Early next week you can expect us to unveil new content formatting, based on the discsussion in this thread. The plan is that thumbnails will have a visible title and author on the front page while author and score will be visible on all other pages. Rollover info will include description, genre and content rating.
We have another surprise coming later next week so you'll have to stick around and see what it is! Actually two surprises if you count the new featured game next Friday.
The NG buglist is LONG and the gang has been working their way through it. We are also cranking out mockups for improvements and other tweaks around the site.
There are a few things I'm curious about:
1) Do you find yourself ignoring the big content showcase box here on the front page? I've been told it doesn't make enough of a "call to action" and while looking pretty, people aren't being as enticed to click it as they should be.
2) Have you explored the content genre browsing? I feel like this is a really powerful system that a lot of people are overlooking; some have even complained that we removed genres. Go to the games page and scan the categories in the left column. Click around and start exploring. The categories get really in-depth and you can sort by all sorts of criteria. Right now we default to sort by date, which was an attempt to put the spotlight on new submissions but may have been a mistake. Instead we should probably default to sorting by score but maybe set the range to "Year" instead of "All" so there's more movement in the space.
This also makes me wonder if the games front page should be different. Right now we showcase the latest games, popular games from this week, highest scoring games of the month, highest scoring of the year and highest scoring of all time. Popular games tend to just mirror the front page. Best games of all time feels pretty static (instead maybe it could have a random selection from the top 200). But instead of all of that, I'm wondering if we should return to something like the old site, where we have a per-genre showcase. For example, the first box under "Brand Spankin' New Games" could be "Best New Action Games" and list the latest four action games with scores greater than 3.3 (number is based on some personal observations but not set in stone). The showcase would continue with "Best New Adventure Games", etc. I'm thinking it would better highlight the genre categories and might give people more direct access to stuff they like.
3) Have you been making use of the feed button (the star next to logout) in the header? It lists new submissions by artists you have favorited, something that was only available via email in the past. We intend to merge all favorites into one list of people you follow, so that you can easily add them from their user page and not have to add them in the context of a piece of content. Our current system (where you favorite artists based on content categories) is really old and has some charm but it feels like overkill nowadays.
4) Have you found yourself doing anything more or less as a result of the new layout?
Thanks in advance for any feedback!
Later today we'll see the arrival of the latest Cuboy adventure.
Check back tomorrow for the launch of a mesmerizing new featured game from SpikeVallentine!