All, August 23, 2011, 6:13 pm by Shadowfiend
There’s been a request near the top of our UserVoice for a long time — pretty much since this version of OpenStudy debuted — for a drawing tool to complement the equation editor that we have on the site. For geometry, a drawing tool is perfect for drawing shapes, angles, etc. For physics, a drawing tool lets you sketch a free body diagram to help someone along. For chemistry, a sketch of a molecule’s structure could be critical to understanding why it bondds the way it does.
We know it took us a while (we have so very many ideas and features that we want to bring to make studying better for everyone), but it’s finally time to deliver: say hello to OpenStudy’s new drawing tool!
A brief overview; we’ve kept things nice and simple. The pencil tool can be used to draw freehand lines:
The line tool can be used to draw straight lines:
The ellipse and rectangle tools let you draw those two shapes. If you hold down the Shift key while drawing, you’ll draw circles and squares instead.
You can use the selection tool to select shapes and delete them. Once you have shapes selected, just hit the Delete or Backspace buttons on your keyboard to get rid of them.
We’ll be adding some more features to the selection tool in the future, like the ability to move the objects you’ve just selected.
You can also undo and redo your changes using the undo/redo buttons. These work just like undo and redo in other programs.
Last but not least, every drawing has a `Reply Using Drawing’ button in the top right. This lets you copy an existing drawing into a new one, so that you can make any modifications you want.
The old drawing will be in a different color, so that other people can understand what changes you made.
You can also use the `Copy Previous Drawing’ button to pull a previous drawing into one you are working on now. You can use that to copy multiple drawings in, and each will get its own color. When you click on Copy Previous Drawing, the page will be faded except for any drawings in the current question. You can click on any of these to pull it into your drawing.
Drawing things for others is awesome. It’ll let you get medals for questions you could only have half-answered until now. Those medals, as you know, will get you points, and those points will get you to higher and higher levels, and those levels will give you different titles on OpenStudy.
But what are titles, really? Text! If I’m a Superhero, that’s all I am. Just a Superhero. No cool stuff to my name. No cape, no funky S on my superhero costume. Lame.
We have a cure. Starting now (actually, starting last week), various ranks can get you some serious bling. It’s time to show off how awesome you are on OpenStudy.
I won’t go into detail on what decorations all the ranks get you, but here’s the deal: initially, you’ve got a simple white border on your avatar, and a nice blue level circle:
As you progress, your level circle starts getting some colors:
And then your avatar’s border:
And then your border starts getting cool:
And finally, your level circle… Isn’t quite a circle anymore:
As the decorations progress, you eventually also get colored backgrounds on your reply. High-ranked users are easily distinguishable.
But that’s not all! If you’re the #1, #2, or #3 user today, you get a cool owl medal instead of a level circle, and your border color changes accordingly:
So show off your levels. Pick an avatar that looks awesome with your new bling. And don’t worry, we’re not stopping here. Ranks matter to us, and we want them to matter to you. So look for more bonuses for getting points soon!
All right, honestly, we didn’t add a dance tool. And your avatars won’t dance. We did dance, maybe, a little bit, when we got these features done and in your hands.
Let us know how you like them in the comments, or by posting in the OpenStudy Feedback group at http://openstudy.com/groups/OpenStudy+Feedback . And if you have more ideas, feel free to post them in the same group, or in our UserVoice, which you can always get to by clicking the red Feedback button on the left of all OpenStudy pages.