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8/27/2018

Sharing phase one of major overhaul for Pennant Chase


Those of you who were around back in 2014 might remember the not-so-successful redesign that launched at the start of the year, and quickly had to be modified due to all sorts of issues. If you don’t remember it, all the better. I remember it all too well, but that’s a good thing. (If you want to re-live some history, just look back on the blog feed.)

Most people, at least the vocal ones, were not in favor of any kind of redesign. I took that as a compliment, but I also knew the site had to evolve or die. I can’t fathom how Pennant Chase would be around today if I hadn’t forged ahead back in 2014. Could you imagine a website that doesn’t work on mobile phones or doesn’t allow for the creation of a mobile app? Over 50% of new users find this site thanks to the app. We would have been dead in the water without that redesign. As painful as it was at the time, it was the right strategic decision.

We’re coming dangerously close to being in that position once again. We’re fast approaching five years since any kind of redesign, which is a millenia in technology years. Our lack of a modern design prevents me from quickly and easily leveraging many features that people consider standard nowadays, like tooltips, or confirmation screens, or suggestive search boxes, or any number of other features that could make the site experience on par with current expectations.

Furthermore, a new design would allow the site to more easily transition to future advancements in both front end and server-side code. I won’t get into the techie talk here, but a lot of the code the site runs on is in many ways obsolete.

So here’s the big news - I’ve been working on a redesign for over a year in what little time I have available. I know what some of you are going to say: “The site is fine, why waste your time on that when there are so many other valuable improvements that could be made?” First off, I’ve continued to make fixes and improvements despite the ongoing work on the redesign. Second, the redesign is going to lead to the opportunity to make more changes across the site. As I re-imagine and re-work basically every page, it lends the opportunity to make things better.

This time around, you are all going to be able to give it a spin and provide feedback before the design is “final”. In fact, it could take another year or more for this design to reach all pages of the site. During that time, the current design will still be available. I’m starting with non-league functions such as the message boards, and once that stuff is all ready, I’ll move onto actual league pages. But this is going to be a long process. The cool thing is, it’s a chance for me to work in new features, and have you all chime in on the features you want to see.

I know some people will hate the redesign, at least at first. When you’re on a website as much as we are all on Pennant Chase, you learn to love it the way it is. But I hope most everyone will come to appreciate the changes and embrace them. Much like back in 2014, we have to keep moving forward.

For example, one of the new areas you’ll see today is the boards and personal inbox. There are a ton of changes, so many that I’m not even going to list them, I’m just going to let you experience it and let me know what you think.

So here’s the link to start checking out: The New PC!

In terms of non-league pages, I’ve gotten to everything but the Join Leagues and My League List areas. You can start using the new design pages as you wish, but please note this is considered “Beta” so you may find bugs or issues - if you do, please let me know!

Logged in users can send feedback via the feedback form or make a comment on the public board.