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4.0 - Staff Directory

For many years, IP.Board has featured a "Moderating Team" page where the community moderators are listed so that users can quickly and easily identify who to contact in the event they need assistance. This page has typically been a somewhat generic table-style view of users who are a moderator of some level. The page is not configurable and has limited usefulness and relevance when you consider the entirety of the suite. It is a relic of an older age and it really stood out as needing an overhaul, so that is exactly what we have done in 4.0.


Configurable

As mentioned above, the moderating team page has never been configurable in IP.Board. If a user is a moderator (either a super moderator, or a forum-level moderator) then they are displayed on this page. The users are displayed in basic alphabetical order in a table-style view and you cannot easily see which user is responsible for which roles on the site. Furthermore, if you add a moderator to another application (for instance, IP.Downloads or IP.Gallery) then they may not be displayed on this page if they aren't also a moderator in the forums.

We have completely done away with the way this page used to work and rethought it from the ground up. Its purpose is simple: show the viewing user which users on the site are "important" and their relevance to the site. To implement our goal, we have decided to make the entire page configurable.

In the admin area you can now create groupings for this page. This means that you can put some users in one group, some users in another group, and so on in order to better reflect the hierarchy of your organization. For instance, here at IPS we would list Management staff at the top, followed by Developers, followed by Support Agents, and possibly followed by community moderators. You can reorder the groups however you see fit to ensure that the most important users are listed first.

You can also now associate a template with each group. When you view the staff page, you will probably want to show a little more information for the most important users, but you may want to just show simple links to a profile for the regular community moderators. By default we will ship with 3 or 4 basic templates that we feel will allow you to display staff groups in different ways to better reflect your organization, however any administrator can add new templates by simply creating a template with the appropriate prefix in the appropriate template group.

When you add users to a group, you can specify a custom name to show (which will fall back to the member's username), you can specify a custom title to show (which will fall back to the member's title) and you can specify a bio to show. Users who are displayed on this page can edit their details right from the staff page directly.




Viewing the page

We wanted to allow this page to be set up to better reflect the staff on a community. A simple listing of moderators is no longer relevant for many users of the Community Suite - you may want one moderator to not be displayed because they only manage pre-sales questions, or you may want an administrator who is not a moderator to be displayed, or perhaps you want to create a game roster instead of displaying staff but you don't want to give those users moderator privileges on the site. Now you can do that, and you can better present the page to your users.



As you can see here, the first grouping (labeled "Management") is displayed in full width. The second grouping called "Developers" are blocks that take up half of the available width. The last grouping called "Support Agents" are rows of 4 blocks each. It is important to note that the interface is subject to change and we are still putting some finishing touches on this screen, however hopefully the screenshot will give you a good idea of how the page can be laid out to improve communication between your staff and your visitors.

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That looks much more flexible than the current way. I do have a question though: from what I've read basically we need to manually add each member in the list. What if we have a group, with let's say 30 members, and we want to configure a staff directory group to load all members in a group without hiding anyone? Can this be done?

 

 

Another example would be a site that has a separate group for moderators and the admin wants ALL the user in that specific group to show up, with an option like the one I just asked above if you add or remove a moderator from the group it would automatically show up in the SD without the admin having to manually update it each time.

 

 

 

Or even upgrading from the current 3.x, a site with lots of moderators would have to manually add them back all 1 by 1? Or will the current ones be imported on upgrade?

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The page looks really weel done and thought out. I also like the template idea very much. 

 

However, I do share the same questions as teraßyte.

 

We do for example have a fairly large staff that would be regularly updated. Would the staff directory be a new thing we would have to remember to update each time we add a new staff member (which I believe it would be a fair chance we would forget). Or would it be done automatically when the member is put into a group that we have defined as a staff group? 

 

When editing a member into a staff group (by editing their profile from the ACP) I guess I would expect that the member was either automatically applied to the appropiate staff grouping or I would be presented with a confirmation box to add them to a staff grouping. 

 

Personally I would like new staff to be automatically applied to the staff directory, but you should probarbly display a message like "Based on your staff directory settings we have automatically added this member to the staff grouping "Support". Remember that you can add more information about this staff member or remove him from the list by managing the "Staff directory""

 

The underlined text would be a link to the config page.

 

 

I guess a button "Rebuild this grouping from the configured groups" or something would be a useful button in the ACP. Clicking the button would add any "missing members" from the configured groups to be added. And any members that were not part of the configured groups would be removed. 

 

A checkbox in the grouping options "Check secondary groups?" would also be useful. 

 

edit: some changes in my comment

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looks awesome,

 

taking it a step further and to help promote community involvement, i'd like to see some form of "application" process where an individual wanting to volunteer for moderation duties could apply or an admin could send a link to invite someone to apply to be a moderator, having all the "credentials and permissions" established and only a one click approval - as it is now you have to add the person then tailor their permissions for their duties. - once approved perhaps taking them to a moderator user guide for instructions,  (custom page or forum ) for teaching them the ropes of their duties in addition to the other site features they are instantly blessed with.

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Hiding some moderators will be great - not all wish to be seen in a list.

 

Hopefully they can also be hidden from say the forum page as well.

 

Agreed, this is a must for some of our moderators.

 

Well done, regardless guys.

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I have the same questions an terabyte/TSP

 

 

I would like to see some automation, especially as if there is none the first time of getting it set up will be a pain.    Then just having to remember to add everyone after that.  

 

 

I like the start of it though and hope to be able to use this during 4.0

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A few questions here.
 
1. Can you control the layout for each group, or is it that the first, second and following groups will always be wide, half, small (in that order)?
 
2. Can the different groups be hidden or masked in any way?  For example, what if you want to limit which staff groups appear based on a persons access?  For someone who is on suspension or something, you might want to restrict the list to only show management (so they can't somehow harass other staff).  Or you might have certain staff that are available for certain subscribers.
 
3. Can individual staff members be toggled visible/hidden?  A staff member might go on vacation and you want to hide them from the staff listing (or they may choose to not be shown).  Or perhaps they resigned but you want to keep their page available in case they return.  (I've known this to happen on a game fan site I know.)
 
4. Automation similar to what teraßyte mentioned.  Not only when promoting a member to somehow detect that they should be added to the staff directory, but also the reverse, where if access is removed, they would automatically be hidden/removed.  Will anything like that be available?

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Will we be able to set permissions for groups on this page so that, for example, guests could not see the list of forum moderators?

 

ADKGamers and Wolfie... Rikki already answered your questions about having the lists stay in sync... you can add member groups as well as individuals.

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This looks excellent.  At the bottom of the screenshot is a link to 'contact us'.  Is that linking to this staff page or somewhere else please? A generic 'contact us' page would be another great addition.

 

If it is linking to this page then would it be possible to easily edit the title of the page in the ACP and add a text field so that we could add for example a paragraph with an address, telephone number and such for the office please?

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I just love this new Staff Directory. Personally I have been comparing a lot IPB and one another commercial forum board and this was a really important piece of news for me. Totally going to use IPB for my future projects.

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Regarding groups, you can add single members, or whole groups. If you add whole groups, it stays 'in sync' - the list always shows current members of that group.

 
Great, that's perfect then. Thanks for confirming.
 
 

A few questions here.
 
1. Can you control the layout for each group, or is it that the first, second and following groups will always be wide, half, small (in that order)?
 
2. Can the different groups be hidden or masked in any way?  For example, what if you want to limit which staff groups appear based on a persons access?  For someone who is on suspension or something, you might want to restrict the list to only show management (so they can't somehow harass other staff).  Or you might have certain staff that are available for certain subscribers.
 
3. Can individual staff members be toggled visible/hidden?  A staff member might go on vacation and you want to hide them from the staff listing (or they may choose to not be shown).  Or perhaps they resigned but you want to keep their page available in case they return.  (I've known this to happen on a game fan site I know.)
 
4. Automation similar to what teraßyte mentioned.  Not only when promoting a member to somehow detect that they should be added to the staff directory, but also the reverse, where if access is removed, they would automatically be hidden/removed.  Will anything like that be available?

  • From what they've written you choose the layout for each group in that page, you can even create new templates so I assume the answer is yes, you can control them.
  • That's indeed a nice question, for example you might want to show only admins to banned members so he must contact one of them to get an answer about the ban since normal moderators might not know the reason. If it's not included I'll consider making a plugin for that.
  • Looking at the first screenshot it doesn't seem to be possible, but I do agree with you it can definitely be useful.
  • Rikki already mentioned it's possible ;)

 

This looks excellent. At the bottom of the screenshot is a link to 'contact us'. Is that linking to this staff page or somewhere else please? A generic 'contact us' page would be another great addition.

If it is linking to this page then would it be possible to easily edit the title of the page in the ACP and add a text field so that we could add for example a paragraph with an address, telephone number and such for the office please?

 

Charles mentioned in a topic that they have added a generic contact form so I assume the link is exactly for that :)

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This resolved one planned development for us :smile:

 

Great news 

 

One question , the description is not displayed for support agents http://d.pr/i/llMr . Are they displayed when you hover the agent username/avatar or is it possible to configure it like that ?

 

Also is it possible to use the show more functionality globally all around IPB http://d.pr/i/hKq1 specifically on Ip. Content , Ip.Blog and Profiles ?

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This resolved one planned development for us :smile:

 

Great news 

 

One question , the description is not displayed for support agents http://d.pr/i/llMr . Are they displayed when you hover the agent username/avatar or is it possible to configure it like that ?

 

No, though you could likely alter the template, or create a new one, to do so.

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4. Rikki already mentioned it's possible ;)

I was thinking more like if someone has ACP access but then it's removed, either automatically 'hide' them from the list or prompt to hide them from the list. I'm talking about when a different group is used for access (one that isn't synced).

When synced, will it delete the 'profile' for that staff member, or simply hide it? After all, what if someone is removed by mistake (meant to remove one person but removed the other), when you add them back, will the profile return or have to be re-done?
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That looks much more flexible than the current way. I do have a question though: from what I've read basically we need to manually add each member in the list. What if we have a group, with let's say 30 members, and we want to configure a staff directory group to load all members in a group without hiding anyone? Can this be done?

 

 

Another example would be a site that has a separate group for moderators and the admin wants ALL the user in that specific group to show up, with an option like the one I just asked above if you add or remove a moderator from the group it would automatically show up in the SD without the admin having to manually update it each time.

 

 

 

Or even upgrading from the current 3.x, a site with lots of moderators would have to manually add them back all 1 by 1? Or will the current ones be imported on upgrade?

 

But happens If I want someone in that group NOT to be on the list? Mass adding my not be a good idea.

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