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Additional IPS Community Enhancements

Following on our previous blog entry about our enhancements to the IPS Community here at http://community.invisionpower.com ...

A few more things to note that you may be interested in that we recently changed. These changes are related to us getting ready to release IP.Board 3.3 and generally our continual process of review and refinement of everything we do.

Enhanced Access for Expired License Holders

We have opened up previously restricted areas to expired license holders as mentioned in our previous blog entry. Expired license holders can also now read and post in our feedback forums and can now also have full access to the IPS Marketplace! We are sure that everyone will enjoy a larger user base with access to the IPS Marketplace from both clients and those that contribute to the IPS Marketplace while still ensuring that the security and trust-level is maintained in the IPS Marketplace by restricting access to known persons.

Visitor and Guest Access

Guests and Vistors (those with an account but who have never been a client) can also now read and post in our feedback forums. They can also now read (but not post) in the support forums. Note that sometimes feedback from non-clients could be moderated as we often get off the wall feedback from people who have never actually used our products. We even sometimes get feedback from people who think we run our clients' sites! It's hard to explain to someone who is confused that we provide the community software but don't run the community.

Upcoming Documentation Improvements

We are investing a lot of time and effort into our documentation section to go along with 3.3's launch. We admit and own the fact that right now our documentation is weak and really want to make this a key area of improvement. Rather than try to document every button and function in our software (which really is pointless and impossible) we will be doing a lot of tutorial based documentation. Yes, as if often requested, narrated video demos will be heavily used. We all know that a 30 second video can explain things better than pages of text.

There are many obvious things we can document and once those obvious areas are finished under our new format we will be opening suggestions up to our community on what areas could use some more explanation. Also, once the core documents are done, we plan on merging in the community article sections so all the great knowledge in our client community can be harnessed. Our clients come up with unique solutions to specific situations that are sometime really fun to read.

Finally, one area we think will benefit all in the long run is a greater link between development and documentation. Once we get into client feedback on documentation we are going to keep internal track of areas that, while they work just fine, cause our clients to have to stop and scratch their collective heads. I am sure you have all had to pause at times and say "ok now how do I do this?" when trying to customize your community. One of our long term goals that we started on with IP.Board 3.3 was making things more obvious and flow better. One could easily argue that if a feature needs documentation then we didn't make that feature very easy to use. That is an area we will continue to work on in future updates.

Mobile Apps

Yes we are in the process of making all new mobile apps. The iOS version will be out soon after IP.Board 3.3's release. No details yet (sorry!) but the app is shaping up very nicely. I personally cannot wait.

So yes boring stuff and some future plans in this blog entry but I hope you all enjoy the overall approach we are taking. We are very proud of IP.Board 3.3 and want to be sure that all the other areas around a release (documentation, future planning, spotting client trends, etc.) are of the same quality and attention to detail you expect from IPS.

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