Team members should not be automatically added as collaborators after being mentioned in a task comment

Hello there,
Someone mentioned this issue a few years back and the topic has been closed since: can I mention someone in a comment in a task (@joe...) so they can just read that, but not have them auto-added as a Collaborator???

I would like to get some updates regarding this: as far as I can see, it is not reasonable to automatically add team members as a collaborators when they are being mentioned in a task comment.

The “at mention” is clearly to express a one off urgent situation. The collaborator status is a non urgent ongoing status. So the 2 are completely different.

The “trick” that was suggested 3 years ago (mention the member and then manually remove them as a collaborator) is just a trick and does not justify the faulty logic.

I would appreciate if someone from Asana could explain the reasons behind this lack of flexibility, and as far as I can see, this lack of logic.

Many thanks

3 Likes

Can you give one example where you need to mention someone but don’t want them to be notified? I have literally never seen that use case :sweat_smile:

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Thanks for the reply but you misunderstood me. Of course I want that person to be notified if I mention someone.
But I don’t automatically want that person to be systematically notifified for every single comment I write after that.
And as that person that I mentioned is automatically added as a collaborator, he / she would be notified every single time. Which is nonsense to me.
But if someone can explain the logic, I will be greatful :+1:

When should they be notified then? Once every X minutes?

If everyone is using the Asana inbox, then the notification are grouped together. So either they see each notification as they arrive (so they can be reactive) or they come later and see them all at once.

3 people: X, Y and Z.
X assigns a task to Y and will need to either supervise or help with the task.
So both X and Y have a collaborator status for this particular task.
Whenever Y writes a comment to give updates on the task progress, X will receive a notification (as all collaborators should, that’s why they are collabs). whether the notifications are grouped or not is not the topic of this thread.

As the task progresses, at one point, Y needs the help from Z. This is a one-off, one-time help and Y needs an urgent answer from Z. So Y uses the “at mention” Z in the comment.
Z gets a push notification because of the “at mention”, he replies to Y. X who is a collaborator will also be notified that Z replied.
All good. Perfect.

But after giving this one-time urgent help, Z has nothing to do with this task. He should not receive any further notifications about the progress of a task that he is not involved with.
But Asana thinks differently: Because Z was mentioned 1 time in a comment, they assume X and Y want Z to be fully involved with the task and hence, Asana automatically gives a collaborator status to Z.
Z will then receive notifications for a task that he is not involved with. That is not efficient and will disturb his workflow.
Not for long: of course Z will eventually remove himself as a collaborator from this task. I am 100% sure Z does not want to receive notifications for a task that he is not involved with (except that one question that was asked to him).

I want somebody to follow the progress of my task and get notifications when I write comments: I add them as a collab.

I need a one-time urgent help from someone who is not involved with a particular task: I mention them in the comment so that they get a push notification.
Whether I want that “urgent helper” to carry on receiving notifications for that task should be up to me and not up to Asana: I should decide whether I want to add that urgent helper as a collab or not.

And at the moment, I am not given that flexibility. That’s a real shame because it’s illogical. Unless someone can prove me wrong of course.

JJ

First, I totally get what you’re saying, @JJ119 and I think you raise a valid point.

I think the decision on whether to automatically add an @mention person as a collaborator comes down to an evaluation of the frequency of the two use cases (and I’m betting that’s what Asana did in making their decision).

That is, which of the following happens more often?

  1. @mentions are not automatically added; you @mention someone and you want them to be notified and involved so you have to take the extra step of adding them as a collaborator;
    -OR-
  2. @mentions are automatically added; you @mention someone and you don’t want them to be notified and involved so you have to take the extra step of removing them as a collaborator.

I.e. it comes down to deciding which scenario produces less “extra steps” over the long run. I’m guessing Asana evaluated the above and concluded that #2 produces overall less “extra steps”.

3 Likes

While I agree with your use case, I believe the current way of working is the best.

If someone doesn’t want to be notified, they leave the task. It is a “small price” to pay, compared to the complexity of creating a “second” way of notifying people.

How many people will believe they’ll receive the next comments when in fact they only received the first one and didn’t realise it? How often does a question raises a single answer and not a basic back and forth?

Thanks Phil and Bastien.
What you both say makes sense.
Before switching to Asana, I used another work software that enabled my team my myself to use the task comments as general updates, with a soft red dot notification for all the task followers. When a the message was addressed to a team member in particular, we at mentioned him/her who would get a push notification. Then it was clear for anyone involved with the task: a little red dot meant there was an update but it was not urgent to read or reply. A push notification (with number) meant a message was sent to you personally and a reply was expected.
I guess we are going to have to find a way to make Asana work for us. We don’t like excessive notifications.
Is there a way for collaborators not to get a push notification when a comment is posted on a task?

All settings are in the Notifications tab of the Profile settings, I never ever use Push so I can’t help or relate :sweat_smile: but happy to share why I operate this way.

I’m facing the same issue. As a team leader, people often mention me just to seek a specific answer or show me something. I receive the notification for that mention, which is fine. However, the problem is that the mention automatically adds me as a collaborator to the task or project, which is not intended by the person who mentioned me. This means I start receiving notifications for every update on that project, which can be overwhelming. I’m looking for a way to stop Asana from adding me as a collaborator every time someone mentions me.
I find that removing myself from a task doesn’t prevent my inbox from being flooded before I have a chance to take action. Not to mention, as someone who leads a large team, it can be incredibly time-consuming.

I truly believe you wouldn’t like it if it was actually implemented because you’ll realise that often, your answer triggers more questions, and people will forget to mention you a second time…

When answering, you could submit the comment and click “leave task”. This is a few pixels away and could be a good solution if you really want to.

What do you think?

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I think that as I am the team leader, if a member of the team has a specific question for me, he or she will not forget to tag me, this is just a few pixels away.
For me, the team leader, to be automatically addded as a follower, without a refined notification control system, is absurd as you get flooded with irrelevant messages.
And for the team leader to manually unfollow every time someone has a question is a very poor technical solution.

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No, I still have my opinion and my consumer experience. Since the first message of this topic, you’re trying to bully people out of their opinions. It won’t work.

If the “leave task” is a few pixels away, it would be the same to join the task if I wanted. Creating an automated action that forces me to remove myself from it is pointless. It would be much smarter to add me if I feel I need to see the entire discussion.

In any social media, you can activate an option to prevent people from adding you to posts/events/groups/communities/etc if you don’t want to. Approving tags is not NASA technology. It can’t be that hard to have this option.

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I am sorry you feel this way, it wasn’t my intention. I am doing my best to help.

Since Asana doesn’t comment officially on anything, I felt it is always interesting to have the opinion of a few forum leaders who used Asana for many years and talk to Asana regularly. We obviously can’t speak on their behalf, but we are starting to understand the choices they made int he past. I’ll refrain from sharing my opinion on this thread anymore.

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I spend my whole life in Asana and I disagree, I personally love to be added as collaborator. Adding value to discussions and collaborate is a must (for me); and rare are the cases where I’m leaving a task.
A few times a day, I “chain read” my notifications and archive them all (shortcut = E); and that’s a great way to remain in contact with the topics where my colleagues thought I should be involved.

For me, not being added as collaborator would be like being added in CC of an email but not in the following emails.
And at the difference of an email thread, at least Asana offers you the possibility to remove yourself from future notifications.

Also, that’s my own opinion, and I’m really not trying to convince anyone to change theirs here :sweat_smile:

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Hello everyone and sorry for catching up late on this conversation.

As @Phil_Seeman said, I think you’re all raising valid points. I have personally found myself in situations where I was looped into a task at a specific point of the conversation for a specific input, and where I’ve received many inbox notifications afterwards that weren’t relevant to me. While these situations aren’t too frequent in my case, I can understand that they can be frustrating.

From a product perspective, I think @Phil_Seeman reply describes exactly our thought process here:

The best advice I can share it to systematically remove yourself as a collaborator once you’ve shared your input and you don’t need to follow the conversation. This one click will save you many clicks to archive notifications, and will hopefully alleviate some frustration.

As far as I’m aware, we’re not planning to stop adding as collaborators folks who are mentioned into tasks, but I’m taking note of your feedback and will keep you posted here if this was to change.

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Okay, Marie. Thank you for your answer. I have some feedback to add. In my opinion, personalization is key to a good consumer experience. I disagree with Phil’s answer because it gives the false impression that creating a tool that behaves differently with different users is impossible. This is not true. For example, on Instagram, I can choose to approve all tags made with my name or leave it open and automatically accept all tags. It is not a ‘this-OR-that’ solution, but rather a tool that users can turn on or off according to their experience and use.

My suggestion is to create a tool that allows users to choose, as in most of the services available, and all social media platforms. Rather than automatically deactivating tags for everyone, users should have the option to customize their preferences.

I believe that the right to choose how others can interact with me is a fundamental privacy right, even in professional tools like ASANA. It is crucial to have control over who can add us to groups, tasks, or projects, as it impacts our mental health and productivity. A cluttered inbox or being forced into tasks can be stressful and hinder our effectiveness. Therefore, allowing users to decide how they want to be included in different services is essential to exercising privacy decisions.

Thank you for your time, please do register this product feedback.