26 July, 2016
By pkeogan
Who is the most important person navigating the CiviCRM website?  Without a doubt, it is the person looking to explore CiviCRM as a possibility for their organization. Making a good impression when this “uninformed user” first navigates to the website is critical.
 
Until recently it was difficult for the uninformed user to navigate the CiviCRM website. The website simply had too many options and it was unclear how best to proceed.   Too often this meant people getting lost in the site and not navigating to helpful pages.
 
In today's world people navigate websites faster than ever and expect to get the information they need immediately. No longer can a website expect the uninformed user to explore, they simply will not do it, they will get frustrated, and they will leave the site.  Websites need to be constructed in a way that drives user behavior.  All of CiviCRM’s competitor websites drive user behavior. 
 ...
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27 May, 2016
By jamie

Anyone who has tried to login to their CiviCRM database via their phone knows the feeling: utter helplessness. You would even be forgiven for thinking CiviCRM is actively hostile to the small screen.

This initial experience of the un-initiated CiviCRM user on the phone will probably remain until the eventual adoption of the Bootstrap framework (a CSS framework with built-in mobile/responsive elements).

What may be surprising to many, however, is that CiviCRM today is quite mobile friendly in all the important areas. You just have to put the pieces together.

After a long discussion on the Civi Partners list of the myriad ways CiviCRM developers have been integrating Boostrap into their projects, Allan Dixon started a page documenting them.

The Bootstrap page includes both the...

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20 May, 2016
By EvanC

About a year ago, IMBA's membership team noticed many of our members were renewing after their expiry date, and often after the "Lapsed" or grace period of two months we have in place. To help accelerate these renewals, our membership team decided to offer a "members only special"—a t-shirt normally reserved for $100 and up memberships for a lower membership fee of $50—if the member renewed as an "Early Bird" i.e. before their expiry date. Since this functionality wasn't readily available in CiviCRM, we made it a "call-in" special only, so a renewing member would have to phone up our membership team to take advantage of the offer. We had a positive response to the special, but it wasn't sustainable from a human resources perspective.

We decided to go digital.

Working with a contractor, we laid out several scenarios we'd like to use the extension—early bird renewal offers, special premiums for members who were expired, the ability to offer different premiums to...

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04 April, 2016
Click to play: "CiviCRM: Public autocomplete of organization names"
CiviCRM provides a "current employer" field for all individual contacts, and that field does some cool stuff. Namely, when you type an organization name into this field and save the record, CiviCRM automatically creates an employer-employee relationship between the individual and the organization. It's very convenient, and CiviCRM even presents it as an autocomplete when...
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18 March, 2016

It's becoming a common request from our clients to find user-friendly ways to integrate CiviCRM data with the rest of their Drupal website functionality. Oftentimes content creators without direct user access to CiviCRM need to do simple things, such as create, update, and delete contacts in simple, specific ways. 

Example Use Case

A hypothetical organization advertises various community service projects that they organize and coordinate. Each service project can have it's own page, created by adding a Project content type to display a description, images, videos, slideshows or other information for each project. You'll probably use a View to show multiple Project listings on a page. All that is standard Drupal site building content and functionality. No problem.

But what if the organization wants to display to the user the Project Coordinator(s), which they also want to store in...

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14 October, 2015

For a lot of new users, CiviCRM can be confusing and intimidating: there are many menu options, the software can do so much, they simply don't know where to start, where to get help, how to ... Get Started with CiviCRM!

Cividesk decided to tackle this challenge and has created a new dashlet that will be displayed on each user's home screen. This dashlet does provide an 'orientation' screen with pointers to documentation, helpful resources as well as links to the community. Here is what is currently looks like:

This new Getting Started dashlet is part of the upcoming 4.7 release (and you can test it on the demo site), but will also be part of the next 4.6 and LTS...

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28 August, 2015
By pkeogan
The Sustainable Furnishings Council is an educational and marketing organization, promoting healthy environments, inside and outside.  The council promotes sustainable practices among furniture manufacturers, retailers, and consumers alike. 
 
As we're seeing with many of our member driven clients, the Sustainable Furnishings Council wanted to create a visually stunning, mobile friendly website emphasizing member promotion as a way to add exposure and value to their members.    Member promotion drives value because the organization's website often has relatively high traffic compared to an individual member website and thus acts as an important referral source.  To do this effectively,  choosing the right combination of Website tool (CMS) and backend database (CMS/AMS) is essential.  Almost always, the CiviCRM/Drupal combination is an excellent tool set choice...
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11 July, 2015

At the code sprint after CiviCon Denver, Tyrell Cook and I tackled some much-needed updates to Civi's wysiwyg system. A wysiwyg editor (what you see is what you get) is the mini word processor you use to compose emails, activities, notes, and other rich-text in CiviCRM forms. The old integration was written back in the days when CiviCRM wasn't so flexible (before extensions, or core resources) and aside from letting you pick between two editors, offered no other configuration options (e.g. to decide what buttons would be in the editor's toolbar). Plenty of room for improvement there, here's what we accomplished:

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Configurable CKEditor

CKEditor is the most popular wysiwyg for...

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02 June, 2015

I am Tahir Ramzan, pursuing Masters in Computer Science at Virtual University of Pakistan. I am working on refunds, partial refunds and partial payments development for CiviCRM. Parvez Saleh and Joe Murray are mentoring this project.

Refunds and Partial Refunds:

Often, we need to tackle situation where one needs to make partial or full refunds. After this project users will be able to make refunds with friendly user interface and proper database records.

Concerns:

  • How to represent an administrative fee for refund? Who will pay this, buyer or seller?
  • How to link the refund with the original contribution?
  • Which method to use for processing refunds?  Check, payment processor or both.

Partial Payments:

Partial payments on the other hand need to be done when someone pays a part of payment contribution in installments. This will be very useful for CiviCRM users for...

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28 January, 2015

I’ve been spending a lot of time the past few weeks working with alpha versions of our upcoming 4.6 release, and I’m excited to share some of the cool new features and improvements. This release includes contributions of vision and code from a wide variety of end-users and implementers. The fact that our entire community reaps the benefits reminds me once again of the awesome power of open source collaboration.

I know how easy it is to miss some new feature in a release that you or your client could really benefit from - so I’ll try to dig down a bit and cover some of the smaller improvements. But first, a shout out to the continuing momentum in improvements to the overall user experience through the addition of short-cuts, more inline editing capabilities, more usable widgets, increased consistency,  and overall responsiveness. As both an end-user and an active tester, I’m really enjoying these improvements and I hope you are too. Kudos to Coleman Watts for leading the...

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