IP.Board 4 - coming in the next couple months


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  • Admin

@sturt because I know how amused you are at how Hawksquawk has become a little bit social, I figured you'd like seeing how much further it's going to go once the new version is out.

@hawksfanatic and @AHF I think you'll both be interested in this as well.

Cover Photos

Allow users to upload an image to represent something in the community; we currently support them in profiles and calendar events and may roll out support to other areas later.

Here's a video of it in action for a calendar event.

40-coverphotos.swf

Profiles

In IPS4, profiles have had a complete makeover. There's a lot to cover, so I'll start with a numbered screenshot, and address each section individually (please note this is a large image; if you're on mobile, you may wish to wait to view it full-size).

blogentry-1094-0-37744100-1399951227.png

1 - Header images

In 3.x, users could customize their profiles by uploading a background image. In practice, this didn't work well when the software was integrated into an existing website design, and the options presented often ended up with a garish profile. In addition, social networks like Facebook and Twitter have adjusted user expectations on how profiles are customized.

In IPS4, instead of page backgrounds, users instead get to customize their profile header image. This provides the best of both worlds - ample space to choose something creative, but it's contained and won't mess up a website design.

2 - Reputation

The user's current reputation count is shown prominently in the info column, letting other users know if this member is an asset to the community.

4 - Followers

Followers replace friends in IPS4, and the user's followers are shown in this block. Instead of requiring mutual acknowledgement as with the traditional friends system (an approach that isn't entirely useful in a community of anonymous users), in IPS4 you follow users whom you find interesting in order to be updated when they contribute to the community. Users can of course prevent others from following them, if that is a concern to them. We'll have more details on how followers works in a later entry.

5 - About the user

Traditional information about the user is shown in the next block, including custom profile fields.

6 - Recent visitors

Recent visitors to this user's profile are shown next. As with 3.x, this can be toggled on and off by the profile owner. In 4.x, this is done by clicking the X in the corner of the block.

7 - Follow/Message member

These primary buttons enable others to follow the user (if enabled), and send a new message inline, without leaving the page.

8 - User's content

In 3.x, browsing a user's content was handled by the search area of the community (though links were available in the user's profile and hovercard). We felt this wasn't the best place for it, though. After all, a user's content should be available in their profile.

That's what this button does. It switches the profile view to 'content browsing' mode, where you can see everything the user has done. It's smooth and buttery, and because it all loads dynamically, it feels like a true part of the profile. Here's a video of it in action (14MB)

40-profiles.swf

9 - Long-form custom profile fields

IPS4 supports various kinds of custom profile fields, including rich-text editors for long, styled content. Those custom profile fields will be shown in the main section of the profile where they get the space they need to be effective. About Me is a default field, but you can of course add your own too for your users to fill in.

10 - User's 'Nodes'

A node is a fancy developer term for content containers that a user creates themselves, like gallery albums and blogs (as opposed to forum categories, which are created by the admin). In IPS4, a user's 'nodes' are shown right on their profile page, making it easy to find more interesting content from the user. In this screenshot, you can see my profile is showing my albums, my blogs, and other blogs to which I contribute.

For developers, supporting your application in this section is easy too.

11 - Status feed

The status feed from 3.x is of course still present, and the interaction is all inline without leaving the page.

Conclusion

That's profiles in 4.0. We hope the new focus on content and streamlined design provides a better experience for your users!

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Ha! I'm pretty sure I suggested a few of these upgrades before. This looks like it will be a cool upgrade.

Of course I fear change so I will probably hate it for a week and then go back to enjoying it.

Edited by hawksfanatic
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  • Admin

Ha! I'm pretty sure I suggested a few of these upgrades before. This looks like it will be a cool upgrade.

Of course u fear change so I will probably hate it for a week and then go back to enjoying it.

The cool thing will be that you can go to a user's profile and you'll be able to see all of their topics they've started, posts they've made, pictures they've posted, blogs they've been a part of, ARTICLES they've written, etc. etc. all in one place as part of their profile feed.

Oh and there won't be a mobile skin anymore. The design will be completely fluid so the desktop skin will change itself to be become more of a mobile skin on smaller devices. That's gonna be tricky for me since I like to modify the heck out of the stock IP skins to make ours unique.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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dolf, I've had this in a tab ever since you posted it, and just now reading through... has a Facebook approach to it, right?... I, too, don't have permission to see any of the downloads evidently.

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Hmm that's weird. Sorry guys. Not sure why it's doing that.

Yes it's very Facebook like with the social aspect. This thing is built from the ground up as an integrated suite and should be more like a full fledged website with a discussion forum tied into it.

Hoping to set it up where our good writers we have can do articles and have them published on the site as well, similar to Peachtree.

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  • 4 months later...
  • Admin

Just wanted to let you guys know that Invision FINALLY released a Beta version of their software that I've got installed locally on my laptop. We're probably looking at an early January final release, at least that's my guesstimate since the company won't give us an actual date, so it's still a bit off but I'm VERY excited about it. 

 

My plan is to make the community be focused around the "Articles" system, which will allow our excellent writer @lethalweapon3 and OUR (sorry Whoops) cap expert @hawksfanatic to write genuine articles that will be the focus of our site. The forums won't be the face of the site anymore, which I'm pretty excited about. 

 

And if anyone has any advice on setting up ads on the site (for non-supporting members) I'm interested in hearing some strategy.  I've tried in the past to set up Google ads but they didn't generate any revenue. It would be nice if we could bring in a little extra money per month to possibly upgrade us to a good dedicated web server with our host but it's a good bit more money. 

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Yes ma'am they'll be able to.

At first this seems fine. But I'd imagine you would want to restrict access to writing articles once it becomes reputable so that the quality can stay high. No reason to stifle writing to start off though.

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  • Admin

At first this seems fine. But I'd imagine you would want to restrict access to writing articles once it becomes reputable so that the quality can stay high. No reason to stifle writing to start off though.

 

Yeah I will have to see what limitations there are on it. I will actually probably only allow access to article writing for supporters as it will likely only be able to be limited by member group. 

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