A Note about Recent SparkPeople Changes

By , SparkPeople Blogger
As you know, we’ve made a number of changes to SparkPeople's website (and apps) recently. Most of these changes were welcomed by the majority members, while some have voiced concern that the new changes take some getting used to.
I wanted to try and provide some perspective about why we’ve been doing these things, so that you can understand the strategy behind it and know that our goal is not to frustrate or confuse our long-time members.  

SparkPeople's mission has always been to help as many people as possible be healthy and lose weight with safe, reliable and research-backed recommendations to diet and fitness. That means we want to reach as many new members as possible. When we surveyed people about why they don’t stay on SparkPeople, the biggest reason is that SparkPeople is too overwhelming. If you’ve been a member for a long time, it can be hard to take a step back and put yourself in the position of a new member who didn't know where everything was or who felt overwhelmed at the large number of features. Many of the changes we've been making are to simplify the site, make it more intuitive to use, and showcase our best features. Sometimes that also means removing features that are not as popular and aren’t highly utilized.
Related Note: Earlier this week, we removed the Health News section from the site for two reasons. 1) Only a very small percentage of members utilized this feature, and 2) This was content we paid for from a third party and we were unable to work out a new contract with them.  Since this SparkPoints task is gone, we have combined the remaining health content (Health A-Z) SparkPoints task with the "Read SparkPeople Content" task and increased your daily Point allotment for all content from 25 to 30 Points.  Now you can earn up to 30 Points per day by reading any content on SparkPeople (Health A-Z or otherwise).

We also need to keep up with web design standards to make SparkPeople.com a more welcoming place for new members. It's been many years since we redesigned our site--something that other websites do very consistently. This doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate our long-time members or that we want to make the site more difficult to read or navigate. But if we want to appeal to as wide of an audience as possible, we need to innovate and change, doing things like adding the Team Wall, redesigning the look of the Nutrition Tracker, changing the layout and colors, etc.

That said, there will be design and formatting changes coming to SparkPeople in the coming months—changes that we have put a lot of thought into in order to improve the site experience for everyone.
We understand that when we make changes, there will always be at least a few members who are not happy about them. We always appreciate feedback (positive and negative) from our loyal and dedicated members. However, as you give feedback, we’d ask that you keep the reasoning for changes we described above in mind. We know our members love what a positive place SparkPeople is, and we'd like that open-mindedness and positivity to be present when sharing your feedback as well. Our Community admins and employees are a small group of real people looking to help people be healthier, and we know one of the best ways to do this is an open and respectful dialogue.

Thank you for your understanding and for your support of SparkPeople!

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