Development Update: Speed Improvements, 4K Images, Hire me setting, Stacked Images and Page Builder Upgrades
We love receiving feedback about ideas to improve the platform. Over the last year it might seem like we haven't been responding, but we have. The good news is we are back in the driver's seat pushing updates out on a regular basis again. Why did we stop? Technically we didn't, we just did a small thing called recompile your whole code and make it better.
Why did we recompile?
We wanted speed... we love speed. We wanted to reduce the load put on our servers with heavy database calls. Not only that, but we also wanted to make sure we could hire more people who love working with Ruby on Rails.
This took way longer than expected, but we have a 100% new code base live on the site, working at incredible speed and with a massive drop in server load. The annoying part is, it's not a shiny new feature that you can play with. The good news is, developing new features is going to be much faster now.
Hire Me setting
Our mission is to help members improve their skills, find the best training and also get connected with industry. We don't have a job board as often jobs are already gone by the time people post them, and people love sharing old job opportunities that simply waste everyone's time.
We prefer to take a more personal approach. On a regular basis, studios will ask us if we know any talented artists for a job they're actively hiring for. The answer is always yes. The problem is, we always waste time asking for approval by members to share their details with the recruiter.
To fix this, and to speed up our talent sourcing process, we have added a new checkbox setting located at the bottom of your Profile Settings page.
To save you time, click this button below, and we will flip the switch for you! (Make sure you are logged in).
4K Image Overload
We know you want pixel perfect images on our site. It's often at the detriment of speed, but we got you. You can now upload 4K images for contest entries and portfolio projects.
To view the full resolution images, click on an image from an entry or project page. This will load or gallery view. The icon will appear as a magnifying glass to indicate you can zoom in. Click to activate and then drag the image around with your mouse to take a closer look.
Tip: Make sure to use JPG images rather than PNG images when going this big. Sure the quality will be very slightly reduced, but more people will enjoy it.
Faster building with Image Stacks
We believe that adding images with our page builder widgets is pretty fun. However, having to add single images one-by-one to achieve a stacked appearance was always a little slow. The only available option was to drop a bunch of images into a row, which made them tiny.
We've got you covered now. You can now stack up to 10 images in a single column container in one go.
Page Builder UX Improvements
The page builder is our custom tools that allows you to create a single webpage filled with all your images, videos, 3d files, videos and more. Our goal is to keep improving the tool and improve the user experience. During our latest release we have done the following:
When building a page you will notice that the page builder view matches the end result more closely. This will allow you to truly understand what the finished result will look like.
TIP: Collapse the add widget sidebar menu to see everything in full-width glory.
Narrow Default State
All widgets will be created at a narrow width, instead of full-width. Nothing will change for existing projects, but having a narrow setting allows people will smaller screen to everything much better. This setting should also encourage you to add some full-width sections to increase variety and interest in your page.
There is a lot going on when building a new page, and previously there were simply too many buttons and options in the way. We have hidden all these to help reduce clutter. These action buttons are still available for each widget section, simply hover your cursor over to see them now.
When you click the narrow/wide button to change the frontend width of a widget, you now see this update right away.
Editing sections is made more obvious and easier with clear highlighted colour sections and bounding boxes.
More Achievement Badges
We are working on a major upgrade of our achievement system with loads more options and notification settings. This is still a little while away, but as an interim solution we have added some new tools to help us award custom badges. Just take a look at these new ones being awards to winners of our Weekly Drills.
Tasks being worked on right now
There are countless tickets in our development triage list. Here is a bit of a teaser for what is being working on right now. So expect a release soon.
- Import projects to entries - this is going to be huge. Choose existing projects that you would like imported to your entry page builder.
- Judging Updates - a happy judge is a good thing. Updates will increase the amount of eyes and comments about your work.
- Profile updates - ability to sort projects is on the way.
- Marmoset Viewer - embed your marmoset files right in your page.
- Contest Updates - new integrated draft badges, badges on entry pages and more automated messaging and badge notifications.
Got an idea for a new feature? We have a channel on Discord for you to submit your idea and get some backers for it.