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#1

Strega

Strega

Posted Mar 17, 2012 @ 8:22 PM

I'll start with an easy one, because that's how I roll. Here's the top of the forum index page from the test site:
IndexTop.jpg
and here's the bottom:
IndexFooter.jpg

Changes:
  • The options box at the top has a different layout and some new items -- I'll run through all of those items separately since it ties in to control panel options and other pages.
  • Over to the right, under the ad space there are links for "TWoP Forum Guidelines" and "View New Content." These are both built into the Invision template and I don't think either of them will be terribly useful, but they're not taking up much real estate so what the hell. The "guidelines" is copy of the Do's & Don'ts . "View New Content" will give you a page that links to every topic across the site that has had new posts since your last visit. On a smaller site, that would be useful; here, probably not.
  • As far as the index of forums itself, the only real change is that the forum stats (# of topics and # of replies) is one column instead of two.
  • And then the footer is different -- Mark All Read, which is currently at the top of the index page, is now down at the bottom, along with links for deleting cookies and one that jumps you back to the top of the page.

Edited by Strega, Mar 18, 2012 @ 8:12 PM.


#2

Strega

Strega

Posted Mar 17, 2012 @ 8:24 PM

And here's what a show forum page looks like.

Again, there are those new links at the top & bottom, and forum stats are in one column.. The "last post info" column gives you the details about the topic and the author (and those are links that will take you to the post or the author's profile page).

Attached Images

  • Forum_page.jpg


#3

Strega

Strega

Posted Mar 17, 2012 @ 8:56 PM

And here's a topic page within a subforum.
Topic_List.jpg
Changes:
  • Below the generic guidelines & new content links are 2 forum specific options. "Watch Forum" means subscribe; I think the language may be clearer this way but we'll see. Clicking that will take you to your control panel and allow you to set whether you want email notifications/digests, or you can cancel and it'll take you back to the forum page. And then there's the "add new topic" link.
  • "Mark this forum as read" does what it says; it's just a link now instead of being in a pulldown menu.
  • Not sure you can see it in the first screenshot but the # of pages in the forum has a little pulldown arrow now. Here's a close-up showing that when you click that, it prompts you for the page you want to jump to.
    Pagejump.jpg
    Which I really like since I know people have been surprised to know that was ever an option -- you can do that in the current setup but it's not obvious, so I hope this helps folks realize they don't have to go through pages one by one.
  • Another thing that may be hard to see: within a forum, the # of replies is also a link. If you click that, you get a list of who posted in that topic, and how many times.
    WhoPosted.jpg
    This is another thing that doesn't seem terribly useful but it's also not intrusive so, eh.
  • As you can see, there's less space separating pinned topics from the others, and there's no separate "Important Topics" header. I am not thrilled about that, but pinning topics (and posts within a topic) turned out to be a Big Deal and so at this point I'm just happy it works.
There's a little more detail I want to show you with individual topics in a list but I'm trying to avoid walls of jpgs so I'll do that in the next post. (And ugh: sorry the images are appearing in a collage this way.)

Edited by Strega, Mar 18, 2012 @ 8:13 PM.


#4

Strega

Strega

Posted Mar 17, 2012 @ 9:25 PM

Okay, here's a closeup of a list of topics:
ReadUnread.jpg
  • The folder icon on the left are dimmer if you've already read the topic. Unread topics have a brighter folder, and there's also an irksome little icon next to the topic name. (In the first screenshot, the Announcements topic and the Season 5 wishlist have the brighter folders & icons.) The alt text on that icon indicates that clicking it will take you to the first unread post, but clicking on the topic name automatically takes you to the first unread post, too. You do not have to target your mouse precisely at that itty bitty square to jump to the first new post.
  • If you look to the right of the "Season 5 Wishlist" topic there's another ghostly icon over to the right. That appears when you mouse over a topic. If you point your mouse at the icon directly, it becomes brighter and the alt text says "View Topic Preview."
  • Which is what you see here.
    Preview.jpg
    A little pop-up lets you see at least part of the first post in the thread. Again, not sure how helpful it is with topics that go back for years, but if you want to use it, that's what it is.

Edited by Strega, Mar 18, 2012 @ 8:11 PM.


#5

Strega

Strega

Posted Mar 17, 2012 @ 10:50 PM

When you look at an individual post, the changes aren't so subtle. We're going to get through this! Like a family! The first shot shows the header and a couple of posts, so you can see it's the the same basic links as on the forum page, plus "Add Reply."
TopicPosts.png

Here's a single post (by a particularly charming person) so you can see the details a little more clearly:
Post.jpg
  • Under the name at left is the user title, and then 2 icons. The first goes to the user's profile page, and the other is for Private Messages (if the user doesn't allow PMs, you won't see the icon.) If you click the PM link, it opens a compose message pop-up so you can write the message without leaving the page.
  • At bottom left is a "report" link. We have "report" links in the current setup but they aren't functional. This will be -- if you click that link you'll go to a new page where you can describe the problem. A link is automatically inserted in the report; you don't have to do anything but type "Trolling" or "Boards on boards" or whatever. (There is a "cancel" option if you click it accidentally, or just want to see how it works.) Those reports then get queued up for review by mods. This may replace the FTC and TP, or it may not. I can't say until we can test it with actual reports; all I can tell you is we'll give it a try, and maybe it'll be awesome and maybe it'll be terrible, and we'll let you know. For now: you can use it, or you can stick to FTC/TP posts.
  • You can see that the "quote" format is a little different, with a header and a smaller font for quoted text.
  • The other big deal is over on the right side of the post, at the bottom. Those little + and - icons mean that you can give "reputation points." We are going to try this very slowly and cautiously; it's another thing that may be great or may be terrible. In order to minimize the chance of terribleness we are going to start by only allowing 5 upvotes per day. Downvotes won't be allowed at all initially; if we do roll that part out it will come later. I think the good side is that if you can give a "+1", it might cut down on people who post just to say "Ha" or "Me too!" I'm not going to describe all the possible ways people might abuse it, but that's why we're limiting it to 5/day to start. I have seen this system work really well in some places and really badly in others, but since it is built in, I thought we should give it a try. I can disable it completely or modify the settings as we see how it works.
  • Answers to obvious questions: you can't give points to moderators or staff. You won't know who awarded you points. And I really want to stress that it will have no effect on anything. If you get a point, you'll know at least one person out there liked your post. Which is nice! That's the sum total of what it means.
  • And finally: checking the settings for that is one of the things I need to do after the update is done Wednesday morning. So if you hit the forum before I've done that, it may work, it may not, or you may be able to do something I just said that you can't. I'll post when I've finished doing the things I have to fiddle with.
Oh, and when you look at your own posts you'll see your own warning log under your name like before, and you will also see an "edit" link at the bottom (instead of the top, where it used to be).

I know there's more "empty space" at the bottom of posts than we are used to -- you can't see them, but moderator options are down there now, so that's why. As with the new quote format, I'm not crazy about it, but it took a lot of work to get things to resemble the current posts even this much. I'll try to find a screenshot of one of the early tests so you can see what our starting point was, because...oy.

Edited by Strega, Mar 18, 2012 @ 8:10 PM.


#6

Strega

Strega

Posted Mar 17, 2012 @ 11:04 PM

Okay, that's a lot of words and pictures. I'm gonna pause for the evening; tomorrow I'll go through the control panel and some new Invision features -- most which I suspect will get minimal use but they fall into "it's there if you want to use it" category. Please feel free to add comments or questions about the stuff I've posted so far, and let me know if there's anything you want to see that I may have glossed over. It's hard for me to judge where "helpful" becomes "an excruciating amount of detail" and I suspect I'm veering toward the latter.

#7

Strega

Strega

Posted Mar 18, 2012 @ 8:00 PM

I've got your little user control bar in the first shot.
MemberCtrls.jpg
It's been rearranged into 3 rows, and "My Assistant" has been replaced by some new items. I'm going to do a short overview just to cover this, and then go through some of these things in more detail.
  • First row is the basics: login/logout and Notifications. What are notifications? Whatever you want. In your board settings you can choose if you want an immediate notification whenever someone sends you a PM, or if a topic you subscribed to has new posts. Notifications can appear in a pop-up immediately if you're on the site, or you can just check them once a day, you can get them emailed to you. It's entirely up to you how and if you use it. I'll go deeper into this in a followup.
  • Second row is the personalized stuff: Settings, My Content, Messenger, Manage Friends. Settings is the basic password, time zone stuff. My Content is new: this takes you to a page where you can see all your posts/topics.
    MyContent.jpg
    The messenger looks a little different but you know what it is; I'll go through that separately as well. And then there's "Friends." Yes, you can friend people. This is another one I'll cover in more detail later but you can use your profile page like a Facebook wall if you want to. I sorta feel like, if I wanted all that I would just go to Facebook, but that's what it is. (When I go through the controls you'll see that if you have no interest, it's easy to shut it all off so you never have to look at it again. Some people may use it while others ignore it, and that's fine.)
  • Third row has links to the generic resources: Dos & Don'ts, FAQ, member list, and now the search tool. The third screenshot shows you the search page. It is quite shiny.
    MySearch.jpg
    I've tested it but because of the age of the test database I can't judge whether the indexing has improved. But it probably can't be worse, right?


#8

Strega

Strega

Posted Mar 18, 2012 @ 8:09 PM

(And then I figured out how to place images in the right place in a post! Because I'm smart.)

#9

Strega

Strega

Posted Mar 18, 2012 @ 8:42 PM

So here's a profile page with a couple of comments on the right side...
Profile1.png

And in your settings, there's a tab for your profile where along with putting any contact info, birthday, etc., you can decide if commenting is only for friends, you can set it so you approve all comments, or you shut the whole thing off.
ProfileSettings.png

#10

Strega

Strega

Posted Mar 18, 2012 @ 8:59 PM

One reason the messenger is different is that it automatically threads conversations now. So here's an example:
Messenger.jpg
I should say: you can have individual "conversations" like this emailed to you. I dunno if you can see but there's an "archive conversation" option over on the left. But it's not like the bulk archiving with Excel/HTML we have now. You can have individual threads sent to you as a HTML attachment (which loses a lot of the formatting).

And jumping back to notifications, here's what it looks like if you get a notification about a new PM:
Notification.jpg
It's just a popup telling you what happened.

Edited by Strega, Mar 18, 2012 @ 9:00 PM.


#11

Strega

Strega

Posted Mar 18, 2012 @ 11:55 PM

Here's the mobile skin:
Posts.jpg Index.jpg Login.jpg

#12

Strega

Strega

Posted Mar 19, 2012 @ 11:40 PM

Here are the notification options in your settings:
Notifications.jpg
I dunno if it's easy to see but you can chose to get notified about subscriptions, PMs, friend requests, status updates by your friends, comments on your profile.... and you can get notifications by email, PM, or an inline popup. (The mobile option is there because it's a test version; we obviously don't have your mobile info so that will be disabled.)

Also: just looking at that I see that it says "Personal Conversation" at the top instead of "Personal Message" -- it's the same thing; Invision calls them "conversations" now in some places because of the threading.

#13

Strega

Strega

Posted Mar 21, 2012 @ 11:55 AM

I'm going to close this with just the screenshots so it's a quick reference people can refer to without having to hunt back through discussion. I've moved all questions/comments to a new topic here and will posting a status report in a minute.