One of my favorite web sites, Uni Watch, made big changes over the last few months to improve the user experience.
Uni Watch covers the world of sports uniforms and adjacent topics. Paul Lukas started Uni Watch as a Village Voice column way back in 1999. I discovered it on ESPN.com’s Page 2 section several years later. Uni Watch also became a blog in 2006. I’ve been a daily reader and occasional contributor since then.
Powered by WordPress, the new Uni Watch looks familiar — green and gold as always, in a more minimalist design. The old design was clunky, especially on mobile. While it isn’t as distinctive as the previous design, it loads a lot quicker. The new layout isn’t the only improvement in user experience.
Change in content strategy
I’m pleased Uni Watch is now breaking up content into separate posts. Instead of one post a day, there are typically 2 or 3 with the ticker having its own post type. The old user experience wasn’t great — one long scrolling post with the main content followed by the ticker. That was also slow loading and really mobile unfriendly.
The web professional in me likes the multiple posts for search engine optimization. Push alerts are available too. Spreading publishing out into dayparts is good for the publisher and the reader – I have something to read during my commute, at lunch, etc. Plus, more posts mean more ad impressions although…
Like good content? Pay for it
After many years, Uni Watch has finally offered an ad-free model with a subscription.
There are several benefits to supporting Uni Watch:
- Subscription to the Uni Watch Substack – a weekly-ish newsletter that goes deeper than a typical UW post. Content like Q&As, Season Previews, contests.
- Forums – I haven’t spent much time there myself, but I think I will be as some social media gets worse. Well, most social media is getting worse.
- No ads! Remnant ad networks are also getting worse! Bad t-shirts, worse politics and so on.
- Supporting the writer how has been bringing you great content since Web 1.0. Sure, others could collect links and so forth, but Paul’s perspective and style is what makes Uni Watch work. Isn’t that worth less than 50¢ a week?
Give the gift of Uni Watch
Added 12/6/2022, with a write-up right from Uni Watch:
Think about it: Wouldn’t it be fun to have someone else in your life to talk about Uni Watch with? A gift subscription will help make that possible, plus it’ll provide some much-needed financial assistance to help keep Uni Watch afloat.
Other ways to support Uni Watch
If you don’t want to subscribe or want support Uni Watch even more, here are a few more ways
- Uni Watch membership cards – $20 gets you a card based on a jersey of you choice, plus 15% off in the Tee Spring store.
- Merchandise – while I’m not sure if that’s where the real money is made#footnotes1, there is some good Uni Watch gear out there. I’ve gotten the keychain, seam ripper, stickers and the great Uni Watch cycling jersey2. If I get put on a yellow or green broomball team, I think I’d have to spring for t-shirt
When it comes down to it, many things on the web are getting worse. Uni Watch is getting better. Your support will help keep it that way.
2 Don’t let the Houston Astros tequila sunrise inspired gear distract from the fact the Washington Nationals beat the ‘Stros in the 2019 World Series.