Delays on Typeaheads (@mentions)

productivity

#1

I totally and wholeheartedly agree with this statement on the Asana Help Guide

One of the major “a-ha!” moments in Asana is when customers realize they can connect their work across Asana and see it in different places—without duplicating anything or losing context. This saves time so teammates don’t have to search for what they need, or re-create work that is being tracked elsewhere.

Unfortunately, at least for my team here in North Florida, the delays on these mentions are really long. The minimum for us seems to be around 2 seconds for simple teammate mentions @Mike_ @Brian_ ect… and on the project mentions, like you will see in the embedded video, it can be over 6 seconds before it pulls back the link, allowing you to complete you thought or comment.

These delays are on the top of the list of why we may not switch from another plateform, despite all the benefits we are finding and enjoy on Asana. If they were fixed I think we could live with the few other issues we are having with a possible transition.

[engineerspeak] I’m sure if Asana engineering had more detailed feedback it would expedite a fix either in software via front end caching or on the back end with more servers distributed throughout the USA which would reduce the round trip and any specific server loads.[/engineerspeak]

I think it would really help if you or your team is experiencing the same or similar delays for mentions. If so please Heart this post and leave a reply with your general location and brief description of the delays.


#2

I see a delay sometimes, also. It’s not all the time, though. When I see the lag, it’s usually 2-3 seconds, regardless of who or what I’m tagging.

Part of the problem is that I know who or what I’m tagging, so I just roll on with the @john or @create blah blah and end up having to go back to jumpstart the tagging again.


#3

I find most of the delays when I’m referencing projects or teams. I don’t know if it’s ever been much higher than 4s, but right now it’s at about 3. It’s definitely a noticeable thing, but I’ve always just attributed it to the amount of people/projects/etc. I was trying to reference.


#4

Also I noticed you were @ then pasting the link there. You can just paste the link to the project and it’ll automatically shift to an asana mention/link. There was no delay for me with that =)


#5

Thanks!! I did NOT realize that. I thought the @ was required for any unboxing or linking to work.

If the queries could happen in the background and allow you to keep typing that would be great too. Like typing @mike_ and it could just catch up while I keep typing.


#6

No problem - and do you mean like you type @mike_ and then the list of mike-related things come up and you narrow it down? Right now there definitely needs to be a pause in the typing (even briefly) for asana to register the text, so you’re saying you don’t want it to need that?

I don’t know if I notice issues in that regard - usually I know a handful or words or phrases and I type them and then the query pops up like 1-2 seconds after and I either select it or refine it from there.


#7

I need to get back in and play with the mentions again. We don’t have a fully dense setup for Asana so the extent and flexibility we may need for the delays in the mentions aren’t exposed yet, like they are for you. I didn’t realize there would be more than just a name returned for an @mike_ type query but I guess it could. Not having to use the @ for links is a big win though and something I didn’t realize until you told me, despite reading and watching a lot of asana help topics.


#8

Awesome! Yeah I think it’s kind of a hidden ease-of-use thing, happy it helps.

For the query stuff - for example, if I type in my name so @name, it brings up my account first obviously, but also a list of projects or tasks that have my name in the title. I still don’t experience the major delays though.

It’s really helpful when I don’t know exactly where it is or what the name is, I just happen to know the keywords! =)


#9

Where are you located? If you are closer to one of their host machines the round trip could be much quicker.


#10

I’m in the middle of the US so yes it’s possible.


#11

Hey guys,

Yes, there definitely is a delay in @-mentioning people and projects, but we’re investing big time in performance across the application, and we know this is an area to focus on. It’s in the list, and we hope to get to it soon!


#12

Hey everyone!

I’m an engineer on Asana’s Perf Optimizations team and this discussion makes me so happy. We also think that our typeaheads aren’t as fast as they should be and were in the midst of a bunch of improvements that should help.

<technical details>
Right now we are actually trying our 3 new changes to improve typeahead speed (and they are all on for some fraction of users right now so you might be lucky enough to have them).

  1. Switch our typeaheads from debouncing requests by 400ms to throttling requests to every 50ms. http://demo.nimius.net/debounce_throttle/ has a good demo about the difference between debouncing and throttling, but basically we were waiting 400ms to send the request to the server so we don’t spam it on every keystroke and now we are being less cautious and sending requests faster.

  2. Filter results immediately, so when you type “ab” we will filter the old result we got from “a” to the ones that include “ab” (and meanwhile still ask the server for a new list of things that have “ab” in them).

  3. Fix a perf bug thats hard to explain without a lot of context, but we were delaying showing you the results even after your client got the data and now we aren’t.

</technical details>

And even with these 3 new fixes, we’re still not trilled with the @ mention typeahead. Looks like the elastic search query is now the problem so we’re going to speed that up next. :slight_smile:

-Alex

PS The server you guys are talking to is in Virginia, but I don’t think your distance to there should make too much of a difference.


#13

Is there anyway to see which version me or @Caisha are hitting on our end or yours? I assume you are doing performance testing so you probably already know how much those improvements are helping or not.

I really appreciate how much detailed feedback the Asana team is putting on their public forum and the speed of those replies with such details!

Typeaheads are cool. I didn’t know what to call that feature technically, now I do :slight_smile:

@Alex_Cole when do you expect to roll out those changes to everyone?


#14

Is there anyway to see which version me or @Caisha are hitting on our end or yours?

Sorry. There isn’t a good way to find this in the app.

@Alex_Cole when do you expect to roll out those changes to everyone?

I definitely don’t want to commit to any specific timeline, but “soon”. On the timescale of a small number of months for improvements 1-3 in my previous post (potentially as soon as 1 month if the tests go well).

And as I said in my last post, we’re still going to be doing further improvements, but given that we aren’t totally sure what the work is for those, I don’t want to speculate on the timeline.


#15

Such great information Alex, thank you! I know that there was a blog post that mentioned the next big focus was on performance improvements, etc. but it’s great to have some more information on it! Appreciate the update, looking forward to what comes next =)


#16

Also experiencing the delay in tagging team members in Comments of our Tasks. We are in the middle of the U.S.


#17

@Alex_Cole great news that this is getting attention. It’s been a peeve of ours too.

One other thing as long as you’re tweaking the mentions. The other issue for us is how the mouse interacts w/ the search results list. Something like this scenario:

  • I mouse into a comment box and start typing
  • I type @ to begin the typeahead
  • I type some chars. Let’s say I type @chris for one of my colleague’s names
  • the search results pop up, w/ my colleague at the top & preselected as expected
  • but a few beats after the results list appears, the selection in the results list switches to something lower down. this is because the mouse pointer is still in the comment box, and ends up being on one of the other choices in the list. even though my hand is no longer on the mouse
  • often this happens during my keystroke on the Enter key. So my intention to confirm that I want to mention my colleague ends up as a mention of something else, requiring me to delete it and try again

This usually happens to me several times a day. It’s not my favorite thing ever.

A fix I’d love to see would be to ignore the mouse pointer unless I move the mouse after the results list is generated.

Let me know if I should make a separate topic for this.