Show online users at top of Hipchat room list

A few months ago HipChat took a massive step backwards in no longer allowing the filtering of online people in a chatroom list. I use the product as part of a very large business team across the country, with members in 8 different capital cities (about 80 people use the chatroom). In the current version there's a massive A-Z alphabetical list but no quick way to scan and see who is online from each city. Before I used to be able to just see the online people at the top of the list so I could easily see which team member is online, and then I'd have to remember which city they're from.

HipChat has been a massive headache since the user list redesign. Can you please consider:

  1. Allowing a filter option to show online people at the top of a chat list in a room
  2. Allow the user to add nickname prefix to the names of other people in the chatroom (only viewable by the one user). So for example I'd like to set up the user to be like: "(Perth) Joe Bloggs"

Making multiple chatrooms with a smaller list of users is not possible due to our workflow. We're a news org and we need to send messages to every one of our members around the country together. We also need to see who is online easily to target specitic messages to those people with @ mentions

 

This is what my chat list looks like. It's pretty unworkable:

users.JPG

 

2 answers

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Sara Dubuque Atlassian Team Sep 15, 2016

Hi Daniel,

The list change that's causing you trouble is only in place for rooms that are larger than 100 people - the design you preferred (sorting by which users are online) is still used for rooms under 100 people. We appreciate your feedback and always value insights into our users' workflow - everyone uses HipChat a little bit differently and we appreciate you taking the time to share exactly how this change affected your organization. 

I have a couple additional workarounds that might help your team today.  

If location is really important to all your users, you might try having members edit their name in HipChat to include their location (e.g., Joe Bloggs (Perth)) so that scanning the list gives you the quick location information you're looking for. 

Another thing to try is to go ahead and create those smaller rooms for each location in addition to your larger, full team room. It sounds like those rooms would be small enough to sort by which members are online, and the member lists would be your roster of which of your members are in which location. If your organization has any location-specific communication, you could use those rooms and likely make more liberal use of the @all or @here functions without needing to remember a lot of mention names, otherwise you could continue to use your larger room for team-wide communication.

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There are already a couple of issues apparently related to the user list redesign that you might want to watch and vote for to raise Atlassian's awareness of those UX regressions (there may be more, just a quick check):

Workarounds

That being said, there might already be viable workarounds for the specific use cases you outline:

Mention everyone currently in the room

You can send a message to all users that are currently online in a room by means of the lesser known @here notation as described in @mentioning everyone currently in the room:

To get the attention of everyone who is currently active in the room, type @here and your message. For example, type "@here Time for lunch!"

By “active” we mean the people are in the room and their HipChat statuses show Available (green). HipChat won't notify people who are away or offline. 

Mention a configurable group of people

The HipChat Alias bot allows you to Use the "/alias set" command to define a group alias in order to mention large groups of people with a few key strokes - it works nicely as such, I haven't used it with anything but smaller teams though.

The Alias bot is also featured in the following blog posts:

 

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