something like when you click “resolve,” you are offered a mini modal that asks you to comment as to how you resolved the comment. Otherwise as things are currently set-up, you simple click “resolve” and the whole thread goes away. As a participant in that conversation you don’t know how the thread was resolved!

  2. Notion of “assigned” comments or “reminders.” Here, I think it would be great if you could either have an extra function of @mentioning, or something similar, that would essentially assign to a user the comment. An example: You are in a meeting, and one of your colleagues hasn’t filled out the description of a row yet, and that comes up. It would be great to quickly write in the comment stream a reminder for him/her to do that, without creating a full task, which means a full row, to make sure they don’t forget. Then, when he/she fills out that description, they could resolve the comment, and if the modal above I mentioned is in place, also add a comment back like “description now complete.”

If this is possible now and I am just not seeing it, I would be grateful if somebody could let me know how to accomplish this. Thanks guys!

@preeyanka can you (and your team) please review this feedback? [since it sounds like you are working on comments]

Hi @ABp ,

Thanks for this thoughtful post! A few questions:

  1. Discovering resolved comments: We have a few ways of accessing resolved comments in the product already. Curious about the gaps you face given these two options:
    a) Resolved row comments can always be accessed from the “activity tab” inside the row modal. (screenshot)
    b) You can also update your comment display settings to show all comments (screenshot) for a given doc.

c) I really like your idea on expanding the ways you can resolve a comment! Would you imagine that Coda would define the ways to close out a comment or they would be user-defined at the doc level?

  1. a) Some great thoughts in here! Having an “assigned” state to a comment thread would be nice to do things like automated reminders. In addition, I’d be curious to get your thoughts on where these “assignments” would sit. Would you imagine a special dashboard that showed users a list of assigned but unresolved comments (e.g. in the doc list)? Or are you expecting that you could program tasks that are added to another table?

One thing that we are working on (but will not entirely meet your scenario) is more comment subscription control. This will allow users to subscribe to rows, sections, tables or the entire doc. In addition, we’re building a feature that allows you to establish a default set of subscribers to a row based on a people column.

Hope this is useful information. Please feel free to send me a DM if you’d like to chat more - would love to hear about your specific needs.

Best,
Preeyanka

Hi @preeyanka, thanks for reading and the interest in more structure around comments, glad to expand my thoughts to help you guys work on this! And yes I will send you a DM next week to connect on this, eager to discuss and it would be absolutely huge for my team’s efforts to adopt Coda fully if some of this stuff could wind up in production on Coda soon!

  1. Re: Resolved comments in their current set up. Yes, I think I have familiarized myself with their behavior as currently implemented. I think it would be useful if the resolved comments had a more natural presentation. I think the way the “disappear” when you click “resolve,” if you are using the default “comments only” view of comments is not as smooth at it could be. Also, to my point about the traceability of the resolution, what about a way to add a comment when resolving as I was suggesting, then have a notation in the comments that would indicate that this comment was the resolution. You guys currently notate with Marked as resolved, in the gray italics:

image

perhaps you could add near that an actual comment that closed the string. Then these threads can live almost as mini-tasks with conclusions, which I think would be very useful.

Here is a screenshot from Twist, a Slack alternative my team uses due to the ability to have substance around chatting, which is basically what I think would be useful in Coda: Instead of just one long stream of comments that can get unwieldy and out of context, comments are in threads that “close” in such a way that the person resolving can write the outcome.

To your question about controlling this feature, I think it would be great if you guys, via settings, could let the user determine if there has to be a comment along with a resolution, or not. Some teams may not want this overhead. A lot of other apps like Jira give you the option to “force” a pop-up modal when an issue is closed, for example, and enter a comment, which I think is a great feature.

And re: “Assigned Comments,” I am hopeful that you guys will come out with some kind of user dashboard, that, for example, will show a given team member all tasks assigned, sortable, and “assigned” comments would also be here. This could also serve as a sort of reminder function as you touched on. So you could see in one view work you need to do, such as the example of “could you complete the description of this task?” There might be some potential to have a type of Approval Flow as well - if a comment was sent to another team member who needed to approve, the other team member could come in, resolve, and then the task can move along. Even better would be if you could put in some control to say block the task from moving on its workflow until this comment was resolved, but that may be something we need to wait for even more advanced automations until you guys get to :slight_smile:

I don’t mean to overwhelm, but I would really like to see the ability for a column type to be “comments,” and if you add to another row’s comments via a LookUp row, that would get noted in the comment string. This would save my team a ton of double entry when referencing rows during meetings and other situations. If you had the latest comment visible in the row, this could also help with rows that are representing team projects. The most recent comment sort of serves as the latest project update, so this is very useful when viewing in a table view multiple projects at once. This also is a feature I have never seen in any other app out there, but I believe it would be very well received by our Coda userbase, and provide you guys with one of your most unique features. You already have the ability to comment in a row simply by right clicking without the need to open the row - great work with this . Saving that extra click is a huge timesaver.

Finally, I would like to propose another feature of comments that may be out of place as it’s not related to resolving - the ability to pick which order the comments sort - either newest at the top, or oldest. A lot of apps give this option, and it’s very useful as some teams like to see the newest at the top, others at the bottom.

Thank you again for your interest in adding some of this to your guys’ upcoming comments iteration, and I will be in touch re: talking directly!