I'm pleased to announce that we will be upgrading the ABRSM forums to the latest version of IP.Board (3.4.5.) on the evening of Sunday 6th October. The forums will be closed for maintenance during this period. The current version has served us well for a long period of time but is now looking somewhat dated (as many of you have highlighted) and we believe that the upgrade will significantly enhance your experience as users!
The new forum version features:
- Optimisation for mobile devices - the forums will be far more user-friendly when accessed on mobiles and tablets, converting automatically to a simple one-column interface and layout
- Social media integration - you will be able to share topics via a range of social media platforms (including Facebook, Twitter and Google+) and we're also looking into the possibility of allowing users to link their forum profiles to their own Facebook accounts, if they wish
- Improved visual design - the forums will be better integrated into the ABRSM suite of sites
- A post 'like' facility - you will be able to express your approval for a particular post by giving it a recommendation (don't worry - we won't offer the 'dislike' equivalent!)
- A 'friend' facility - you will be able to add other forum members to 'friend' lists and interact with individuals more easily
- Numerous other usability enhancements that you will discover for yourselves as you delve into the new version!
- Most current users will lose their profile pictures - this is because the old system allowed for an image to be referenced on another server, which wasn't particularly good practice. You will be able to re-upload new pictures to replace your existing ones and these will appear next to every message you post, rather than merely on your profiles. We apologise for this but it is unavoidable as part of the upgrade, unfortunately!
- Your own personal post histories (and all old topics) will be retained, as will your rankings (virtuoso, maestro etc!)
As is the nature of these things, although we will do our best to guard against it there is always the possibility that we will experience some teething issues upon launch so I'm going to open up this thread so that you can use it to alert me to anything you spot that isn't functioning as expected.