SparkPeople's Start Page Has a New Look!

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Update 10/21/13 9:55 a.m.: SparkPeople's new Start page is now live! Read below for details and a video showing you how to use your new page. Thanks!

Good morning, everyone!

Today we are very excited to announce the launch of a big enhancement to your SparkPeople experience. We know, we know: Change is often viewed as a dirty word. It's something people don't always like, especially from a website that you are used to using a certain way. But this change has been many months in the making and has even been tested and approved by a group of SparkPeople members who got a sneak-peek! We wanted to get it just right—and we are confident that YOU are going to love what you see, too!
As a courtesy, this announcement is coming a few days early. All changes described below will go into effect by 10 a.m. EST on Monday, October 21.  
So what's changing? Your SparkPeople "Start" page. Members of SparkPeople know this page well since it's the page you see every time you log in to your SparkPeople account. That page has undergone a few changes over the years, but none are going to have as big of an impact as this one. The page is laid out in a completely new way, and even has some brand-new features!
Without further delay, check out the 5-minute video below to see what all of the changes will look like!


We have made these changes for many reasons—always with you (and future members) in mind.  We are fully aware that SparkPeople is a big, BIG site. We have so many cool features, stories, tools and resources that it can feel overwhelming—especially for new members. On the old Start page, people weren't sure how to begin. The improved Start page was created to give everyone a clear three-step program for using SparkPeople to reach their goals.
It prioritizes three main things:
  1. Tracking. We know that tracking food, fitness and other goals builds confidence and helps people get results, which is why it's Step 1 of your SparkPeople Start page. You'll notice a brand new tracking feature on the right side of the page that allows you to customize up to six other goals—they can be anything!—and earn SparkPoints for tracking them each day.
  2. Coaching. Step 2 combines "coaching" from our experts (in the form of articles, videos and other tips) with a brand new feature: the Goal Board. This is based on what a great coach or goal-setting expert might do with his or her clients: encourage them to write down, look at and visualize their goals each day. You can completely customize this section with your personal goals, inspirational images (from our site or your own photos) and more so that you give your goals some attention each day to stay motivated.
  3. Community. We've seen just how much of a difference it makes in our members when they connect with others on our site, so connecting with our Community in any way that works for you is part of step 3. A new Community feature you'll find here (in addition to all of your old favorites) is SparkTeam Bonus Points. For every 5 SparkPoints you earn each day, you'll get a bonus "spin" to earn extra SparkPoints for yourself—and your favorite Teams. It's a fun feature that we think you'll enjoy to help your Teams advance on our leaderboards. (P.S. Soon, we'll have another BIG announcement related to this new feature directly from SparkGuy!)
And just to make sure it would be received as well as we had hoped, we test-piloted the new Start page with a few dozen SparkPeople members during development and received overwhelmingly positive feedback. Here are some of their initial reactions.
  • "I was all prepared to be all critical and curmudgeonly and say 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it. " But I like it. A LOT. I don't use the current Start Page much, but I expect to use the new one. Everything I need is easy to find, and everything new members will need to find is very handy."
  • "I have just gone to the new Start page and first thing that comes to mind is:  GREAT JOB AT MAKING THE CHANGE! LOVE WHAT I SEE!"
  • "First impression?? WOW!! I LOVE it!! So easy to use, everything bright and easy to find…love the layout!! I think someone new could navigate it quite easily."
  • "My overall impression is that this will be a good layout for new users and it makes everything more 'one-click' for those of us who have been around for a while."
Note that everyone's Start page will switch to the improved design on Monday, October 21. We hope that you love the new Start page as much as we do, and that it helps you stay focused and get results from your SparkPeople program. Please share any feedback and questions in the comments below and we will try to address them by editing this post with more information when we can.

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


My favorite is seeing my goal board, now that is tops in my book!

One option for opening a link in a new window is to place your cursor over the link, right click and select "open in new window" or "open in new tab." hth Report
I love it! As simple as 1-2-3 and it's still free! Thank you! Report
It's bloody awful! Clunky, old fashioned and unusable. Report
I'm rather "meh" on it. One point is the lack of contrast, for example with the slider bars to track goals. While having things bright is seen as being great, without contrast it's just plain harder to use. Report
Still learning my way around. I have always liked the challenge of change - and to me this is a new adventure. Some things I do like - and others I not sure.
Thanks to all who designed and put into place the new Start Page!
barb Report
It still needs work. For example, from the Start page, I'd like to be able to open any of those links in a new window. Yet, some of the links cannot be opened that way. This causes lots of extra clicking and page refreshing for no good reason.

For example, just to record my weight each day, I have to go through the surprising hassle of first visiting the Start page, then scanning the Start page for the "Track Weight", then scanning that page for "Weigh yourself". After entering my weight, I click "Save Measurements", then I have to click "Return to Your Start Page". And then the browser does a complete reload of everything just to get the Start Page since it's non-cacheable.

Very absurd that the Start page is this hard to use.
I love being able to personalize goals (I also use the Other Goals page a LOT), the goals board, agree I'd like the Spark wheel to be higher up on the page. Everybody, you can completely delete any or all of SP's goals and substitute exactly what you want instead--you can have all 6 goals be customized goals you enter yourself. Report
I had no idea it was changing so I was completely caught off guard. I am still trying to figure it all out. Wish the wheel was the FIRST thing as that's always my FIRST thing to do. Oh well, I suppose I will figure it out and maybe I will learn to like it. Just call me a Luddite - that's what all the tech folks call me. Report
Appreciate all the hard work that went on behind the scenes too! Report
Good job everyone - looks GREAT! Report
I'm having trouble editing my tracking options. For me, having a goal of 8 hours a night of sleep is just settig myself up for failure. I've done the edit, confirmed I really want to delete it, but it is still there. That is frustrating. Can't comment about the wheel yet because I'd already spun before the change happened, but I have to agree with those stating that it should be the first step. Report
I appreciate the fact that it looks a lot more professional. No offense to your web developers, but the old layout reminded me of Myspace, which was a huge turnoff. This is much easier for me to navigate, and a lot more like a site with which I'd want to associate. Good work. Report
Really like it! One glitch I am having is that I cannot edit my "mood" slider or hours of sleep slider... they do not "remove" or even register if I use them.
I know there will be little glitches for awhile, until things get tweaked.
Overall, I think the change is awesome!
my 1 criticism is that the log in wheel should be first (#1). This is the same problem I had with the page before-you can be active on the site and forget to log in becase the wheel is at the bottom of the page instead of the top. In fact this very thing happened to me with the old page-- had a log in streak of over 1000 days and was active on the site ,but forgot to log in and I lost my streak. I do like the tracking front and center, but if there is some way you could change the log in wheel location that would be better--it would even better if the the wheel popped up when you come on the site. Thank you for always working to make SP the best tool to obtain and maintain a healthy lifestyle!! Report
lol. Was expecting new format but didn't see the new start page so was working on old page and in a click it appeared. Love it. I like having my goals right there front and center to quickly track. Took too much time before. Love having so many articles to choose from. SP has the best articles, but will definitely have to set a timer so I will quit reading and start doing. LOL Really love the site and I believe it will be easier for newbies, because there is soooo much on SP. Keep up the good work. Report
I especially like the goal board (motivational images on my main page = great!), as well as the sliders for tracking goals. Thanks for this update! Report
guess i am in the minority - don't like that someone has decided the order of steps we should take - print is way too big - no apparent option for hiding those things that are unwanted, such as the scrolling pictures, but will explore that... the page is too big, too busy, and can't imagine trying to make use of it on anything other than a computer/laptop.. where are the quick links? am I missing the nice easy way to our own pages?
would really be nice if these changes could be optional

maybe its coincidental, although I don't believe it is, but its crashed my browser 3 times in as many hours this morning! Report
Oops I need to do a better job of checking the time New start page is great ! Report
My new page changed at 9:00 (my time). I love this new page.
I can't wait to explore it more today. Report
I like the change. Can't wait till 10:00. Report
Good job! Report
Great job! The new start page is a VAST improvement over the old one. It looks much nicer, is better organized, and I can use it more quickly and easily. Well done! Report
So far mines still the same Report
When is it coming on? I am becoming a little impatient out of delayed excitement. Report
Mine is still the same. I do not see a option for the start page 2. What can I do to use/see the new start page? Report
I feel like I am waiting for Santa to leave my Christmas goodies...LOL!
I have no changes other than the new start page button Report
Mine is still the same. I was excited to see the new one. I live in Pa. Report
Mine is the same. Is there a certain time it will change? Report
Mine hasn't changed yet. Looks great to use. Report
I love the look of the new start page. Can't wait to get it. Report
Looks like it will be a bright and beautiful page, even easier to work with and find things. I'm looking forward to actually using it. Thank you SparkPeople for making continual improvements to your site. I love SP! Report
This looks like a really nice layout. Especially looking forward to the personalized goals in step one and the motivator in step two. Report
Looks interesting! I look forward to seeing it tomorrow morning. Report
At first glance, it looks great. Not sure about Step 3 listed at the bottom as I like have quick access to my teams, making a blog, my spark page at the top & without having to scroll down. Will reserve judgement until I check out it out tomorrow. Report
I like the new Start page. It looks like you can now connect to anywhere on the site. It was cumbersome on the old Start page to just jump to my team, and get started posting in the discussion threads.
I like this a lot.
Good Job SparkPeople. This is a great improvement Report
Looks good! Report
I'm looking forward to the changes! Change always motivates me... and right now, I NEED motivation! Report
The changes look great. I've used SP for a long time, but I know of a few people who signed up but found it difficult to navigate and so didn't stick with it. Looks like the changes will help those people. Report
Give an incentive starting a new approach. Report
Sounds great as long as we are not forced to use the new tracker. It is not something that would work for me. Report
I've been here less than 2 months. The changes look user friendly and maybe even a bit helpful for new comers. Report
I'm looking forward to the new format, it looks very user friendly. I was hoping with the new look and new spin wheel, my luck would change with it. But alas, even the demonstration spin gave the evil 2. LOL Report
Looks good. Can't wait to start with the new features. Change is a good thing. Report
I am looking forward to this change. My question is whether we're still able to choose which fitness/nutrition tracker we want...the old one or the new one. I noticed on the video it showed the newer one, where calories burned affected your calories consumed, but I don't like that one and am hoping my choice of sticking to the old one is still available. Report
Thank you! I was kind of broken hearted when I left (after almost seven years) for My Fitness Pal a couple of months ago. It wasn't that it was a 'better' site, but I've developed vision issues related to MS, and SP was/is just too 'noisy' for me. From the screen shots, this looks way more crisp and intuitive.

I love that you guys have done this the right way - loads of user input and months to get it just right. So excited to see the roll-out. MFP is just not home to me. Thanks again. Report
I can't wait for tomorrow now ;)
i LOVE and appreciate this site. i am immeasurably grateful to all the players who keep it going--conceptually and practically. i look forward to using and enjoying the upgrades. AND--please keep the ads if they mean the site remains free! so many thanks! Report
I hardly ever use the start page we have now, so this may change that! Report
There are toooo many ads on your pages. I hate when the videos start playing and sometimes you can not turn them off unless u mute your computer. For those of us that have older computers it gets harder to load your pages after you update.. I also hate these pop ups and my settings say no pop ups. PLEASE less ads that are videos or move. Report
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