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Introducing a fresh new vision for Invision Community 5

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Welcome to Invision Community 5! Over the coming weeks, we'll be exploring a bunch of new features and improvements coming to our user interface including our brand new theme editor, a new mobile UI, dark mode and performance improvements thanks to a reduction in both JavaScript and CSS. To kick off this series, let’s take a closer look at the new sidebar layout and new view modes for the forum index and topic pages. Sidebar Layout Traditionally, Invision Community has shipped with a horizontal header and navigation bar at the top of the page, which is still available in version 5. We're introducing a brand new (and optional) sidebar layout, which can be enabled or disabled easily from within your theme settings. The sidebar not only provides convenient access to your applications, activity streams and search bar, but you can now add links to nodes for even easier access to popular or commonly used areas of your community. For example - a category from your forum, an album from the Gallery, or a product group from Commerce. Sidebar-zoom.mp4 Forum Index: Feed view One of our goals for version 5 was to re-imagine new ways for your visitors to consume content, and the sidebar layout is just one of our solutions. Table view has been the typical way of displaying forums, providing visitors with a simple summary of the most recently active topic. Grid mode introduced cover photos to forums and is a great way to make your page more visually engaging, while fluid view allows visitors to filter through a list of topics to easily focus on multiple areas of the community. Joining these view modes in version 5 is our new Feed view. Optional cover photos and featured forum colours allow you to personalise each forum, and a list of recently active topics with snippets of the most recent reply allow you to easily see what each forum is focusing on at a glance. The topic list drops below the cover photo and converts to a scrollable list on small devices. It's our fresh take on content display, and we can’t wait to hear your feedback! Topic pages: Compact view In addition, Invision Community 5 also introduces a new, compact layout option for topics. We wanted to create a layout which placed focus on your content while still keeping all of the authors profile information easily accessible within a mini profile. Stats, rank, badges, reputation points and more can be found by tapping the icon at the top of every post. The mini profile strip has also been added to other areas of the software too, such as comments and reviews in applications like Gallery and Blogs, and will appear on the mobile layout when the traditional "table view" is used in topics. Switching between the new compact view and the author sidebar view takes just seconds giving you complete control over your community. Mini profile.mp4 As part of this view, you also have the choice to feature/pin the original post to the top of every page, making it a breeze for your visitors to easily understand the context of replies without navigating back to page 1. Pinned posts have a slightly larger font-size to distinguish them from replies, and we've thoughtfully truncated them on pages beyond the first to keep scrolling to a minimum. The new sidebar layout and view modes offer a fresh and innovative approach to navigating and interacting with your community. We’re really keen to hear your thoughts on these new views and whether you’ll be unleashing them on your own sites! We appreciate that no two sites are the same, and those who are a fan of the classic header look will benefit from quick styling tools and a visual way to re-arrange the header elements which we’ll cover in a later blog. We’re looking forward to showcasing a whole bunch of new features over the coming weeks - so stay tuned, and we’ll see you then!

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