|Managing User Accounts and User Groups / Configuring User Profiles|
User profiles, like other content, can be found on searches. Because of this, what people say about themselves — including interests and areas of expertise — can be a great source of information for people looking to have a question answered.
A user's profile can include biographical and professional information, along with links to content they've contributed. Use the Profile Settings page to edit the fields that show up in profiles and set up visibility options.
On the Profile Settings page, you'll find the Header and Other Profile Fields sections, where you can define the exact profile template you want to provide users so they can complete their profile. You'll see the Header Profile fields highlighted in the top left of user profile if they are marked visible. The rest of the sections (User Profile Fields and Other Options) give you a way to let others control their own settings. For more on this, see Letting Users Control Their Own Settings.
The application includes several commonly used fields by default, and you can add custom fields as well. Order the fields in the same order you want users to see them. Keep in mind that if you allow people to register themselves, you can define a form with a subset of these customized fields for a person to complete when they register. To create a custom field, click Create new field....
To change the behavior of a profile field, click the appropriate icon under Manage Properties. These icons define the field's behavior in the system -- who can see it, whether it's editable, and so on. Be sure to consider whether or how a field should be visible. For example, in some communities people might not want their phone number widely visible.
Give some thought to how people will be using profiles -- to introduce themselves or to find other people, for example -- then select or clear attributes accordingly. For example, making too many fields required could have the effect of discouraging people from completing them. The following list describes the attributes you can assign the profile field.
The Custom Profile Fields section is where you can create customized fields for user profiles. When you add two or more custom fields, you can adjust the order by clicking the up or down arrows in the Order column.