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Esther E.

Invision Community Team
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  1. Like
    Esther E. reacted to annadaa in IPS usage feedback   
    I initially used IPB around 2010, then again about 5 years ago, more for fun. However, I continued to follow the evolution of IPS and today, I am starting a serious and monetized project with a community.
    Currently, in rebuilding a site with IPS, I am noticing significant progress from the team. The introduction of a gamification system, improved ergonomics, push notifications, and the recruitment of Ehren are major advances to stay at the forefront of UI and UX design, as well as for PWA integration.
    In the past, with IPB 4, we had grievances regarding the design, mobile navigation, and the absence of a dedicated app. These issues are now resolved, eliminating any hesitation to stay on this platform rather than looking for another to manage a community.
    Regarding the marketplace, I remain optimistic, convinced that even without development expertise, the decisions made by IPS aim to improve and accelerate the product's evolution, while reducing bugs.
    This contrasts with WordPress and its vast user base, where major changes are risky and can hinder development due to the many interferences between applications and updates.
    Despite debates on the number of user applications available on IPS, the possibility to install applications remains, ensuring their availability for a few more years since they have not been completely removed.
    There are aspects that we must accept and adapt to.
    Apart from the absence of an Elementor-type editor, available on WordPress, I do not perceive a significant gap in IPS's current offering. This feature, although not urgent, could be added to enrich content management without impacting the ability to maintain a community.
    I believe we must stop seeing IPS solely in terms of forum installation, but more so today in terms of member and group management, as well as interaction between them. So even if forum participation may decrease, there are still many possibilities to use that can facilitate support, interaction, and individual tracking within the community.
    That's why I hope the upcoming products will allow for better online meetings directly on the site, live quizzes, coaching, personalized assistance, interaction within clubs, etc.
    Unfortunately, and maybe I'm wrong, IPS is not used and known to the extent that it should be despite being a very stable product. Many turn towards WordPress filled with plugins from different builders (thus bugs), and to try to build a community, which IPS already does in its core with group and member management and is surely less expensive when adding an app for gamification, another for the community, etc.
  2. Haha
  3. Haha
  4. Like
    Esther E. reacted to Ehren in Invision Community 5: Badge creation and icon customization   
    Invision Community offers fantastic ways of customizing the user experience for your members, and today, we’re excited to introduce some new and really simple ways of customizing Invision Community 5 even further using our new icon tools.
     
    Icon Picker
    Lets begin with our brand new icon picker. Containing both Font Awesome icons and emojis, the new picker allows you to easily search and assign icons to specific areas throughout your site. Lets take a look at some examples!
    icon-picker.mp4  
    Navigation icons
    Adding icons to the navigation list has been a highly requested feature, so we're happy to announce that you can now use this new picker to do exactly that, for both the horizontal and vertical navigation panels, without needing to modify your theme.

     
    Forum icons
    Uploading forum icons is a great way to personalize individual areas of your community. In the past, these icons have typically been images, uploaded via the admin panel. In addition to the upload form, the icon picker now makes it a breeze to assign icons to forums - and if a Font Awesome icon is chosen, it'll even inherit the featured forum color.

     
    Forum Feature Color
    We have brought the existing forum feature color to feed view allowing for a flash of color and personalization that helps associate a color with a specific forum. The feature color pairs really well with the card image to lift the forum display.

     
    Icon creator for badges, ranks and reactions
    Creating unique badges, ranks and reactions is a great way to boost activity within your community by encouraging members to share more engaging and frequent content - but designing these icons from scratch using a graphics program often comes with hurdles of its own.
    With our new icon creator, you can now design your own custom icons for badges, ranks and reactions straight from your Admin panel, using a combination of colors, icons and shapes.
    icon-creator.mp4  
     
    We think this new icon creator will make the rank, badges and reactions features even more accessible for everyone, allowing you to create a user experience that is uniquely yours. With Invision Community 5, bringing in customization and personalization moves beyond adding new themes.
    We're excited to see how you can take advantage of these new tools, and we look forward hearing your feedback in the comments below!
     


    View full blog entry
  5. Like
    Esther E. reacted to Matt in Invision Community 5: Quickly find the most helpful answers   
    Forum platforms have a wide range of uses, from helping with support to sharing knowledge, ideation and social interaction.
    Topics can span years, and once the initial explosion of replies has passed, the topic lives on in local search and search engines for future viewers to discover and get value from.
    However, it's not always easy to get the best content from a very long topic.
    You may have noticed that when you come to a topic seeking an answer, some replies are less than helpful.

    How do I fix my Apple Watch? Like this!
    It's common to find a lot of social content mixed in with useful replies. Jokes, GIFs and off-topic musings are all great while the topic develops organically in real-time. Having fun is critical to feeling a sense of belonging in a community. However, those coming to the topic a little later, say from a link Google has suggested, just want to get the useful content in the fastest way possible.
    That's where 'helpful' voting comes in.

    A very helpful reply
    Invision Community can already mark a single post as the best solution for that topic. Still, not every topic gets a definitive answer, and some community strategies resist quickly marking a post as the best answer to encourage more discussion rather than effectively ending it.
    Even when you have a definitive answer, there is often value in other highly rated posts offering more context, alternative solutions and more thorough explanations.
    With Helpful voting, your members are encouraged to flag which posts they find helpful in the topic. When enough votes are added to a single post, they are suggested as a possible answer. You can also tune out the noise and view the most helpful replies only.
    This is a powerful way to get the very best content from a topic in a short space of time.

    Want to just view the most helpful replies? No problem.
    If you eventually choose to mark a post as the definitive answer, the suggested post will be replaced with the answer you choose, but you can still see the posts voted as helpful to gain further context.
    The helpful voting works independently from reactions, which tend to cluster around social content. Social media conditions us to add a like or funny reaction to content that gets an emotional response. Indeed, a lot of the most highly reacted content is funny content. Social reactions are valuable when building connections between community members but often don't reflect what is the most useful content.

    The suggested most helpful post threshold is configuration via the Admin Control Panel.
    Helping your members find the best content within topics helps them do more in your community with less time.
    Forums continue to evolve, and while social content helps develop the community, content that solves problems and helps others is the rocket fuel you need to keep members and attract new audiences.
    Helpful voting also feeds into picking Community Experts, a new feature for Invision Community 5, but we'll talk about that in a future blog.

    A sneak peak at the new Community Expert badge
    I hope you found this update ✨helpful✨, and if you have any questions or comments, let me know in the comments!

    View full blog entry
  6. Like
    Esther E. reacted to Ehren in Invision Community 5: Dark mode, accessibility, performance and mobiles!   
    Welcome to the second video of our sneak peak series! Today we'll be taking a closer look at the new Invision Community interface, including dark mode, accessibility improvements, performance improvements and the mobile layout! Before we begin, I should mention that this is a pre-alpha version of Invision Community 5, so some areas of the design may change before the official release.
     
    New traditional header design
    In our previous video, we showcased our new, optional side panel which formats your navigation into a vertical list. For those who prefer a traditional, horizontal header, here it is!

    A much more compact header compared to version 4, the new design condenses the navigation bar into a single row, moving all sub-navigation items into dropdown menus. A new, optional area below the text logo allows you to add your website slogan or announce events such as anniversaries or holidays, and our new search modal provides convenient access to the advanced search filters from any page on your community.

     
    Accessible interface
    The main content area has been designed with accessibility as a priority. High contrast text colours and larger font-sizes help to make reading more comfortable and clickable table rows (which can be enabled or disabled via the Theme Editor) allow you to navigate between pages more easily. A visible focus ring significantly improves navigation for visitors who find it more comfortable to browse with their keyboard TAB key, instead of using their mouse (ie. visitors with conditions such as Parkinson's disease, or those who have temporarily lost function due to a broken arm).
     
    Focus.mp4
    Elements are highlighted while navigating with the keyboard
     
    Dark mode
    Dark mode has become increasingly popular over the past few years - so it's no surprise that Version 5 has been designed from scratch with both light and dark mode in mind. With version 4, it was necessary to manage two themes in order to provide a light and dark colour scheme. In version 5 though, all of that is handled by a single theme.
    By default, your members will be able to choose their own color scheme preference: either light, dark, or system. System assigns a color scheme based on your system preferences - so if your device automatically switches to dark mode at night, your community will too! With that said, as an administrator, you also have the option to restrict your site to a single color scheme - so if you ONLY want to offer a dark theme, that's easily achieved.

     
     
    Performance
    Despite all of these new inclusions, the version 5 UI has been coded with significant reductions in both CSS and Javascript. We'll dive deeper into code reductions in a future blog entry, however two great examples are:
    - Grids: which have had a 100% removal of Javascript and are powered by only a few lines of CSS, resulting in a faster rendering time, especially for users on slow connections.
    - And carousels: which have had a 95% reduction in Javascript and now rely on native browser scrolling, for a much smoother experience on both desktop and mobile!
    Additionally we've removed a number of helper libraries that are no longer needed with modern browsers saving even more.
     
    Mobile UI
    With an incredible amount of mobile visitors accessing the web, we’ve placed a huge priority on redesigning the interface to ensure it lives up to todays standards.
    A new navigation bar at the bottom of the page provides convenient access to your activity feed, notifications, messages, a search panel, and navigation links. A conscious effort was made to ensure that this information was available within a single tap, and we found that a bottom bar like this was easier to interact with compared to icons in the header.

    The mobile navigation bar from Invision Community 5
     
    A goal of the mobile UI was to display elements that were previously only available on larger devices, while still maintaining a clean interface. For example, to improve navigation, we've added a scrollable breadcrumb list to the top and bottom of the page. To improve guest participation, we added Sign In and Sign Up links to the bottom navigation bar. These links were previously hidden within the hamburger menu, so we feel like this will really benefit those looking to improve registrations. And as demonstrated in last weeks video, profile information is now available within posts, comments and reviews on small devices.
    We’re really excited for you to literally have a hands on experience with the new mobile interface of Invision Community 5, and we're interested to hear your feedback in the comments!

    View full blog entry
  7. Like
    Esther E. reacted to Ehren in Introducing a fresh new vision for Invision Community 5   
    In addition to Matt’s post, each of your members (where a new group permission allows) can also choose their own preference out of the views. So if you’d prefer to use the traditional table view for the forum index and the traditional column view for topics (even if the admin has assigned other layouts), that’s of course possible. We’re absolutely not forcing change, just offering more options than before 🙂 
  8. Like
    Esther E. reacted to Dreadknux in Introducing a fresh new vision for Invision Community 5   
    I absolutely LOVE these new design ideas. Thanks a lot for all your hard work @Ehren and team! I've been playing around with the idea of a sidebar navigation purely because I can see my current topbar nav getting a bit chaotic once I start adding the other core IPS apps (and things in dropdown menus tend to be ignored/forgotten about). It's great to see this will be part of the core design as an option!
    It'd be good to get an idea of just how customisable it is in terms of organising sections/content (although the part about placing 'sticky' nodes at the top gives me very exciting hints) and how it appears for mobile users, so I definitely can't wait to play around with it.
    Being able to pin the OP to a topic is a brilliant feature as well. Can this be applied on a per-forum basis? I can see this being most useful in a 'News' forum scenario... I'm using Pages >< Forum integration a lot, so having a News forum design and News Pages database record design look more consistent with one another is something that really appeals to me (you guys just need to be able to fully integrate Page and Sync'd Topic Metrics and Reactions together and I'm fully sold!).
    Also very intrigued with the new Forum View, I have been using the standard table format ever since I first picked up Invision some 15 years ago, and I'm feeling like it's getting a little stale..! 😆 Looking forward to trying this out.
    One thing I'm very interested in knowing more about, design wise, is how sidebar content (the right hand sidebar, not the new nav menu on the left) will be displayed/respond to different device sizes. In the past all of that content just gets dumped underneath the main content, I wonder if that will be the case with V5?
    I'm also interested in learning more about that "Feed" button that I've seen on the Mobile drawer in that video, when you're ready to start talking about it... 👀 
    Well done guys, and can't wait to hear more!
    I imagine this would be a toggle in AdminCP to offer communities the option of displaying the minimized user info or not. Personally, I'd like to try it out, it seems interesting (and the minimized view here seems to keep the design consistent with the mobile view, which already displays user info above the post content in V4). But it'd be good to confirm if it's an option.
  9. Agree
    Esther E. reacted to Cedric V in Introducing a fresh new vision for Invision Community 5   
    This is remarkable. I love the new content scrolling feature on mobile. I'm this

    close on dropping XenForo and migrating to Invision Community. 😅
    Brilliant work to everyone involved. I love the new sidebar. Very cool to be able to link additional threads, forums or other features that are popular. Also, I didn't know Ehren was part of the IC Team. 😄 Good asset !
  10. Like
    Esther E. reacted to opentype in Invision Community Insight: Version 5 teaser II is here!   
    It never really was. Google just follows the user. If a site offers the most relevant content for a search query, then it’s what the user wants to see, whether it takes 500 milliseconds longer to load or not. Only if different sites have exactly the same ranking otherwise, then maybe your ranking position changes a bit. But in general, search results are not ordered by speed. That would be ridiculous. 
    Optimizations are still useful of course, but there is no reason to obsess about them. There are much more impactful changes to be made on the site itself, e.g. how to name pages/forums/topics, how to structure a menu and so on. 
  11. Like
    Esther E. reacted to Joel R in Search engine doesn't show results from forums   
    Some ideas: 
    1. You write one pinned topic per forum with the name of the forum board (eg. "Information on Calama" in the Calama forum).  
    Search will include topics, not the names of forums.  
    2. You use prefixes and reduce your forums.  You can predefine prefixes.  
    3. A general thought on user behavior: if a user needs to search your board to find the right board before they post, your board is too complicated.  Simplify, simplify, simplify especially in the beginning. 
  12. Haha
    Esther E. got a reaction from Myr in A (very) brief look at Invision Community 5   
    Matt will never give him up.
  13. Haha
    Esther E. got a reaction from The Old Man in A (very) brief look at Invision Community 5   
    Matt will never give him up.
  14. Like
    Esther E. got a reaction from My Sharona in A (very) brief look at Invision Community 5   
    Matt will never give him up.
  15. Haha
    Esther E. got a reaction from Matt in A (very) brief look at Invision Community 5   
    Matt will never give him up.
  16. Haha
    Esther E. reacted to All Astronauts in A (very) brief look at Invision Community 5   
    I'm not giving you money for shoes. Get a job.
  17. Like
    Esther E. reacted to Miss_B in A (very) brief look at Invision Community 5   
    Looking good. Exceedingly well done by the looks of it. You guys are revolutionizing the forum world with Invision Community 5. Hats off to you. 
  18. Like
    Esther E. reacted to Matt in New Spam Prevention Features   
    Ryan and the team have done a fantastic job with these new tools and I'm really keen to see how they help in the current spam wave we're all experiencing.
  19. Like
    Esther E. reacted to Ryan Ashbrook in New Spam Prevention Features   
    Spam has always been an ongoing battle for community owners as spammers find new ways to circumvent existing anti-spam practices.
    We have seen an uptick in new ways spammers are breaking through existing defense.
    As such, we here at Invision Community continue to look at new ways for community managers to combat against spam. For our September release, we have added several new tools that can prevent spammers from registering in the first place and help combat them even if they register successfully.
    Let's take a look at these new tools and settings.
    Geolocation based registration filtering
    Oftentimes, spam attacks can originate using bots and servers from specific regions. Using our existing Geolocation service, we have now added filters that will allow administrators to hold registrations from specific regions for administrator review, or deny the registration entirely.

    Using this, administrators whose communities are under a spam attack from a specific region, can temporarily filter registrations from that region. Multiple regions can be defined at once, and each individual region can either be held for administrator review, or denied completely.
    Disposable Email Filtering
    We have added an extra option to our spam defense system to filter users registering with throwaway disposable emails, which are often used by spammers to bypass email validation.

    During Spam Defense checking, we now also check the domain in use for the registration against a frequently maintained list. If the user passes through the normal spam defense checking, but is found to have a disposable email address, then the administrator can define one of the following actions to be taken.
    Allow the registration to proceed Allow the registration, but moderate all posts (which an option to remove moderation after a certain amount) Flag the account for administrator review Register the account but immediately ban it Completely deny the registration For both Geolocation and disposable email filtering, the existing Spam Defense Whitelist is always honored ahead of these filters.
    Contact Us Email Verification
    A common pain point has been the Contact Us page. While the spam does not go to a user facing location, it does still land in the administrators inbox, or other area defined by the sites Contact Us settings.
    To help with this, if a visitor who is not logged in attempts to use the Contact Us page, then in addition to the existing CAPTCHA, the administrator can optionally require the person to verify their email address before the message is ever sent. This applies to all Contact Us behaviors, including any added by third party applications.
    Cloud Content Analysis
    For our Invision Community Cloud customers, we have also added an additional layer of spam prevention after registration.

    After a user registers, or if the account has been dormant, then the first few content submissions will be analyzed using a custom developed algorithm within our platform.
    The algorithm takes into factor many different elements of the content, and will rank the post between 1 (not spam) and 5 (definitely spam).
    The algorithm can be constantly adjusted and improved based on trends without any intervention from the administrator, and without the need to update to new releases of Invision Community.
    The administrator can then decide one of the following actions to take based on the score that was received.
    Allow the submission Hold the submission for moderator review Deny the submission completely Of course, specific groups can be made exempt from this and not have their content checked at all, which is useful for sites with subscription based registrations which may not want to have this applied to new subscribers, but do want to have new non-subscribers checked.
    Spam can quickly become a headache for most community managers, and these new tools will help further combat it at the source. For our enterprise and Invision Community Cloud customers, being able to check for spam when posting is a new tool which will further filter out more of those annoying topics and posts.
    We hope these new features give you additional tools in the fight against spam.
    The features and changes presented here are available in the following packages:
    Geolocation based registration filtering, Disposable Email Filtering, Contact Us Email Verification: Beginner, Creator, Creator Pro, Team, Business, Enterprise, Invision Community Classic (Self Hosted).
    Content Analysis: Beginner, Creator, Creator Pro, Team, Business, Enterprise.

    View full blog entry
  20. Haha
    Esther E. reacted to Robert Angle in New Spam Prevention Features   
    This means no more sexy lonely women using the Contact Us form, lol
  21. Thanks
    Esther E. got a reaction from Adriano Faria in Move to another group after purchase a file   
    Wrong listener. There is a listener for invoice items as well.
  22. Like
    Esther E. reacted to Cedric V in Marketplace Closure   
    I wasn't expecting this outcome. It's no secret it has been declining for years, so action was bound to be made. I like the Dev Directory, it's a very nicely made alternative and it gives more freedom to our Devs. Well done.
  23. Thanks
    Esther E. got a reaction from LiveG in Site is down after php upgrade   
    That's correct. I would suggest reaching out to the authors of the modifications to verify that their applications/plugins are compatible. 
  24. Haha
    Esther E. reacted to Matt in v5 news coming soon...   
    In @Ehren we trust.
  25. Like
    Esther E. reacted to Joel R in Buying new self hosted licence - how to choose few applications?   
    The new terms only begin once you opt in to the new terms.  
    There's a certain amount of hysteria that these changes are being applied retroactively.  
    If you don't accept or want the new terms and want to coast along on v4, then don't accept the new terms.
    It's understandable that clients with your worldview will skip renewals, perhaps because of experiences in other forum ecosystems.  It would make sense that you are cautious about continuing to invest in an active license if, for example,your forum developer doesn't release any new features after years of no activity. If you truly and authentically evaluate IPS on its own merits by looking at the Release Notes and the Company blog, however, you'll find a development and release cycle that is robust, monthly, and feature rich.  
    The terms by IPS seem more stringent in light of other ecosystems.  I invite you to evaluate IPS on its own merits, instead of imposing the fears from other vendors.
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