We’ve been really pleased with the traction our site has gained in its first five months, much better than we imagined when we launched. Users really like the high quality results and the intuitive, simple web site design. We appreciate all the support and great feedback we’ve gotten. Today, Sphere is launching a new home page design as well as revamping how blog posts and related media items are integrated and displayed. Our goal is to create an even better, more intuitive experience.
What you’ll see is that we’ve moved some of the discovery tools from inside the site onto the home page, so it’s easier to get to blog posts, featured blogs and related media right from the start as well as change course on what you’re looking for from whenever you are in the site.
For example, on the home page, type Politics into the search box and choose blog posts. Wham! You’re on the results page in a flash with blog posts, related news and top-notch blogs focused on politics right there in front of you. Click away on what interests you or go back up to the search box and type in Gadgets or Chicago Bears. In an instant you have another set of comprehensive results ready for your discovery.
The other thing you won’t help but notice is the spotlight on Sphere’s contextual widget. While we’ve always felt the Sphere It! app was a way-cool-tool more people needed to know about, we couldn’t have guessed at what a runaway success it would be with bloggers as well as online publishers.
The contextual widget takes the Sphere It! app one step further to help online mainstream media and micro publishers tap into the blogosphere as well as promote their own articles and pull in their own blogs or make recommendations out to related blogs. Check out the sites rolling out the Sphere contextual widget to see it in action.
What may seem like small changes are expected to have a big impact on how quickly readers can get to what interests them. We think this is a better reader experience and we hope you will too. Special recognition to the AWESOME team at Mule who helped us navigate to our new site. Let us know what you think about the home page, display changes and the widget when you get a chance. We thank you for your feedback to date and for helping Sphere evolve.