The switch from assignee to participants

by Matt Bilotti

In  May 2017, we're making a switch that helps your team stay in the loop on conversations that matter most.

We're moving from each conversation having a single "assignee" to a conversation having multiple "participants."

Why are we making this change?

In the world of single assignee, people were falling out of the loop because they were no longer getting notified of a conversation they handed off to a teammate. Sometimes the conversation you're having is with a high-potential lead or VIP customer that has a dedicated sales rep or customer success manager and an engineer was jumping in. 

Now, with participants, everyone can still get notified of updates to conversations until they opt themselves out.

Our goal in this switch it to help you make sure nothing falls through the cracks.

What changes for you if you use assignees today?

Quite frankly, not all that much. We're being over-communicative because we want to make sure you feel prepared and not caught off guard.

There are three things we're going to touch on here...

  1. How your workflow is affected
  2. How the conversation filters change
  3. How were rolling out the update

1 - How your workflow is affected

Out of all the things you need to know, this is the most important section. 

The little assignee icon in the conversation input box will now go away. In place of it, we've rolled out a list of participants at the top of a conversation.

Now, instead of clicking on the face in the bottom left corner of your compose box, you just need to click on the top list of participants (or have that other person send a message to the conversation and they'll automatically be added as a participant).

If you want more info on exactly how participants work, here's a breakdown of that!

We're updating the filters of which groups of conversations you can view what conversations you're participating in, rather than which conversations you're assigned to. I'm referring to this dropdown...

Here's what changes in these filters:
  • "Assigned to me" becomes "My conversations" which are all conversations you're participating in
  • "Unassigned" becomes "No participants" which are all the conversations with no participants
  • Custom filter options change from allowing you to filter based on who is assigned to who is participating.
All in all, this is a pretty minor change and you likely won't notice any different from existing behaviors.

3 - How we're rolling this out

We've rolled out most of the functionality of participants at the moment (with the exception of the filters reflecting the changes listed above).

The last pieces are us updating all of the integrations to make sure that nothing changes with how they work today.

Mobile app changes will happen at the same time as the switch to remove assignee in the web app based on the same designs that you see in this article and this breakdown of how participants work.

Here's how the integrations that previously used assignee are affected and now work moving forward:

  • Zapier - Instead of passing assigneeId, we'll pass along the participantId, which you can use in place of the assignee
  • Salesforce - Lead Owners that are set in Salesforce will be set to the person that closes the conversation in Drift, unless you have other rules in Salesforce that override assignment / ownership
  • Slack - Instead of showing the assignee in the main channel, we show the participants. If you do "@drift mine" it will now show you the list of conversations you're participating in

If you have any questions at all, feel free to hit us up. We're here to make this transition as smooth as possible.

Was this article helpful?