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I have a system with many users, who can edit data and I distribute those updates on the fly to all logged on users of the system, so they don't have to explicitly load them. I do this to increase group awareness.

At the moment, the data/views are just simply updated.

What possibilities are there to indicate the changes from other users?

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    Are other users really need to know it? If do, and updates are non-critical, use notification style, which are less distacting. The overal idea is to reduce distracting factors from users' flow. – Alexey Kolchenko Nov 6 '14 at 8:39
  • The overall idea is to increase group awareness. Every user should feel that he's working together with others, even if they are miles away. – K.. Nov 6 '14 at 8:44
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    If you need no point out what exactly was changed and need only convey group awareness, you could implement some minimal dashboard to display users' statuses/activities/changes. Pay attention how Google Docs implement this. Anyway this solution shouldn't distract the flow ) – Alexey Kolchenko Nov 6 '14 at 8:49
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This is a standard design exercise that you can use to experiment and test ideas against your user group.

The basic ways to indicate changes and relate it to a specific user, number of users or just the latest user to change the information can be one of the following (or combinations thereof):

  • Visual: using the user's profile image in the proximity of the data being changed
  • Text: using the user id in the proximity of the data being changed
  • Symbolic: using the user's avatar in the proximity of the data being changed
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Like Word collaboration documents you could include a side panel that automatically shows who the last person who updated is, what updates he did, this combined with a badge color. Then use the badge color to create flicker or something over the data that was just changed.

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