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4.6: How to restore custom member titles


Matt
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Hi,

 

One more voice saying that the TEXT ranks feature was useful.  I understand offering an alternative, but removing a feature that many people used seems silly.  I too wish you would reconsider -- or at least offer a functional alternative.  You still track ranks; why can this information not be fed into a field and displayed?

 

EDIT:

For anyone else wishing to restore text ranks, I was able to do so with a quick theme edit.

 

core > global > global > rank

 

I replaced the entire contents with

<div>{$rank->_title}</div>

 

Brute force, but it works.

Edited by slarrr
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On 9/11/2021 at 4:02 AM, slarrr said:

Hi,

 

One more voice saying that the TEXT ranks feature was useful.  I understand offering an alternative, but removing a feature that many people used seems silly.  I too wish you would reconsider -- or at least offer a functional alternative.  You still track ranks; why can this information not be fed into a field and displayed?

 

EDIT:

For anyone else wishing to restore text ranks, I was able to do so with a quick theme edit.

 

core > global > global > rank

 

I replaced the entire contents with

<div>{$rank->_title}</div>

 

Brute force, but it works.

Thank you for your feedback. There have been topics put in our feedback area regarding these. 

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On 9/13/2021 at 3:08 AM, Marc Stridgen said:

Thank you for your feedback. There have been topics put in our feedback area regarding these. 

After about 15 minutes of scrolling through and peeking at other topics I found it.  For anyone else looking:

https://invisioncommunity.com/forums/topic/461760-has-member-title-been-removed/
 

Marc,

In my other life I am a software PM who also works with clients directly.  I say this to communicate that I 100% understand the problems of feature creep; I understand that you can't satisfy everyone all of the time.  Compromises have to be made.  And I understand how hard it can be to deal with customers who just want what they want, and don't see all the work going on under the hood, or the reasons why certain features can't co-exist.

But there is still a line between making compromises to achieve good releases (which is necessary!) and ignoring customer feedback entirely (which is ultimately counterproductive).

In reading threads here, a few things pop out that concern me, and make it feel (rightly or wrongly! -- but this feedback is about the impression Invision is giving off) that Invision would rather "paint the roses red" than provide good service to its existing customers:

- the fact that issues are marked "resolved" when they are replied to, rather than when the issue has actually been resolved

- the fact that there is a rule banning user plug-ins that replace functionality (however popular) that Invision has removed

- the developer replies...

At best, the developer replies are what you put here - "Thank you for your feedback."  This is a good way to respond to unreasonable customers (I guess it feels like my feedback is unreasonable!).  More frequently, they are dismissive and defensive.  Nobody ever says "I hear you guys, we're going to give this a think."  I see devs accusing users of lying or inflating situations they have encountered.  This is not a good faith customer relationship!  It seems like Invision begins with the presumption that all customer feedback is unreasonable or wrong, and you just have to make us understand why.

Despite all the comments in the other thread explaining how much people and their members were invested in text ranks and custom titles, the existing ways to use them were removed.  Using text ranks can now only be done with manual CSS edits -- if somebody made a plug-in for it, it wouldn't even be allowed to be shared here!  Custom titles can sort of be retained using a combination of settings, but the display is now tied to other profile fields as well, and frankly, if you enable them using that method, the display is pretty ugly.  Again, manual CSS edits are required to preserve the old functionality.

Although I appreciate that you guys at least did preserve existing data in response to the customer feedback... it's insane that feedback was required, for you not to obliterate user data.  And all of this feedback was given PRIOR to the rollout... and all the popular functionality was still removed.  I know (believe me I know!) that sometimes things are more complicated to implement than they appear, but we're literally talking about a toggle, a conditional statement, and a small patch of (existing) CSS.

Respectfully, I think there may be room for improvement in your user testing process, and maybe your development timelines, given the data obliteration issue you narrowly avoided, and the Invision responds to paying customer feedback.  It just doesn't make any sense.  And your customers deserve better.  There are reasons we choose IPB (and obviously I'm still choosing it or I wouldn't be posting here 🙂 ) but it isn't the only option, and the approach I see on these forums makes me feel a lot more lukewarm about it.

Sincerely, constructively, and in good faith,

-slarrr

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On 9/23/2021 at 4:17 PM, slarrr said:

But there is still a line between making compromises to achieve good releases (which is necessary!) and ignoring customer feedback entirely (which is ultimately counterproductive)

I'm very reluctant to say, and it genuinely saddens me to say that, but I just think the IC team doesn't care about the "small client" anymore.

since a few months back I've been getting a feeling that IC have had their sights set on some goal (financial, if I'm correctly reading between the lines) and they don't let feedback get in their way. I (and it seems like quite a few different community managers/owners) have been having this feeling since the "Zapier's gonna only be for CiC clients" blog post.

Feels like something was "switched on" and the devs' responses to feedback suddenly changed. 
I myself started a couple of threads about this issue, both were commented on (one of them after having a private conversation with a team member) with something along the lines of "yeah, that's great" or "pretty" and nothing more was done.

Here's an example - a poll that ended in a landslide, and NOTHING was done besides some - excuse my french - asinine comments that COMPLETELY ignored that main issue and only acknowledged some side remarks made in other comments. 

And another one, where honest conversation was exactly what you said - constructive, sincere, and in good faith. Besides the mandatory "yeahhhh dude, we totally get you", pretty much nothing was done to address concerns that were brought up.

Lately another line in sand was crossed with an e-mail sent to clients basically saying they're going to pawn off support to the community forums, sorry, I mean they're "keen to invest in our community support by asking that your first point of contact for support as an active license holder be in our new support area on our forums." because "Creating a strong support community backed by our support technicians will result in a more detailed and richer set of answers."

I, for one, am on starting to give up any hope that taking any feedback that isn't "that's great!" into consideration is anywhere on IC's roadmap. It's unfortunate especially since we switched to IC from VB for exactly those reasons after years of VB "knowing better" and making their platform more and more frustrating to use. I'd hate to see IC go down the same path. 

Big sad.

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I’m not IPS… I don’t speak for them and I don’t work for them.  So just a couple of thoughts of my own. 

There is a difference between “listening” to feedback and just doing whatever is suggested. There are members in my own community that make suggestions… some are able to be accommodated and others not. There are times that some are pretty vocal… but their request does not fit with the long term strategy for the community. 

I see the same thing here. There is a bigger vision that IPS is working towards. That means that it is not possible to always accommodate requests. In terms of a “landslide” poll, it had a total of around 50 participants out of literally thousands of customers. I don’t think that’s a fair representation of the entire customer base.  I would venture a guess that if literally all customers were to be asked that a majority would have no clue or not care. With that said, there is always going to be some group of people where it’s critically important. For ANY feature or change, it’s made out to be THE defining feature of their community. The fact that instructions have been provided to accommodate individuals that felt so strongly about it shows they indeed listen. 

Just because it makes sense for your community does not mean it makes sense as a default feature. But the awesome thing about the way the system is built is that if you don’t like it, changing it to the way you want it is not overly complex or hard especially when it’s spelled out how to do it.  

I’ve been an IPS customer for over a decade and I can say they approach development the same as they always have which is pretty similar to Apple. It’s to look at the big picture and figure out what customers actually need. Sometimes customers know… sometimes they don’t. If Apple simply built what “the majority” wanted we would not have had the revolution in the mobile market that we did.  The question will be if IPS can successfully read the tea leaves and figure out what is important before we actually know it’s important. 

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I see what you're saying. I really do. But I also disagree with a lot of what you said.

Unfortunately I don't have the tools nor the reach to have a bigger sample size of people, but I think that seeing such a result should, at least, urge IPS to have a closer look at the divergence of opinions among a larger group of clients and keep those of us who are active here in the loop. 

regarding that this does or doesn't make sense as a default feature, I'd accept it if it were something that was asked to be added, but we're talking about something that was an integral part of the system, and in trying to upgrade it (which I really appreciate) they inadvertently downgraded the usage possibilities for some communities, and limited the ways in which members' credibility can be quickly assessed by new members and/or guests. In other words - before the change you had three metrics to judge members: Post count, pips, and reputation (which can be positive or negative, so the member's posts are judged by the entire reader base). now you only have the post count, which may or may not give an idea as to how knowledgeable a member is; and achievements, that can only be "added" (meaning even if say something incredibly dumb, your "rank" can't be lowered).

When this is the case - i.e. having a feature limited (even if that were not the original intent) I'd expect to at least be given a long enough heads-up. Like was done with the BBcode deprecation - we started doing our research into switching to IPS in mid 2019 and it was already mentioned in the ACP, while you still can enable it to this day. 

Moreover, the reputation system as a whole is still fully operational, and is still shown, the score has just been hidden behind an extra click/hover - making it naturally accessible only to those who know where to look. 

Regarding being given a workaround, I've touched on it before (can't find where exactly). Workarounds and third party addons are great, but they can't be used as replacements for core features. especially ones that were present prior. You can't "count" on a 3rd party dev to keep updating their plugins indefinitely and you can't edit more and more chunks of the code only to be needed to revert everything if you have a support request since IPS don't cover customizations in their support scope. Plus, let's not forget that css edits can and do break the entire design after major updates (we had to revert almost all our edits moving from 4.4 to 4.5).

 

4 hours ago, Randy Calvert said:

I’ve been an IPS customer for over a decade and I can say they approach development the same as they always have which is pretty similar to Apple.

That's actually not very good when you're serving advanced users (community manages/owners) and not trying to appeal to the average Joe. Apple are making products that are designed to be straight forward and easy to use, and are selling them to the end customer. Community members aren't IPS's clients. Community managers/owners are. So they should have a strategy more akin to WordPress - giving their customers as many tools and flexibility as possible, and allowing them to tailor the best solution they can for their community. 

4 hours ago, Randy Calvert said:

If Apple simply built what “the majority” wanted we would not have had the revolution in the mobile market that we did.

Firstly, they did not revolutionize anything through their products, but rather through making them accessible, "Dumbing them down" and marketing. Having said that, building what people wanted (smartphones were just starting to gain traction in 2005-6) is exactly what they did and exactly what made them big. Stopping to do so, slowing down innovation, sticking to their "bigger picture" strategy and "ignoring the competition" is what made them drop in position. Lo and behold, launching the M1 devices (in response to a growing criticism of performance) practically made them jump back to first place when recommending a laptop. 

Thinking you know better than your clients, especially when those clients are advanced users, professionals and even business owners, is - IMHO - a very bad practice. 

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On 9/23/2021 at 6:17 AM, slarrr said:

After about 15 minutes of scrolling through and peeking at other topics I found it.  For anyone else looking:

https://invisioncommunity.com/forums/topic/461760-has-member-title-been-removed/
 

Marc,

In my other life I am a software PM who also works with clients directly.  I say this to communicate that I 100% understand the problems of feature creep; I understand that you can't satisfy everyone all of the time.  Compromises have to be made.  And I understand how hard it can be to deal with customers who just want what they want, and don't see all the work going on under the hood, or the reasons why certain features can't co-exist.

But there is still a line between making compromises to achieve good releases (which is necessary!) and ignoring customer feedback entirely (which is ultimately counterproductive).

In reading threads here, a few things pop out that concern me, and make it feel (rightly or wrongly! -- but this feedback is about the impression Invision is giving off) that Invision would rather "paint the roses red" than provide good service to its existing customers:

- the fact that issues are marked "resolved" when they are replied to, rather than when the issue has actually been resolved

- the fact that there is a rule banning user plug-ins that replace functionality (however popular) that Invision has removed

- the developer replies...

At best, the developer replies are what you put here - "Thank you for your feedback."  This is a good way to respond to unreasonable customers (I guess it feels like my feedback is unreasonable!).  More frequently, they are dismissive and defensive.  Nobody ever says "I hear you guys, we're going to give this a think."  I see devs accusing users of lying or inflating situations they have encountered.  This is not a good faith customer relationship!  It seems like Invision begins with the presumption that all customer feedback is unreasonable or wrong, and you just have to make us understand why.

Despite all the comments in the other thread explaining how much people and their members were invested in text ranks and custom titles, the existing ways to use them were removed.  Using text ranks can now only be done with manual CSS edits -- if somebody made a plug-in for it, it wouldn't even be allowed to be shared here!  Custom titles can sort of be retained using a combination of settings, but the display is now tied to other profile fields as well, and frankly, if you enable them using that method, the display is pretty ugly.  Again, manual CSS edits are required to preserve the old functionality.

Although I appreciate that you guys at least did preserve existing data in response to the customer feedback... it's insane that feedback was required, for you not to obliterate user data.  And all of this feedback was given PRIOR to the rollout... and all the popular functionality was still removed.  I know (believe me I know!) that sometimes things are more complicated to implement than they appear, but we're literally talking about a toggle, a conditional statement, and a small patch of (existing) CSS.

Respectfully, I think there may be room for improvement in your user testing process, and maybe your development timelines, given the data obliteration issue you narrowly avoided, and the Invision responds to paying customer feedback.  It just doesn't make any sense.  And your customers deserve better.  There are reasons we choose IPB (and obviously I'm still choosing it or I wouldn't be posting here 🙂 ) but it isn't the only option, and the approach I see on these forums makes me feel a lot more lukewarm about it.

Sincerely, constructively, and in good faith,

-slarrr

Hey @slarrr - appreciate you taking the time to write that out. Very well said, constructive and understanding! Thank you. 

I do agree there's room for improvement regarding the user testing process, as well as listening to feedback, assessing as a team and then taking action (or not). 

Regarding the developer / support replies - I'm sorry you haven't had the best experience. I know the team cares about you all as well as the platform and are honestly working hard to make this the best user journey possible. We have been putting a lot more focus into community forum support so there are likely still a few growing pains we're working through. Nonetheless I hear you and will take this back to the team! I do want to add my unsolicited two cents and say they are doing a good job 😇 . However, I can recognize we are always looking to up our game, same goes for myself. That's the spice of life isn't it 😅

Apologies for how we handled the custom member titles change. We tried our best to shine a light on this before the update, but in hindsight there could've been more flexibility provided. When it comes to feature changes, we're always in between a rock and a hard place, but ultimately we just want to improve and make things better. That's kinda fluffy, but it's the truth. 

We'll absorb what you mentioned so we can continue improving (both as a platform and team). Thank you again for how you offered the feedback as well as being an Invision Community loyalist! Let me know what you think!

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On 9/30/2021 at 2:46 AM, Randy Calvert said:

I’m not IPS… I don’t speak for them and I don’t work for them.  So just a couple of thoughts of my own. 

There is a difference between “listening” to feedback and just doing whatever is suggested. There are members in my own community that make suggestions… some are able to be accommodated and others not. There are times that some are pretty vocal… but their request does not fit with the long term strategy for the community. 

I see the same thing here. There is a bigger vision that IPS is working towards. That means that it is not possible to always accommodate requests. In terms of a “landslide” poll, it had a total of around 50 participants out of literally thousands of customers. I don’t think that’s a fair representation of the entire customer base.  I would venture a guess that if literally all customers were to be asked that a majority would have no clue or not care. With that said, there is always going to be some group of people where it’s critically important. For ANY feature or change, it’s made out to be THE defining feature of their community. The fact that instructions have been provided to accommodate individuals that felt so strongly about it shows they indeed listen. 

Just because it makes sense for your community does not mean it makes sense as a default feature. But the awesome thing about the way the system is built is that if you don’t like it, changing it to the way you want it is not overly complex or hard especially when it’s spelled out how to do it.  

I’ve been an IPS customer for over a decade and I can say they approach development the same as they always have which is pretty similar to Apple. It’s to look at the big picture and figure out what customers actually need. Sometimes customers know… sometimes they don’t. If Apple simply built what “the majority” wanted we would not have had the revolution in the mobile market that we did.  The question will be if IPS can successfully read the tea leaves and figure out what is important before we actually know it’s important. 

Appreciate you writing this the way you did. 

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On 9/30/2021 at 7:46 AM, Pavel Chernitsky said:

I see what you're saying. I really do. But I also disagree with a lot of what you said.

Unfortunately I don't have the tools nor the reach to have a bigger sample size of people, but I think that seeing such a result should, at least, urge IPS to have a closer look at the divergence of opinions among a larger group of clients and keep those of us who are active here in the loop. 

regarding that this does or doesn't make sense as a default feature, I'd accept it if it were something that was asked to be added, but we're talking about something that was an integral part of the system, and in trying to upgrade it (which I really appreciate) they inadvertently downgraded the usage possibilities for some communities, and limited the ways in which members' credibility can be quickly assessed by new members and/or guests. In other words - before the change you had three metrics to judge members: Post count, pips, and reputation (which can be positive or negative, so the member's posts are judged by the entire reader base). now you only have the post count, which may or may not give an idea as to how knowledgeable a member is; and achievements, that can only be "added" (meaning even if say something incredibly dumb, your "rank" can't be lowered).

When this is the case - i.e. having a feature limited (even if that were not the original intent) I'd expect to at least be given a long enough heads-up. Like was done with the BBcode deprecation - we started doing our research into switching to IPS in mid 2019 and it was already mentioned in the ACP, while you still can enable it to this day. 

Moreover, the reputation system as a whole is still fully operational, and is still shown, the score has just been hidden behind an extra click/hover - making it naturally accessible only to those who know where to look. 

Regarding being given a workaround, I've touched on it before (can't find where exactly). Workarounds and third party addons are great, but they can't be used as replacements for core features. especially ones that were present prior. You can't "count" on a 3rd party dev to keep updating their plugins indefinitely and you can't edit more and more chunks of the code only to be needed to revert everything if you have a support request since IPS don't cover customizations in their support scope. Plus, let's not forget that css edits can and do break the entire design after major updates (we had to revert almost all our edits moving from 4.4 to 4.5).

 

That's actually not very good when you're serving advanced users (community manages/owners) and not trying to appeal to the average Joe. Apple are making products that are designed to be straight forward and easy to use, and are selling them to the end customer. Community members aren't IPS's clients. Community managers/owners are. So they should have a strategy more akin to WordPress - giving their customers as many tools and flexibility as possible, and allowing them to tailor the best solution they can for their community. 

Firstly, they did not revolutionize anything through their products, but rather through making them accessible, "Dumbing them down" and marketing. Having said that, building what people wanted (smartphones were just starting to gain traction in 2005-6) is exactly what they did and exactly what made them big. Stopping to do so, slowing down innovation, sticking to their "bigger picture" strategy and "ignoring the competition" is what made them drop in position. Lo and behold, launching the M1 devices (in response to a growing criticism of performance) practically made them jump back to first place when recommending a laptop. 

Thinking you know better than your clients, especially when those clients are advanced users, professionals and even business owners, is - IMHO - a very bad practice. 

Hey @Pavel Chernitsky 👋 Thanks for offering your insight! I do agree we could've executed this a bit better. Regarding the sample size and all that, I agree with you that although there wasn't a huge group voting, the people that did participate were heard loud and clear. So whether that's 50 or 500 people, it still matters and each individual vote is valuable. 

As a team, we definitely don't want to embody this notion that we are better than anyone. At the end of the day, we're all people, and we make mistakes some times, but at the end of the day we want to grow, learn and become better. If we came off as sticking our noses up than I apologize for that; definitely not our intention! 

Regarding the feature change, yeah it definitely is no bueno that some communities were adversely affected by this. That's not our aim. 😩   

Curious, what are your thoughts on how to move forward from here? The toothpaste is out of the tube so-to-speak. Is there something we can do to help make this a better experience moving forward? 

Thanks again for the comment. Looking forward to hearing back. 🤲 

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14 hours ago, Jordan Miller said:

Curious, what are your thoughts on how to move forward from here? The toothpaste is out of the tube so-to-speak. Is there something we can do to help make this a better experience moving forward? 

Hey Jordan, thanks for being open and reacting positively. 
However, I've written my thoughts on the matter quite a few times already. In the thread about Zappier integration being offered for CiC clients only (Which changed later, so that's awesome), On this thread, and in the one the started myself and PM'd you.

I know you probably don't have time to read through all the comments being posted in these forums, but since we've already discussed them, they should be fairly easy to locate. 

I'm sorry if I'm coming off as prickly or just a plain a-hole, but I've got to say, I kind of lost hope... I wrote my opinion on this topic multiple times to multiple people, and it seemed to have very (VERY) little, if any, any effect. And i'm not even talking about actual changes to the software, but at most situations I didn't even get as little as a professional, straight forward explanation. I'm not criticizing your guys' choices, only the way you communicate them (if at all), and the fact that instead of being transparent and upfront with motives and specifics, you're having to constantly put out fires and apologize because "this wasn't the intent". 

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7 hours ago, Pavel Chernitsky said:

Hey Jordan, thanks for being open and reacting positively. 
However, I've written my thoughts on the matter quite a few times already. In the thread about Zappier integration being offered for CiC clients only (Which changed later, so that's awesome), On this thread, and in the one the started myself and PM'd you.

I know you probably don't have time to read through all the comments being posted in these forums, but since we've already discussed them, they should be fairly easy to locate. 

I'm sorry if I'm coming off as prickly or just a plain a-hole, but I've got to say, I kind of lost hope... I wrote my opinion on this topic multiple times to multiple people, and it seemed to have very (VERY) little, if any, any effect. And i'm not even talking about actual changes to the software, but at most situations I didn't even get as little as a professional, straight forward explanation. I'm not criticizing your guys' choices, only the way you communicate them (if at all), and the fact that instead of being transparent and upfront with motives and specifics, you're having to constantly put out fires and apologize because "this wasn't the intent". 

Appreciate the followup. Sorry that I missed some of your posts! Been seeing a lot of good stuff though.

You're not coming off any type of way :] you're sharing your thoughts in a constructive way and that's greatly appreciated. If you didn't care about IC you wouldn't be exerting the energy to share and contribute. 👌

I'd like to push back a little that your words didn't have any effect. To the contrary! We want to provide the best user experience as possible, and in my opinion we're always going to have an uphill challenge towards betterment (because change and improvement isn't always easy and that's ok). 

One of the coolest things about our new support structure is that we're trying to be more visible and communicative by posting on the forums (versus in email tickets). That includes topics like this one - where we're openly discussing the pros and cons of a swift change. Ultimately, we recognize that before we make changes that can impact a community, we need to address it beforehand. 

One of the tough parts about these kinds of changes is there's always going to be some pushback. That's probably the hardest thing for us (at least for me). But at the end of the day we want to be on the same page with you. This is a team effort - if we didn't have people using the platform, we couldn't exist. We're going to continue to work towards being as transparent as possible with you. Apologies if we missed the mark! 🙏 

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  • 2 months later...
On 8/17/2021 at 4:22 AM, Dean_ said:

Could you guys possibly think about reinstating this simple feature back to how it was, including the ability to set x amount of posts for users to be able to change their title. It’s simply missed and has nothing to do with achievements. 

I was able to solve this using member groups, group promotions, and this plugin:

I was already using it to prevent spammers from signing up with 0 posts then editing their profile fields with URLs; what you can do, is create a special member group that promotes a member to that group on say, 500 posts.  Then simply enable this field for that membergroup to edit.

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