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Optimising Notifications Performance

Podio has been growing at a remarkable pace and so is its data. This data not only includes app items, but also tasks and notifications. Along with adding 300 million items, we have also added 800 million notifications in 2019.

While the volume of usage and data is a key to measuring success for a product's adoption, it is detrimental for scale and performance. So a successful product needs to be strategic and have a good command on the data it is storing, while keeping in check, the customer experience and performance of the product does not get impacted.

We, at Citrix Podio, strive towards delivering the best experience for our users. Hence, we plan on optimising our features and data so as to make our system scalable, stable and more performant.

 

As a first step, we would start this optimisation by deleting old notifications, which are least useful for users. Notifications, though very much important for getting work done and collaboration, become rather dormant data once they are read and/or once they get old. For instance, no user goes back to check read notifications that were received a month back. Even if some older notifications are unread, it is highly unlikely for a user to go back in time to check those notifications, more so ever because the notifications would have lost their urgency. 

Please Note: By deleting notifications, we are just referring to deleting the notification alerts received on Podio. The actual data and content triggering the notification stays unaffected.

 

Which notifications are considered old?  All notifications (both read and unread) triggered 90 days earlier will be considered as old notifications and be deleted from Podio. 

Release Timeline: All Podio notifications, older than 90 days will be unavailable starting 27th January 2020

 

We feel this would be a significant incremental step at optimising Podio database through reduction in data volume. As a bonus, we hope this will help users stay clear of old, outdated notifications and instead keep better focus on recent, more relevant updates, that might demand immediate action.

If you have questions or concerns about this upcoming change, please reach out to our team here

Follow this news for more updates on this optimisation step.

 

Thank you.

/Pallabi - Product Manager

Pallabi Patnaik

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What would be helpful is to not automatically follow an item every time I edit it. It renders notifications useless for us. I end up with thousands of notifications for things I do not need to know about.

Keep up the good work Podio team!

Jude Lawrence 30 votes
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Optimisation makes sense but in terms of any new feature and UI development this seems to have ground to a complete stop...any news of any "big" features and updates?

Dimitris Demetriou 12 votes
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For notifications, the single thing I would love most would be the ability to turn off notifications of recurring tasks. 

When I complete a recurring task that is assigned to me, I really don't need to be notified of the new task being generated - I just want it to trigger quietly in the background and I'll see it when it's due date comes.

Thanks for all you do though! Would be a nightmare without Podio!

Grant 2 votes
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I could not agree more with Jude. It would be a tremendous help if it was made so that it would require an specific action to follow an item.

Diana Køhler 1 vote
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Establishing preferences on what type of notifications I want to receive would help a lot too.

Sebastian Medina 1 vote
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I agree with the above, however I don't want to be required to manually follow everything, would be too time consuming... And God forbid I forget to follow something important. 

Brittney McDowell 0 votes
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Due to the limited customizations available to Podio notifications, I have resorted to asking my team to mention me each time there's something important.

Then I just go to the 'Mentions Only' section of the notifications to see the most important notifications for me.

https://podio.com/notifications/alerts

George Krahn 0 votes
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  1. I agree with all of my colleagues' comments above.
  2. Sorry for being rather direct, but it's a shame that Podio presents the desire to optimize data storage as having any benefits for users. If you're concerned with performance - why not add a bit of storage and processing power?:-)

 

Ilya Ferber 1 vote
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It's very glad to see that following two things are added that I have been asking for.

  • Tasks that are assigned to you
  • Tasks that you have assigned or have commented on
ほっしぃ 0 votes
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I completely agree with Dimitris' point. It seems like Podio users have been waiting for significant (and frequently required) functional updates forever, and I can't find any valuable feature updates to speak over the course of 4 years I've been using Podio. Does it mean there is no strategic focus on evolving the product within the Citrix portfolio? If so, I might be tempted to switch to other solutions. 

Roman Charkoi 3 votes
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It would be great if you could add features to more dynamically filter on notification. Right now we only have a few options like per person or type of notification. An awesome filter would be to specify from which app in our organization the notification/mention was received. This would give a clear overview when having to decide which notifications have the highest priority

Kamil Makowski 1 vote
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I agree with those above. It would be great to be able to set a preference to only receive notifications when mentioned by name. Some of our people end up having too many notifications that are not relevant to them, and there are not many options to customize notifications.

Steve Debenport 1 vote
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I need performance...along with some other things that most probably would be easy for you to come up with, if you are keen! Want a list? I'll be glad to share.

Where you do you guys want to take Podio? In fact there's any strategy? 

Don't know if you guys realize that, if you want, Podio can be one the best tools for...a lot of things...After all, this is a business, and being good at it, means...you know... I want to believe.

Since Citrix took over seems that everyone is enchanted with the brand, and totally forgot that users are paying their fees and demand some work from your side!

Think ahead, move ahead!! Also work accordingly. 

My 2 cents. Cheers. Going back to work.

 

Asia Gaming Brief 1 vote
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Agreed with many comments about the desire for richer functionality around notifications in terms of what and how we receive them. While important, our team is struggling with notification-fatigue and due to the enormous amount I as a Sr. Manager receive, I often miss the ones I need in the sea of non-relevant or unimportant notifications that a description or type was changed. Keep up the good work. I still believe Podio is hands-down one of the most comprehensive and customizable project management tools out there and I'd like to see it continue to rock.

Julie Davidson 0 votes
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Thanks all for sharing your valuable thoughts on notifications.

  1. Jude Lawrence Diana Køhler I agree that Podio notification preferences are not very elaborate. This is so, because we do not want to overload our customers with a plethora of settings to choose from. Podio users are mostly business users who may not be very tech savvy and hence need a product requiring minimum settings. However, I hear you that it would be good to at least have the minimum settings as present for emails.
  2. To add to it, it is not just Podio, but is an industry practice that whenever you update or add comments to an item, you start following it, because the system considers the item important for you. 
  3. Exactly as Brittney McDowell has called out, we do not want users to lose out on important updates just because they have not consciously followed an item. It is rather tedious. Instead, if you start getting a lot of unnecessary notifications regarding a particular followed item or app, you can always go and unfollow it once and for all.
  4. George Krahn I would say that is the most intelligent way to segregate what notifications you need vs what you do not. cc Steve Debenport 

Dimitris Demetriou Roman Charkoi I do understand your apprehension regarding new functionalities on Podio. As communicated through multiple forums before, Podio has been focussed on security and scalability enhancements and hence we have not been able to deliver many new functionalities. In fact, it is not just Podio, but most other Citrix products also have their primary focus on security and scalability. We want to provide a more reliable platform for our customers first.

Ilya Ferber I can assure you that this Optimisation is just one route of performance improvement. I would categorise this as more of an optimisation for user experience since it is reducing the clutter of old and unimportant notifications. In parallel, our team is focussed on infrastructural upgrades and maintenance activities every day for a stronger, faster and better Podio!

Cheers!

//Pallabi - Podio Product Manager

Pallabi Patnaik 2 votes
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Pallabi Patnaik - I absolutely see the point in not adding too many options, it is one of the many things I love about Podio.
My issue is that I'm in an administrative position, so I edit a lot for the team, which means I end up following pretty much everything. Maybe adding an opt out of subscribtions would be one way to solve it. Again I realise that this is a slkippery slope to numerous individual settings, but here I personally could see a great win from making an exception.

Diana Køhler 0 votes
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@Pallabi Patnaik - It is good to hear that Podio has been focused on security.  But, if it really has been, how is it that Podio's customers have been requesting native MFA for six (6!) years?:

https://help.podio.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/201035838-Two-factor-authentication?mobile_site=true&page=1#comments

While I am no expert on security, it seems safe to say that one of the most basic security features is MFA, and that this should not be something that you need a separate subscription (like ShareFile) to get.

Perhaps there is going to be a big announcement soon that Podio is going to finally catch up with the rest of the world in implementing MFA for its non-ShareFile users?

And for those of us who are frustrated by lack of new features (or even basic improvements), perhaps Podio could publish a road map of when we can expect improvements?

 

Matthew Byrne 1 vote
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Diana Køhler I hear you and I'll consider this input while taking up further improvements for Podio notifications

Matthew Byrne I can understand your frustration here and how important and commoditised MFA is today. All I can say right now is that there are multiple other non-user facing security and scalability requirements that need to addressed by a software and that is what Podio has been working all this while. Having said that, we hope to hear some good news regarding MFA this year. Will let out more information once we have clarity on the concrete timelines.

Pallabi Patnaik 0 votes
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Hi Pallabi,

Thanks for the reply. Following every single item that you edit makes notifications for us absolutely pointless. That's a whole bunch of overhead which serves no purpose which I think you guys could be saving on. If you add one more setting for users giving them the ability to not automatically follow items that they edit, it would save on millions of unnecessary notifications. I can't see this being too confusing for users. Have it on by default (follow items you edit), with the option to turn it off.

Going down this route would not only give your Podio users more functionality but would also save on the overhead involved with unnecessary notifications.

Ideally, item following would be integrated into Globiflow and would be automated that way giving businesses the most amount of flexibility. I'd imagine that this would be a pretty big job to undertake though.

Thanks again.

Jude Lawrence 0 votes
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As others have noted below, these changes are really nothing to do with the usability of Podio.  Much more concerning to me is the complete lack of any functionality roadmap visible to business users or for that matter evidence that any development is happening.  Forums are replete with requests for simple changes that have a chorus or supporters and vigorous agreement from the Podio spokesperson only to never materialise e.g. make it possible to re-order the columns in a list view.  On top of that it seems to take days to get a response from your technical support people.  What's really happening at Podio/Citrix right now?

Matt Noyes 2 votes
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