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In a forum, users can get email notifications of new replies, etc. as they happen.

The links and content of the email are based on what topic received the reply, etc.

After the email goes out, any number of things can happen to the reply. It can be split into a new topic, converted to an article, deleted, merged with another reply on the same topic, merged with another reply on a different topic, merging a reply into the original post, original post can be renamed/redirected, etc... there are about 20 such scenarios.

The system I am working with is designed so that when the user clicks the link in the notification email, they would be taken to the appropriate page based on any merges, conversions of replies to new topics, etc.

Messages can be configured for the cases where the user would land somewhere different than shown in the email.

My question is - is it helpful or not to show a message for each of these scenarios? I have tried coming up with some verbiage, but it all feels WAY too complicated. Is it better just to land the user in the appropriate place?

Here are the examples I have for some of the scenarios:

  • The reply was converted to a new post, shown below. To view the original topic, visit {{original_link}}.
  • The contents of the new reply was merged into the original post.
  • The contents of the new reply has been moved and merged into the post shown below. To view the original topic, visit {{original_link}}.
  • The reply has been removed and is no longer available
  • The new reply was merged into another, and the pair were split out into a new topic shown below. To view the original topic, visit {{original_link}}.
  • The contents of the new reply was merged into the original article.
  • The new reply has been moved and merged into the article shown below. To view the original page, visit {{original_link}}.
  • The reply has been removed and is no longer available.
  • The new reply has been moved and merged into the article shown below. To view the original page, visit {{original_link}}.

Again, I feel this is way too convoluted and goes against the "don't make me think" philosophy. Is it just too verbose, or should I do away with these altogether? (except maybe the ones where the reply is simply deleted and no longer available?)

Wikipedia, for example just uses phrasing something like "{source page} redirects here" but it seems that in my case the scenarios are more complex, and in my case, the users are clicking from an email link, and not simply discovering content through internal linking as on wikipedia.

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I think the examples you show there, are simple. It explains what happened, then it gives you a link to see more details about that.

It may seem to you that you are given way too much information, but no, you are direct to the issue. 1 phrase explaining the event, 1 phrase indicating the link.

Just to clarify, the {{original_link}} goes allways to the subject updated? Or it just goes to the original post?

Please feel free to correct me if I didn't get right your question.

  • No, they land on the current/updated/redirected page - wherever the content which triggered the notification is now. The link goes back to the original... for example, if someone replies to topic a, and email goes out with a link to topic a. Then a moderator converts that reply into a new topic. When the user clicks on that original link in the email, the system drops them on the NEW page, with message saying the reply was converted to THIS post, and if they want to see the original post that the reply was split away from, the link in the 2nd part of the message goes there. – GWR Apr 23 '18 at 11:58
  • To me, the important point is that if the email says "click link to go to xxxxxx", but the link now takes you to "yyyyyy" then some message is needed, even if it's a catch-all "The status of your comment/message/article has changed since the email was sent" so the user doesn't think something has gone wrong. However, judicious use of more specific messages will make it easier for the user to recognise what has happened. – TripeHound Apr 23 '18 at 13:25

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