New Community Site improvements [Feb 2012]

New Community Site improvements [Feb 2012]


Hi everyone,

As you may have noticed before getting to this post, we have just introduced a few changes to our Community Site, with special incidence in the Forums area. This is just the first batch of numerous improvements we have planned for the coming months but we thought it would be best to ship early, ship often.

So, what’s new?


Notifications Post-it


We added a sticky note at the top of the Community Screen, where we will post important news and updates for our members. We will also use it to remind non community members how cool it is to enroll!


 You can dismiss this note if you want to.


General List improvements

We cleaned up Topic previews in Forum List, Forum View and Recent Activity Lists. You can now see a picture and post of the original poster and we also made the Thumbs Up/Down more prominent. This will help you better select at a glance which threads you want to read about.


For consistency, we also improved the Component previews in Component List.



We improved navigation between forums by adding a bread crumbs bar at the top of all forum pages.



Thumbs Up & Thumbs Down

Though we’ve had Thumbs Up in the Community for a while, they were so small they were easy to miss. On top of that, we did not have Thumbs Down at all!


We felt it was a good idea to potentiate this democratic way of the Community to self-regulate itself, as well as provide an easy way for the shy members to contribute so we propped it up in both the Forums and Downloads areas.



Threaded Mode in Topic View


Though most times our Q&A threads read best as a continuous stream, we feel on some topics you may want to cascade the posts according to who replied to whom. Because of this you can now switch from Flat to Threaded mode at the top of each topic.


Please note that older threads have no reply-to info and will display Flatly regardless of the mode.


You’ll also notice that OutSystems employee profiles are now clearly marked as such.



Quoting Topic and Quick Reply


If you reply to a particular post, the forum will now quote the message you’re replying to before entering edit mode. You can then pick which section you want to leave or delete the quote altogether.


Not only that but, to simplify contributing to a topic, we added a quick reply section at the bottom of each thread so you can just type in and go!



Official OutSystems Documentation Badge


Certain posts on the Forums are expertly written and then reviewed by qualified OutSystems staff before being posted and qualify as part of the “canon” of Official OutSystems Documentation.


Every such post will now be marked with this badge as a means for users to immediately know that the info therein is current and correct.



Official OutSystems Supported Component Badge


 Similar to the post certification process described before, certain Components available for download have been officially released and supported by OutSystems.


These Components will now be branded with this badge as a means for users to immediately know that OutSystems vouches for the providence of this component and its functionality.



Improved Profile Page



We have thoroughly cleaned up the profile page with this release. Now you can access all info about a user, including his posts and replies, his components and Wisdom Of The Crowds ideas and even internet persona (linkedin, twitter, facebook etc) ideas in a single profile page!


Similarly you can see how much the user’s contributions to the community are valued by his aggregate Thumbs scoring.




A lot more will be coming up!

Until then, enjoy,



Wow nice things done for and to the community !
Well done!

Nice stuff!

Certainly the quote, quick reply and identification for the 'official' posts.
Looks great, nice to know you have enrolled some of the ideas of others into the site too :)
Cool. Looks a lot better. Congrats!!! Great boost on Ux. :D
Great improvements!!!
Some really nice features, gratz guys!

Best regards,
Great stuff!

Small suggestion: Try to align the Reply / +1 / -1 with the title of the thread, and see if it looks better ;)

Great improvements :)
Nice!! Great job as always! :)
Great stuff there!
Hi everyone,

Thank you for your kind words so far. I'm glad you guys are liking what you see and I can promise there's more to come!

I actually have a question that I would like to put the community about a particular change we made that seems not to be consensual: I am curious to find out what you think.

You may have notice that our "topic previews" on the forum/latest activity lists now show the original post while previously they showed the latest reply. We changed this so it made sense to display the original poster's photo next to the message and because we believe that people sometimes want to know more abou the thread rather than reading something like "yeah, that fixed it. Thanks!" :)

What do you think: do you prefer to see the original post or the latest reply? Why so? Please drop us a line on this thread!


Well, my thoughts are that it's best to have the latest poster's photo, and latest poster's comment. 

The rationale for it is that if you're in a conversation, you want to see who replied the latest to the topic, and what was the reply, without having to open the page and read it. It's especially useful to learn if someone's question has been answered ("yead, that fixed it, thanks"), or if there still are any outstanding questions. 

The incentive for a person to open a thread with several posts, without knowing where it's at, is reduced if you only display the original post. Actually, if you go to the homepage right now, with so many topics with several replies, one has a hard time figuring out where can I help or join the conversation, just by reading the first post which was made several days ago already. 

It's great that there's so much activity going on in the community nowadays, and the Recent Activity page should make that clear. My two cents :)

Nice features !!

Mostly the Quick reply =] 
Miguel Melo wrote:
What do you think: do you prefer to see the original post or the latest reply? Why so? Please drop us a line on this thread!
(I love the new "quoting" feature, :D)

 Hello Miguel.
I believe both aproaches have their advantages. Makes perfect sense to see what the post is about, but it also makes sense to see "where the thread is at" at a glance, without the need to open it.

So why not apply both? For instance, keep it working as it is, but add a little expandable area that will show the last post as well without the need to open the thread. :)
Miguel Melo wrote:
What do you think: do you prefer to see the original post or the latest reply? Why so? Please drop us a line on this thread!
My peference would be: see the last post made. On this way it makes clear if the topic is 'solved' or not. But like antonio said, why not include both?

Show the last reply in the recent activity screen and show the original post as a mouse over on the topic title (just like in the WotC).

Kind regards,