Activity stream

Removed from guidelines

What problem does this solve?

Activity streams are used to show time-ordered activity in a context (a document or issue, a project, a product, or a group of products) to help users understand what's currently happening in that context. Each activity stream entry is timestamped, and usually has an actor, an action, and a subject or object of the action.

Activity streams typically surface links to the objects they reference, so users can click through to the application for more information. It's also possible for users to comment directly on the activity stream entry from within the activity stream without having to go to the application that generated the entry. As they can be scoped narrowly or broadly, and to a large variety of actors and actions, Activity Streams are by necessity fairly flexible.

When to use this pattern

The summary nature of the Activity stream pattern makes it a great candidate for dashboards or roll-up pages that aggregate information about something. Since they also provide the ability to backtrack through time to understand the history of an object or a context, they are a good metadata source for an item and can be included on detail pages of an item.

In general, if you have any sort of time-ordered sequence you should consider if the Activity stream will work for you rather than creating a new custom pattern.

How to approach this guide

Until activity streams are consolidated into a single AUI component, this guide is provided as a visual reference on how to standardize appearance and behaviour across activity streams that are implemented in a variety of ways.



Activity Stream Example


Activity stream container

The Activity stream container provides the chrome for the activity stream. The container also controls relative dating granularity as well as rolling up multiple activities from a single actor based on that granularity.

The Atlassian Activity Streams plugin provides a container for activity streams, and some applications have written their own containers. In general the container provides some minimal view controls and pagination.

Object Representation Details
Title Text name of stream At top of list, or the name of a tab in a tabbed display
View Controls Icons, upper right of stream frame
  • Standard 16x16 icons with tooltips
  • Activity streams 5 plugin defines
    • 2 view controls
    • A filtering control
    • A RSS control
  • Sorting is also an option
Entries Activity Entries, see below
Pagination Control "Show More" Rather than doing paged content, we tend to build simple "show more" controls to get more content for the stream

Activity stream entry

The Activity stream entry contains the actor, action, and optionally the objects or subjects of the action. It is the basic unit of the activity stream. Actors can be both humans or automated agents, but all should have avatars. The minimum activity stream entry would consist of an actor, an activity, and a date.

Object Representation Optional Details Actions
Avatar Image No 32x32, 3px corner radius Links to user profile
Actor User Name No A link Links to user profile
Activity String, can include references to objects At least 1 activity or comment
  • Text and links, mentions and labels
  • For example: "…commited 3 files to repository My Repo"
Active links
Content Text, Images Yes
  • Text, links, imagery that reveal more information about the activity
  • For example: a commit message
Comments Comments are often included as useful metadata At least 1 activity or comment Separately timestamped and attributed "reply to this comment" functionality may appear in the future
Actions Controls to affect the entry: comment, like etc Yes Actions and date are on the same line, at the bottom No navigation
Date Datestamp for the act No Actions and date are on the same line, at the bottom No navigation

Activity entry examples

The following diagram references the basic layout of the activity stream entry:

Activity stream entry diagram

Comment item

This is in a comment stream on a page, so no activity statement is necessary (all activities are comments).

Activity Entry Example

Generic item

This is in a generic activity stream, so the commenting activity is shown.

Activity Entry Example

Issue link

The activity is listed, containing an issue link.

Activity Entry Example

Complex item

All elements are shown in this activity example.

Activity Entry Example