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IP.Board 3.2.0: Search/VNC Interface Improvements

We've gradually been revealing aspects of the new IP.Board 3.2 front-end interface, and naturally there's much more to come.

In this entry I'd like to preview the new interface for the Search, View New Content and User Content views, since all three of these views essentially share the same interface elements. We previously covered the changes and improvements to View New Content, and these changes have been incorporated into the new interface.

As always, please note that screenshots are from development software, and are subject to change before the final release.

Overview



The biggest change is of course a brand new filter menu, to replace the myriad dropdown menus that we currently use. Content can be effortlessly filtered with single clicks - whether it's changing the app you're searching, the sub-section, or the time frame.

Search sorting

In addition to the main filter menu, search results also make use of a new filter bar to enable sorting and ordering (again replacing dropdown menus). This is an interface concept that you can expect to see more of in IP.Board 3.2.



Language

Non-English users will be pleased to know that we're now making use of IPSLib::getAppTitle() for tabs and titles in the search interfaces, so that the correct translation is always displayed.



We hope you like this brief preview of the new search interface! The changes we've shown here and elsewhere are a taste of the improvements we're making across the product to improve usability and aesthetics. There's plenty more to come, in our blog entries and public previews.

Feel free to comment on this blog entry below or, if you have feedback unrelated to this blog entry, start a new topic in our feedback forum. Be sure to check the What's New in IP.Board 3.2 topic for a running list of announced changes!

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Sorry for the critism but I'm not keen at all. There seems to be too many selections on the left and the info to the right looks squeezed in due to the addition of the filter menu. Disappointing that the columns have gone as they make for much better viewing. I'm not a fan of xenforo overall but http://xenforo.com/community/find-new/836686/threads is so much better on the eyes. No nonsense, latest posts there when you want them, 3 lines of info for each topic is bad. Add one more column in and it would be much improved.
View new posts has been ruined ever since 3.0 anyway and there seems to be no going back, and I will have to seriously consider upgrading now seeing the latest change. I'm probably in the minority, but its a crucial feature for a large forum. The skin looks like its going to be better though, would be nice of you to upgrade the site to 3.2 so we can see how it works? :shifty:

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marklcfc: the link you provided as an example looks just like view new content in IPB 3.1.4 :)

The big difference here is that the IPS Community Suite does more than just simple message board topics. We are a complete community platform with many different content types. This new interface lets you browse them easier. Want to see forum topics? Click forums. Interested in new files in the IPS Marketplace? Click IPS Marketplace. Perhaps you want to see unread blog entries? Click Blogs. It's great for content discovery.

Compare the 3.2 look to the 3.1 look and you will see what a vast improvement it is. No more tabs, no more drop down menus. Just simple clicks.

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[quote name='Jaggi' timestamp='1302095148']
Does this view have the topic popup box on rollover? That would be nice to have!


Wait for a future blog entry on how we implemented topic-preview ;)

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Non-English users will be pleased to know that we're now making use of IPSLib::getAppName() for tabs and titles in the search interfaces, so that the correct translation is always displayed.

Absolutly fantastic.... :hyper: :thumbsup:

Language





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I know Charles, but if I recall when you first introduced VNC in 3.0 you had alot of complaints and changed it to what it is in 3.1. I have voiced my opinion on those tabs in the past, I wanted them rid as well but I'm not sure that the filter bar is an improvement, since its affected the width of the new topics table. The new VNC is too different, there is now only 3 columns, the column of the topic title has 3 lines of info due to lack of columns (that are not even seperated now, my main hate about the new vbulletin skin). Very, very bad news. No t_unread.png images taking away the forum feel of the site. The avatars look abit out of place too.

I love some of the new features like ajax posting/replies, but this is offputting as its a popular feature.

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Perhaps you can post a topic in the feedback forum on how you would propose we get rid of the tabs? We thought the filter bar was a great alternative but if you have a better idea now is the time to speak before final :)

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[quote name='Charles' timestamp='1302095894']
Perhaps you can post a topic in the feedback forum on how you would propose we get rid of the tabs? We thought the filter bar was a great alternative but if you have a better idea now is the time to speak before final :)

I don't think its possible with the direction you've gone. Time period etc should be at the bottom of VNP invisible unless clicked to see the options, like where the filter options are in forum view. Maybe you should have an option to minimize the filter bar. Have new_post.png gone too?

The second picture of the new filter bar is good, just to add a positive.

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Looks much improved. But please, PLEASE can we have a setting so that we can default the filter to what we wish users to see initially! In my case Forums and New Posts since last visit?

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This looks great!! :D

I think the sorting bar on the search could become clouded though if more options are provided in the future, or custom options are added by the admin. Have you thought about that? How would it look if for example if I want to search topics and sort by author or tags/prefixes ?? Adding "Author" and "Tags" to the sort bar would most likely make it longer than the background bar.

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This would be good for whole board :)

Non-English users will be pleased to know that we're now making use of IPSLib::getAppName() for tabs and titles in the search interfaces, so that the correct translation is always displayed.

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I'm not bothered too much about the layout - I don't mind how the preview looks - it's the results that are the key to search, and at the moment they're less than perfect, and VNC is ... TBH ... pants. I don't know anyone who really uses it much on my board because they find it so frustrating to use.

So, for me, it's the search results and "new content" that will be the winner. If you can sort those two my members will be happy.

Also, for us "Big Boards" will Sphinx be supported?

Cheers,
Shaun :D

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ooopppss ... sorry, I've just realised the title - INTERFACE improvements.

Scratch my last comment and save it for when the TECHNICAL aspect of search is blogged. :thumbsup:

Cheers,
Shaun :D

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[quote name='Charles' timestamp='1302095233']
marklcfc: the link you provided as an example looks just like view new content in IPB 3.1.4 :)

The big difference here is that the IPS Community Suite does more than just simple message board topics. We are a complete community platform with many different content types. This new interface lets you browse them easier. Want to see forum topics? Click forums. Interested in new files in the IPS Marketplace? Click IPS Marketplace. Perhaps you want to see unread blog entries? Click Blogs. It's great for content discovery.

Compare the 3.2 look to the 3.1 look and you will see what a vast improvement it is. No more tabs, no more drop down menus. Just simple clicks.


why not go for a "site wide" vnc
as in all new content of all applications of the invision site can be featured in one "new content" view

the content spy mod does seem to have cracked this approach offering almost real time ajax updating as well

while understand that perhaps there may be performance or other issues that I may be not aware of using a similar method

surely the simple basic idea of showing all new content in one list should be achievable ?

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