The SparkPeople Blog

SparkPeople's Start Page Has a New Look!

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/18/2013 12:00 AM   :  167 comments   :  24,871 Views

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.


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  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
 

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Comments

  • 167
    I was away from Spark for a while, and came back to the new page. I love it! It's much easier to navigate to everywhere I want to check. I especially like the Goal Board. I've had one on the wall in front of my stationary bike, and one as a PowerPoint, and a hard copy in a binder. THIS is the only one I actually see every day! - 1/8/2014   12:41:23 PM
  • RR19054
    166
    I like the new page, but I have been unable to find out how to turn the meal planner back on after turning it off several months ago. The help file says that there is a link directly under the date on My Nutrition tracker, but it is not there. If someone knows how to turn the meal planner back on, I would appreciate the information. - 11/25/2013   11:04:38 AM
  • 165
    Thank you. New is good.
    This article (now Nov.21, I read it) helps with the confusion in last month about login spark points & streaks not seeming to be accurate. I reset several times.
    Like the 3 step Parts. LOVE the Goal Board (once I figured it out!) Community links are helpful. Yes, after that, the list does seem to go on...on...Adjustment here would be nice.
    Miss access to Favorites. Old Spark Points could be cleaned up.
    **Really don't like the Friend Activity page coming up just after Log in. Want to go directly to Start. Changed the feed & now have to wait DAYS for the stats to go away. Any changes here?? - 11/21/2013   12:56:25 PM
  • 164
    sorry duplicate please delete - 11/11/2013   1:44:39 PM
  • 163
    I don't care for it much BUT it didn't bother me as much as when they messed up the fitness tracker (THAT WAS BAD) I can take it or leave it as I generally do not go to the start page all that much.
    - 11/11/2013   1:44:37 PM
  • ANDIRUNS1
    162
    I stopped using SP for awhile (I needed a break from online tracking and was using old fashioned pen and paper) and came back to this new look. I'm not all that sure I like it. Sure, it's fresh to have things broken down into three steps, but of all the sites I have ever used for tracking, this one is by far the busiest. I'm not sure you could cram any more information on one page. I find it overwhelming. Simple is definitely better. - 11/7/2013   7:41:59 PM
  • 161
    I love the new lay out. I find it more aesthetically pleasing. Good job Spark People! - 11/3/2013   10:34:39 AM
  • 160
    The site seems to take a lot longer to log food and other things because it keeps locking up with all the pop up ads you keep adding. Too bad this isn't about the site it used to be and all about the advertising it has become. - 10/30/2013   8:52:18 AM
  • CORGIGIRL2
    159
    I am still getting used to this but . . . where is the spinner? It is probably obvious, but I can't find it! - 10/29/2013   7:04:31 AM
  • 158
    From the start page is not connect to the nutrition or fitness trackers all the time. Sometimes I have to click more than once or come back in a little while.
    - 10/25/2013   11:03:24 AM
  • 157
    So far, I'm not impressed but we shall see. - 10/25/2013   6:45:16 AM
  • 156
    Meh! I liked it the way it was before. I now pretty much ignore the Start page. - 10/24/2013   1:56:44 PM
  • 155
    i want it! - 10/24/2013   1:01:13 PM
  • 154
    LOVE IT! It keeps the most important things front and center. Thank you!!!!! - 10/24/2013   5:04:13 AM
  • 153
    At first it was a bit difficult to find things. It took me a while to find the spinning wheel, but I'm starting to understand and appreciate some of the new features. I do enjoy the motivational posters and the ability to set our own goals and earn extra points for them. - 10/24/2013   2:05:06 AM
  • TRIKSTER2
    152
    As an old timer I absolutely hate it.

    Knock off trying to push your less used features in our face, and give us the option for a page with quick links to the food and weight tracker and login wheel. I don't care if the rest of the page is all spark promotions, anything without quick, stand-out access to those features will be a fail for most of us folks that have been around for a bit.

    BTW there is a lot of competition out there. This whole "ignore your core users" fiasco has me reviewing the alternatives again. - 10/24/2013   1:34:51 AM
  • 151
    This page was a surprise to me because I do most of my logging from my smartphone. Now the free app installed on my phone won't access the page. It won't even download any more. Will I have to purchase the new app or is this just temporary? - 10/23/2013   8:18:35 AM
  • 150
    I think it is great that you are always updating and improving things on this sight. For all the negative comments I read..geesh...someone complaining about ads..really...it is a FREE sight, if there weren't ads then maybe you would have to pay..how would you like that???? For the ones saying they are quitting or not even trying because of the negative feedback..you are just looking for an excuse..a new page is not a reason to quit a sight..I bet all of you that are complaining still wear MC Hammer pants and blue eyeshadow too..your are stuck in a time warp!! - 10/22/2013   9:31:04 PM
  • 149
    I LOVE the new start page. It has a very fresh look, and I loved being able to type out my goals and small steps and then having them show up on the scroller. I also like the article feed at the bottom. Nicely done - it sparks me :-) - 10/22/2013   9:16:43 PM
  • 148
    It's fine. I'll get used to it. - 10/22/2013   3:45:41 PM
  • 147
    I don't mind the change from what I've looked at so far, but would like to have quick access to my Favorites from the main page again. - 10/22/2013   1:00:10 PM
  • DEEALLEN9100
    146
    It will take time, but I'm sure I will learn to like it.
    - 10/22/2013   12:10:17 PM
  • 145
    If Spark personal are reading these could you fix the website to delete more items than one at a time on these lists ;

    EDIT MANUALLY ENTERED FOOLS

    EDIT LIST OF FAVORITES

    I would love to clean those two lists of mine up, but it is soooo slow and time consuming to do it one item at a time.

    Thank you - 10/22/2013   11:45:02 AM
  • 144
    I really wish I could track my water directly on the front page like it used to be. :( - 10/22/2013   9:25:05 AM
  • GAMMER3
    143
    All these negative comments are scaring me. I don't think I'll even bother but, that's a shame because I have really enjoyed SPARK in the past - 10/22/2013   7:23:55 AM
  • 142
    I HATE the ad videos and all the ads. Many of the talking ads do not have a way to turn them off - 10/22/2013   7:03:53 AM
  • 141
    For the people who don't quite like the Start Page go over to your Spark Points page and down the right side you can find a lot of what you want in a faster way. I am usually the first one to be resistant to change but the new Start Page I like. I hate Spark Coach so I didn't go on past the trial period but I can see for certain people it would be helpful, good luck all~ - 10/22/2013   6:28:46 AM
  • 140
    I LOVE it too! It reminds me a little of SparkCoach, in that you progress through some basic steps each day, which builds consistency! Great job! - 10/22/2013   4:45:30 AM
  • 139
    LOVE IT!!! Thank you for the new and improved version! - 10/21/2013   11:56:52 PM
  • COLLINDIETIKER
    138
    I hate it!!! Where is the spark summary calendar? This new page is so frustrating it is making me quit this site after I have successfully lost 50 lbs using the old page. I hate this. I hate this, because I have not reached my goal and now I feel like I am starting over. I hate this!!!! - 10/21/2013   11:16:12 PM
  • 137
    Is Spark Coach changing too with the new Spark Page? Are they going to be integrated together? - 10/21/2013   10:44:31 PM
  • 136
    LOVE IT!!!!
    - 10/21/2013   10:37:47 PM
  • 135
    Possibly a dumb question, but it seems like if I keep scrolling the page keeps on going. Does it ever end? - 10/21/2013   9:33:58 PM
  • 134
    Where are the Spark Favorites??? I had quick access to articles and my BLC team.

    So far its not bad. I need to play with it some more. - 10/21/2013   9:10:57 PM
  • SASSYPEACHES
    133
    More difficult to navigate if you don't want all of the 'extras' - now takes 3 or 4 clicks to get to the things I want instead of one. - 10/21/2013   9:08:44 PM
  • 132
    I love it!!!! Thanks for all the hard work it takes to bring us this wonderful site. - 10/21/2013   7:47:43 PM
  • 131
    I love the new look! Its motivating to see something new and explore :) Totally diggin' the new Spark! - 10/21/2013   5:56:31 PM
  • 130
    I'm very pleased with the new layout! It's very intuitive, and my favorite SP tools are conveniently located in a one-stop shop. Well done, SparkPeople! - 10/21/2013   5:08:23 PM
  • 129
    I LOVE the new startpage; I really really really didn't like the old one. This one is so much nicer, cleaner, and more organized. Thanks! - 10/21/2013   3:46:06 PM
  • 128
    Like others I didn't see an announcement and had no idea this was coming.
    First thought was I'd gone to the wrong web site, but my second was I like the new look. It's fresher and more up-to-date. I agree the spark wheel should be higher up the page. Spinning the wheel is the first thing I do after logging in. I do think this is a nice change though. Thank you!
    - 10/21/2013   3:44:13 PM
  • 127
    The moving Sparkpoint Tracker does not look right on Chrome. The box isn't there and you can't see all the text. - 10/21/2013   3:25:10 PM
  • 126
    I am sooo loving the new start page. So organized! And looks nice. Thanks SP! - 10/21/2013   3:18:25 PM
  • 125
    LOVE the new look! Only thing I'd like to add is to be able to automatically see your daily calorie deficit on the home page where your food/exercise/BMR is instead of going to the reports area. Seeing that upfront would be a great motivator for me. Thanks SP :) - 10/21/2013   2:14:58 PM
  • RUTH571
    124
    I kinda like the new page - change is good - it keeps your mind sharp! I like what I have used so far, and will probably like all of it. Spark people has helped me finally lose the extra 15 pounds I have been carrying around for 19 years! Thanks, keep up the good work! - 10/21/2013   1:45:03 PM
  • 123
    I was surprised, somehow I missed the notice that change was coming but I like it. I think it's easier. The best part is it's still free : )
    - 10/21/2013   1:39:26 PM
  • 122
    I can already tell I'm going to love it! Thanks for making it even better! - 10/21/2013   1:29:45 PM
  • 121
    I do like some of the changes and new features. I am having some difficulties with the new format as I can't find anything that I used to use on a daily basis.

    On a quick observation, I would suggest:

    FIRST THING is that I had no idea the change was coming. Notifications like this should be sent out a few days BEFORE the release as a sparkmail to spark users to ensure that everyone knows THIS is coming.

    Moving the Sparkwheel up closer to the top. That's the first thing I hit when I enter Spark and I would think most folks do.

    I would also move the option to access my Sparkpage closer to the top somewhere. Make VIEW MY SPARKPAGE more prominent somehow so it's not so hard to find in a sea of links.

    I had the same issue with “Daily Highlight Status.” Once you start scrolling down a long list, everything starts to look the same and becomes difficult to pick out. Make it stand out somehow.

    I do like the new placement of the trackers and goals, and the new Goal Motivation board. Thanks for all the effort on the site! - 10/21/2013   1:24:54 PM
  • MARGOT77US
    120
    I love the look! More important, I find the site easy to navigate. Usability and a good appearance are always a winning combination. Change is good!
    - 10/21/2013   1:18:32 PM
  • 119
    Having problems deleting goals in the tracking section to add new goals. - 10/21/2013   1:10:09 PM
  • 118
    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 - 10/21/2013   1:00:28 PM

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