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Guest Blog: Joel's 5 Secret Interface Tips

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Yet again, Joel hijacks our company blog for another generous slice of knowledge from the front-lines of administrating a successful community.

Inspired by Invision Community client @Joey_M who discovered the emoji of serendipity and chief architect @Matt who literally knows everything about Invision Community in ACP Tips and Tricks, they both made me realize there’s always something to learn no matter your level of experience. 

You know how to post.  You know how to react.  You sometimes spice it up and make a poll.  And for the most part, you and your users go about your forum lives with a secure sense of certainty and satisfaction that you know how to interact with your community.

But what if I told you there’s a whole world of wonder at your fingertips, young grasshopper?  Your Invision Community includes stars to navigate by; magical pictures that appear and disappear; and little yellow men who giggle, laugh, and sometimes roll over in delight. 

Here are 5 hidden tips to help you discover a little more of the IPS magic for you and your users.  

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How do you know what you don’t know?

1. Click-and-hold

Be sure to dazzle your users with this secret way of changing your content title.  Change titles of your content items such as topic titles, album titles, and download files by using the click-and-hold strategy. Go to your forums and click-and-hold down the mouse over any topic title until you see that you’re able to edit the title.  Surprise! Use this secret strategy as the perfect way to quickly mass edit titles.

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Click-and-impress your users with the click-and-hold strategy

2. Stars and Dots

Active forum users jump around dozens of boards every day to stay involved.  And within a loooong topic with many pages, you need a fast way to jump to the most recent unread topic.  Before each topic is an icon: either a dot or a star.  Clicking these icons will always jump you to the latest unread post, so you can quickly dive back into the conversation.  Dot means unread; Star means you participated in the topic.

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My forum icon constellation tells me that I’m most compatible with a Capricorn.

3. Emoji Short-codes

One of the newest features to be included in Invision Community is emojis.  While there are ways to insert emojis from both mobile keyboards and the editor, you can also start typing “:thumbs up:” to reveal the secret emoji menu.  Try it now in the comments of this article. Last person to give me an emoji thumbs up wins! 

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Be a 💯 with 🙂 

4. Image Attachments

Forum posts come alive with image attachments that add color and vibrancy. But adding thumbnails to the bottom of your posts is a missed opportunity to enrich your post at the appropriate spots within the post.  After you upload an image attachment to a forum post, double-click on the image attachment.  You’ll be presented with a secret menu with options to align and resize, so you can create stunning forum posts with images.

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Much color. Much alignment. So much wow.

5. Profile Banners

Banners play a prominent part in multiple parts of the community, such as the Calendar, Profile, Clubs, and Blogs.  But usually the page only displays a portion of the banner, and most of the banner is hidden.  If you ever want to see the full banner in all of its glory, click near the top of the banner to auto-magically reveal everything!  Now you see, now you don’t.  

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The iceberg is a metaphor

How many of these five secret tips did you know?

If you knew all five, give yourself a round of applause!  It’s rare for even the most seasoned Invision Community administrator to know all five, and you’ve mastered them all.

Did you know four?  Congrats, you’ve done a great job of exploring your community suite and you should keep it up.

Did you know three or less?  You should do some serious soul searching. Kidding. 

But it’s a definite sign that your soul would benefit from reading Invision Community News for more useful tips.  

Becoming a great community manager is a combination of community strategy and product knowledge.  By empowering yourself with more functional knowledge and tools, you’re giving yourself the ability to leverage a bigger toolkit.  Whether you’re typing emoji short-codes to laugh with your members or inserting attachments into a tutorial on hidden tips for your community, I hope you learned something new, something surprising, and something perhaps even a little wonderful. 

Let us know in the comments below what hidden tip surprised you the most.     

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