Community Design Meeting: Folded Reply Threads

Community Design Meeting: Folded Reply Threads

We are hosting our very first community design meeting! The topic is folded reply threads, our #1 uservoice request.


March 7th, 2019, 10:00 San Francisco time / 13:00 Toronto time / 18:00 London time

How to join:
  1. Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
  2. Or iPhone one-tap on US: +16699006833,9887460965# or +14086380968,9887460965#
  1. [5 mins] Introductions of Mattermost team, review of agenda.
  2. [10 mins] Review of use cases, with Q&A for additional use cases from meeting participants.
  3. [15 mins] Review of proposed design approach.
  4. [20 mins] Open discussion for outstanding design questions. E.g.
  • How do folded replies, as proposed in the spec, work in permalink view, or when jumping to a post from search?
  • How to ensure people have the appropriate level of mentions and notifications and hence do not miss replies?
  • Should we allow users to expand the reply thread in the center channel, or only show reply threads in the right-hand side?
  1. [5 mins] Actions & decisions
  2. [5 mins] Review of next steps, meeting ends

For any questions, let us know!


For us, it would be interesting to see the current approach somewhere upfront to think about. I want to attend this meeting - however, only, if your plan differs from what Slack does for folded threads (which works very very well).

Hope to see some data before the meeting starts in two days!

All the best,

@D.R Good question! Would you be open to joining our public community channel for folded reply threads?

The channel header contains a work-in-progress spec, and you can stay updated on changes and news there.

We’ve also shifted focus more towards hearing from the community and updated the agenda accordingly (all times in San Francisco timezone):

  1. (10:00am) - Meeting recording begins. (Sharing video is optional)
  2. (10:02am) Introductions of Mattermost team, review of agenda.
  3. (10:05am) Current state of design + expectation on roadmap
  4. (10:10am) Q&A with community
    • Painpoints and confusing aspects of the existing Mattermost threading functionality
    • Standard use cases for threading
    • Additional feedback or ideas on threading design
  5. (10:30am) Feedback on open design questions
  6. (10:50am) Review of next steps, meeting ends
1 Like

Is there any feedback on what the results of the design meeting have been? Is there a ETA time for this feature?

Best regards,

PS: Unfortunately I couldn’t attend the meeting.

Indeed! Sharing notes from below

Design Call Notes

Meeting recording:

  • Additional products to research
    • Zulip, LinkedIn (narrative feed), Reddit, Twitter, Outlook (conversation view button)
  • Issues with replies in Mattermost right now
    • Replies are not discoverable - meaning users are creating parent posts rather than replies. We should make it easier to reply from a click interaction stand-point
      • Why not allow clicking on the whole post to reply? Seems to be consensus that this would be a better UX than requiring users to click the reply arrow. This would help people keep threads in order.
      • Post hover menu with reply option is far away from the users attention. Consider showing reply option closer to the profile picture or below the message.
      • Consider inline input field for replies
    • Need clearer UI indicators of a reply vs a new post - grey bar is insufficient. Consider colors, intents, different sizing of profile pics
    • Parent posts mixed with replies causes major distractions in the channel
  • Concerns about proposed design option
    • Notifications: if everything is collapsed by default messages are definitely going to be missed
      • Mixed feelings about implementing an “All Threads” view, but having that option is a good idea.
        • “Users love choice”
        • “Might be information overload”, “want to see threads in the channels they live in”
    • Most conversations happens in replies. That’s a lot of extra effort to read messages if I have to expand every thread to read messages.
  • Alternate design approaches:
    • On-demand expanding and collapsing of different threads
      • Threads are expand by default and have an option to collapse
      • We should remember the users choice for which threads are expanded/collapsed when they switch channels
      • When expanding a thread, all the replies should be in chronological order without other parent posts in-between
    • Smaller indicator in the post chronology that is a jump to reference/parent post or
    • Treat replies as an event in the channel with a different visual treatment (ie system messages). When clicked it could expand or open the RHS to that message.
  • Admin Control:
    • Admins should have the control of the defaults for users
    • Need option to disable at the system and end user level
    • Consider team and channel admin level controls
    • Consider this as a functionality improvement over existing threading, rather than something that should be “turned on” or “turned off”. If it’s done well there’s no need for a setting.
  • Other considerations or user stories:
    • We should not allow parent posts to be resorted. Chronology is important to maintain.
    • “Opening up the side panel is a distraction to what happens in the center channel”
    • Possibly explore inline input fields
    • Threads within threads
    • Designs in general should consider what provides the most value benefits for the masses rather than being afraid to break corner cases.
  • Thoughts on improving design calls:
    • Positive reactions to the design call
    • Would like to see this happen more with other designs
    • Optional introductions from people other than Mattermost
    • Provide a feedback survey after the call
1 Like


is there any progress in threading? We thinking about develop plugin for it.

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Hey @msirovy, we’ll be looking heavily into the design in Q4 this year. If you haven’t already, can you please join the ~Folded Reply Threads channel in our community server so we can continue the conversation on how a plugin approach may work?

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Hi there! Any update timeline for this? Our institution just switched over to Mattermost, and many individuals have expressed interest in seeing this as an option.

Thank you!

There are first design prototypes but no timeline by now.