Feature Requests - how to best handle the voting system?

I don’t agree with the limits on voting. Unlimited votes would make it much clearer which the most popular requests are. limited votes means the peaks get smoothed out. I don’t believe we’ll all vote for everything just because we have unlimited votes, there are plenty of requests that i don’t find of interest to me, or even understand. Look at the likes: we have unlimited likes yet we don’t all use them on every comment out of politeness or over-exuberance.

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we don’t actually have unlimited likes… I often come up against the limit, but then I do tend to like a lot!

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Oh dear. What’s the limit? And what do you do when you reach it, unlike something? I’m not sure I like this.

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Initially I think it’s somehthing like 50 per day, but it gets increased once you go to the next “level” (received a certain number of badges) to something like 100. It’s actually quite high, and it’s a rainy day in front of the fire to be able to read that many likeable posts in a day. It’s “Per Day”, so I doubt you’ll need to unlike anything! I tend to like anything that is constructive. “Me too” posts not so much, and there are plenty great posts where I just didn’t think to click the like… I do hope no-one thinks a lack of a like is an unlike!

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and receiving likes is involved in several of the badges, so I try to like as often as I can, to help others gain the badges and gain the extra likes and so forth…

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I can increase the number of likes allowed per user, but please start another topic if it’s something you’re interested in.

@kiwifergus I don’t think the system you propose (which sounds cool) is doable on Discourse. I can increase the number of votes per user per trust level. It’s currently set to the default levels, which are:

I should note, however, that increasing the number of votes won’t speed up how quickly our small team can implement a complex feature. Many more people can vote for something like adding heatmaps on user profiles, but it won’t happen for a while. Votes are just there to gauge interest from the community.

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Sorry… briefly off-topic, or at least loosely related… thanks for the pull back!

The increase in votes would help make it less frustrating. Of course it wouldn’t fix the “problem”, but then it’s not really a problem either! I have pretty much given up on the votes system anyway, and will just drop comments “I would vote but don’t have any” because I can’t be bothered figuring out where to free one up. I figure dev team will see the support from such comments, and it is the discussions and ideas that really are what it’s about anyway.

Not trying to flog a dead horse, this just out of curiosity… is it possible to have a feature request with a survey attached? Completely impractical, of course, as it would have to be set up by every feature requestor, a nightmare scenario all of it’s own! If it could be “attached” as a first reply to a feature request when it is accepted by moderators might be one possibility… but still too intensive

and confused… I have 11 votes out currently! I must out rank the TL4s!

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Some old Feature Request topics recently got re-opened, and their votes were reinstated in the process. I ended up with 9 instead of my allotted 8. Meaning I had to release 2 before I could vote again. Caused a long overdue review of my existing votes, anyway…

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I don’t think I’m TL4, so I guess I’d have to free up 4+ to get another vote… ouch…

I often come up against the limit, but then I do tend to like a lot!
I think it’s somehthing like 50 per day,

that’s hilarious! Good for you.

Sorry if this has been discussed: but once a request has proved to be popular because of gaining a crazy number of votes, why not put it on the the ‘OK, we know you all want this.’ pile and close the votes? (but maybe keep the thread open so ppl can still discuss it.)

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I just tried counting the Feature Requests, but lost count past 200. I hardly ever vote because it’s too confusing. Also, a lot of it seems pointless if the iNaturalist staff doesn’t show much interest in a particular request. It seems backward to me. I would prefer knowing which of the existing Feature Requests are considered possibly doable and possibly worthwhile by staff, and then the rest of us ranking them.

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yeah, I meant to include the ‘not’, now corrected, tks.

That was the original method to handle feature requests, but there was significant pushback from people who felt their requests should stay open and votable until implemented (or rejected).

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Maybe it would be good if more topics just started as general discussions and could become Feature Requests only if and when the people who make the decisions view them as real possibilities and give the go-ahead for voting. That way there would be fewer Feature Requests (maybe have an upper limit) at any given time to juggle votes around. That way everything can still be discussed, whether they have become Feature Requests or not, but the voting would be much simpler.

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Another option would be for us to close feature requests that have 0 votes and haven’t been active in x number of weeks. There are a ton of those right now.

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That wouldn’t free up any votes though, so it would have no effect on peoples’ ability to vote for new requests w/o re-evaluating all their previous votes.

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Correct, I was replying to @paloma’s thoughts here, sorry I didn’t make that clear.

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and they may have 0 votes because those that would vote have none free, which goes to the heart of the problem! There have been many FRs recently that I would vote for, and I probably would prefer some of them over the ones I have voted for, but just not enough to warrant going back and re-evaluating all my votes… so it becomes a first in first served sort of thing, especially for those FRs that are around the same level of demand/interest

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Bringing this discussion back up because, as has been discussed, the current voting system is a bit broken in that votes don’t really affect when a feature will be worked on, there are too few votes, and the system is convoluted.

So I’d be happy to remove the voting feature from Feature Requests and those who make requests can add a poll to their request if they like, such as @kiwifergus has suggested.

In the end, iNat staff will still reply, close topics, and move forward with requests when we are able to. Some requests require a little work, and others months or weeks of planning.

Let me know what you all think.

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