Undo bug -> forced reload -> loss of content -> workaround paywalled

Sp3ctre18
Sp3ctre18 EN Basic Posts: 2 Beginner
edited May 2023 in Ask the Community

I'm trying out MindMeister for the first time for about 30 minutes, on a Windows 11 PC running Brave browser (continuing after 10 minutes on an Android phone), and just had a terrible bug and content-loss situation. This is:

An inability to undo deletion resulting in loss of data
+
A paywall restricting access to solution through versioning.

Summary:
I was not allowed to undo a top-level node deletion via the standard keyboard shortcut (CTRL-Z). An error message was displayed, but it did not offer a solution or the option to reattempt the action. The forced reload, as a result of the error, leads to loss of session data. Furthermore, the application's versioning feature, which could potentially serve as a workaround, is unexpectedly gated behind a paywall, leading to user disappointment and potential loss of trust.

Steps Performed (not expected to be reproducable):

  1. Deleted a 2nd-level item within MindMeister (first level after the main idea/title).
  2. Attempted to undo the deletion using the CTRL-Z command.
  3. Observed the error message and the lack of an option to retry the action.
  4. Reloaded the site as per the error message's instruction, resulting in a loss of session data, and no more access to undoing (button grayed out).
  5. Navigated to versioning feature to restore previous version, exciting the user.
  6. Observed the paywall restriction on this feature.

Expected Results:
MindMeister should allow for the undoing of a deletion via the CTRL-Z command. If an error does occur, it should provide a relevant explanation and a means to retry the action. The versioning feature should not be unexpectedly gated behind a paywall, as this can lead to user frustration and potential loss of trust in the service.

Actual Results:
MindMeister should, but did not allow for the undoing of a node deletion, and the error message did not provide a means to retry the action or any other means or guide to resolution. The versioning feature is a likely workaround but is unexpectedly gated behind a paywall.

Top Recommendations:

Provide Limited Versioning for Free Plans: Please explore offering a limited version of the versioning feature to users on the free plan. This could potentially involve access to versions created within the last 10 minutes or the three most recent versions.
Rationale
: The ability to undo/redo actions is a fundamental aspect of many software applications and is generally expected to be highly reliable. Given that various factors already seen in other user's reports on these forums (including browser issues) can interfere with content saving, providing a fallback mechanism like versioning would help to enhance the user experience, even if this is offered in a more limited form for users on the free plan. If full reliability cannot be guaranteed, providing limited access to the versioning feature could help to mitigate potential data loss and maintain user trust in the service.

Enhance Versioning Preview Functionality: Consider enhancing the functionality of the versioning preview. While the current versioning feature allows users to view past versions of their work, it restricts them from navigating within the page. This limitation means users may be unable to fully view specific details from a previous version. Enabling users to navigate through the full view of a past version, even if it's just for the purpose of taking a screenshot, would be highly beneficial.
Rationale
: By allowing users to navigate past versions within the versioning preview, you can provide them with an even more effective and relieving tool for recovering from data loss incidents. This small enhancement could significantly improve the user experience and further build trust, as it demonstrates a commitment to preserving user data and work.

Other Recommendations:

Improve Versioning Feature Transparency
: Consider modifying the UI to clearly indicate that the versioning feature (or part of it, if implemented as above) is part of the paid plan. This could be achieved by graying out the versioning button or adding a clear label to the versioning screen that communicates it as a paid feature. If you wish to maintain the current functionality, you could label it as a demonstration of the paid feature. This would help avoid potential disappointment and loss of trust that could result from unexpectedly encountering a paywall.
Rationale
: It's important to maintain transparency about which features require payment, especially when those features could have significant practical and emotional implications for users.

Implement Temporary Access to Versioning Feature in Case of Errors: In instances where an error is detected and there's potential data loss, consider granting a temporary grace period where users can access the versioning feature regardless of their subscription status. This limited access could last for a few minutes after the error has occurred.
Rationale
: Granting temporary access to a critical feature like versioning during an error event can greatly mitigate the negative impact of data loss. It can also act as a trust-building measure, showing users that the service prioritizes their work and data even during unforeseen issues.

Additional Notes
:

I am taking the time to detail these experiences and recommendations because user perception is crucial in shaping product experience. I understand that the sequence of events I encountered might not have been anticipated, particularly as features evolve over time. I acknowledge that the "bait-and-switch" impression may not have been the intent of the developers or the product team.

I have noted the active engagement and problem-solving approach of those who seem to be the MindMeister team on this forum, which I appreciate and find commendable. Therefore, my intent with this feedback is twofold: firstly, I hope it provides valuable insight to improve the user experience and help make the system better. Secondly, I am eager to see how the team responds to this critique, as it will inform my decision to either continue exploring MindMeister or consider alternatives. In the best-case scenario, this interaction may provide compelling reasons for me to remain a user of this service. Thank you very much for your attention.

Best Answer

  • Andrew Lapidus
    Andrew Lapidus Admin, MeisterLobster, DE Business Posts: 1,013 Community Admin
    Answer ✓

    Hi @Sp3ctre18,

    Thank you for taking the time to reach out and share such extensive feedback. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience caused by the bug and content loss situation — it's doubly frustrating to hear that you experienced this issue so soon in your journey with MindMeister!

    We are actively addressing the bug affecting undo deletions, and I've forwarded your feedback regarding the limited version history access for free users to our product team. I'll keep you updated on the bug's status in this thread.

    Best wishes for a great weekend,

    Andrew

Answers

  • Map
    Map EN Basic Posts: 1 New Here

    Today I lost many data with this exact same issue… twice only in few hours. It's very frustrating. I asked to restore my maps but no response from MindMeister.

  • Sp3ctre18
    Sp3ctre18 EN Basic Posts: 2 Beginner

    @Andrew Lapidus , thank you very much for the speedy response, even though I only saw it now - doesn't seem like I got an email. I look forward to the updates and any relevant decisions made that could be shared.

  • playoreo
    playoreo EN Basic Posts: 1 New Here

    Same issue, lost my data. Please help me to recover and get back to my previous version. (due to bug lost my data, i don't want paid plan as of now) i can't buy because its a mistake of your system..

  • Tiago Rodrigues
    Tiago Rodrigues EN Basic Posts: 1 New Here

    @Andrew Lapidus
    Hello, i'd experienced the same issue!!
    Do you already have a solution?