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Visual changes are coming to SB Nation on Sept. 12

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This on-going process will help pages load faster while keeping what you love about your sites in place.

Paris Saint-Germain v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Important: Please send all bugs you experience to support@sbnation.com. That allows our support team to log them in our bug tracking software.

Update 9/8 — We are moving back our rollout of these changes to Monday, Sept. 12.

Thank you so much to everyone for the feedback, it has in fact helped us surface some nagging issues around commenting (listed below) that we thought were stamped out. Because of these, we are pushing back our 100% rollout to Monday.

Seriously, thank you for your patience. While we have been updating site managers throughout this process, we should have been showing these pending changes directly to you along the way.

This is an ongoing, never-ending process but we are going to get this right. I promise you we all value your communities as much as you do. We’re not going away from that. -jbopp

Update 9/8 — Here are the things support is working to address known issues:

  • Comment navigation bar (mobile)
  • Comment notifications (making them more informative)
  • Jumpy comments (when reading or replying)
  • Touchscreen navigation on iPad (not visible in portrait mode)
  • Time stamps (based on user's local time, set in profile)
  • Auto-marked as read (without taking action/refreshing the page)
  • Comment nesting (seeing how replies are related to one another
  • Font issues on Windows is going in a visual QA

Please keep sending in any further issues to support@sbnation.com if you don’t see them on this list!

Update 9/7 — from Support Manager Krissy:

Communications: We didn’t come through as early and often as we could have with the proactive communications, like this blog post. On a network with hundreds of blogs and potentially thousands of comments in the threads, a centralized blog post would give visitors across all the sites the chance to be made aware of what was coming down the pike. We don’t monitor all the comment threads (because we couldn’t possibly), so we’ve relied on folks reporting issues via email to support@sbnation.com. We DO read and reply to each and every one of those, logging issues, taking feedback, and digging in deeper when necessary.

Testing: As mentioned in the post, this has been a phased rollout, over most of this summer. We have an internal QA team, but nothing that could match the breadth of experiences of actual users. A lot of those early users flagged issues that we didn’t catch or couldn’t have tested without knowing how people actually use the site(s).

Reports: It can sound very jargon-y to say, "If you have an issue, please report it", especially if you see that someone else is venting about the same thing, but those reports are key, both because the same issue can often have different causes for different users, and because it helps us to understand just how broadly an issue is impacting you. While some of the things we create here at Vox Media is open-sourced, like Tonr or our Product Team Code of Conduct, the code for this is not, and as such, we don’t have a public-facing destination for issue reports. If you’ve emailed in and haven’t heard from us or don’t think the issue has been solved, let us know.

Comments: The feedback on comments, both in how they look and how they function, has been most frequent, and for a community like this, where comments are the soul of things, it makes sense. The last time changes were made to the sites, touchscreen devices weren’t ubiquitous, and mobile wasn’t king. Mobile and desktop comment navigation differs now, and that can be jarring when you’re used to everything being the same.

We haven’t gotten this perfect, and we won’t claim to. Some fixes are tricky, while others are just moving a few lines of code up or down on the page.

Today’s version won’t be back, but we can (and will) make improvements to the things that aren’t working with the new version, while pushing ahead.

We’ll be checking comments in this thread, but that’s not a substitute for reporting via email (support@sbnation.com).

Original post, 9/7:

Over the past two months our product team has been testing several visual changes with a small percentage of your readers, all in an effort to improve page load times—which we all know is more important than ever since mobile is taking over everything.

Those visual changes were tested first among 5 percent of random readers, then 10, then 20, and finally 50 percent of readers were seeing the changes as we collected feedback and addressed a few nagging issues.

Our goal of improving page load times is already seeing results, and we’ve cut those numbers in half across the network. We know how important commenting is to the communities built across the land at SB Nation, and your issue reports are integral to making sure the experience remains engaging as technologies change and mature.

What are the visual changes?

  • Some of the links and buttons you may be used to seeing have been updated or removed;
  • Comment navigation on mobile takes better advantage of touchscreen interfaces;
  • Select font changes;
  • The ‘latest news’ sidebar is now ‘trending’

Otherwise everything you know and love about SB Nation and your favorite team sites will stay the same—you’ll still be able to find great reads and have great conversations with your friends in each community just like you always have.

Your feedback has been invaluable to the team as we’ve released these changes, and a number of issues have already been resolved. We appreciate your help in uncovering things that may have been missed and your patience as we polish and fix bugs.

We want to retain the spirit of those things that have been working, while making tweaks to those that haven’t as we continue to shape the platform.

Please continue to report concerns via email to support@sbnation.com.