Get ready for it CrackBerry Nation... THE NEW CRACKBERRY.COM is almost here. When I drop my next From the Editor's Desk post on the site a week from now, assuming things go to plan you *should* be looking at it.
To be dead honest, we're still probably three weeks away from having the new site polished up to where we want it to be for the BIG unveiling, but I just cannot wait that long to pull the trigger. I've been using the new site on our development server for a while now, and even with some finishing touches left to be made by our tech and design teams, it's just SO MUCH BETTER than the current site that I feel guilty holding it back from all of you one minute longer than necessary. So we're going to put the new site into the community's hands a little early and rough around the edges, and we'll all work together to make it perfect. I know you can handle it.
If you've been on CrackBerry the past few weeks, you likely have noticed we already have begun to introduce design elements and pieces of the new CrackBerry. The CrackBerry logo has been punched up, as has our photo watermarks and the bumper on CrackBerry videos. Version 1 of our kick-ass CrackBerry 10 app for BlackBerry 10 is now also available for download in BlackBerry World. It's a must-have download for all Z10 owners - it's just an amazingly fast way to consume CrackBerry.
If you jump over to ShopCrackBerry.com, you'll also see we've already themed the store to go with the new design language. And if you visit ShopCrackBerry.com from your mobile device, you'll experience our new mobile-optimized storefront. We've even introduced a new service too with our new CrackBerryUnlocking.com store for BlackBerry unlocking (this will be getting update to the new look this week too).
As we roll out the remaining changes, we'll do it in phases. The biggest change is to the homepage / blog / galleries section of CrackBerry. Here we are not just rolling out a visual update, but rather a massive upgrade to our content management system (which we've been running for over six years). We recently updated the CrackBerry forums, and we'll be rolling out more changes here as well to bring things in line with the new site look and also address the feedback we received from the community since the last forum upgrade. A new mobile forum template is also in the works and will come slightly after the main site relaunches and we work out the kinks and refinements there.
With BlackBerry 10 now here, the layout of our uber-popular CrackBerry forums gets a little more complicated as well - so we'll also be rolling out a reorganization to our forum structure this week that will help optimize things. We need to cater to new BlackBerry 10 device owners, our existing hardcore BlackBery PlayBook owners, and of course still support the 78+ million BlackBerry OS device owners out there. We want everybody happy and getting what they need from the forum community.
As for a little background and to set some early expectations for the NEW CRACKBERRY EXPERIENCE, when we begun work on the project I gave our Design Director the following broad goals:
- Deliver a website experience that is optimized and awesome across displays - computer, tablet and phone
- Clean up the user experience, give it a WOW factor and do a better job of presenting relevant and current content to visitors across every page of the site
- Make sure the site loads Fassssst
- And for god's sakes, don't screw anything up!
I think our user base will be happy on all fronts. We've defintely retained our crackiness while taking things to a new level. The site is more friendly to new users and casual readers, and we're making sure that our loyal members get the power user experience they demand.
Ok. I've already said too much. Let's save a few surprises here. That all said, GET READY FOR IT. The new CrackBerry is almost here!!