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[IPS] 4.0 - Staff Directory

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For many years, IP.Board has featured a "Moderating Team" page where the community moderators are listed so that users can quickly and easily identify who to contact in the event they need assistance. This page has typically been a somewhat generic table-style view of users who are a moderator of some level. The page is not configurable and has limited usefulness and relevance when you consider the entirety of the suite. It is a relic of an older age and it really stood out as needing an overhaul, so that is exactly what we have done in 4.0.


As mentioned above, the moderating team page has never been configurable in IP.Board. If a user is a moderator (either a super moderator, or a forum-level moderator) then they are displayed on this page. The users are displayed in basic alphabetical order in a table-style view and you cannot easily see which user is responsible for which roles on the site. Furthermore, if you add a moderator to another application (for instance, IP.Downloads or IP.Gallery) then they may not be displayed on this page if they aren't also a moderator in the forums.

We have completely done away with the way this page used to work and rethought it from the ground up. Its purpose is simple: show the viewing user which users on the site are "important" and their relevance to the site. To implement our goal, we have decided to make the entire page configurable.

In the admin area you can now create groupings for this page. This means that you can put some users in one group, some users in another group, and so on in order to better reflect the hierarchy of your organization. For instance, here at IPS we would list Management staff at the top, followed by Developers, followed by Support Agents, and possibly followed by community moderators. You can reorder the groups however you see fit to ensure that the most important users are listed first.

You can also now associate a template with each group. When you view the staff page, you will probably want to show a little more information for the most important users, but you may want to just show simple links to a profile for the regular community moderators. By default we will ship with 3 or 4 basic templates that we feel will allow you to display staff groups in different ways to better reflect your organization, however any administrator can add new templates by simply creating a template with the appropriate prefix in the appropriate template group.

When you add users to a group, you can specify a custom name to show (which will fall back to the member's username), you can specify a custom title to show (which will fall back to the member's title) and you can specify a bio to show. Users who are displayed on this page can edit their details right from the staff page directly.

Viewing the page

We wanted to allow this page to be set up to better reflect the staff on a community. A simple listing of moderators is no longer relevant for many users of the Community Suite - you may want one moderator to not be displayed because they only manage pre-sales questions, or you may want an administrator who is not a moderator to be displayed, or perhaps you want to create a game roster instead of displaying staff but you don't want to give those users moderator privileges on the site. Now you can do that, and you can better present the page to your users.

As you can see here, the first grouping (labeled "Management") is displayed in full width. The second grouping called "Developers" are blocks that take up half of the available width. The last grouping called "Support Agents" are rows of 4 blocks each. It is important to note that the interface is subject to change and we are still putting some finishing touches on this screen, however hopefully the screenshot will give you a good idea of how the page can be laid out to improve communication between your staff and your visitors.

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