Welcome to week 1 of the NFL season
This week is big for us at Pickwatch HQ. We've been working long days (and nights!) to get the site in working order for week one, and we're largely there.
We've only had 5 weeks to rebuild everything, which in development terms is... well it's not a lot of time, put it that way! A lot of our focus has been on the back end of what you see. Those new, pretty tables and the clean, responsive layout were impossible under our old infrastructure, but more importantly, changing our technology will now give us the platform to build you a LOT of new features over this season and beyond.
The New Stuff
Here's a quick list of things we've managed to get in before season start:
- Vastly improved user interface - pages should load quicker than ever
- New mobile experience - the full range of pickwatch features on the move!
- New 'make picks' page - Making your picks has never looked as stylish as it does now
- ATS picks - make your ATS picks for both NFL and College vs the pros
- New podcasts - John Halpin hosts fellow FOX sports alum Ryan Fowler (Tuesday, 9am ET on Facebook) and our very own Josh Katzowitz (Thursdays) for weekly video podcasts, available in both video and audio format
- Improved registration and login process
- New user contact forms to get in touch with us directly
- Ability to change your username (we know you Chargers fans wanted this!)
- NCAAF clutch picks
- User clutch picks!
While we're excited about all of this, it's really just the start.
We'll soon be adding...
- Survivor Picks - play last man (or woman!) standing all season long, if you can stay in... (ETA Thursday 6th)
- Confidence picks - Rank the games by your confidence in your pick, with points on offer for each game! (ETA Thursday 6th)
- Disqus Comments (ETA Thursday 6th)
- Forum - We're bringing back the Pickwatch forum on a brand new platform to get the community working together (ETA Thursday 6th)
- Season picks - Change your evaluation of each division over the season, from weeks 1-17, and we'll track the changes of all users in a graph (ETA Friday 7th)
- Expert season picks - We'll compile and track expert season predictions, super bowl champs, MVP etc (ETA Monday 11th)
- Power Rankings comparison - back again (ETA Tuesday 12th)
Again, we're really happy that we can bring these features to you, but they're the tip of the iceberg. We're going to be developing whole new sections of Pickwatch to help you get the most out of the site, such as:
New tools in development:
- Matchup Hubs - Isolate our data to just the game you're most interested in, check injury reports in real time, weather, key stats and expert picks in one place
- Team hubs - Your favorite (or most hated!) team's information in one place, all relevant picking info and stats we think you'll love, as well as all the expert takes on every team to help you predict their seasons
- User Profiles - Upload avatars, add a bio, and rep your team colors and home state!
- User Dashboard - We're working on a host of micro tables that you can see whenever you login to tell you exactly where you stand compared to other users and experts
- User analytics - We'll tell you who you picked well, who you have been doing badly when picking, and most importantly, how you can get better!
- Improved schedule display - Live data on games, live pick'em results!
All of this is really cool, but we need to re-emphasize that we haven't quite finished getting the site up and running yet. We have a few 'known issues' and things that we're working to either add or fix, including:
- Table searching (eg: username search in user picks table)
- Power Rankings
- Website performance issues on some parts of the site (not major, but we'll be prioritizing performance over the next week!)
- Disqus comments - these will likely be in by the time you read this!
- Slight navigation issue with the 'home' button, use the menu for now!
- Unable to find yourself easily in the users table (this will be a priority fix)
We hope that list will go down and the others will get ticked off, but as you probably gathered, developing a website like this is always a challenge, albeit one we love!
If you have any queries about the site, use the new 'contact us' button or check the FAQs which we'll update as we go. If the comments and forum are up by the time you read this, then feel free to make suggestions or comments in there too, we read every one and we always evaluate how we're moving forward based on your feedback. I'll write these blogs periodically and update the forum regularly with news and updates too.
Happy picking in 2018
The Pickwatch Team