Thoughts on the new layout.


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HairyArse
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OK. Rather than fill the bugs and fixes thread with chat on the new layout I thought I'd create a new thread and explain my thinking.

The problem with the old layout was that if we had a few days without any reviews, the site looked like it hadn't been updated in a while. While the main emphasis has always been on reviews, we could have had tens of news stories posted but it wasn't obvious.

So, I've now merged news and reviews together in more of a 'blog' *spit style layout to make the site look more active and less static. The first box on the right hand side is for reviews as, reviews in the main column will quickly get bumped down the page. I want to draw attention to them even when they're not immediately visible.

As for the stripes, I've gone with a transparent bounding box for all the content boxes so that hopefully I can get companies to promote their games through the site and like EG and VG247 do, I can get a background wallpaper that fills the space behind the boxes.

I just need to go through the secondary pages now and tweak them to fix the new layout as well as then continue to develop the elements further. For instance I'd like to make the site boxes sortable like the BBC website. I'd also like to make them collapsable so if you want to minimse the adverts, as a registered member you'll be able to.
#1 at 12:41:52 - 02/01/2011
TheBoy
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As I said in the bugs thread, the only part I'm struggling with at the moment are the boxes for comments, forum posts and news kind of blend into one as I scroll the page. Perhaps the headings could be more distinctive rather than just text?

I'm getting used to it more and more now though :)
#2 at 13:11:34 - 02/01/2011
HairyArse
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Yeah they do need further development and will change over time. I just wanted to put some pressure on myself by making what I'd do so far LIVE so I had no choice but to fix the rest of it sooner rather than later.

:D
#3 at 13:18:09 - 02/01/2011
HairyArse
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I also need to modify the CMS accordingly.
#4 at 13:18:41 - 02/01/2011
NewYork
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The stripes make me want to kill you.
#5 at 14:01:38 - 02/01/2011
HairyArse
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Haha. Well they don't offend me that much but I do worry that depending on your brightness/contrast levels they may well be more offensive. They're easily changeable though so don't worry.
#6 at 14:03:01 - 02/01/2011
HairyArse
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Just for you NY I've toned them down a bit.
#7 at 14:04:51 - 02/01/2011
NewYork
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Nah, it's just an eyesore, dude. Wait to see what other people think, tho.

Otherwise, it's looking pretty cool.
#8 at 14:14:16 - 02/01/2011
DDevil
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I don't mind the stripes now the boxes are not see-through.
#9 at 14:30:45 - 02/01/2011
HairyArse
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Problem is, if I reduce the transparency of the boxes, I worry that there's just too much white.
#10 at 14:33:59 - 02/01/2011
NewYork
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I find the stripes irritating to the eyes, even more so when scrolling, and also when trying to read text on top. I dunno if I'm the only one. I can't think of any other site that has a nauseating background - they must be on to something :P

Yeah, you're right about too much white. I think the site is looking kinda pale ATM. Not enough bold colour, perhaps?
#11 at 14:40:14 - 02/01/2011
Whizzo
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Hmm I was pretty anti the new format until I read the justification but I still think the news stories are far too big. I'd keep the general style but would suggest perhaps halving the size of news articles while keeping reviews/previews/columns the same size as they are now. It would make the bigger content more prominent but still have more activity on the front page.
#12 at 16:42:00 - 02/01/2011
Sillothian
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Love the new look and it is much better without the stripes ;-)

For what it is worth here is what I would change -

1. Get rid of the speech bubble at the top of site. Replace it with the search box and RSS/Twiiter/Facebook/Contact icons. You can now move the right hand column up.

2. The Latest News box is redundant so bin it and I'm not sure about that video box either. It just seems to be there for no reason.

3. On the main news column I would have the heading above the picture not underneath.

4. On the latest comments box clicking on the speech bubble should take you to the comment, not just the link beneath it.

5. My order for the right hand column; Latest Reviews, Latest Forum Topics, Latest Comments, Facebook, Pokerlistings.

6. Move the Amazon ad to beneath the other ad on the far right. I think it used to be there originally.

7. Have an older post button that will then populate the front page with older posts! Like Downloadsquad.
#13 at 18:22:03 - 02/01/2011
evilashchris
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Liking the new background a lot, but why don't you use the ATTG logo as the pattern?
#14 at 18:31:25 - 02/01/2011
HairyArse
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Whizzo said:Hmm I was pretty anti the new format until I read the justification but I still think the news stories are far too big. I'd keep the general style but would suggest perhaps halving the size of news articles while keeping reviews/previews/columns the same size as they are now. It would make the bigger content more prominent but still have more activity on the front page.


I think you're spot on there. I'll resize them and see how that looks.
#15 at 19:03:08 - 02/01/2011
ilmaestro
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I think it looks pretty good atm, but I would back up the suggestions of using the AATG logo as the "wallpaper", and doing something to make the meatier content stand out more from smaller news stories.
#16 at 19:35:41 - 02/01/2011
HairyArse
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Just tried using AATG logo but it doesn't really work as it's not symmetrical and so doesn't tile as nicely. :Z
#17 at 19:42:33 - 02/01/2011
NewYork
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The big chunks that light up yellow are slightly confusing as it feels like everything that just turned yellow is a hyperlink, but really it's just some text within that area.
#18 at 19:47:12 - 02/01/2011
HairyArse
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Yeah that's what Sil mentioned. I'm currently trying to work out how to turn DIVs into hyperlinks.
#19 at 19:50:46 - 02/01/2011
HairyArse
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Fixed those.
#20 at 19:56:48 - 02/01/2011
TheBoy
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Not a big issue admittedly, but whilst you are having to alter the CMS, could you put a character limit (or indicate a limit) on the quote field? I'm always a little wary about using anything too long and it getting cut off :-P
#21 at 09:56:39 - 03/01/2011
repairmanjack
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Huzzah! A thread I can post in!

Rich, your fopping website keeps signing me out so I can't post anywhere. When I go back to the main forum page it auto-signs me in... any thread, nada.

Oh, and happy new year, folks.
#22 at 17:34:00 - 04/01/2011
DDevil
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Is it possible to "sticky" articles to the top of the front page for a while? You wouldn't want big reviews instantly getting buried under news stories just because they were posted after it would you?
#23 at 20:16:18 - 04/01/2011
ilmaestro
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^^^

Exactly what I came in here to post.
#24 at 20:22:15 - 04/01/2011
HairyArse
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DDevil said:Is it possible to "sticky" articles to the top of the front page for a while? You wouldn't want big reviews instantly getting buried under news stories just because they were posted after it would you?


That's something I'm working on tonight. Specifically the GOTY and Scrambled articles.
#25 at 20:30:28 - 04/01/2011
Micro_Explosion
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I like it a lot more now. It looks like there is a lot more being posted - I've already visited a bit more than usual just to see if there's anything new or interesting that has appeared.

As long as the news articles don't move into press release only mode (like nearly all the other sites) then it's all looking good from here.

Regarding the pale look and the background image, have you considered one large image - not a lot going on on it just something that is a background. Rockpapershotgun is what I'm thinking of in its layout as an example (without ripping it off :P)
#26 at 23:53:00 - 04/01/2011
Trip SkyWay
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Really like it.

The header could maybe do with being redesigned to match the content's colours.

And how about a 1px faint grey line around the background?
#27 at 09:48:03 - 05/01/2011
billdoor
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what sort of numbers is AATG doing now days?
#28 at 09:16:04 - 07/01/2011
billdoor
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repairmanjack said:Huzzah! A thread I can post in!

Rich, your fopping website keeps signing me out so I can't post anywhere. When I go back to the main forum page it auto-signs me in... any thread, nada.

Oh, and happy new year, folks.

^^
This. now days I copy everything to the clip board before I hit submit on a post because everything gets lost when it decides to log me out. It happens on IE,Chrome, Firefox, at work, home and via a virtual machine on AlwaysonPC too.
#29 at 09:23:22 - 07/01/2011
peej
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Probably a Grandma / Sucking eggs thing but make sure you've got cookies and Javascript enabled. Or if you're paranoid about security, allow cookies from this site even if you disallow them from everything else.
#30 at 09:40:25 - 07/01/2011

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