Charles

We are working hard to get Invision Community 4.2 ready to go! If you have not been following this upcoming version, check out the details:

Over the last month we have released several beta versions and feedback from those that have chosen to jump in on the beta has been great. We really could not be happier. Feedback has included amazement over how stable the beta is to reactions from community members enjoying all the new features.

Everyone here at IPS is very excited to get the full release out so everyone can enjoy it. Not everyone is comfortable using beta releases :).

Back in March when we first announced 4.2 was coming soon we said that it would be out in mid-2017 and we are still on track for that. Be sure to keep an eye on announcements for the full release expected in the next 3 - 4 weeks.

We really hope everyone is as excited as we are about 4.2's full release. Based on the feedback from those already using 4.2 beta on their live sites we really think this will be a huge hit with your community.

 

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Charles

Invision Community 4.2 is now available as a beta in the client area. The final release will be later in summer 2017.

Here is the roundup of what's new in Invision Community 4.2!

Highlights

There's a lot of new feature in 4.2 but here are a few of the highlights:

Promoting ContentA new way to promote content in your Community internally, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

promote.jpg

 

ClubsClubs are a brand new way of supporting sub-communities within your site. Many people have requested social group functionality in the past and Clubs are our implementation of this concept.

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ReactionsOffer more fine-grained sentiments towards content than a simple up/down or 'like'. They are now in common usage on social networks, and so users expect to be able to be more nuanced in their response to something they see.

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Complete Your ProfileEncourage or require members to fill out the details on their profile. Also now allows for quick registration to encourage joining.

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And a whole lot more..

It goes on... here is the full list!

Be sure to visit each entry above for more information and screenshots. We hope you enjoy Invision Community 4.2!

Release

The final release will be available summer 2017. The supported, public beta is available in the client area now.

 

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Ryan Ashbrook

Completing long and complex forms online is tedious. It can be off putting having to fill in a lot of information before you can join a site or service. You may find that potential members never bother to convert from a visitor.

How to convert guests into regular members is an often asked question. The simple answer is to lower the barrier to entry. Invision Community 4 already allows you to register with Facebook, Twitter, and other networks with ease.

"Complete My Profile" is a system that will lower the barrier of conversion. Guests only have to complete a very basic form to gain membership. Members are then asked to complete any custom profile fields you require.

You can also set up steps that group items together to encourage existing members to add more information to their public profile.

Members with a complete profile and user photo provide others with much more engagement and personality.

Registering
If we look at registering first. Clicking "Sign Up" will only show a simple modal form with as few fields as possible.

RegisterForm.jpg

 

If you have required steps, and after any member validation flow, the complete your profile wizard is shown.

CompleteYourProfile.jpg

 

This enforces required fields and the member cannot skip them or view other pages until completed.

Of course, you may have steps that are not set to required. These are available too, but are skippable. Members can complete skipped steps later.

Skippable.jpg

 

A dismissible progress bar shows to members that have uncompleted steps. Once dismissed, it no longer displays in the header of the site.

ProfileCompletionBar.jpg

 

This same progress bar is always shown in the members' settings overview panel, in the user control panel. This will prompt members with incomplete steps.

SettingsUCP.jpg

 

If you set up a new required step, members have to complete the step before being able to browse again. This will ensure that all regular members have completed profiles.

Admin Control Panel
You will create new steps in the Admin Control Panel. Each step can contain multiple elements of a single group. This step can be set to required to enforce completion or suggested to allow it to be skipped.

ACPOverview.jpg

 

The basic profile group contains things like user photo, birthday and cover photo. Choose any of these for this step.

Profile_Completion.jpg

 

The custom profile field group contains any fields you have set up already.

Fields.jpg

 

You can switch off this system if you feel it does not fit your needs. When disabled, you get the normal registration form.

setting.jpg

 

Reducing the complexity of membership can only help convert more guests into contributing members. Enforcing required steps ensures that you capture data across your membership.

We hope you enjoy this feature and you see an increase in guest conversion with Invision Community 4.2.

 

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Mark

This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release

 

Top Members

For 4.2 we made some improvements to the Top Members section of the Leaderboard. A new overview page tab shows a selection of the top members across different criteria.

Top Members Overview.png

Top Members Overview Page showing members with Most Reputation and Most Content

The filter menu allows you to view more members in any chosen category, and a new AdminCP setting controls which categories should be available.

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Top Members Categories

In the AdminCP you can configure which categories are shown on the overview page, the filter menu, and how many results show for each.

Top Members Settings.png

Top Members AdminCP Settings

 

Popular Contributors Widget

Another small change is the Popular Contributors widget now contains a link to the appropriate section of the Leaderboard.

Popular Contributors Widget.png

Popular Contributors Widget

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Rikki

This is an entry about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release.

You are probably already familiar with our content embedding feature in IPS Community Suite. When a link to content in the community is pasted into the editor (e.g. a topic, or a post, or a gallery image, etc.) it is automatically expanded into a preview of the content, usually with an accompanying image, allowing users to click through to that content if they are interested.

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An embedded Gallery image in IPS Community Suite 4.1

While it has proved a useful feature to members, each embed used essentially the same structure - a small thumbnail on the left, a title, and a few lines of text. This works fine for topics, but isn't ideal for other kinds of rich content that might be posted.

In IPS Community Suite 4.2, we greatly improved upon our embedding handling, giving every type of content within every application its own customized embed style, allowing that content to be displayed however works best. This means larger high-res previews of Gallery images, a button to download a file right from the embed for Downloads files, showing a map for Calendar events, and so on. We worked to keep a consistent overall style between apps, but allow each to display its own relevant information.

For users, things will work exactly as they do now - they simply paste a link to content, and it will continue to expand automatically. The changes are also backwards compatible. Any existing embeds in your community will automatically show the new styling you see below - no rebuilding necessary.

So with that in mind, let's take a look what the new embeds look like! I won't show every single embed here because there's a huge number, but I'll try and give you a feel for how we approached the embed styles for each app.

gallery_image.jpg

Gallery Image

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Comment on a Gallery Image

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Gallery Album

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Forum Topic

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Downloads File

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Review on a Downloads File

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Calendar Event

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Comment on a Calendar Event

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Commerce Product

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Record from a Pages database

I hope that gives you a good overview of what to expect when your users try out the new embeds for themselves. As always, please share your feedback in the comments below!

 

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bfarber

This is an entry about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release.

The ability to automatically promote users from one group to another based on set parameters has been a staple of community software for some time. Traditionally, the most common determination of promotion has been post count. Additionally, the 4.x Community Suite supports promoting members automatically based on the time elapsed since the user joined the site and based on their total reputation count.

With 4.2, we have completely overhauled and enhanced the group promotion feature bringing many new options to administrators looking to promote members through different group levels.

To start with, the group promotion options have been removed from the groups configuration pages into their own area.

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Group promotion rules overview page

You will notice that rules are no longer strictly tied to a single group, and that rules can be sorted however you desire. When you create and edit rules, you can choose which groups the rule applies to, what parameters the user needs to meet in order for the rule to be activated, and then finally, which primary and secondary groups the user will be moved in to. You can also configure the rule to remove specified secondary groups, which can be useful if one rule adds a secondary group for users, and then the next rule should change them to be part of a different secondary group (i.e. add a new secondary group, but also remove the previously awarded secondary group).

The system uses the same member filters available when configuring bulk mail, and we have made some updates to the member filters area (and have introduced some new filters) in this release as well. For example, you can create a rule that only applies to members who have won the daily leaderboard at least once, or members who have created a blog.

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Some of the group promotion filters, which are also available when sending bulk mails

Any time a member account is updated for any reason (a new visit, editing the member, the member makes a new post, etc.), the software will loop through all configured rules and the last rule in the list that matches the member will be applied. This approach allows you to create promotion levels, for instance when a member reaches 100 posted content items they will be promoted to a new group, and when they reach 1000 posted content items they will be promoted to yet a different new group.

Groups can be wholly excluded from any promotion rules, which is useful when you have administrator and/or moderator groups and you want to ensure that they are never moved to a different group. These groups will be disabled from selection when configuring group promotion rules, and these groups will be ignored if "any group" is selected for a promotion rule.

Finally, if a user is moved to a new primary group by Commerce because they have purchased a product which moves them to a new group, they will also be excluded from group promotion rules (however, Commerce purchases that only adjust secondary groups will not exclude users from being checked by group promotion rules).

 

Developer note: You can add your own filters for group promotion rules (and bulk mails) by adding MemberFilter extensions in 4.2, available in the Developer Center for your application.

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Matt

This is an entry about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release.

When you have a diverse range of topics within your community, it makes good sense to separate topics within forums and categories. This will ensure that the viewer can find relevant content by scanning the list of forums first.

If you have a more focused community with fewer forums, presenting your community with a list of them can be daunting. This is especially true for less experienced visitors raised on social media.

Fluid forum view allows your visitors to get right to the meat of your community; the topics.

A fan site for a band is a good example of a community that will benefit with fluid view. There will likely be forums for album reviews, tour dates, general discussion and so on. Even though there are many forums, the common topic is the band. This makes fluid view ideal as your members can see all those related topics in one view. If your members wanted more specific topics, they could select a single forum to view.

Let us take a look at fluid view in action. We will then break it down and explain how it works in more detail.

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The video shows the topic list and the forum filter box. As you can see, it is easy to change the topic list by changing the selected forums. This view replaces the traditional list of categories and forums.

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Of course, you can permit your members to change the view to better suit their way of working.

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You will notice a "grid" option. We have moved the grid forum theme setting into the main forum settings. This makes it an option for your members to choose, if the administrator permits it.

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You have full control over the display options. This screenshot shows that the control panel option to choose the default view. There is also an option to control which views your members can select. You may also decide to not allow your members to switch views at all. This will ensure that they all use the view you choose.

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You may have spotted that forum names have a colored background in some screenshots. We added the ability to define a feature color per forum. This feature color helps the forum stand out in a more visual way. This is especially useful when you select many forums in a single view.

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This feature color also works on the table view.

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We added a feature color hint to topic view to enforce the association between the forum and its color.

 

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This screenshot also shows the removal of the forum breadcrumb in fluid view mode. Fluid view remembers your last forum selection so you don't lose your place when you go back to the listing.

The benefit of this feature is easy to see. It removes a potential barrier of entry for your audience. It puts the spotlight on topics themselves, and not the hierarchical forum structure. Your members will enjoy viewing many forums at once and switching between them without leaving the page.

We hope that fluid view is an asset to your community and your members enjoy this new functionality.

Technical notes.
The database stores the members' view choice. This remembers the selection across devices. Guests are not permitted to change between views.

 

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Stuart Silvester

This is an entry about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release

In previous versions of IPS Community Suite we have had an account history feature in our Commerce application. This feature showed many important actions that may be relevant to the customer such as when an invoice was generated or when a customer changed their account details.

In IPS Community Suite 4.2 we have expanded this functionality and moved it into the core functionality of the suite.

memberhistorymemberview.PNG

Member History Member Overview

Member actions that will be logged include (but are not limited to)

  • Email address change
  • Display name change
  • Password change
  • Account merge
  • Primary group change (The reason will be shown when triggered by an automatic group promotion)
  • Secondary group change
  • Flagged/Unflagged as spammer
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (Enable / Disable / Opt-out)
  • Social media (Twitter, Linked In, Facebook, Google, Twitter, IPS Connect) for enabling, disabling and which (if any) were used to register an account.

The Commerce customer account page will now show actions that may be related with a transaction or account.

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Member History on the Commerce customer view

Discoverability

Each action is also discoverable via the IP Address tools built into IPS Community Suite 4

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Member History in IP Search

We’ve also made the data table filterable

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Member History Search

Notes for developers:

  • The new Member History system has been designed with interoperability in mind. In IPS Community Suite 4.2 you will be able to integrate your own applications into this system.
  • Member History replaces the display name changes system.
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Mark

This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release

IPS Community Suite has supported drag and drop uploading to the attachments area at the bottom of the editor since 4.0. In 4.2 we're pleased to add the ability to drag and drop right into the editor, so you can drop your attachment exactly where you want it to show without having to add it afterwards.

Drag and Drop.gif

Drag and drop into editor

If your browser and OS supports it you can also copy and paste, either from the desktop or from other content on the web:

Copy and Paste.gif

Copy and Paste

Naturally this works for ordinary files as well as images:

File.gif

Drag and drop a file

 

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Mark

This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release

In 4.1.18 we added Two Factor Authentication. Already in 4.2 we have announced a new setting to trigger 2FA when logging in from a new device, and in 4.2 we are also adding Authy as an authentication handler.

Authy can send a user a text message, make a phone call, or send a push notification to a smartphone app to authenticate the user. You can enable whichever of these options you like.

 

Set Up

To set up Two Factor Authentication with Authy, the user will enter their phone number. To verify their phone number they will then enter a code shown in the Auhy app or have a code sent by text message or phone call. The system will automatically show an appropriate interface based on what options you have enabled - for example, if you don't want to enable the app as an option, it will not reference Authy.

Authy Setup with App.png

Setting up Authy with the app available as an option

Authy Setup without App.png

Setting up Authy with just phone or text message options enabled

 

Verification with Authy

When the user needs to verify their account, the system will automatically show an appropriate interface. If you allow verification with the Authy app and either it is the only option you allow, or the system knows that the user has installed the Authy app, the system will prompt them to use the app. This can either be done using Authy's OneTouch option (where the user will receive a push notification to the app, and when they click approve, the screen will automatically refresh) or their SoftToken option (where the user will be instructed to open the Authy app and enter the code they see). If you allow authentication by text message and/or phone call as well, the user will also see options for using those instead.

These screenshots show the process for OneTouch authentication:

Authy OneTouch Pending.png

The user is shown a waiting screen

Authy OneTouch Notification.PNG Authy OneTouch Approval.PNG

Simultaneously they will receive a push notification and when opening it be able to approve

Once the user has approved, the waiting screen will automatically refresh with the user authenticated.

For SoftToken authentication, the user is prompted to enter the code shown in the Authy app:

Authy SoftToken Authentication.png

Authy SoftToken option

 

Phone Verification

If you have disabled the Authy app as an option, or the user does not have it installed, they will be prompted to choose from the available options how they want to authenticate.

These screenshots show the process for authenticating by text message:

Authy Verification Options.png

The user is asked how they want to authenticate

Authy SMS Codr.PNG

The user receives a text message or phone call with a code

Authy SMS Verification.png

The user enters this code to authenticate

 

Management

If the user changes their phone number they can reconfigure the system in their account settings. The system automatically shows "Phone Verification" rather then "Authy" if the app is not available as an option.

Authy Account Settings.png

Account Settings showing Authy as Phone Verification

 

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