48 months ago
I really need to finish up my Christmas shopping, and in a hurry. Typing the date into the subject just made me realize how close Christmas really is. Yikes!
Anyhow, here's some info on what I've been working on recently. It's mostly unexciting stuff but that helps from a UX perspective.
When new users register on the site, they're sent a confirmation email. If they don't click the activation link in the email, they can't log in. Previously, that login would just fail. They'd then try to reset the password on the account. All the while the account had not been activated yet.
Password resets are tricky - you enter your email address and click "Reset". What happens if you enter an email that isn't in the system? Common sense would say you provide an error showing there is no email like that in the system. Privacy will tell you different however - that a malicious entity could use that to determine which emails have been registered with the system or not. So to protect privacy the password reset always says that an email was sent out - regardless of whether there is a matching email or not. Password resets on unactivated accounts unfortunately need to behave the same way to protect privacy from 3rd parties.
What I've rolled out is that now if you try to log in on an inactive account, you'll get an error message indicating as such. (You do have to provide proper credentials of course.) If you try and log in on an account that hasn't been activated yet, you'll be told that and will be provided the opportunity to resend the activation email in case it got eaten by a spam filter.
It's not the most fun code to write, but it's necessary for a better new user experience.
Occasionally we have some users who don't want to adhere to our forum guidelines or don't want to be constructive participants on the site. When we see comments or behavior that detracts from the community we'll usually give out a warning. When the behavior is egregious, we'll ban outright.
Banning can have a strong impact though, particularly for users who have built out large saved part list sets, etc. All that gets lost as the account is no longer accessible. Occasionally what we want to do is a temporary ban - a warning of sorts. Until now that wasn't really possible, because a ban is permanent. Once you delete all the saved part lists, well, that's it. There's no going back to that account.
So as a compromise we've added the ability to ban commenting on an account. For abusive users we can leave it permanent - they won't be able to comment but they will still retain their saved part lists and will be able to create new ones. For users in "timeout", it can be a temporary thing. We think this will be a tool we can use to help keep the community culture in line with what we want.
Yep, I know forum search is something people want. It's on the TODO list with a high priority.
Also, I'll be adding in some additional notification options. I plan on adding in the ability to subscribe to comment reply notifications on topics, builds, and guides, regardless of whether it's in reply to you or not. Creating my corner forum and topics made me realize I want to get notifications on all replies to those topics, regardless of whether they are to me or not. So keep an eye out for that soon.
I'm also working on additional skunkworks type stuff. ETA is a ways out, but I think it'll be good. Really good. :)