I've been trying to figure out why I find the new inbox so annoying. No doubt part of the issue is just that it's different. Some of it is definitely because I prefer the previous behavior in some of the areas that were specifically targeted for change. But today I finally characterized a group of related technical issues that genuinely makes the new inbox harder than it should be for me to use. I hope this can be improved.
The issue is about how notifications are presented in the inbox when there are multiple unread notifications associated with the same question or answer:
- the default inbox view collapses all the notification for each question or answer into one item, AND
- it uses the most recent one, AND
- when I mark the notification read, either by clicking the icon for that purpose or by navigating to the associated post via the provided link, only that specific notification is marked read, not any others associated with the same post.
That pretty often produces a scenario where I open the inbox, click on a new notification, read through several new comments, and then find that I still have unread notifications for some of the comments I just read. Also, because it is the notification for the most recent one that gets marked read, the new most-recent notification for that post is further down the notification list, often among notifications that I've already acknowledged. Sometimes it's far enough down the list that it's not even visible to me until I scroll.
- it is confusing that the new-notification count on the inbox icon in the banner often does not match the the number of new notifications that are actually presented in the default view when I open the inbox.
I therefore request these new / modified features:
When I mark a notification read, either by navigating through it or simply by clicking on the icon for marking it read, all the other notifications that have been collapsed into it should be marked read, too.
The new-notification count displayed on the inbox banner icon should match the number of new notifications that will actually be displayed to me when I open the inbox.