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Minor upgrade 5/9


roddy
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roddy
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This is what a "content message" looks like. I can add them to specific topics. 

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Just run a minor upgrade and have run around turning off all the new features before we decide if we want them or not. 

 

Some new stuff we could turn on if we want

 

a) Clubs - public or private areas for specific interests. Could, eg, be a more relaxed space for students from a particular university or city.

b) Reactions - I've turned most of these off, but if you hover over a like button you should now see you also have the option to 'thank'. We could set up any we wanted. I've turned off 'ha ha', 'confused' and 'sad' for now.

c) I can now prompt and / or require people to fill in certain profile fields. 

d) I can now add a 'content message' which appears at the top of every page of a particular topic. Might be useful for, eg, suggesting people read the first post in a long topic.

 

There are a few other things as well, but those are the main ones. Any problems let me know. 

 

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1 hour ago, imron said:

Can we also have a different icon for 'like' instead of a 'heart'?

 

Second this... hearts arrrrrrrgh  even a smiley face would be better. Like the thanks.

 

Agree with Lu, having "helpful"  back would be nice.

 

How does the quote button work? I see the old quoting system still works.

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There were some niggles there that took me longer than they should have to fix - there were more changes to the templates than I'd expected, and my development install is playing up. Anyway...

 

1) The quote button has gone back to where it belongs, which is on other websites. 

2) I've toned down the bright whiteness. To be honest, and as has come up, oooh, once or twice before, it looks fine to me. To be honest it looks worse to me now. I have no eye for these things whatsoever, and while I appreciate the designers might not be making your ideal choices I'd probably be more comfortable leaving it in their hands than mine. Anyway, comments welcome, particularly if they come with css selectors.

3) I don't see what's wrong with the existing reaction icons. Suggestions of specific alternative icons (ie, with a link to an image I can use) are welcome.

4) There's no reason the helpful button can't come back now, I suppose. Choose an icon. 

 

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48 minutes ago, roddy said:

To be honest, and as has come up, oooh, once or twice before, it looks fine to me. To be honest it looks worse to me now. I have no eye for these things whatsoever,

Compare and contrast (and note especially the lack of contrast in the new version)

 

Old

old.png

 

New

new.png

 

I don't care what anyone says, grey on grey on white is shitty UI design (note also the poor contrast on the 'Home', 'Unread Content', and 'Mark site read' links).  Viva la contrast rebellion

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58 minutes ago, roddy said:

I don't see what's wrong with the existing reaction icons.

Hearts are a bit cheesy. If I think something is a good post/answer/question, it doesn't necessarily mean I LOOOOOVE it. Even a thumbs-up is better. Though I liked the simple green number best. I'm afraid I don't have any icons handy.

 

ETA: @imron, I don't know anything about design (hence not having icons handy) but I completely agree with you. Low contrast is good for things that people don't really need to read.

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I must admit that my old eyes prefer the old version.

 

Yup, 100% agree with Lu, hearts are yacky. they are best left for teenage girls swooning over the latest heart throb. Please can we have either of Lu's suggestions or just a plus sign or something simple.

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Customization > Themes >  Default. You can either edit the templates and .css (anything you put in custom.css will override anything else, that's where I've made a change or two), or change some settings. Copy the default if you want a sandbox.

 

 

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That said - the examples you've given aren't actually things people need to read more than a couple of times - once you know where the home link is, you don't read it, you just click it. I'm not convinced that being low contrast is a problem. The only change I've made is slightly darkening the background to the actual posts, which is *reducing* contrast, not increasing it. 

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We've seen a nice bump in blog activity recently, with a couple of folk starting blogs for the new academic year, a Cangjie learning effort and my own (and contributors) photos on Signese.com. I've added a 'featured blog' post to the home page - this is manually chosen by, at the moment, me. I've also rejigged the latest blog posts feed a bit so it wasn't quite such a waste of space. 

 

There are a couple of other features I'm playing with. It seems I can...

feature content > as far as I can see this lets me set up blocks of 'featured' content. I can only do this at the content level - ie, a forums topic or blog post, but not a reply or comment.

promote > more geared up to social media - I can easily schedule twitter or facebook posts, and I can do this for topics or replies, blog posts or comments. That also ends up on an 'our picks' page, which I'll remove the link to as there's nothing on it. I'm keen on this one as it lets us highlight individual replies, which is often where the gold is. 

recommend. I don't know what this does. I'm going to try it on one of your posts above. [edit - ok, highlights the post at the top of the page, and I can add a note]

 

What I'd probably like to do with this is rework the home page so that it brings more attention to the best of our content. "Hey, does anyone know anything about Dabian College of Plumbing and Dust" doesn't need to sit on the front page for a week. A thousand word write-up in reply about someone's experiences there might. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 05/09/2017 at 2:27 PM, Lu said:

In that case, will you consider bringing back the 'Helpful?' button?

 

I've added two new reactions, "helpful" and "good question". All of the current reactions (along with Like and Thanks) give +1 to reputation. I'm reluctant to add any more as it gets messy, but I do have $3 of credit left at iconfinder.com. 

 

I had to tweak the icons to get them to fit in, but if anyone else wants a shot let me know and I'll send you the files. 

 

I'd like to see "Good question" used to let people know it's appreciated when they type up a bit more info than was perhaps necessary, on the basis that it's often interesting and useful. This guy could have just asked what the best way to do flashcards is and left it at that.

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+1 for the reactions.

 

roddy, I'd also very much like to see some kind of "featured" or "helpful", "informative" and changing (weekly?) post (not thread) linked to on the main page, above the latest topics or above the recent posts.

High quality posts where someone invested the time and effort deserve to be promoted and I think it makes the page more interesting. Recent and popular are not the same as very informative and high quality.

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