It's been a little over a week since SBNation introduced the SBNation United re-design across all member blogs. The reaction has been generally favorable, but there are definitely quite a few people who have the exact opposite opinion, as evidenced by this top-recommended FanPost by Citadel 29 and ensuing thread it spawned.
Now, I'm not here to change anybody's mind or opinion. What I am here to do, is perhaps help those who have had trouble adjusting to the new layout with a guide of sorts. A lot of the negative reaction often seems to consist of "I can't find something" or "It's hard to get from here to there". Hopefully this guide will help.
Let's start with the first thing you see when you bring up Sactown Royalty on your browser. This is what we call "The Cover". In the Cover, we can highlight top stories, videos, photo galleries and complete sections, like we did with the 30Q series last week. There are a few options that we as editors have over the layout of the cover. The current configuration is called "Three Up", featuring one big size article and two medium ones. Then there are options such as Tryptic (where the cover is split in three equal columns for articles), Five up (one big, four small), Four up (which is the one with the large horizontal article and three smaller ones beneath it) and One up (One big article, meant to highlight huge stories or features. We'll try to keep the layout as consistent as possible for our readers, but sometimes it will be changed based on what/how we want to highlight.
We also have the option of putting out a "Breaking News" banner that will appear very prominently above the cover. This can be used for big trades, arena news, etc.
Site Specific Navbar
Directly below the Cover is the Sactown Royalty Navbar. This is your one-stop shop for moving to specific areas.
- Under the "Team" tab, you can find the Schedule, Roster, Stats, etc.
- The "Community" tab is where you can find instant links to FanPosts and FanShots, so instead of scrolling down to find them, you can open them up in a new tab. You could even make these sections into new bookmarks for added convenience.
- The "Sections" tab is pretty self-explanatory. When we write our articles, we tag each with their own section. Clicking a certain section will take you to a page dedicated to those type of articles.
- The "Library" tab is where our old widgets have gone. This is where you can go to see the list of the "Top 50 Sacramento Kings", get info for Carmichael Dave's radio show, or to use the Advanced Stats Calculator. The Sactown Royalty Store is also located here, so if you haven't gotten your Cuzizstani Pride shirt yet, that's where you go!
- The "About" tab features the Masthead and the Community Guidelines.
- On the right side of the Navbar, you can find the icons for Sactown Royalty's Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as the search function.
The River is below the cover and site specific navbar and features a lot of the reverse chronological content that you were used to in the old format, except now you can see way more of them. Under the old format, there were about 8 articles listed on the Homepage at a time, with about 8 more relegated to a "More Posts From StR" section at the bottom. Now we can have up to 30 articles/hubs/galleries/videos on the front page at one time (including the Cover).
Also, while we can't promote FanPosts or FanShots in the Cover, we can still put them in the River, and even pin them so that they stay in the same spot even if newer articles are published and push other content down.
Scrolling down the River you'll notice the FanPosts and FanShots bar, Latest News, a Twitter Feed, the old Fan Confidence Poll as well as links to content around the SB Nation network. I know most of you are here for Kings stuff and Kings stuff entirely, and that's perfectly fine. But United allows us to highlight other SB Nation (from .com, the regional sites and of course other NBA team blogs) that we feel readers might be interested in, such as game previews, player debates and (as is the case right now) season previews.
Some Tips, Tricks, and Misc.
- The number in the dark purple bubble on an article is the number of comments it has. If there is a smaller number in a lighter purple bubble next to it, that's the number of unread comments. Clicking on the bubble will take you directly to the comments of the article instead of making you open up the article and loading the comments when you scroll to the bottom of it.
- Another complaint I often here is that font seems too big. For those who want a slightly smaller size, you can zoom out your browser by holding the Ctrl-key and scrolling your mouse wheel down on a Windows computer, or by pressing Cmd and - on a Mac.
- Another quick way to reduce scrolling and get to FanPosts and FanShots is to hit the "End" key on your keyboard. This will take you to the very bottom of the homepage, where there is a link to both FanPosts and FanShots. Pressing the "Home" button will take you to the top of the page. Again, I recommend simply bookmarking FanPosts and FanShots for easy access if you look at them a lot like I do.
- Any feedback, constructive criticism or technical problems should be directed in an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The new layout is barely a week old and there are still several kinks to be worked out, particularly on mobile devices.