It’s here. Sporcle’s new look has arrived and we are beyond excited to debut the new look. We wanted to give some insights into why we are rebranding and redesigning, as well as explain how the process has gone. Of note, at this point, we are just rolling out a preview to Orange subscribers. But fear not, we plan/hope to have this out for larger release in the next week or two.
How to access the preview?
If you want to see the new look in action, make sure you are logged in (and Orange) and click on your profile in the usernav:
Here you can click on Preview our new look! and the site will switch over to the redesigned Sporcle. If you want to switch back, just click on your profile and choose Exit New Look. It is worth noting that the preview is not tied to your account so if you switch to the preview on your work computer, you’ll need to also switch over on your personal computer.
Why the preview?
After much internal debate we decided that we wanted to launch the redesign as a preview to our Sporcle Orange users. An Orange-only first look seemed like a nice reward to our subscribers and also allows us to release the preview to a limited audience.
Why would we want a limited audience? The redesign is still a work in progress. We wanted to peel back the curtain and show a subset of our users the process. We have made tremendous strides and continue to get a lot done, but we still have some work to do. We wanted to let people in so they could see the site evolve.
The plan is to launch the first look today and then open up the preview to a larger group in a week or two and then ultimately make the switch to new Sporcle by late April.
But again, this is a work in progress. There are bugs. Some features are missing (i.e. Chat) and we have a lot of work to do. But we are getting there!
About the new look
The new look for Sporcle has a few fundamental differences that are worth calling out. We’ll go into more detail on each these:
- Header and Navigation
- Home Page
- Quiz Pages
- Screen Width
Header and Navigation:
The new header is pretty different. The top bar of the header highlights specific Sporcle products and services. This is persistent across the site and allows users to get back to some of the most significant landing pages Sporcle offers. The main bar of the header is contextual. This will update depending on where someone might find themselves on the site. If you are on the home page, you get access to the categories. If you are on a category page (e.g. Geography), we give you a list of subcategories. If you are in Events, you get header items specific to different Sporcle events.
To make sure you can easily get back to to most anywhere you want to go, we’ve added a menu (the hamburger menu) right by the Sporcle logo. This gives immediate access to the major areas of the site.
We’ve also moved search. We’ve nestled this over to the right of the page. Clicking the search icon opens up a large search field.
The home page gets its most radical change we’ve ever had. For years the most recent published quizzes have shown up at the top of the page. We’re updating this approach and now offer our published content in various scrollable rows. We are interspersing these rows with other features and leaderboards of quizzes and content. These components are meant to be more flexible so that we can easily highlight interesting quizzes and events. Some of the items here are still in flux. we expect to add more content as we get closer to our full release.
Our quiz pages now take advantage of more screen real estate (see below). On wider screens, we’ve introduced a right rail of content. This rail lets us add Trending quizzes, badge promotion, staff picks and more.
The quiz content area is unchanged in terms of size. SO if you’ve made quizzes that are specific to that area (some logic puzzles come to mind) don’t worry, we didn’t tinker with this.
We’ve highlighted the quiz title over the quiz description and we’ve enlarged the user icon and byline. We also cleaned up this area a fair amount. Many menu items are nestled in a dropdown menu.
We’ve tried to expose more content on the quiz pages by adding in the More to Explore section. This adds some elements we have from the home page as well as taps into our recommendation engine to try to point users in the direction of similar fun quizzes. We’ve also added the More From This Quiz Creator section to highlight the works of our amazing quiz creators on site.
Sporcle’s page size had always been 960 pixels wide. Unless your are on a mobile device we had kept the page to this width no matter what your resolution or screen size. With the redesign we really wanted to take more advantage of the screen real estate offered on screens today. As such, we now have a narrow and a wide view of Sporcle. While not 100% responsive, the pages do update based off of the width of your window.
Giving Feedback and Next Steps
We ask that you do not write into feedback with issues concerning the redesign while we are in our preview stage. Instead, please use the new group to share thoughts, issues, and general musings. We will have staff monitoring this group and replying to questions as well as capturing legitimate problems for our engineering team to address.
Remember, we are exposing a work in progress so there are known issues.
Again the First Look is open NOW to Orange subscribers. But we plan to open it up to more logged in users very soon. This redesign has been years in the making. We know change is hard and that there will be strong reactions to what we are doing. We are definitely taking in people’s feedback and adjusting accordingly. But we hope that you are excited about the updates and the direction we are going.