Better Visual "Integration" with BB Messages for more streamlined and functional workflow
I understand you can’t actually integrate with BB messages while allowing multiple users to have access to them, but I wonder if it might be possible to make a sort of “pseudo-integration” with BB messages such that it “looks like” Spaces messages are part of BB messages? This seems to be very important for reducing confusion and streamlining everything – the appearance/workflow is what matters to users, not how it is technically achieved. It appears to me that there are two facets of Spaces messages that need to be addressed and made more clear/streamlined/functional:
1. Users viewing/sending messages to others’ Spaces
It seems to me that these should appear and function as identically to standard BB messages as possible. Suggestions:
- Remove “View Spaces Messages” from the Notifications menu item. It should only be in the Inbox/Messages menu item.
- Moreover, I bet that you can figure out how to show Spaces messages within the messages menu item preview (e.g. it could show Space Name rather than Account or Zxcv). Surely there’s a way to modify the php template part and inject spaces via some filter, and allow it to show the most recent x messages (be they from people or spaces).
- Better yet, get rid of the “View Spaces Messages” link altogether by integrating the Spaces inbox with the BB inbox page. The spaces messages inbox should absolutely not be in the user profile Spaces->Messages subnav. It seems to me that the user profile nav and subnav items are more of a “dashboard” for things that you “own/manage” – be they courses, documents, custom tabs for blog posts or event listings etc… This doesn’t apply to messages that are sent to others’ Spaces. So, what about adding some sort of a toggle/navbar to the user’s Inbox page that will toggle between personal/BB messages Inbox and Spaces messages inbox? Personal Messages, Spaces.
- Yet, BB messages aren’t all “personal” – they include Groups as well. So, even better would be to merge the display of the two systems such that BB messages and messages to others’ Spaces are shown in the same list. This is similar to what was proposed in #2 and is how Facebook Messenger works. But, I suspect this would be considerably more difficult than #2, as #2 is just a caption and a link to the Inbox whereas this is displaying a full chat history and sending mechanism. I’m confident that you could figure out something though!
2. Users viewing/replying to messages of the Spaces that they manage
- This might actually be a good use of the user profile Spaces-> Messages subnav. It should show tabs/links/buttons that will toggle the messages inbox for all Spaces that they manage, so that all page management messaging can be done from one dashboard rather than needing to visit each Space separately.
- But, again, I think it would be better if this was also shown in the same BB Inbox page. There could be 3 tabs – Personal Messages, Your Spaces, Other Spaces. (or, if you can figure out #4 from above, then just 2 tabs/nav items for Messages and Your Spaces). Your Spaces would, itself, have tabs or some other mechanism to toggle between showing the full inbox of each Space that they manage.
100% agree that this is a must-have.
I disabled the messaging elements via CSS everywhere bc of the complexity involved in finding the various inboxes around the site. Too much user friction.
Thinking some more about this, SURELY there is a way to just use the native BB messaging system within Spaces, no?
BB has the ability to create messages between multiple people in two ways:
1) a message for all group members
2) a custom private message between multiple people.
Surely you could just add some code that finds all of the user ids for a Space’s admins and then creates a new BB message between the admins and the user/visitor who initiated the message? And, to make it clear that it is a Spaces message, change the label from “Admin 1, Admin 2, Admin 3, Visitor” to “Space Name: Visitor Name”.
I really don’t think this would be difficult at all. Moreover, it would have a variety of advantages:
1. be far easier than creating and maintaining your own custom message system
2. far easier than implementing my suggestions above for creating some sort of “visually integrated”/streamlined messaging experience, that tricks people into thinking it is a standard BB message
3. It would work with the BuddyBoss push notifications system and Better Messages
4. It might even work with the BuddyBoss App
I would be happy to help look into this if it is something that you are interested in implementing.
I’m with Nick on this, I don’t see the technical hurdle that can’t be overcome when there are group messaging capabilities in BP/BB’s messaging system already.
I think the actual issue is that Spaces Engine started from scratch on a lot of items that could have been extended or customized from the original code base of BP/BB and now we’re experiencing the difficulty of replicating or integrating functionalities between 2 separate systems with maybe not a lot of overlap.
I say scrap the custom-made messaging system and look at extending the existing one…