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Search Results Display: Group Connected CMS Records & Topics/Other Content


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One of the things I like about Invision Community is the ability to create Pages/CMS records from content published in other areas of the site. In my case, I am exploring leveraging the engaged community on my forums to help populate news stories across my website. So in my situation, I tend to use the CMS 'Copy to Database' feature with Topics often.

However, this causes a little confusion with regards to discoverability and organised search, as content that has been linked/connected in this way are not listed as such in search results or activity feeds. This means that, if a lot of your site content relies on the marriage between CMS/Pages and Topics/other content, it can easily look like content is duplicated several times on the website. This can be (and is, for me) a frustrating browsing experience for users who might want to sweep Tagged content, only to find items that are listed as separate entries but are in fact linked items of the same content.

I would like to suggest an improvement in a future Invision Community version, that attempts to address this. It would be great to have a setting in ACP that ensures, if a topic (or other piece of content on the site) has been used to create a CMS record, the two pieces of content are grouped in search results.

I've made a mockup of how this could be designed. First, here's a snapshot of how it currently looks when I create a new CMS record (in this case, a news article) and have a topic automatically created upon publish. As you can see, there is a Pages content block for the CMS record (complete with thumbnail) at the top, and underneath it a separate Topic content block with exactly the same content.

Could contain: File, Webpage, Person, Text

And here is my mockup for a potential solution. Note that the topic entry is marked as a 'connected topic' as it was created from the CMS record.

Could contain: File, Webpage, Person, Head

You could also build in additional settings to further customise this - for example, I want to make sure that the CMS record/article is always shown first as the 'parent' result in groupings like this, but there could be a toggle to swap this around and ensure that, if any such groupings exist in search results, that it's the Topic that is shown as the top 'parent' result and the CMS record is instead nested underneath it.

It's not the most urgent QOL improvement, to be honest, but I think it would help make search and content discovery on Invision Communities a bit more sensible. 🙂 

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