As you may remember, we previewed the new Fear The Fin logo in this space a couple of weeks ago along with cryptic comments about a design overhaul arriving at this blog and the 300+ like it around the SB Nation network. Well, a revamped SB Nation United is not quite ready to be unveiled to the Internet at large in all its cohesive glory just yet but we can provide screenshots in anticipation of the site's relaunch in the near future. Join me after the jump for a sneak peek.
Everyone else is jumping on the 49ers bandwagon so we figured we might as well do the same. In all seriousness, this is one edition of the new, lively front page that allows us to highlight certain stories regardless of chronological publishing order and allow for a more relevant user experience. Here's an example of a layout that highlights four stories instead of three:
That may not seem like a significant change right now, but the ability to switch between layouts that highlight three, four or five stories as often as we want should make the site much easier to navigate and ensure important stories don't get buried during game days or other eventful periods.
But, wait, where did the FanPosts go? How are people going to complain about the Sharks not signing Jonathan Cheechoo now? Fear not, comrade, FanPosts and FanShots will still be available both on an individual page:
And embedded within the front page layout (this photo's resolution makes the text somewhat hard to read but, trust me, it's there):
One of the most significant aspects of the redesign is allowing the site to be more accessible and operable on mobile platforms. It's going to load faster on your iPhones, be more similar to the regular site experience and if you'd rather not load thousands of comments on a particular story, you now have that option. Here's what this thing is going to look like on your smartphones:
And your tablets:
Change is usually a difficult thing to deal with, even in the Internet era where we've become acclimated to our favorite websites getting a facelift seemingly every other week and making everything harder to find. The good thing is that this is far more than just a new coat of paint; there are significant changes being made here in functionality, both editorially and for users. The addition of the StoryStream that's already available on some of the network's flagship sites is something I'm particularly excited about and the vibrant nature of the layout as a whole, as well as the fact that the site will load faster across all platforms with fewer errors, is something I think people are going to enjoy after the initial adjustment period wears off. I, for one, welcome our new SB Nation United overlords.