Our new web site + news on our 2013 product updates

Some of you may have noticed we've recently gone live with our new web site and branding. I hope you all agree and think this is an improvement over our previous design. 

We wanted to overhaul our designs across both our web site and products to bring this inline with the more modern windows 8 style.  Our previous web site design was getting a little tied and to be honest was a little rushed at the time due to time constraints. 

This time we've made no compromise, it’s took us many late nights to get things just the way we wanted however we are very pleased with the end result. I hope you find it easier to use.

Whilst we've been busy with our web site redesign we've not forgot about our products. We've been developing a few things quietly behind the scenes and will soon have something to show. To give you some idea of what to expect I’ll provide a little information for each product below.

InstantForum Icon We are running InstantForum 2013 alpha

Our updated site now runs a very early version of the forthcoming InstantForum 2013 release. We are using our own community to test some of the new features. We've simplified our community forums and merged all old forums into four separate forums (using the new bulk admin features in 2013). The previous structure was becoming a little confusing with to many forums.  

Our forthcoming 2013 update will include a complete overhal to our CSS reducing dependencies on images, using newer native CSS 3.0 features instead meaning fewer requests and quicker load times. Moving towards CSS to completely control the colors (no gradient background images etc) is part of our larger strategy to offer a visual theme editor & marketplace within both InstantForum & InstantKB. I’ll be posting further news on this soon. 

InstantKB Icon Influx sounds great – what about InstantKB?

As I mention above we want to keep our products simple & very focused so for the next InstantKB release you can expect to see many improvements around content management, creation & user feedback. We will continue to support and develop our current web based ticketing features within InstantKB however we won’t be improving this in any significant way with our next release. You can find a brief list of what we are working on below.

Instead we are focused on making it easier to import, improve, audit and collaborate on content within InstantKB. We’ll be adding bulk import options to allow you to quickly build your knowledgebase from an existing repository. We have a early wiki style system in development for articles to offer change history, auditing and rollback options.

We've improved the user feedback area at the bottom of articles (still in test) to help you identify which articles need improving. The 5 star rating system is great but there is more we can do. We are also working on a new notes feature that will allow you to add notes directly in-line within the article editor. These notes are only visible to staff members. These can be used to add feedback in a review workflow or just general staff only notes. No need for a custom field to capture reviewer feedback. 

We also want to make it easier to navigate & configure permissions and workflows so you can expect to see improvement in this area. 

You'll find several new reports to provide better insight into how your customers are using your knowledgebase.  For example reports to show what your customers are searching for , reports to show the most popular articles or categories, All reports will offer the ability to set a start and end date. If you wanted to learn what your customers are searching for around a product release this would make it very easy. 

We are also ensuring InstantKB integrates well with Influx if installed together.

The bigger picture

All these new features are great and we have many more planned but what’s the bigger picture. For us there are some key areas we are going to be focused on across all our products going forward. To help you understand what’s important to us I've included my top ten lists below in no particular order (just yet)…

1. Mobile support across all our products (both responsive design & native feel skin options)
2. Windows & SQL Azure support across all our products
3. Online Marketplace (skins, themes, plug-ins, language packs, user controls) for all our products
4. Marketplace browser (one click install / share skins, plug-ins) within all products
5. Restful JSON & JSONP based CRUD services for all our products
6. Web Platform installer support & improved installation experience across all our products
7. Further integration points between all our products if installed side by side
8. Out the box integration into 3rd party apps (SharePoint, DNN, Umbraco)
9. Better documentation examples and API information for all our parodists
10. Improved reporting features across all our products (provide better insight)

We don’t have any firm release dates just yet however you can be assured we’ll have something to show the moment we are happy with our work. Things have taken a little longer than usual between releases recently due to the new product development with Influx and re-branding of our web site but normal release cycles will resume now these projects are near completion. You can expect more frequent releases this year. 

I hope this little update was helpful and answers some of your questions. Of course if you need have any questions or comments I would love to hear your feedback. 

Post any comments (good or bad) below within the comments section, email me directly, use our contact form or post within our community forums. I look forward to posting further updates very soon.

Take care for now and as always thank you all for your continued support. 

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AlexanderGlenn posted 9 Years Ago
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You have explained very nicely about your website through your post.
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dylanhunter posted 9 Years Ago
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Amazing write up..would like to much obliged for sharing this with us..It is merely important to understand the framework of Influx.
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