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Website Improvements


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Some website improvements have recently been done on AFO. This update contains lots of bug fixes, dozens of improvements, as well as a handful of new features. In this post, I want to cover some improvements that have made to two key areas: activity streams and search.


Most of you are aware of the 'mentions' features, eg @AFO Admin, now there is the ability to ignore notifications triggered by particular members. The Ignore Users functionality has been enhanced to also allow you to block mention notifications. They will still be able to mention you in posts, but you will no longer be notified about it.



Activity Streams

The first improvement made is to change how the expanded/condensed toggles are displayed to improve their clarity. Many people did not realize the view could be changed. To improve this, the toggles now explicitly say 'Condensed' and 'Expanded', making it much clearer how the view can be toggled to your own preference.

All Activity - IPS Community Suite 2016-05-17 kq2d5.png
More clearly marked expand and condense options for Activity Streams

Next, a common point of feedback about Activity Streams is that clicking a result and then hitting the Back button in the browser means you are put back at the first batch of results, losing your place in the stream. It has now been improved so that clicking Back will load the last batch of results you were viewing, enabling you to continue browsing from whence you left off.

Finally, in the Content Types menu an Apply button has been added. This makes it easier for everyone to know how to save the selection of content types they had made (which automatically happened when that menu was closed). To alleviate this, the new Apply button will save the selection and close the menu, updating the stream results in real-time as expected. You can still simply click out of the menu to apply changes as well.

The new Apply button in the Content Types menu


While overall improvements to search (specifically the algorithms to match and return the results) are a matter of ongoing research and refinement which we will improved going forward, the latest update sees one small improvement to the options available to users. While you have always been able to search within a particular forum, category etc. while browsing that area, you were not able to retroactively filter into particular areas after performing a more general search. The update adds this ability to the interface, allowing you to get more specific results from a particular area of the community.

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