Hello again, I'm back with another update on changes to expect in the upcoming Lithosphere design!
For reference, here is the previous update on planned changes to the board structure and front page navigation. If you haven't seen that post yet, be sure to check it out:
Today I want to focus on an area near and dear to each of you - your user accounts! We have quite a few improvements planned in this area that are intended to show off thenew capabilities of the product and push some boundaries on what we can show and how we show it!
User profile pop-ups
Now when you hover over a user's name on the Lithosphere, you will see a pop-up containing a brief overview of that user, including their name,location (if entered), rank, avatar,and some quick stats about their activity. We fully expect to expand on and improve what is available here over time, so if you have any suggestions on what you'd like to see here in the future please be sure to let us know!
Lots new to say about Avatars, but most of it has already been said by Susan & David on their blogs, so please check them out if you want the full story. But the important thing to note for Lithosphere members is that the avatar display format will be changing from 36x36 pixels to a 16:9 aspect ratio that varies depending on which page you are on. We will highly recommend that you go to your profile preferences and update your avatar after the new deployment so you can look your best! We will try to make the existing images look as good as possible, but there are limits to what we can do with the old formats. The highest resolution image for your new avatar that will be displayed is 256x144, so it would be good to choose a new avatar of those dimensions (or pick one of the cool new avatar designs we will be making available!)
Speaking of updating your user preferences, this page has been redesigned to provide a better tabbed UI experience, so that items you don't need are hidden until you select them. Within each high level tab, there are sub labels that you can select (like Display, Home Page, Privacy, etc.) to update that information - no more hunting through huge lists of information to find the preference you want, now you can quickly knwo what's available and where!
User profile page
The public profile page layout and appearance has changed a great deal from the past; but mostly it was altered to make a more consistent look and feel with the rest of the site. Functionality has not changed here, it's just arranged in a different way.
Live Now bar
New to this design is the Live Now bar, a new dynamic view to see who is online and when they last logged in! This is visible only on the front page, and replaces some of the text-based functionality of the Community Statistics section on the old site. This is very experimental at this point, so if you have feedback please suggest your idea!
Similar to the Live Now bar, we wanted to be able to display data about activity in the community in a new dynamic and interactive graphical format. So we created the Activity Pulse charts, which allow you to see quickly at a glance or click where activity is on the community, and what kinds of participation is going on. This pulse is availabel both on the front page, as well as further down the hierarchy, and the data changes depending on where you are. Again, another experimental feature that we hope you will help us improve!
That's all for today - wow, that was a lot of pictures this time around! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask in the comments.
Next time we'll see some more subtle differences and changes in the blogs, forums and ideas pages - see you then!
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