Perspectives release notes for 2/23/16

In this release ...

  • Embeddable story tiles
  • Advanced component block types
  • Table improvements
  • More custom style options
  • Enhanced navigation and presentation mode functionality


Previous Perspectives release notes:

January 29

December 18


Embed a story tile on another webpage

Beta customers frequently mentioned that they wanted a way to drive traffic from their website to their stories. Based on this feedback, we built a feature that generates a “tile” for each story. Think of these tiles as dynamic snippets of the underlying stories, comprised of the title, description, and an image from the page.  Users can grab the code for this tile and embed it anywhere on the internet  — a website or blog, for instance.  And that tile is automatically hyperlinked, driving traffic directly to the story.  

These story tiles can easily be placed on another story, as they are here, enabling the user to create collections of stories or story chapters using the media block.  It's a great way to showcase and navigate among a group of related narratives.

Use two specialized component block types in your next story

We’ve always said that we built the Perspectives architecture, this notion of component blocks, to be extensible.  That we’d make it more robust as we learned what functionality authors required to tell their story.  So this week, we’re putting that extensibility framework to good use with two new blocks, a full-bleed cover image and a stylized author block.  Experience them firsthand by opening the Add Content panel and scrolling to the new section, titled Hero Blocks.


The cover image behaves like any other component block — it can be placed and moved anywhere on the story, and fills the max width of the page, as you can see here.

We’re currently building the functionality that lets users place text on top of the image. Expect to see this functionality in early March.

Story publishers can now add their name to their stories with a specially formatted author block.  Built-in intelligence automatically populates the name, picture and email address from the author’s profile page, all of which is editable.

Check out the latest round of table improvements

The last set of Perspectives release notes announced the ability to display tabular data on the story page.  This next round of development includes more fine-tuned table functionality, including:

  • Columns intelligently resize based on width of text in cells
  • Flyouts for column headers and descriptions
  • Visual styling improvements, like decreased table footer height and reduced table cell padding
  • More intuitive hover states, such as carrots in header cells to indicate sortability
  • For accessibility, added “scope” attributes for <th> elements

Fine-tune story style with font weight and custom bullets

As a result of direct feedback from our beta customers, we added fields for font weight and bullet customization.


Navigation into and out of a story with ease

It’s now easier for story publishers to navigate through the Perspectives application.  Signed-in story authors now see a small pencil icon in the lower left corner of their published stories, which, when clicked, takes the author directly into Edit mode.

Expanded presentation mode functionality

The newly designed presentation button takes viewers into Presentation mode, rendering one component block at a time.  The presenter advances the slideshow by clicking the left/right arrow icons or by using the arrow keys.  You’ll notice that each block now renders in the middle of the page, a format more conducive to presenting content to a group.

Future functionality will include the ability to show/hide specific component blocks in Presentation mode.


Selected bug fixes and tech tasks

  • Lots of visual design and interaction clean-up work, including: spacing consistency between Edit and Preview mode, mobile and tablet text sizes/spacing, modal uniformity, image preview usability
  • Achieved zero-downtime deployment process
  • Implemented keyboard shortcut and default focus for hyperlink modal
  • In catalog, links for Facebook and Twitter now point to the correct URLs
  • Fixed several issues with tables:
    • Table preserves the column sorting specified by the story publisher
    • Subcolumns are now hidden (like Data Lens does)
    • Toggling from chart to table in the visualization modal now works correctly
    • Text descenders (like ‘g’ and ‘j’) are no longer cut off by the cell margin
    • Column headers no longer bleed outside the rightmost side of the table
  • Fixed several issues with story collaboration:
    • User no longer sees duplicate entries for story collaborators in share modal
    • Share functionality now correctly respects admin and super-admin credentials
    • Story link accessed from share email now directs the collaborator to the correct view of the story
  • Generic HTML embed modal now works in Firefox
  • The /about page now exists for stories; a regression temporarily caused it to return a 404
  • Drag-and-drop functionality for component blocks now works correctly in IE 10 and 11
  • Component block “Edit” button is no longer occasionally hidden by the visualization
  • The browser now loads the correct version of the story when the user leaves and reenters the page
  • Correctly route core requests through a load balancer for EU instance of Perspectives

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