In this second post of our three part series highlighting the key features of our 1.3.0 release we tell you why Userplane’s Role-Based Preference System is a game changer for dating/social networking sites.
You now have the power to customize your website’s Userplane experience with Roles and Preferences. These optional settings can be used to classify users, grant or restrict privileges, determine the inter-relationships that users have with one another, and adjust application characteristics. These settings are based on the roles that have been assigned to users (or have been paid for by users) on your site. These can be easily customized to suit your business goals by logging into your Dashboard account, adding or selecting the domain you wish to modify, and visiting the Settings tab within the Configure section.
The introduction of user Roles to the Userplane experience allows for classifying different types of users. Your Userplane account already has a single role, simply entitled Default. This role initially applies to all users, and has full privileges to utilize all default aspects of the Userplane experience(s) you’ve chosen for your website. In your Dashboard account, under Configure / Settings, you’ll see the Default role and all of it’s associated preference settings in a single column. Additional roles can be created, and appear next to the Default role, with their own column of preference settings.
If the Default role alone is not sufficient to achieve your website’s business objectives, you can create additional roles. For instance, you might want to have a “non-premium” user with limited privileges, and a “premium” user with full privileges. The existing Default role could serve as the base for the “premium” role, as the Default role already has full privileges. You could then create a new role, called Free, to serve as the “non-premium” role, and turn off or reduce preference settings for that role, to restrict their privileges.
The introduction of Preferences to the Userplane experience allows you to specifically tailor the use of Roles on your website. Not only that, Preferences can be used to grant and restrict user privileges, control user inter-relationships, provide an upgrade call-to-action, enable or disable site-wide application settings, customize locale text labels and messaging, and even setup custom sounds. By setting specific preferences for particular roles, you can control not only the user experience, but also, user inter-relationships. Just below are two examples covering the most common use cases for Roles and Preferences…
Example 1: Paid and Free Users
A common use case for Roles and Preferences follows the basic concept of a website with Free users who have restricted privileges, and Paid users, who have paid for full privileges. To dovetail Userplane with this concept, your first step is to visit your Dashboard account, and create the roles required. As mentioned above in the Roles section, the Default role can serve as the Paid role, since it is already fully privileged by default. You can create the Free role by clicking the New Role button.
Once the roles have been created, you can begin setting Preferences for each role. The first step is to set the Upsell URL path to your upgrade page, to provide link information for upgrade buttons within the Userplane experience. Add an upsell title and message as well, to be displayed when users do not have sufficient privileges to communicate with one another. Next, for the less privileged, Free user, you’ll want to restrict their ability to initiate, send, and receive chat messages – which are privileges reserved for paying users. To do so, find the Chat Initiate, Chat Send, and Chat Receive preferences, and set them to No. Those preferences are each accompanied by a “with Whom” preference, and those should be left as null. For the fully privileged, Paid user, leave the Initiate, Send, and Receive preferences set to Yes, and set the related “with Whom” preferences to Default, Free. This allows them to chat with both Default and Free users. “But wait a minute!” you might be thinking, “A Free user cannot receive, so why allow the Paid user to send messages to them?” This is done so that the Paid user can effectively nudge the Free user towards upgrading.
Given these privileges, Userplane will allow a Paid user to start and have a conversation with another Paid user. It will not allow a Free user to start a conversation with another Free user, nor with a Paid user. It will also not allow a Paid user to start a conversation with Free users. However, if a Paid user sends a Free user a message, even though the message will not be allowed to go through, Userplane will send each user a special note clarifying the inter-relationship between them. The Paid user will be informed that the user they are trying to contact needs to upgrade in order to chat with them. The Free user will receive a notification in Notify, telling them that another user would like to chat, but that they will need to upgrade in order to do so.
Example 2: Paid and Sponsored Users
Another common use case for Roles and Preferences allows for the idea of Sponsored users who have restricted privileges with exceptions, and Paid users, who have paid for full privileges. The setup for this scenario is almost exactly the same as Example 1, but with a few key differences. The Sponsored role preferences are set to allow chat sending and receiving, but only with the Paid / Default user, not other Sponsored users. This allows Paid users to communicate with anyone. It also allows Sponsored users to chat with Paid users, provided that the conversation is initiated by the Paid user. A Sponsored user is not allowed to initiate a conversation with the Paid user thereafter, nor with any other role on the site.
These two examples provide a peek into how the Userplane experience can be customized with Roles and Preferences. As the Userplane Dashboard and applications continue to evolve, additional preferences will be added.