From yesterday's Spark Blog:
Good morning, SparkPeople!
Our team has been hard at work on several site improvements that will roll out in the next few months. We are always looking for ways to improve your SparkPeople experience as well as make the site simpler and easier for people to use so that they can continue reaching their goals.
Yesterday and today, you may have noticed a few small changes to your SparkPoints page as well as your Start page that we think you'll be happy about. (Sometimes change can be a good thing!)
On the Start page, we launched a new content slideshow with a streamlined look. It has four features plus a daily recipe and video below it. We did this in an effort to bring even more great tips and stories to you each day so there will be more chances for you to find a story that relates to you.
One thing we lost from the old Start page slideshow was the "SparkPeople Insider." This was removed as a conscious effort to make your SparkPeople experience simpler and easier each day—with one less thing to click on or read so you have more time to focus on the tasks that do more to help you reach your goals. (But don't worry, you'll still find many of the great "hidden" features we used to show on the Insider on your new Start page slideshow from time to time.)
With the removal of the Insider (previously worth 1 Point per day), we also cleaned up a few SparkPoints tasks to streamline your daily SparkPeople experience. SparkPoints are fun and motivating and we know our members love earning Points for different tasks on the site. But we also know that too many Points tasks can be overwhelming. So here's what we changed.
We removed Points for taking a poll each day (previously worth 3 Points). We love polls as much as you do, but compared to other tasks like learning (reading articles), getting support (posting on the boards) or tracking your goals, taking a poll (although fun!) is yet another thing to do each day that doesn't make a huge difference in your results. We hope you understand this reasoning and our goal to focus on the tasks that matter most in helping you get results. For people who want to take polls, all of our polls still exist on the site. You can visit our poll center and answer polls you find as often as you would like.
We combined 3 Content related tasks into one: Read up to 3 articles per day (previously 9 Points), Take a SparkPeople quiz each day (previously 5 Points), and Read up to two SparkPeople Blog entries per day (previously 6 Points). These have been combined into one task called "Read SparkPeople Content." You can now take quizzes, read slideshows, read our expert's blogs (including this one), read articles and more—however you wish, in any combination! With this approach, you will not run out of new content to earn Points—a common complaint before. Each piece of content you read is now worth 5 points and you can earn 25 points per day for this.
We combined 2 Health related tasks into one: Read a Health A-Z topic (previously 3 Points), and Read a Health News article (previously 3 Points). These have been combined into one task called "Read SparkPeople Health Content." You can now read either/or, in any combination, to earn your 6 Points per day.
We know some members will miss how things used to be, and we understand that. Change is hard—even when that change comes from a website you've grown accustomed to being a certain way. But we hope you understand our goal is always to help YOU and all of our members in the easiest, most streamlined way possible--and to make our site feel less overwhelming. We hope these changes will make your daily SparkPeople routine easier than ever—while still rewarding you for all the work you put into your program.
Those who think they have no time for a healthy lifestyle will sooner or later will have to find time for illness.