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jremick Envato team says

Hi everyone,

As you might know, I used to be Review Manager (I’ve since changed roles) and I know the review system and its data intimately. I was responsible for initiating changes in the review system “flow” that increased its complexity (causing the need for the progress bar to change) but also improved review efficiency. The progress bar has long been a complaint, but more importantly it has been a resource consumer. We get support tickets, emails, forum complaints and tweets about it and due to it. When you combine all the time spent on those inquiries, it adds up to a massive amount of the team’s time that could be spent improving other areas of the system and authoring process.

However, the progress bar is not an easy one to fix. You can’t predict that a reviewer will get sick, causing a multi-day delay in review turnaround time for one or more categories. You can’t predict when a software release will cause a flood of high priority item updates, causing delays to everything else in the queues. The system complexity is at a point where accurately predicting when any given item might be reviewed is a difficult task. That isn’t to say it can’t be done, but that it’s not something we can quickly do and isn’t among our highest priorities (there are many more features you all have asked for that are more helpful and valuable, therefore higher priority).

So we need to reduce the resource consumption the progress bar was causing (so we can actually use those resources for making things better) but also fulfill the purpose of that little box you see once you’ve uploaded your item.

But what is its purpose?

  1. Provide accurate information about the current state of your uploaded item
  2. Set an expectation of when it would be reviewed

This change improves the available information about the current state of authors’ uploaded items but also, importantly, resets authors’ expectations about when we say their items will be reviewed. The accurate answer to that is we don’t exactly know and it’s not right for us to knowingly provide inaccurate information that sets expectations we may or may not be able to meet.

The progress bar may have felt good for some, but, unfortunately, gave a false sense of “progress”, which was more frustrating when something didn’t go as you expected (eg. the bar moved backwards). So I know this change might feel like a step backwards, but it’s really a step toward a better and more accurate system for indicating status and progress of your uploaded items. Sometimes you have to take a step back before you can take two forward.

From here we can consider the best ways to indicate estimated time to review, average turnaround times or other information. Most importantly, this enables us to spend more of our time making things better that are more helpful and valuable to all of you, rather than spend that time continually answering everyone’s questions about why the progress bar is jumping around like a neurotic monkey. ;-)

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boleavladut says

Great ! :D

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Pirenko says

@ jremick: why don’t you simply show our position in queue like some years ago?

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GDragoN says

@jremick no one is expecting to see exact time when the review will be done, and as far as I remember no one asked for that. Authors only need to know some sort of numerical information related to their queue position. Whatever system you have and how complex it is, it is not relevant to simple fact that your system knows how many items are submitted as new items and as updates, and that it knows position of each item. Why you don’t want to show this is beyond me.

Again: no one expects exact information, but something that has a meaning for their current position in the queue. Even if item changes queues, new items are added and removed, but in every point item has to have position that can be easily determined, it doesn’t matter when it will get reviewed, only position in the queue.

If you don’t want to do so, OK, it is your right, but at least rename the name of this topic: removing a feature and replacing it with something totally useless is not ‘fixing’. You fixed nothing, you choose not to fix it and only remove the whole feature. Let’s call things as they are.

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jremick Envato team says

@ jremick: why don’t you simply show our position in queue like some years ago?

@jremick no one is expecting to see exact time when the review will be done, and as far as I remember no one asked for that. Authors only need to know some sort of numerical information related to their queue position. Whatever system you have and how complex it is, it is not relevant to simple fact that your system knows how many items are submitted as new items and as updates, and that it knows position of each item. Why you don’t want to show this is beyond me.

Again: no one expects exact information, but something that has a meaning for their current position in the queue. Even if item changes queues, new items are added and removed, but in every point item has to have position that can be easily determined, it doesn’t matter when it will get reviewed, only position in the queue.

If you don’t want to do so, OK, it is your right, but at least rename the name of this topic: removing a feature and replacing it with something totally useless is not ‘fixing’. You fixed nothing, you choose not to fix it and only remove the whole feature. Let’s call things as they are.

First let me clarify that one reason we’ve chosen not to display some form of numerical information is available resources (people’s time) and project priority. Think of this as our “MVP” solution for this iteration on this component. No, it’s not ideal (we all, staff included, agree with you on that), but it’s the right decision given all the situation variables.

Thought it might seem simple to just add in a couple numbers, it can use more time than you might think. That isn’t to say it’s a large piece of work, but there’s many other, much higher value, pieces of work going on that are currently higher priority. But let’s be clear; we’re not saying that further improvements won’t ever happen. We very much intend on making future improvements! :-)

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DOGmotion says

@jremick
Imagine that you go to the bank. There you get a ticket: A208 (for example), under this number you also will see such words: “You are 23 in the queue.” But actually you are not 23 (you may be 54), because there are tickets with other letters: D103, I406, G343 and so on. You are 23 person who has ticket with A letter. And in fact, you didn’t know where you are in the queue exactly to this ticket window. That is how banks work (at least in my country). And it’s normal.

You may simply write “There are 58 items before yours”. And after this message do a small button with ”?”. When mouse over this button, people can see the explanation that they are actually not 58, that this number can be higher in the future because… reason, reason, reason. And that is all!

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Anps says

If review process goes as it is going in last days were we got a response the second day, i don’t really mind. Now if the time span goes over 5 days for a review and after each soft reject again 2 to 3 days then its a bit frustrating.

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Pirenko says

@ jremick: thank you for taking some time to respond.

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jremick Envato team says

@jremick
Imagine that you go to the bank. There you get a ticket: A208 (for example), under this number you also will see such words: “You are 23 in the queue.” But actually you are not 23 (you may be 54), because there are tickets with other letters: D103, I406, G343 and so on. You are 23 person who has ticket with A letter. And in fact, you didn’t know where you are in the queue exactly to this ticket window. That is how banks work (at least in my country). And it’s normal.

You may simply write “There are 58 items before yours”. And after this message do a small button with ”?”. When mouse over this button, people can see the explanation that they are actually not 58, that this number can be higher in the future because… reason, reason, reason. And that is all!

Yup, I completely understand this concept and banks here work the same way. That said, there’s a specific purpose for this. You are given a number because they don’t want you to have to stand in a long line to wait your turn. Instead they provide you with the convenience of sitting down but still understanding when you’re up next because you physically have to get up and go to their counter.

A system like this is, for the most part, valueless in a digital queue where no action is required by the user. So what is the value to the user (you guys, the authors)? It’s in knowing how close your item(s) are to being reviewed. But you authors won’t be able to know that without knowing how long items take on average to be reviewed in recent history. There’s lots of considerations that start coming up in order to implement this well so that it doesn’t begin raising thousands of unnecessary questions based on everyone’s perceived judgement of the historical progress of the queues.

However, like I said before, we’re not saying this won’t happen, we’re just saying not in this particular iteration. ;)

Thanks for understanding guys!

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VF says

To relevant staffs: I would like to see the entire rating system removed until you guys find a perfect one. (Just kidding)

I guess below is a simple set up you can arrange. Your sudden concious of perfection is killing the logic. The following one will in fact avoid more and more support queries:


You may simply write “There are 58 items before yours”. And after this message do a small button with ”?”. When mouse over this button, people can see the explanation that they are actually not 58, that this number can be higher in the future because… reason, reason, reason. And that is all!

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