More signal, less noise: how to avoid information overload in HipChat

, Product Marketing | January 27, 2017

ChatOps is a wonderful way to bring all your team’s work into one central location. But the greatest strength of work chat clients can also be their greatest weakness. With everything in one place, it can be difficult to figure out what you really need to pay attention to, what can wait, or what is someone else’s issue entirely.

At HipChat, we believe that great teams communication doesn’t mean more chat, but more productivity. We’ve designed HipChat so that signal wins over noise. Learn about features and settings that let you personalize HipChat for your exact workflow and keep you working smarter, not harder.

Know your notification settings

You definitely don’t want to be notified every time a message pops up in your rooms. Well, maybe you would like to (we don’t know your life), but “want” and “need” are very different things. If you’re trying to cut down on the noise, we recommend going into your Settings…HipChat settings…and fiddling around with the Notifications settings.HipChat notification settingsChoose whether you want notification sounds played for messages, video calls, or both. Choose whether you want the dock icon to bounce once or until you’re finally inclined to look at it to make it stop. Choose the sound level and types of mentions for which you want to be notified. And more.

But what if you’re in a meeting and don’t want any notifications until you’re out? Simply set your status to Do not disturbDo Not Disturb setting…and make sure you change your setting to Stop all notifications.HipChat Do Not Disturb settingsAhhhh…peace and quiet. For as long as you desire.

Use mentions wisely

There are a number of ways you can use mentions to get someone’s attention, but depending on the circumstance, some mentions will be better than others.

@all: This alerts every person who’s a member of that room. This will alert even the folks who are not currently on HipChat, whether via their mobile device or their email—and depending on where you are, that could pose a problem. Nothing like an incident at 7 AM in New York waking up a teammate in San Francisco at 4 AM… so maybe don’t use this unless it’s urgent, or it really is something everyone should know.HipChat @all@here: This alert will notify everyone in your room who is currently signed into HipChat. That way, you don’t have to worry about disturbing someone’s sleep or making people give them dirty looks in a crowded movie theater.HipChat @hereAlias: Using a group mention created with Alias Bot will alert only the people you’ve included in the group—and spare you from having to type out each user by name. This is great for larger rooms that may have several different teams within them. That way, you’re not combing through a bunch of messages and wondering, “Does any of this actually apply to me?”
HipChat Alias Bot

Archive or delete rooms you no longer need

Oftentimes, rooms are created for a specific, short-term purpose. When that purpose has been fulfilled, what do you do with the room? You don’t want it to just sit there and clutter up your space—that just makes it more work to sift through your room list and find the ones you do need.

There are two options: archiving and deleting.

If a room still has useful information (or hilarious lulz) that you’ll want to access later, archive it. Just click the hamburger icon in the top right corner of your app, then click Archive.HipChat archive roomTo unarchive the room, log into, go to Rooms, click the Archived tab, click on the room you want, and choose Unarchive in the left menu.HipChat unarchive roomIf you don’t think you’re ever going to need a room again, you can delete it instead.HipChat delete roomUnlike archived rooms, these rooms cannot be brought back—so make sure no one will need it in the future before you delete it!

HipChat makes it painless to sift through the daily barrage that comes your way. And there are myriad ways to customize your HipChat experience to make it fit the way you work instead of the other way around, including thousands of integrations that bring you all the information that matters.