So - we're thinking about rebuilding Aus Infront this year. Making it responsive and other updates are on the cards. It's long overdue, we know.
One of the biggest things we want to do is open up Aus Infront to everyone. Make it super simple for anyone to post to the feed (with moderation of course).
Wanted to bring this up to the forum for suggestions. Let us know what you want, what you could do without, how could we make this better.
Is the Folio section useful? Does anyone read the profiles? What would make Market better? Do you want the studio directory back? Would an education guide help? How can we make it easier for students to get involved within the forum? And so on...
Let us know in the comments. Good, bad, whatever. We want to hear it all.
Sounds amazing, I've been waiting for an update for a long time!
It'd be so much better if it was easier to post of course and less spam haha.
I don't hate the folio section but I just don't think its working effectively. I think if it was me, it would only create a post when they have enough projects like say 6 and then they can have a featured project which is the one then gets displayed on the folio page. I think at the moment it just gets spammed when someone uploads say 10 projects at once, those 10 projects all appear in the feed and it just gets annoying. What was the original purpose of the folio section too? Should you be able to filter via cities/disciplines etc?
Studio directory back for sure, that was a great resource!
I used to like the profiles section but like most things it hasn't been updated in forever.
I think for me (I lecture at a design college) its recently been hard to suggest students using the site as its felt a bit inactive/dead. I think if there was more conversation in general and more active content, students would definitely feel more inclined to post and get involved etc. TDK are a great example of getting students involved. They constantly run events and nights for design students/graduates.
Would an education guide help? - What were you thinking with this section?
I think the visual responses were a great way to get students involved and more involvement in general.
Like a lot of us who still frequent the site, we've been visiting for at least 10 years and it always feels like the site comes in waves. I wonder if there needs to be more people involved so it stays more active even if some admins are busy.
Small suggestion but a thumbs up button would be nice. Sometimes you just want to give something a thumbs up without responding in a post. Wonder what others think.
I usually just look at forums and jobs but am wondering it its worth simplifying the nav - maybe social links can go to the bottom but with new share buttons for threads?
Also like JamesB idea about encouraging more student interaction.
With the way the education industry is going - lot more online students, less resources and unis/colleges encouraging peer reviewing, could be a handy resource. Maybe need to get some student moderators to promote and get some traction or a student specific forum.
I never stray much further than the 'Latest News" (front page) and the forum.
Personally I think AIF is one of the best design sites on the web and so is the forum.
Yes it has slowed down recently but I always stop by this site at least once a day.
I know it's only on the forum but the "Recent Work" thread is always my favourite due to the consistent, amazing quality of the work and it's pretty spam free.
I can echo pretty much all of the above without wanting to sound critical.
I do find the menu a but topic heavy which kind of puts me off digging through the site so maybe the KISS approach maybe better?
I'd kind of forgotten about the folio section which is why I probably haven't updated and added to mine in an age.
I would like to see more news and articles personally.
Maybe open it up a bit to guest writers or submissions?
Bottom line. I love AIF which is why I've visited it for so long.
You guys do a great job.
If keeping something like the Folio section, perhaps order by those that contribute to the forum the most, or at least each time they comment it pushes to top ...etc (and no, not just so I'm at the top - I'm getting out the biz in the next year or so - but I think it stops someone simply adding their folio and then never contributing to the site again).
--> Though folio should definitely be a single listing, with potentially multiple images within that listing, but not each image shown separately in the main feed.
--> And seeing more of @JAMESB comments, maybe just have either folio or directory, where members can post up info/work on their business/services.
And maybe something highlighted to attract/promote more student/graduate users as @JAMESB suggested. Possibly a highlighted forum/section, where they can post work asking for feedback from "experienced professionals", but any overtly negative, non-constructive comments removed, possibly user that posted those warned or banned (or "time out).
(it is possible to communicate to someone that their work is not very good while being constructive, which is what should be aimed for to help students)
1) Mentioned above, spam protection for joining up.
2) Initial post/posts, their first post must be approved by an admin before they can post normally. That way even if they get by the signup, if their very first post is spam they'll be caught out that way.
I think most of the ideas here are great. Especially:
::Auto subscribe to threads you've posted in, ability to unsubscribe.
Maybe open it up a bit to guest writers or submissions?::
My 2c is that with all of the industry pros that use the site I see Aus Infront as a potential resource for newbies. I guess I can see the site as specific to Australian industry professionals (to use themselves or for students to get in contact with them). I don't know any other site with such direct access to real world designers. I think that could be the point of difference from all of the other design sites out there.
There are heaps of places to get design related news (although having a local bias is great) but why don't we have educational resources like 'How to set up a print ready file'; or 'How to fire a client' etc etc? I would be happy to contribute to something like that.
Re the folios, again, there are heaps of folio sites and I use them before I would check out the folios here. Often because as @Dave says people:
::simply adding their folio and then never contributing to the site again::
Why not combine profile and folio into one section?