Starting today, mention notifications will work a bit differently. Users will only be notified for @username mentions in a chat message or team inbox item. A plain username will no longer trigger notifications. When you want to grab someone’s attention, there’s no need to reach for the @ key – just start typing their name and hit Tab to autocomplete it. Not the right person? Hit Tab again to cycle through names.

Hit Tab to cycle through options

When the concept of @mentions was added to Flowdock, a design decision needed to be made: should users only be notified when their name is tagged in a message (i.e. @Ville), or should they also be notified if their username is simply mentioned (Ville)? At the time, we decided to go down the path that seemed easiest for our users, meaning we’d send notifications for any message that contained their username. IRC clients worked similarly.

Unfortunately, there was a downside to this decision, and it’s especially apparent if your username is Will or Don. If your username is a word that appears in normal sentences (“Will you do this…”, “Don’t mind me…”), you will receive spurious notifications.

Notifying others is something that should be done deliberately – after all, you’re borrowing someone else’s precious attention for your need. It shouldn’t happen by accident.

We hope adjusting to this change won’t be too hard, and will improve the lives of all the Wills and Dons out there.