Since the original launch of SB Nation United, the SBN tech team have been working on two fronts: firstly, fixing bugs and other issues brought to their attention, but also gathering feedback by lurking in the posts about United, and listening to what you, the readers, had to say about it. Some of that is not actionable - no, the old logo is gone forever - but this new edition is intended to fix some of the most commonly held requests and critiques.
The main ones this update specifically aims to address, are that community features (Fanposts and Fanshots) got lost due to the placement of these features in the redesign; and the homepage has become harder to scan quickly for the latest updates to posts, Fanposts, Fanshots and comments. These have led to some significant changes on home pages, which will be released in early January. We want to give you a preview of the revised home pages and get your feedback on these changes. Please leave any feedback about the changes in the comment section of this post, which will again be monitored by the tech gods.
This screenshot gives you some idea of what to expect - don't worry, the SnakePit will not be switching to an orange color scheme and covering the Denver Broncos, it's just the demo blog used for the example. The numbers on the image match up to the points below:
- FanPosts, FanShots and Sidebars Moved: We are moving all sidebar modules to the right side of the page and increased their size. This makes FanPosts and FanShots modules more visible and makes it easier to see the latest posts.
- FanPosts Featured in the "Cover." FanPosts from site members can now be featured alongside the lead stories on a site. I'm particularly pleased about this, because there have been a number of Fanposts which deserved full promotion, but weren't able to get them due to the limitations of the new format. That's no longer the case. AND New Shorter, Hero-Style "Covers." There will be some new formats for displaying the lead story or stories of the day, that occupy less vertical space, pushing FanPosts up higher on the page and improving the scanability of the front pages.
- Local Site Navigation at the Top of all Pages. The menu top of the page has previously been dedicated to navigation other SB Nation sites. Now, it'll let you easily access the different sections of the SnakePit. But if you roll over "SB Nation", the full network, league and blog navigation appears, so you can still do both. This change will also carry down to all pages on the blogs, including article pages, FanPosts and FanShots.
- SB Nation Network Bar with User Login and Profile Information. The Login/Sign-up, Profile and My SBN links will move from the current placement just above the SB Nation menu items to a stand-alone network bar at the very top of the page, above the ad [those using AdBlock are probably going "What ad?" For them, just read "the very top"]. This change is being made to call those links out a little better, as well as provide the basis for an improved and more personalized network navigation bar hat will eventually include more notifications and expanded utility for users.
- Community widget. We have added a module on the right hand side of the page with easy access links to write a FanPost, create a FanShot, see who is writing for the site on the Masthead, and to read the Community Guidelines.
- Easier to scan river. By reducing the weight of photos and bringing consistency to how items on the home page are displayed, the river of content on the home pages will be easier to scan for new posts, new comments and updates to posts.
There are more changes that haven't made it into this release, but we're committed to an agile development process that allows for incremental changes, quick fixes and improvements, and ample feedback opportunities. Please help out that effort by leaving comments and questions. Vox Media strives to be kind of company that values our users and listens very carefully to your feedback, whether on SB Nation or our other sites. We know we can do a better job of this, so thank you for any help you can give us to build healthier habits. Not all companies engage with users directly, but we want to work toward a strong, transparent collaboration with writers, advertisers, and readers.
And thanks, sports fans, for your help and patience!In response to feedback received from SB Nation community members and site editors, the tech gods are preparing to roll out a revised home page layout on the SnakePit and across all SB Nation sites.