Friday, September 28, 2007

IBD - Admin's User Detail

Admin User List

Admin User ListWhenever I sign up for an application, particularly one like the Dashboard, I tend to wonder what is going on behind the scenes, and if my experience is safe & secure. I'm sure many of you have had the same concerns or curiosities. In order to establish a level of trust, I wanted to show you some of the behind-the-scenes views of the Dashboard, and give you an idea as to what I am able to control & modify.

The primary page that I've been spending a lot of time on since Monday has been the Admin User List, shown at the beginning of the post. As you can see, I have a lot of information at my fingertips, but I've tried to make it concise without being overwhelming.
  • First is the indicator for Administrators in the system. Based on user adoption, I think 3-5 would be the magic number, that way one person isn't solely responsible for the entire operation of the site.
  • After that is whether the user is new, or joined less than 48 hours ago. This isn't hugely critical, but has helped to indicate any new registration & possibly to welcome new users in the future.
  • Username is self-explanatory, and the link on this text leads to the Admin User Edit page.
  • The IB icon is for anyone that has entered an IB profile URL, and can help me jump between the sites.
  • E-mail address.
  • Indicator as to whether someone would like to be contacted with news or information about the site (although I haven't used this feature yet since I don't want to abuse it).
  • In the last login time, I have code that determines if someone has visited within the last hour, and if so, I turn the entire row pink. It's another useful feature to help show peak usage times & when people are using the site more often.
  • The red icon helps me reset any user's password to a default value, and the trash can gives me the option to delete a user entirely, including their associated icon sets. However, each of these are tied to "Are you sure?" javascript functions so that I can't do anything without purpose.

Admin User Edit

Admin User EditThe Admin User Edit page, as you can see, is quite simple really. It gives me the ability to change a username or nickname (in the event of someone choosing something inappropriate), e-mail address, notification setting, and whether to allow administrative control. Nowhere on this page do I even display their current password.

Sure, it might make it easier to have full admin control & change passwords when requested, but honestly, I don't want it. Since I know from my previous experience that passwords can often be similar or the same for related sites, I didn't want users to be concerned that I could pillage that data. Now, don't get me wrong. This isn't a bank site. If I was so determined, I could download the database, remove the input mask from the text field, and then find out someone's password. But really, I don't care that much. Really. I have a lot more things to occupy my time.

So I hope that gives you a bit of insight into how I've designed part of the Admin section. Over the coming weeks, I have more planned, and even some features that will travel to the users as well. Don't worry, I'll gladly be sharing what I can, and keeping your minds at ease about your personal information.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

IBD - Recent Updates

Stats Filter LinksI worked much later than I intended last night, but it was for a good cause:
  • Added filtering to the Received Sets page.
  • Added links from the Stats page to the Received Sets page allowing views of icon categories as well as icon families. (See Graphic)
  • Removed the "Obtain" column from the Received Sets page & removed the "Received Date" column from the Needed Sets page. This cleans up the data shown in each page, and keeping things feeling less cramped.

Check it out when you have a chance, and as always, your feedback is appreciated!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

IBD - New Family Page

Full Family List LinkPer a statement made by iconmaster in the IB forums, I created a new page that displays all of the available families & their respective icon set counts. That way the front page remains condensed, and a new reference page is born. Enjoy!

Monday, September 24, 2007

IBD - Menu Bar Text Changes

After getting some feedback from users in the IB Dashboard, I realized that the links in the menu bar were never entirely clear. Part of this is due to some of the carry-over that came from IconBuffet. When I build a site, particularly one designed as an add-on to another, I find that I bring a lot of the initial concepts into my own design. It's only when I reach critical mass of the features that I find ways to convert those "carry-overs" into my own concepts. To that end, I was still holding onto the "My" text on the links for "Stats" & "Icons". No more.

So, the menu bar has decreased in horizontal space, along with changing "Account" (another carry-over) into "Profile". Let me know your thoughts, and expect many more changes & updates in the next 30 days.

IBD - Set Allocation Display

Set Allocation PreviewFor the IB Dashboard, I just added the set allocation display to the "Needed Icons" page. This will help to show your monthly allocations of icon sets. It dynamically determines your VIP status, and sets the token threshold between a red or green box based on 10 or 30 tokens. At this time, I do not have it taking into account any bonus tokens for your account. That will be rolled into a future update. Until then, I apologize for any confustion.

IB Dashboard (IBD)

Well, for the past 4 weeks, I've been hard at work putting together what I call the IB Dashboard which is derived from tracking icon sets collected at IconBuffet. It's been an interesting exercise simply because I've never built a full web application from the ground up. I've been involved in many web projects, but typically, it was work on existing systems, that were undergoing a refresh, or needed additional enhancements.

So this has been an incredible learning experience. And with that, please understand that I'm sure bugs & issues will pop up, so just be patient, and I'll be working diligently to correct them & streamline the application as much as possible.

Thank you & enjoy the use of the IB Dashboard.