So, quick update here on some changes that have been implemented in recent weeks, and some that will be happening in the near future.
We updated what's displayed in user profiles within the forums. Speaking plainly, the goal behind this is to encourage participation, and to allow members to share links for others to follow their work. Here's a look at how they're currently displaying.
*Note: Most of what's shown is NOT visible on mobile devices, where we want to limit the amount of repetitive information on screen at any given time.
Starting out with the participation aspects, you can see that Post Count, Reputation Total, and Join Date are displayed. In addition, directly above the users avatar is a User Title, which is unique according to the quantity of posts a member has submitted. Then below the avatar is a bar, which gives a visual representation of how much reputation a user has attained. Hovering over this bar will display a description of their reputation, which again is unique based upon the quantity of reputation.
Moving on to the sharing of links, you can see at the bottom of the profile there are social media icons. There are over 20 social media sites which can be displayed. These are accessible via the dropdown menu in the top right corner of the screen when you're logged into the site.
It's worth noting that all of this is subject to change, and almost certainly WILL change over time. There's a certain amount of redundancy in the profiles right now, for one. Another area we plan to improve is with the Rep Bar, where we will design something more unique.
Another change that's happened recently is the 'Recent Articles' sidebar on the Main Forums Page. The article were previously displayed as shown here.
We've updated this section so that it now shows the header image, along with the title of the article.
There have been a variety of other small improvements since my last blog, but this covers some of the more obvious of them.
Looking forward, we recently asked for feedback and suggestion from our members related to a site logo. We're looking to update the site header in the near future with a logo, and updated text, so keep an eye out for that.
Then, tying in with the member profile updates covered above, we will be working on a variety of upgrades which may be implemented there, again with a goal of increasing participation, and hopefully just making it more enjoyable to engage on the forums. Some of the things we fully intend on incorporating at some juncture are a Points System (this would provide members points based upon any number of different things - starting topics, making posts, and giving or receiving rep - also things like uploading gallery images, making blog posts, commenting on either, and potentially a large number of other forum actions. These points would/could then be used for things like pinning a thread, getting a custom user title, etc.
Another thing in the pipeline is an award system which, for example, members could earn trophies based upon reaching certain reputation tiers, having their content (maps, games, articles, etc.) featured on the home page, gaining a certain number of points, and who knows what else. There's still much work to be done before something like this could be implemented, so we have no time frame right now.
And here is where I remind everyone reading this that I LOVE feedback and suggestions. We fully intend on continuing to upgrade and update the site for many years to come. Stagnation is the enemy of progress, and we don't intend to sit still. So, if you have ideas, suggestions, concerns, help us improve by sharing that info. You can feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment on this blog post, using the Site Support & Feedback Forum, sending me a private message on the site or on Twitter, emailing us at email@example.com, or any other way you can think of.