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Updated version of Start page now available

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hi everyone

One of our biggest goals is to make SparkPeople easier and more powerful to use for all our members, both new and experienced. After getting considerable feedback from our members and coaches we re-worked our "Start" page, which is the page you see immediately after logging in to the site.

You have the option to switch to our new Start page, unless you are a new member who joined after 10:30 AM Eastern Time today, in which case you will automatically see the new Start page. If you are an experienced member who changes to the new Start page you have the option to switch back to the old, or "classic" Start page, right after you switch. You can switch to the new page by finding and clicking the "Try the new Start page" link on the upper left of the Start page. If you'd like to see a preview of the new Start page you can click here.

We believe this new Start page will make SparkPeople easier to use for everyone. Some changes include:
- Quick views of your goal progress on the left of the page
- As easier view of site content at the top center of the page, plus quick links to your special programs and challenges in the center of the page
- Easy access to the SparkPoints wheel and Trophies in the center of the page
- Display of your friend feed, and the ability to update your Status, on the lower right of the page
- A generally improved visual design, to make everything easier to find

As mentioned above, changing to the new page is currently optional. If you do change to the new page and have any suggestions for things to change please leave a comment below.

Thanks!

Dave H.
SparkPeople.com

***
Thanks for the great feedback everyone -- I'm happy to hear you like the new Start page!

SparkCheers!

Chris (SparkGuy)
emoticon

***

Edited to Add: We now have a new video showcasing the start page and how to use it. You can view it on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=To1XQWPwY3I
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRITKRIT 6/6/2011 5:18PM

    I believe I am still on the old start page. How do I get the new start page? I'd love to have my goals and progress on that page! I actually just posted a blog asking fellow sparkers for help on this too!

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RSSSLHB 3/13/2011 8:51AM

    Thank you

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CSMARTIE 1/25/2011 1:20PM

    Cool

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PID617 1/22/2011 2:35PM

    I love the new page and have made the switch. Everything is right at my fingertips on the start page - my Biggest Loser challenge page, my update page, my goal page, everything. I love it. emoticon

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CEEHJAY 1/22/2011 11:06AM

    I have tried the new Start page several times, hoping I would learn to like it. Unfortunately, I do not like it. Why unfortunately? Because I will be forced to use it on February 1st.

Things I do not like:
- The constantly changing content at the top that can't be turned off
- An extra click is needed to see My Recent Posts
- The loss of My Favorites links on the Start Page
- The loss of the Quick Links, Popular Links, etc. on the Start Page

The more often I have to click, the more often I have to search for what I want, the less friendly the page. The new start page requires too much extra work to use the features I use most often, and, based on my early reactions to the new page, the less often I will use the site. There is so much of value here. Why make it harder to find it?

Carolyn

Comment edited on: 1/22/2011 11:07:54 AM

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RISENABOVE 1/21/2011 10:43AM

    I posted on the other blog, but posting it here too!

I, like others, do not like the new page because too many useful options have been eliminated! No "favorites" which I use MOST frequently to access teams through the day! There is FAR too much space being consumed with "My sparkpoints and trophies" where more valuable tools that people use could be placed! The addition of "My goals and progress" is nice, but WHERE is the progress? "My personalized programs" if far to prominent on the page, and it's basically a useless feature because you have no option of what is listed there!

I just find the new page layout to be counterproductive for ease of use, accessing quickly what should be prominent! In addition, the new page is quite discouraging for those of us who use the old features to keep up with teams and encouraging teammates! Even my recent posts is not longer readily visible! It's just a lot of clicking and waiting for pages to load, which is taking SO much longer these days, that takes away from what time we have available for giving support, motivation and encouragement!

Certainly, it's not going to be a one size fits all solution, but having the option to customize, on an individual basis, where things are on the new page would be much more convenient and beneficial for everyone! But favorites being added back the the new page is nearly essential for me!



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HSTAUFFER 1/19/2011 10:35AM

    I am loving the new Start Page....I need consistent reminders to stay on track with my Goals! Thanks! emoticon

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GERI58 1/19/2011 12:30AM

    Outstanding!!!!!! emoticon

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ARIANERA 1/18/2011 1:12PM

    I saw that all members will be forced to use the new start page starting on February 1st. I've tried it and switched back to the classic start page because I do _not_ like the new one.

I may be in the minority, but I object to being forced to use a page with active content constantly scrolling through the middle. It is 1) distracting 2) makes me seasick and 3) limits the ability of users with limited bandwith to participate.

At a minimum, before you disable the old format, would you please add a feature to the new sparkpage that allows us to "opt-out" of the automatic scrolling of the "Today's Features" section just as you can opt out of the Autoscroll feature of the new Team Stream.

Thank you,

Ari

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15MINUTES 1/13/2011 5:59PM

    Love the new page!! Way to go!

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LAMBIERABBIT 1/13/2011 12:43PM

    Looks simpler than the old one. I'll give it a try!

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MYRNA929 1/13/2011 12:36PM

    I love, love, love the new start page!

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REALCAROL 1/13/2011 11:24AM

    I like the new start page.

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10TOES 1/13/2011 10:07AM

    I like the new start page but think that the point wheel pop up would still be a good idea. That was so convenient. Yes, I know I can just scroll down page a little, but the pop up was a great reminder.
emoticon

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VERONICAS_GOALS 1/13/2011 7:56AM

    like the changes

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GLORIAOG 1/9/2011 6:38PM

    I like the new S.Page...

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MMARLENE1 1/7/2011 6:34PM

    I'll give the new start page a try. The example page looks okay. I've been a Spark member for almost three years and have no plans to quit. I've gotten much information and the team I joined is great.

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MOODY9 1/7/2011 11:24AM

    What I don't like about the page and why I will not switch is because the "Today on SparkPeople" is gone from the right hand column. That is my favorite feature. I'm shocked it was taken away since now there is just a big blank white area!! I love that you can customize and put what you need there. If they ever add that to the new start page then I'll switch over. Until then my vote goes towards classic.

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DWILCZKO 1/7/2011 12:19AM

  cool!

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DALAI_LALA 1/5/2011 10:41PM

    I like the design quite a bit, except for the constantly changing My Content tabs. Maybe it changes too frequently for me, but I find it irritating and distracting.

The thing I really miss though, is having my top three posts listed under My Message Board Activity. That way I could check my most regular forums without having to go look for it every time. The one-click check in was the best!

Otherwise I really like the look and the items that are shown. Thanks for continuing to work to improve the site!

Lala

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SMARGED 1/5/2011 9:46PM

    I've been using the new start page and I love it! Much more attractive and user friendly! Thanks to all of you! emoticon

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MOM5INFL 1/5/2011 7:31PM

    I love the new start page! emoticon to keeping it fresh! Birdie

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MMANN5 1/5/2011 6:54PM

    I'm going to go switch mine now :)

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ECSPARK 1/5/2011 6:02PM

  Love the new start page! It's great seeing my overall progress in one place. Thanks so much!

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CICI510 1/5/2011 8:37AM

    I love the new page!! Its so clean and has everything I want. Thanks for the update!!

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STREETDANCER 1/4/2011 11:23PM

    I am sure you all worked hard on the new page, but I wouldn't want to use it as shown in the preview. The Quick Track window is too far down the page, making it less "quick." You should keep the Quick Track at the very top for people in rush. It is less essential that the Nutrition Tracker and Fitness Tracker links occupy that spot since they are easily accessible in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Also, I don't like not being able to see the SparkAmerica minutes. I don't care about tracking calories burned, and I think having the calorie and weight measurements on the start page could put too much focus on numbers rather than health and fitness. I care about tracking exercise minutes, though. Consequently, the Spark America minutes is one of the main ways this site motivates me to exercise more. When I see my minutes are low, I am encouraged to do just a little more.

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INSPIRED31 1/4/2011 7:19PM

    I like this one much better!

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MRS.DOYLE 1/4/2011 3:18PM

    I prefer my old page because it shows the "Exercise of the day" which I usually try to do. I couldn't find it on the new page.

Could we censor the greasy burger adverts that have been appearing on my start page recently. 70% off all you can eat in London and a big dripping cheese burger are not good adverts for SparkPeople.

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BTRUE2YOU 1/4/2011 1:02PM

    The progress bars don't show up on my start page, even when i clicked the "try the new start page" link. How can i add them?

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ANJUNA2 1/4/2011 6:17AM

    Great I much prefer it! The goals and progress bars are motivating and I like the quickness of have the nutrition tracker straight away!

Thanks! emoticon

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DHSPARK 1/4/2011 4:24AM

    Like the look and features of the new Start page...you folks never rest...always improving things for us...

THANK YOU!
((Hugs))
Deb :)

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BARBARAWEBSTER 1/4/2011 12:30AM

    I like it, but I notice the search engine on the top only has spark and recipes. Does that mean we don't get a point for google search anymore?

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JENAANN3 1/3/2011 9:17PM

    I like the new start page. Thanks. I had trouble following the 28 day challenge before because I couldn't find it.

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MMACD3 1/3/2011 9:09PM

    I really like the new start page! Thanks for the update ;)

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EVRY1SING 1/3/2011 8:58PM

    Count me as one who likes the new Start page. I like the progress bars in the lower left. Strike that: I LOVE the new progress bars! emoticon

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ZELLAZM 1/3/2011 6:58PM

    I switched to the new page format but went back to the old one when I saw that there were no links to my favorites. It would be nice if the new start page offered us the option to determine what content we see as we can with the right hand menu on the old format page. Just my 2 Cents!

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LAURAIPSUM 1/3/2011 6:06PM

    I love the new Start page. It's attractive, easy-to-read, and I especially love that I can scan my progress. Keep up the great work!


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JDOL1028 1/3/2011 5:16PM

    The new start page is awesome and I've switched. I'd love to eventually see the quicklinks and favourites as part of it as well.

As always, great work and thanks for the site.

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DUSTYGIRL25 1/3/2011 4:43PM

    Just checked the preview page. Looks good to me, I'm switching over!
Thank you for continuing to improve the site.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DOCTORWHO24 1/3/2011 4:00PM

    Holy Moly the new Start page is awesome!!! Thanks guys! emoticon emoticon

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SPALM01 1/3/2011 3:40PM

    I love (LOVE) the new start page; it's awesome! Well done!!!

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MASSPEACH 1/3/2011 1:04PM

    Looks cool! I think I'll switch over : )

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CLEARLYCOMPOSED 1/3/2011 10:13AM

    I am digging the new start page a lot. Thanks! :)

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BECKYLYNNE77 1/3/2011 10:12AM

    that is awesome i switched over i love the new page emoticon

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1849HOPPY 1/3/2011 5:27AM

    this is great. thanks SP for continually trying new stuff. emoticon

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SONYALATRECE 1/2/2011 10:06PM

    Gonna have to use the newer version...WooHoo!
Change is GOOD!

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MEMERE2003 1/2/2011 9:37PM

    I also like the new start page. Thank you.
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WILLBEE 1/2/2011 8:19PM

    I love the new start page!

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NIGHTOWL62 1/2/2011 7:40PM

    Love Love Love the new start page emoticon !

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TULIPCHICK91 1/2/2011 7:39PM

    I'm loving the new Start page - no more multi-clicking links to see various information, yay! Thanks to everyone at SP who worked to make this new page happen.

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