What would you expect from a "vacation mode" feature on DEV?

twitter logo github logo ・1 min read

We have an open issue from users who wish to temporarily disable their account. What would you expect from a feature like this?

Give Users the Ability to Temporarily Hide Their Accounts (Vacation Mode) #3252

Is your feature request related to a problem? Please describe.

Users occasionally want the ability to temporarily hide / deactivate their account so that they're able to keep their content and history on DEV but if need be can take a break due to work/other online commitments.

Describe the solution you'd like

Perhaps a user could turn on "vacation" mode so that their account is out of view. During this mode:

  • the user wouldn't be able to comment/use reactions/write posts/make listings/message over Connect (maybe other actions?)

  • their writing, profile, and comments wouldn't be visible. (anything that would identifying activity)

  • they could still be logged in to view their feed, add items to their reading list,change things about their profile while it's out of view, etc.

  • notifications would still be controlled under their own setting

Describe alternatives you've considered I considered a similar idea to the above where the user would have to completely be logged out during their vacation.

Additional context Right now, when users have to delete their presence on the site for whatever reason, they can't get it back. They must create a fresh account.

twitter logo DISCUSS (16)
markdown guide
 

Dont really see the point of this. Creating more tech to distance us from tech, is this really what where we are heading?

The max i would worry about regarding this "vacation" mode is a possibility to temporarily disable notifications. Thats all, so when you are on vacation you dont get distracted from DEV notifications. But then if you really want to go on and open and check DEV is your own choice, no reason to force you not to do so if you clearly want to do that.

 

I don't know it doesn't make much sense to me, if you are on vacation then enjoy. Site will be here when you are back. Only thing I can think of is that if you are on vacation mode and you really really love someone's content then perhaps get notifications on that, but other than that no one's forcing you to check, write, on dev.to if you feel obligated then there's a bigger problem at hand imho.

 

I've commented on the issue on Github too, but to expand on my thoughts:

YAGNI.

This feature would be trying to do something in the product that is best left to another service. We don't need to add a feature to change the colour temperature of your monitor either. We could but that's already Somebody Else's Problem. Why add fragility like this?

People would be put off. If I visit someone's profile because they wrote something I liked, and it either appeared like they hadn't written anything for months or hadn't written anything at all, I'd be a lot less likely to follow them. So when they came back from this "vacation", I'd miss out.

Transparency. On visiting someone's profile, whatever version of the feature we went with would have to be explained to the visitor in a clear and concise manner. Look at us, we can't explain it very well to each other.

 

I can somehow understand the intentions behind this request.
An information next to the user that he is on vacation or N/A at the moment (like on Fiverr or other platforms) would be a good thing and controlling notifications with this mode could also be a benefit.
Others then see it makes no sense to contact them at the moment or not to expect an answer until the user is back.

But I definitely don't agree with the part where existing content will be hidden.

The reasons are simple: this would lower the quality of DEV.to! The content is owned by the author - yes. The information shared could still be valuable in the meantime to someone and contribute to the quality of the platform.

Take you personal website blog or facebook / other social media timeline:
You wouldn't clear all posts from there also, you'd leave them there.
Same goes for DEV in my opinion.

 

I agree that this issue never made a ton of sense as described in terms of removing presence, but some interesting features we could consider:

  • Bulk DO NOT NOTIFY settings one could occasionally toggle for all emails we send.
  • Auto-responders for /connect. I think this would be pretty nice period. Not necessarily just for vacations but if someone could set up conditional auto-responders intuitively it could be a pretty nice, liberating feature.
 

Yeah, those two points are all I would want to see out of a vacation toggle.

It's not on DEV to stop you from reacting/commenting if you're on vacation, nor should content be removed from the site because you aren't actively planning on responding to it. It sounds like the intent was a mix of an account deactivation with a reactivation option and an actual "out of office" set up. I'd be more interested in "out of office" settings.

 

When switching ON:

it could recommend some long form highly rated articles for beach reading (with links to chuck them to your kindle / read it later service of choice)

it could recommend some family related tech things

  • Family coding projects
  • 6 ways to share your passion with the family

it could set up auto-replys a-la email:

When switching OFF:

after returning from a vacation there could be a nice summary of what was going on while you were away.

  • here's the most talked about N things since you left on your vacation.

it could compare your "holiday" dev.to behaviour to your average.

  • You spent 30mins on dev.to compared to an average 2hrs / week. Well done on taking some time for yourself.

just a couple of things off the top of my head :)

 

I'm a little confused about what problem people are trying to solve, but this part at the end sounds to me like something people would potentially want to do to avoid harassment (either on or off this website).

Right now, when users have to delete their presence on the site for whatever reason, they can't get it back. They must create a fresh account.

 

their writing, profile, and comments wouldn't be visible. (anything that would identifying activity)

Should be visible, just add a colourful "Holiday" note by their name.

notifications would still be controlled under their own setting

Eh, notifications should all be disabled as not to disturb them.

Everything else i'd agree with.

 

When I think "vacation mode" I assumed this was handling something on the messaging side. I assumed it would kick back some sort of auto response.

Then I thought this was going to be similar to the "deactivate" behavior Facebook does with profiles. Logging in activates the profile again and everything is restored. But that doesn't seem to be how this is written.

 

IDK... I kept posting weekly but on a vacation during pretty much the whole of July and August.
I couldn't able to read every single one of my follower's post as I used to do, but still liked to receive an alert to quickly check if there is anything interesting (such as this one).

It's true that DEV Community is kinda SNS, but I don't think it's as prompt as Slack or Twitter. Therefore I haven't made notice that I'm on vacation on my account. I'm not sure ~how many of~ if any of my followers are expecting me posting constantly, but even if there is any, I just assumed they will understand my vacant without any notice, since this is that kind of time of year.

It might be a bit more of the case if someone is on vacation any time rather than summer, however, I'm still not sure if "vacation mode" is still needed.
User can put the notice either on user name or bio as people do on Twitter, and can manually turn off the notifications if they want to.
It's true that if there is a such a mode for that, it will make things easier, but I'm not sure it's really the priority feature on DEV.

tl;dr IDK. I believe you folks will make the best choice. According to the situation and (time/human) resource.

 

I would say vacation mode should have less (or no) notifications, and maybe a special sort of status icon on the profile. That way other people will know too. For example, if user a wants to reach user b for a chat or to ask a question, but user b doesn’t respond in a week or two, user a could see it as rude or discouraging in some cases; where if user b has a “I’m on vacation” icon on their profile, user a will understand more easily that b simply isn’t around for a while.

 

As other have mentioned both on GH and here on dev.to I question the real utility of this feature. Other people might feel the need of such a feature, so my comment is more about voicing my own opinion rather than dismissing the idea completely.

I'd just like to understand the real benefit of it, which I struggle to see. Is there an example in the wild of a similar feature that is live on another platform and that can be taken as a reference point for discussion?

 

I agree with the disable notifications option, but not hiding content because when I'm on vacation, sometimes I have free time in the hotel or somewhere and could be nice to read some posts.

A "vacation" badge on the profile would be nice too, and maybe a message like "user is on vacation, don't expect a quick reply" when receiving messages.

 

I'm for it. Could be leveraged as a wellness feature. 🥥 🍍🌴😎

Classic DEV Post from Jan 30

Make art, not apps <3

You don't have to build an app. In fact, if you don't need to, then don't.

Jess Lee profile image
Taiwanese American. Co-founder of DEV.