Dashboard messages offer a great way to guide your users to the right content, notify them about other activities at your organization, welcome them to your site, give valuable information about how to accomplish a task, and more. Use messages to promote new content for an upcoming campaign, direct users to upload their content from a recent campaign, or onboard new users. 


You can create text-based or visual messages with the WYSIWYG editor to communicate information to your users, including links to important content like portals, saved searches, and external URLs. Messages can be drafted and saved for later or published immediately, and previously published messages can be edited without impact the published content.


When you need to keep multiple groups of users informed about a topic, choose to display messages for all user roles or only for certain user roles. Users in multiple roles can see multiple messages based on the roles selected. Three users may see messages A and B, while three other three users may see messages B and C. You can display multiple messages if that works best for your organization.


Create messages

If you have the Administrate System Messages permission, you can create, edit, publish, release, expire, and set permissions for Dashboard messages right from the Dashboard itself. The option to create messages is only displayed for anyone who has the permission to create messages.


When you log in to the Widen Collective, you’ll see the option to create a new message.



If you decide not to create one at that time, you can always come back later to add a new message or view and editing existing messages.



When creating your message, you’ll first choose the column layout. The multi-column layout options include an optional header, allowing for flexible designs. It’s also responsive based on your browser window’s width.



You’ll be brought to the WYSIWYG editor to add text and images, choose release and expiration dates, and select permissions for who sees the message. Save your message for later or publish it immediately.


Messages save automatically, so your progress is retained as you work on them.


Dashboard messages can include one text block and one row of images. The text block always displays above the images.



Add text

To include text in your message, simply enter it into the text box and select from different markup tools to format the text.



Add images

To add images to your message, select Add image and the search will automatically open. Enter search terms to find an asset to use or scroll through assets that are displayed, then select the one you’d like.



Crop images

Once an asset is selected, the cropping tool will open. Choose from the preset aspect ratios or drag the handles to zoom and crop, then click Save.


If you re-crop an image within a message, the crop size from the previous image will be used. For new images within the message, the crop size will be the standard default size (half the width x half the length).


For example, for a two-column message with two images:

  • Add the first image (M1). The default crop size is, for example, 100x100.

  • Change the crop size to 50x200 and click Save.

  • Add a different image to M1 with a default crop size of 50x200.

  • Add a new image (M2) and the default crop size is will be 100x100.



Choose display options and link images

After the image has been added, choose from different image sizes to display smaller, medium, or larger images; change the cropping; add a link to a portal, external URL, or other source; or delete the image and add a new one.


Tip: Keep image sizes the same within each Dashboard message for visual consistency when the message is displayed.



If you'd like to include a link to email someone, like a Collective admin or other person who runs your site, that can be also accomplished from your Dashboard message. To create an email link, in the Link field, enter mailto: and the person's email address without a space between the colon and the email address. For example, mailto:jsmith@gmail.com. When a user clicks the link in the message, their email program will be used.


Publish messages

When you’re done creating your message, select to publish it immediately or save it to publish later. Any release and expiration dates you’ve set, as well as the selected roles, will be displayed so you know who will be seeing it before publishing.



You can always go back to view and edit messages after they've been published.



Message settings

The message settings offer a way to set future release and expiration dates for messages and to display messages by role. Release and expiration dates allow you to create messages in advance - say, for a campaign that launches a new product - but not release them until the campaign is ready. Expire those messages when there’s a new campaign or another event to promote.


If your site includes a large number of roles, you can enter search terms to filter and find the roles you need. Select each role that should see the message. You can also display messages to all roles to ensure no one misses a thing.