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Testing new Toolbar at the bottom of the site

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hi everyone

We are testing a new "Toolbar" at the bottom of most pages of the site. We hope this will save you some clicks to our most used links. From the Toolbar you can access:
- "Featured Today," showing featured articles, blog posts, and recipes
- "My SparkFavorites," showing your top favorites from the site
- "Quick Links," linking both to our most popular features and your SparkTeams

We realize everyone might not like this feature, so we included a "Hide Toolbar" button as well. Clicking this immediately removes the Toolbar. To add it back you can go to your Account Preferences/Community page.

Finally, we are testing this Toolbar to see what members think. If you have any comments or problems with the toolbar please leave a comment here. Thanks!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD1224576
    I really like the Toolbar, and appreciate that it's functional in Opera. :-) I haven't seen any annoying popups, or ads like PRSPLACE & KATHY*RUTH - I'm not seeing anything other than what I expect from the links.

    I think having the Spark Favouries there is great, they're more instantly accessible, so I may be adding more (rather than adding to my browser favourites). The QuickLinks are great, too. :-)
    3628 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3880420
    Sooo sick of Neil Patrick Harris popping up in the middle of my screen for the Comcast ad on your annoying toolbar. Bad enough the ads are popping up before I log in but the toolbar not staying hidden is very irritating. Don't want this forced on me once I hide it! I cringe at the thought of logging in SP to check my spark teams these days! Long time member but thinking of taking time away with all this bother of user-unfriendly changes the past few months. Easy to do with the beautiful summer weather and the kids getting out of school....just saying. Personally it is chasing me away and looking at other choices. Can't imagine that is what SP wants is to chase away members.
    3628 days ago
    I want the capability to click it off--permanently. It's like a pop-up...Annoying.

    3628 days ago
    I LIKE the toolbar and like that its optional!!!
    3629 days ago
    Not loving that toolbar at the bottom. Is there a way to hide it permanently? Oh, I see there's another button I can press to hide it (it's red.) I've been using the stack of arrows at the right to hide it, and it comes back when I login again. I'll try the red button. It's gone.

    I must say the thing I don't like about the new toolbar is that at the left it has a bigger cell that overlaps the content on the main page and makes it difficult to read; if you made that cell the same size as the rest of the bar, it wouldn't be so annoying.
    3629 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/8/2011 1:48:12 PM
    Love it! So much faster! Great idea.
    3629 days ago
    I LOVE it!! emoticon
    3629 days ago
    This tool bar will not go away, even when I click on HIDE TOOLBAR. emoticon
    3630 days ago
    Dislike. I have found this "Toolbar" popping up an ad and when I close the ad I can no longer click on anything on the SP page. In order to continue using SP, I have had to close SP down and then log on again to continue with what I was doing. I am now hoping a post by another user (on the same thread) is correct and that it is this "Toolbar" that is causing the problem and that by "Hiding it" the problem will be resolved.

    Here is the post I put on the SP- Community Team- Business only Team -Intrusive advertising Thread describing my problem: For the last three days when attempting to do SP trivia, I keep getting pop-up ads and when I close the ad when I click 'submit' nothing happens. I have to close the browser and begin again. Today, it is really bad. I have answered 4 questions, but 3 pop-ups have prevented me from sending but 1 answer. In all instances it appears to be the same ad. Unfortunately, I am not sure what the ad is for. And yes, I have cleared cache, cookies, temp files...

    3630 days ago
    DISLIKE!!!!the MSN thing keeps popping up and gets in the way...i am on this site because i want to utilize all of the functions, not be inundated with fluff...gave it a chance, no likey... emoticon
    3630 days ago
    I don't like it AT ALL!! I don't want or need any of the items on the Toolbar-I vote to ' Ditch' it all together!
    3630 days ago
  • no profile photo CD1391410
    Dislike and accidentally clicked on the advertisement as it was too close to other content. Hide toolbar doesn't work.
    3630 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8463480
    I gave it a chance - if it wasn't for the distracting ads, it might be good. But it draws my attention away from the site content, and I'm sure you weren't intending for that to happen.

    I've turned it off for now. Let us know if you tweak it, I might give it another go.
    3630 days ago
    I find it distracting and am frustrated because 'pressing' the hide toolbar button does NOT work.
    3631 days ago
    Thumbs up for the toolbar! Popping around the site is so much quicker and easier with it.
    People who don't want it can just keep it hidden.
    This is one emphatic and resounding vote FOR the toolbar.
    3631 days ago
  • JMY1230
    I don't like it and would like the option to not have it at all. It keeps coming up when I move from one part of spark to another. Really annoying.
    3631 days ago
    Yuck!!! Yuck!!! How do I get this annoyance OUT!!!
    3631 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3880420
    Hate it and especially the advertisements associated with it. As I was signing in a pop-up man on the Comcast ad covered 1/4 of my screen. I really, really dislike that I have to hide this toolbar each time after I log in. It is totally redundant and does not make anything any easier. Put our bookmarked favorites back on the right hand side so that we have the same easy access to the threads we frequent. It is also very disturbing all the "market research" cookies that are being placed on Spark user computers to follow them all over the web spying. More with the toolbar! Luckily I block all of them. Not cool. It is getting to the point I don't visit SP as often with the changes and lack of control with privacy. Another thing why should anyone be able to post MY blog on another social site? Not very fattie friendly to say the least.
    3631 days ago
    I have a netbook for my computer and I have to hide toolbars all the time just to see enough at once on the screen, so for me it is a no go.
    3632 days ago
  • GBO323
    I like the ToolBar. If I could customize it(SparkPoints, Nutrition, Fitness), it would be even better. I vote to keep it. Those that don't like it can turn it off. It's looking to be a valuable tool for me.
    3632 days ago
    The more I use it the more I like it. I hate that people aren't giving it a chance. At first I was a bit annoyed by it buy decided to give it a try, it's GREAT! Like an earlier post I would like to see "Spark Points" on the Quick Links. Or maybe a way we can choose what we want on the Quick Links button.

    I hope you keep it, those who don't want to use it can always hide it.

    Such a great website and you guys just keep making it better!
    emoticon emoticon
    3632 days ago
    I love the tool bar and I hope you decide to keep it... to date, I haven't had any problems with it. It definitely allows me to access the features I use on SP. The only negative thing I have to say is the advertisement popup on the left side is a bit annoying, but since SP is a free service that has changed my life immensely, it doesn't annoy me enough "NOT" to use the toolbar... "I vote to keep it!" emoticon ~ Dee
    3632 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/5/2011 11:51:45 AM
    I like the tool bar. It's easier than navigating back to my start page. It's working fine for me. I'm using a browser called RockMelt built on Google Chrome.
    3632 days ago
  • VANFOX23
    Hid it immediately. Thanks for the efforts though!
    3632 days ago
  • DAISY443
    Hid it immediately. Was surprised that it was added as it seemed redundant to me!
    3632 days ago
  • CEEBEE200
    Hi -
    It's good Webiquette to ask the user before installing anything, and I would have expected Spark to do that. I'm afraid it crashed my Firefox (FF3.6) on installation and so I'm turning it off straight away...

    - ceebee
    3632 days ago
    Tool bar is a pain in the rear end, I vote to get rid of it.
    3632 days ago
    I Hate it too! Please get rid of it! I can't believe Spark People would do something like that.
    3632 days ago
  • 1GROVES2
    HATE IT!
    3632 days ago
    I didn't actually know what it was when I saw something at the bottom of the screen, so I hid it. Frankly, when I come into SP I have a heck of a time waiting for things to load. I suppose it's because I have an older computer. Maybe some people will enjoy having another extra benefit.
    3632 days ago
    I would like to see a Quick Link to My SparkPoints page.

    Before the last changes, you could access your SparkPoints page from any page. Now you can only get it on certain pages, using a lot of clicks to do so. I use it to see what things I need to do to get in my daily sparkpoints. It is also the only page that shows your login record/streak (days you have logged in).

    It would be nice to show your login streak on the start page where you can also, spin the wheel. You can spin the Wheel in two places, but you can only see the number of days you have logged in on My SparkPoints page.

    Otherwise, I think it is a good feature.

    BR> emoticon emoticon
    3633 days ago
  • no profile photo CD9136158
    It actives a whole load of crap when I try to mark and delete.. If I could have my delete key in peace again it would be nice..
    3633 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/4/2011 2:58:01 PM
  • no profile photo CD6184599

    Seriously, after yesterday, I was ready to ditch SP all together! I wrote a long blog, went to highlight something and then couldn't do anything thanks to that @#$% tool bar popping back up. I lost the whole blog!

    3633 days ago
    I do not mind the toolbar, I actually like it. The problem I have is when I highlight over my text, when typing a reply so that I can copy and paste it, the meebo thing pops up to share and I am no longer allowed to copy and paste. The highlight goes away.
    3633 days ago
    At first I liked it. I ended up hiding this tool bar. I have to enlarge the font due to some visual problems I have and well, it is a long story, but I am just glad to have gotten rid of this tool bar. Thank you for giving us the ability to get rid of it if we don't like it. emoticon
    3633 days ago
  • DONNA5456
    I am unable to blog & don't like it - but if it is a way to keep the site free - will learn to live with it.
    3633 days ago
    It's really annoying. If it stayed there, I wouldn't mind. But it activates when my mouse gets near it, and it won't go away again.
    3633 days ago
    I sort of liked it but after reading some of the posts regarding the problems they have had with it maybe I have had the same probs but wasn't aware that that tool bar may have been the cause.
    3633 days ago
    Everytime I try to highlight text to cut or copy it, this "share with meebo" button pops up and wont allow me to actually keep my text highlighted. This is getting very frustrating as I'm in a lot of challenges where we have a set protocol to post and it's too time consuming to type it out every single time.

    I have hit the hide toolbar option and it's not helped, it's slowing everything down and I'm just not liking it.

    Using safari, will try with firefox but for now I'm saying ditch it PLEASE!
    3633 days ago
    Sorry, but it's really bothersome. Even after hiding the tool bar, ads still pop up occasionally - especially the sketchers one; very annoying.

    I've also noticed more problematic issues trying to post. It is definitely slowing down your web site. My initial thought was this was cool - but not with all the issues that are arising. I actually had to log off and re-log on as it wouldn't post from my groupings or favorites. Too time consuming to have to re-enter and not have it show up.

    Sorry Sparks - this one has definitely got a go. emoticon
    3633 days ago
    Really dislike it. Keep having to clear my history in order not to have everything take so long ... posts take a long time to load, to post, typing to appear on screen. No, I don't like it at all.
    3633 days ago
    sorry no......
    3634 days ago
  • 1DEBIE1
    Would like to request that Instant Messaging be returned to the site. This tool provided oon-the-spot-instant support and calling a buddy, when the urge to fail or step backwards was lurking!
    3634 days ago
    Hi there,

    For those who are having trouble hiding the bar, are you hitting the "Hide Toolbar" button or the down arrow all the way to the right? Also, are you still having trouble? If so, what browser are you using? Thanks!
    3634 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6184599
    I am all for innovation and recreating the site... but frankly this new SparkPeople tool bar is worst than junk! I keep clicking hide tool bar and the very next screen it comes back. I clean my cache and history like other postings say to do then hide, next screen it comes back.

    And the popup adds that keep me from seeing my screen and having to wait for the add to end... Yeah that is total BS!

    As for turning it off via the account settings, that doesn't turn it off, all that does is hide it. Even when "Hidden" it is still there, in the lower right corner and it slows down the loading of pages drasticlly!

    Seriously SP, you got it all wrong with this one and from what I have been reading and hearing form other SPers, very few are happy with it!

    3634 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8398992
    I don't like it. It takes up space on the page and I accidentally keep mousing over it. I already have all of the tool bars I need at the top of my page. Also every time I hide it, it comes back up when a new tab opens up.
    3634 days ago
    I hate that if I accidentally get too close with the mouse, the darn thing scoots up and then pops up a noisy advertisement video. No thank you!
    3634 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8463480
    I don't like it - especially since it has ads. And I didn't like having to hide it each and every time I logged in.

    However, I went to Account Settings/Community and unchecked the box and voila, it's gone.
    3634 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/3/2011 12:54:46 PM
  • no profile photo CD8180433
    I don't like it either. I'd rather you spend your time fixing the nutritional tracker so that it actually WORKS. Get rid of this annoyance please and thank you.
    3634 days ago
    Dislike the bottom toolbar, it only adds clutter to my browser. I will not use it and frankly find such "helpful" additions to be a huge annoyance. I can manage navigating the site without it. If you feel it must be kept, then make it something that can be opted IN for on the preferences page.
    3634 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/3/2011 9:19:01 AM
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