Other Wanted: Basic User Manual for the Forums

Ludachris

Well-known member
I'm willing to pay for this and I'm guessing others might also.

Looking for a developer to create a solution that we can use to expand the Help section of our forums with more user guides on the basics of using the forum. This will be great for new people (like those coming over from social media) that register and aren't familiar with the basics of how forums work... like posting threads, posting replies, using quotes, using the text editor, using reactions, using conversations, subscribing to threads, following others, finding content with the different feeds, etc. Essentially all the basic core features of XF that many of us have used for years, but aren't necessarily very intuitive to people who have never used forums before, or those who are more familiar with social media apps.

Obviously each forum can look pretty different based on configuration and custom themes, colors, etc. So any screenshots or visual images might not work for all admins/forum owners, but I think this should include some visuals anyway. An example would be having an image that depicts how you can highlight text from a previous post and click the Reply link. Images of using reactions, or using smilies in the text editor, uploading files in the text editor, etc, etc, etc.

This could be a paid add-on that gets updated each time a major feature gets added to XF.
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
The built in help pages system allows for custom pages to be added.

It supports HTML and XF syntax.
 

Ludachris

Well-known member
The built in help pages system allows for custom pages to be added.

It supports HTML and XF syntax.
That's what I'll end up using if I can't get someone who can create something better than I'd be able to. Maybe just an add-on that imports a bunch of basic Help pages is all that's needed, with embedded images.
 

rogerl

Member
The built in help pages system allows for custom pages to be added.

It supports HTML and XF syntax.

It does, but I get what @Ludachris is asking for.

For those of us who use Xenforo on a daily basis and have grown up with forums it is easy to use, but we are forever getting users asking how to do what I could consider to be the most basic of things, and as it stands we can't refer them to the provided help system as it is severely lacking in content and instructions.

We could write it all ourselves, but most of the features provided by Xenforo are common across most forums and it is a huge duplication of effort for all of us forum owners to produce a unique instruction guide.

The same really applies to moderators - there is a User Guide aimed at admins, but nothing really showing the mechanics of moderating a forum which can be provided to new moderators.
 

nicodak

Well-known member
Lots of features including news are pretty well described and commented on in the Have You Seen forum ... you can use the screenshots there and even the text. Luck for those who have their forum in English and not in another language, everything will have to be translated but it is at least a basis for work and allows us not to start from a blank sheet.
 

sbj

Well-known member
Something like this maybe?
 

Ludachris

Well-known member
I like the Tours and Hints add-on, but I'm thinking something even more simple and light weight than that. The way I think it would make the most sense is to create an add-on that auto-creates help pages with basic instructions on how to do the basic tasks in Xenforo from the user's perspective. It would involve taking screenshots and highlighting buttons, links, and icons for these things. Maybe we limit it to 10-15 basic tasks.

  • how to post a thread (prefixes, title, message body, tags, polls)
  • how to post a reply (with and without a quote, using the buttons and highlighting text from previous posts)
  • how to upload an image ("attachment/upload" vs "by URL")
  • how to use the text editor (maybe there's documentation for this out there we can borrow)
  • how to use bbcode for common purposes
  • how to save a draft and post it later
  • how to use post reactions
  • how to use conversations
  • how to Watch threads and forums (and unwatch)
  • how to follow and ignore others (and what happens when you do it)
  • how to use the different feeds to find new content (What's New, Latest Activity, Your News Feed)
  • how to use the Search feature (basic explanation)
  • how to create and edit a signature
  • how to edit your preferences

As an admin, we can add more, remove and customize these to suit our forum's needs after the fact, but just having a solid starting point would be a massive time saver.
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
Just take some videos and upload them to a post or upload to somewhere like YT and embed them in a page node/help page.

It would literally take no more than an hour to do that.
 

Ludachris

Well-known member
Just take some videos and upload them to a post or upload to somewhere like YT and embed them in a page node/help page.

It would literally take no more than an hour to do that.
You can embed YT videos in the page content for the Help Pages, right? I've never tried it.
 

Ludachris

Well-known member
Does XF Syntax mean bbcode can be used? I tried embedding using:
Code:
[MEDIA=youtube]FroeN9LUnhU[/media]
No dice.
 

Ludachris

Well-known member
Would be nice to be able to type up the content of a help page using a WYSIWYG editor from the front end and paste it into the page content box in the admin panel and save it, keeping all the formatting. Maybe that's possible and I just don't know WTH I'm doing.
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
Write the content in a post, view the page source, copy and paste.

Alternatively, just use simple HTML formatting such as p, div, span, etc.

Based on your current abilities, I would recommend just creating videos, uploading them to YT, then embedding them using standard HTML code.

This page -- https://db76df28bf7ba8d3.demo-xenforo.com/223/index.php?help/recipes/ -- is just these few lines of code:
HTML:
<h2>Some delicious recipes for our forum members.</h2>

<h3>Apple Crumble</h3>

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SMe6LiwRPGc" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<h3>English Muffins</h3>
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BtQeFCTTc-o" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<h3>Bahn Mi</h3>
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MR2-x5XJMgE" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 

Ludachris

Well-known member
Used the full HTML that gets used in the message (with iframe wrapped in the bbMediaWrapper class) and it displays.

Thanks Brogan. Maybe I'll go that route.
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
Just play around with it - it's only HTML and CSS.

If you don't want to experiment on your own site, create a test.html file, upload it to your server where no-one will be able to stumble on it, and use that to get the layout you want.

Alternatively, create a dupe/localhost installation, or use an XF demo.
 
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