Next week is going to bring some monumental changes to VU Hoops, and also to SB Nation as a whole. The site is going to be getting a pretty massive face lift, and in doing so, the experience of bringing you the best 'Nova content around the web will become infinitely easier.
Not only that, but YOUR experience as a reader is going to get easier as well. How so? Follow us after The Jump for more.
We've noticed some members of the community are still confused about our affiliation with SB Nation. For those still confused, let me take a minute to catch you up.
SB Nation is a collection of sports blogs all with generally the same purpose: to provide you the best coverage for the team/sport that you are looking for. You'll notice on our left sidebar that there are blogs for almost every other Big East team. We're not asking you to go to all these other blogs, but for example if we're playing Connecticut next week in basketball and you want to catch up on the Huskies, checking out The UConn Blog is a great idea.
(Incidentally the past few weeks have been hilarious over there as they melt down over the retirement of Jim Calhoun)
The main benefits of joining SB Nation to the VU Hoops community are the following:
- Better Villanova content, more frequently - We're sure you've noticed Chris and jhulax22 posting. They used to be frenemies that ran another Villanova blog. We all decided it was foolish to compete with each other. We got in the 'Nova Nation spirit, so to speak.
- Less down time of VU Hoops - The old site, especially near the end, was frequently down. At SB Nation, we've got a fully dedicated support team that helps ensure we're up and running pretty much 24/7.
We think as a staff, that the experience has been great so far. We understand there have been changes to the signup policies and the look and feel of things may be different, but we promise, things are overall better here, and will continue to get better.
Speaking of better...
Back to the "different look" you'll be seeing next week. Probably the most awesome aspect of the redesign of the site is the speed increase. The page loads faster, images load faster, comments run smoother, etc. This means that the Villanova content you come here for gets to you faster. Once you get past the speed though, its the beauty of the site that will really make this a special, special thing.
For example, the front page of each site is becoming its own dynamic, living, breathing thing. At the top of each page, we will be able to make sure you have first access to all the biggest stories, game threads, and relevant team information right off the bat. If a story breaks, you wont have to search around VU Hoops to find it. It's all right there, accessible as soon as the page loads (which is fast, remember?). Here's a look at some of the ways that we will be able to bring you the info you want.
(Keep in mind, these images are from our beta versions of other sites around the SB Nation network - but I think you will get the idea of what the look will be like. Just imagine all of this with Villanova colors and stories!)
Pretty awesome, huh? As you can see, the new logo is present, fitting into the new design perfectly. You can see that we have different options and layouts for how we want to present content to you, depending on the different things we're writing about each day. These cover options are going to allow us as writers to make sure that you get immediate access to the news that you want.
FanShots and FanPosts are something that are new to most of you since our move to SB Nation. FanShots are the little blue blurbs you see on our site. Our staff uses those to link out to other articles, videos, etc. They are quick-hitters if you will.
FanPosts are something that our community can utilize. Have an opinion and you want to write something about Villanova? Create a FanPost. If it's good, we'll promote it to the front page so that the rest of the community is aware of what that great article that you wrote. For a good example of a FanPost, take a look at Chris Fujimoto's recap of THE BALL event in Philadelphia earlier this summer.
FanPosts and FanShots aren't going away on the next platform. In fact, they too are easier to access. Here, take a look-see:
Nice, right? Yeah...we like it too.
One of the things we are most excited about is a feature from the SB Nation home site that is finally being imported to each team site for their abuse. Story Streams are an incredibly useful way for us to make sure that you have not only the story itself, but any useful updates to it without forcing you to re-read the original post to get to the updated info. Did Mouphtaou Yarou get yanked from the game for some reason? We got you covered. But what about 20 minutes later when he comes back out on the field and he's fine? We will simply be able to go in and add a separate update to the original story letting you know the newest info, and its all available separately instead of you having to search through the comments of our game thread. Feast your special eyes:
Reverse chronological order. The newest updates first, at the top, right where you need them
One of the coolest overall aspects of the new United movement is the unification of the sites across the web, your tablet, or your smart phone. Visiting VU Hoops from any of these devices will result in the exact same experience. This site is the mobile site is the tablet version, same look, same feel, same content. No more swapping between a full on web browsing experience and then drilling it down to a bare bones mobile site that loads kinda funny.
On the top ft there you have the site on a tablet. On the bottom, a mobile phone. See what I mean? They look the same.
All of us here at VU Hoops are excited for the launch of the new site, and we want it now. Unfortunately, we still gotta wait a little bit. The near future. Very near future, to be exact. What do you guys think of the new digs?