The feedback up until January 3rd, 2023 has been catalogued and handed over to the product team. Any further feedback or bug reports should be posted as a new question.
TL;DR: The inbox improvements we previously announced are now live (as of November 29th, 2022 13:30 UTC).
Thank you to our beta testers!
A huge thank you to moderators who helped us beta-test these inbox changes! Your feedback was invaluable, and we could not be here without you.
This post will provide a short overview of the new features, focusing especially on a few special cases not covered in the previous post. The changes will be rolled out to all sites, unless mentioned otherwise in the feature list below.
We will post an update here when the changes will be released.
Marking notifications as read/unread:
- On all Stack Exchange top bars, except for the ones on Area 51 and the chat sites, the inbox dropdown will support individually marking messages as read/unread (or marking them all read at once), without needing to open the notification in a new tab/window.
- Opening up the inbox will no longer automatically mark all messages as being read.
- Note: opening the inbox in chat will automatically mark all messages as being read until the changes will be applied there.
Filtering to only show unread messages: All Stack Exchange pages, except for the inbox that is on the chat rooms listing, Area 51 pages, and stackexchange.com, will support filtering to only show unread messages in the inbox.
New design: On all Stack Exchange pages, except for the inbox that is on the chat rooms listing and Area 51 pages, the inbox will have a new design, updated to accommodate new buttons and improve readability.
Real-time inbox refreshing:
- All Stack Exchange pages, except for the inbox that is on the chat rooms listing, Area 51 pages, and stackexchange.com, will support real time refreshing of the inbox content.
- If a new notification arrived while the inbox was opened, the user will have an option to refresh its content manually with a refresh button.
- We avoid an immediate refresh not to disturb the users while they work on their notifications. This option is also available while working with multiple tabs open at the same time.
Unread messages in the global inbox: The global inbox page will now highlight the unread items. It is also possible to mark the notifications as read by opening them in the global inbox.
Are you planning to bring these inbox improvements to chat as well?
Yes, we plan to update the inbox on all Stack Exchange pages (including chat) to the new style. While 100% compatibility on all sites will be hard to achieve, disabling the new functionality on chat pages is just a temporary solution.
Can I keep the current inbox functionality?
No. However, depending on the feedback, we may introduce the option to keep the current behavior of marking all notifications as read when the inbox is opened. If you want us to implement this as an option, please let us know!
Is this the final version of the inbox?
No, this is our first inbox-related release. We have a backlog of inbox-related issues that we gathered during both internal and beta testing. We plan to incrementally improve the MVP after the public release of the feature, based on the community feedback and product needs.
How should we share feedback on these changes?
If you have any questions, suggestions, or other feedback regarding the inbox improvements we've described here, please post it in an answer below. We'll be gathering feedback until the end of December 2022, after which we ask you to share any bug reports/feature requests by posting a separate question.