Jump to content

Invision Community Blog


Managing successful online communities


4.0 - Profiles

Profiles are one of the key sections of a community, as everyone knows. They are what represent your users; where their information is shown and their content is gathered. When users contribute quality content to your community, their profile is where other users go to find it in one place. In short, it's an important area.

In IPS4, profiles have had a complete makeover. There's a lot to cover, so I'll start with a numbered screenshot, and address each section individually (please note this is a large image; if you're on mobile, you may wish to wait to view it full-size).



1 - Header images

In 3.x, users could customize their profiles by uploading a background image. In practice, this didn't work well when the software was integrated into an existing website design, and the options presented often ended up with a garish profile. In addition, social networks like Facebook and Twitter have adjusted user expectations on how profiles are customized.

In IPS4, instead of page backgrounds, users instead get to customize their profile header image. This provides the best of both worlds - ample space to choose something creative, but it's contained and won't mess up a website design.

2 - Reputation

The user's current reputation count is shown prominently in the info column, letting other users know if this member is an asset to the community.

3 - Warnings

For moderators/staff, the profile now provides quick access to warning tools. By expanding the panel, they can see a brief history of recent warnings:



And clicking one of these pops up the warning details:



New warnings can also be issued inline, of course.

4 - Followers

Followers replace friends in IPS4, and the user's followers are shown in this block. Instead of requiring mutual acknowledgement as with the traditional friends system (an approach that isn't entirely useful in a community of anonymous users), in IPS4 you follow users whom you find interesting in order to be updated when they contribute to the community. Users can of course prevent others from following them, if that is a concern to them. We'll have more details on how followers works in a later entry.

5 - About the user

Traditional information about the user is shown in the next block, including custom profile fields.

6 - Recent visitors

Recent visitors to this user's profile are shown next. As with 3.x, this can be toggled on and off by the profile owner. In 4.x, this is done by clicking the X in the corner of the block.

7 - Follow/Message member

These primary buttons enable others to follow the user (if enabled), and send a new message inline, without leaving the page.

8 - User's content

In 3.x, browsing a user's content was handled by the search area of the community (though links were available in the user's profile and hovercard). We felt this wasn't the best place for it, though. After all, a user's content should be available in their profile.

That's what this button does. It switches the profile view to 'content browsing' mode, where you can see everything the user has done. It's smooth and buttery, and because it all loads dynamically, it feels like a true part of the profile. Here's a video of it in action (14MB)



9 - Long-form custom profile fields

IPS4 supports various kinds of custom profile fields, including rich-text editors for long, styled content. Those custom profile fields will be shown in the main section of the profile where they get the space they need to be effective. About Me is a default field, but you can of course add your own too for your users to fill in.

10 - User's 'Nodes'

A node is a fancy developer term for content containers that a user creates themselves, like gallery albums and blogs (as opposed to forum categories, which are created by the admin). In IPS4, a user's 'nodes' are shown right on their profile page, making it easy to find more interesting content from the user. In this screenshot, you can see my profile is showing my albums, my blogs, and other blogs to which I contribute.

For developers, supporting your application in this section is easy too.

11 - Status feed

The status feed from 3.x is of course still present, and the interaction is all inline without leaving the page.


Conclusion

That's profiles in 4.0. We hope the new focus on content and streamlined design provides a better experience for your users!


As always, screenshots are from pre-release software and are subject to change before release.

Comments

Recommended Comments



 

Stuff you post is under "my content" (including topics/posts, blog entries, gallery images, downloads files, calendar events, content articles, comments on all of those).

 

Blogs (not the entries in the blogs, but the blog itself - Rikki's screenshot is possibly confusing as there's several listed whereas usually there'd only be one or none) and albums in Gallery (again, the albums, not the images), which are containers for things show on the profile. Those are the only two in the suite.

 

The main difference is that a blog or an album is "owned" by it's creator - they can decide to rename it or delete it or whatever, unlike with the other things - it belongs to them as opposed to is something created by them. On Facebook, it's a different paradigm where you own everything you create.

 

This explains the difference clearly  thanks Mark

 

Another question is it possible to disable those node display on profiles ?

 

And will IPB 4 somehow include an Activity Stream ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To add,

 

I would definitely like to see "Articles" included on the main page as a node because an article is much more than a forum post or a comment etc. I would say they are equally, if not more important than a users album, or blog...

 

I understand the current nodes (blog and album) are containers, which a user can add content to and that an article is simply an article, so it's not quite the same to implement.

 

Is their no way of creating a node of "My Articles" and using this as a node for all user submitted articles?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Better still,

 

Can you make all the content types available as "nodes" and have them user selectable to which will show on your profile?

 

This would mean getting rid of the nodes essentially and just having the main page show recently submitted, Articles, posts, gallery images, albums, blogs, comments, etc etc

 

This way, the user can push important content on visitors to his/her profile without them having to search through the "Browse My Content" Link.

 

Just a thought.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure the concept behind "nodes" is really clear, which is fine (it's a bit technical) but to answer your question...no, we can't just "create nodes for x" so it can be shown on the home page of the profile.  A node is a container.  You can't just create a container for "my articles" for every single member.

 

Does that mean we couldn't pull all articles a member submitted to the profile home page?  No.  But that has nothing to do with the concept behind "nodes".  I wouldn't focus so much on that (the terminology), personally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure the concept behind "nodes" is really clear, which is fine (it's a bit technical) but to answer your question...no, we can't just "create nodes for x" so it can be shown on the home page of the profile.  A node is a container.  You can't just create a container for "my articles" for every single member.

 

Does that mean we couldn't pull all articles a member submitted to the profile home page?  No.  But that has nothing to do with the concept behind "nodes".  I wouldn't focus so much on that (the terminology), personally.

 

What about disabling the nodes Brandon , is there a setting for that 

And Activity Stream possibility on any section of IPB 4.0 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure the concept behind "nodes" is really clear, which is fine (it's a bit technical) but to answer your question...no, we can't just "create nodes for x" so it can be shown on the home page of the profile.  A node is a container.  You can't just create a container for "my articles" for every single member.

 

Does that mean we couldn't pull all articles a member submitted to the profile home page?  No.  But that has nothing to do with the concept behind "nodes".  I wouldn't focus so much on that (the terminology), personally.

 

Yes, they would not really be "nodes" I get that :)

 

For a future release, the ability to select the type of content shown to visitors on the main page of your profile.

 

This would help websites which have a focus one one particular area of the suite, be it the forums, the gallery, articles or blogs etc.

 

Currently, our users do not use the Gallery or Blogs, so showing a visitor information about blogs or albums on your profile makes no sense. However, if they could be shown articles that the user has submitted, it would be another story.

 

Thanks :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would be a lot cleaner if the 'About me', 'Albums', 'Blogs' and the 'Status Feed' had its own Profile page (tab).

 

It is really sad that everything else looks decent but the really important user profile page evokes a big question mark.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would be a lot cleaner if the 'About me', 'Albums', 'Blogs' and the 'Status Feed' had its own Profile page (tab).

 

It is really sad that everything else looks decent but the really important user profile page evokes a big question mark.

 

The problem then, in my opinion, is that content is being hidden which is the same problem as 3.x. Which tab do we make the default? Some tabs might not have much content, and then profiles look empty (or they look empty for some users and not for others). It's not a simple decision :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

The problem then, in my opinion, is that content is being hidden which is the same problem as 3.x. Which tab do we make the default? Some tabs might not have much content, and then profiles look empty (or they look empty for some users and not for others). It's not a simple decision :smile:

 

How about... an admin setting?

 

Use Tabs in Profile Page? Yes/No

Default Tab (if set on Yes)? About Me/Status Feed/etc.

 

So everyone can choose based on their community needs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

By the way, I think the improvements are great. A few more things though:

  • Where's Profile Views? Should it be added on top of the header along with Content Count, Joined Date and Last Visited?
     
  • Where's "Liked Content" by the user?
    .
  • If you do end up to add the Tabs option, a Tab for the Signature would be good..
     
  • I agree with anoismale: You have an "About testadmin" on the left sidebar and then another "About Me" in the main area.  This is kind of redundant.  Maybe change the wording of "About testadmin" to "Basic Info."
     
  • I agree with anoismale: If you're going to show a member's followers, won't it also be incumbent to show who the member is following?  Also, wouldn't it be logical that the follow button would be better placed near the Followers instead of elsewhere on the page?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As Andy already pointed out I would let either the admin set the default tab or let the profile user decide which tab should be default since the profile represents his personal space. Also, my users are always asking for more control who is able to access their profile. They do know that the content could also be viewed through the forum but the profile acts like a central hub for a specific user and that is the reason why they would like more control of their own space.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With member profiles, with it be easier to add in clickable link type custom profile fields?

 

Example, right now if I have a profile field for a members PSN ID or XBOX Gamer Tag, I have to go through and make custom edits to add in the base URL and to make it a link in the profile.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With member profiles, with it be easier to add in clickable link type custom profile fields?

 

Example, right now if I have a profile field for a members PSN ID or XBOX Gamer Tag, I have to go through and make custom edits to add in the base URL and to make it a link in the profile.  

 

There is a much greater selection of form fields in IPS4. One of which is a dedicated URL field that auto links.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Is this working globally or only in profiles ?

 

Globally.

 

Having said that, if PSN ID or Xbox gamer tags require specific protocols you may need to write a small plugin to accept non-standard protocol handlers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Globally.

 

Having said that, if PSN ID or Xbox gamer tags require specific protocols you may need to write a small plugin to accept non-standard protocol handlers.

 

I see, we seem to be talking about different things.

I thought this was a feature that allowed us to define keywords that will be auto linked to specific keywords on post content automatically. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, Andy's comment was indicating that we have a "Url" form helper field, which is available pretty much anywhere that allows you to create custom fields (e.g. you can make text fields, textarea fields, "URL" fields, etc.).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If we do not have tab feature, the page length maybe long or very long.
Statuses and other important contents Can be placed on the first page, and other contents such albums as the Tab.

 

-OR- It is amazing what you can choose to hide the contents of the tab.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

Important Information

We use technologies, such as cookies, to customise content and advertising, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic to the site. We also share information about your use of our site with our trusted social media, advertising and analytics partners. See more about cookies and our Privacy Policy

×