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Gamasutra got a facelift
by Kris Graft on 05/30/13 01:43:00 pm   Editor Blog   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Hello, readers! If you came to this article via our front page, you will have noticed some changes to our layout that are meant to better highlight our best stories, and keep you up to date with the latest news and analysis.

The most obvious change is at the top of the website. Here's the place where we curate and highlight the day's most relevant content, whether it's a blog from our community, original journalism from our staff or contributors, or breaking news.

You'll notice that we do not have a section called "features" anymore, but that doesn't mean that we're abandoning in-depth tutorials, interviews and long-form journalism. We've had a lot of internal discussion about the buckets "news" and "features," which have been staple sections on Gamasutra for years. But you may have noticed that a lot of the stories we run in our "news" section these days aren't really "news" updates at all, but simply single-page versions of what you might call "features," including design analyses, cultural commentary, tutorials, interviews and so on.

So it started to become clear that a "feature," a lot of times, just meant "a long, multi-page article" (often, these articles would come from our community of developers, much like blogs do today). Don't worry, we'll still be publishing longer-form pieces from our journalists and bloggers. We just won't be calling them "features," as the word became increasingly meaningless. (You'll still be able to access past feature articles here, along with new stories that use a multi-page format.)

Under our top stories, we've adjusted our feed so that it's more blog-like. It updates reverse-chronologically, so our newest stories are at the top, making it easier to come back to Gamasutra and see what our latest stories are. (Stories in the main column had all been manually-positioned, previously.) You can see all of our updates here, including the best blog content.

We'll continue to have a Featured Blogs section on the front page as well, under the "From the Community" module. We've also made our job section more prominent, and added a more prominent call for developer blogs on the front page. Additionally, if you visit our site on a smartphone, you'll see our front page is now adaptive, for more mobile-friendly browsing. Our web dev team is currently working on making mobile versions of our article pages as well.

We still have more intensive design work that we are preparing for, but hopefully this facelift proves to be a bit friendlier in the meantime. Aside from the redesign, I also hope that our stronger focus on developer blogs helps connect you with your peers more effectively, in a way that helps you make better video games. I feel that we've been seeing some improvement in blog quality, and we've been getting some positive feedback (along with helpful criticism, too). There have definitely been a few comment threads that have had a "hallways of GDC" type of feel, which is pretty cool.

And speaking of feedback, we're happy to hear it. You can email me at kgraft@gamasutra.com, or our blog director Christian Nutt at cnutt@gamasutra.com. You can also reply in the comments below.

Sincere thanks to everyone who reads us!

Kris Graft, EIC, Gamasutra
Twitter: @krisgraft 


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Comments


Rob Graeber
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First impression: Seems kinda clunky, ie the featured top section is gigantic, and I wish the latest articles section had more room compared to the rightmost sidebar

Jeremy Alessi
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Keep up the great work!

Kyle Phillips
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I've lurked on Gamasutra for a long time. I like the new top story area and I'm happy to hear the mobile version of the site is being worked on (I use both desktop and mobile to view the site frequently). I do wish some time would be spent on making CSS layouts that scale to higher resolutions. There is an enormous amount of desktop screen real-estate going unused @ 1920x1200.

Jeremy Reaban
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Unfortunately, this is just the latest trend in websites being made for tablets, with a vertical orientation, rather than for computers, with a horizontal.

Chris Hendricks
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I'm not really enjoying the gigantic top image. Nothing else about the design is jumping out at me, though, which probably means that it's implemented well. :)

Kris Graft
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Maybe it's just the piercing gaze of Peter Molyneux(?).

Yasuhiro Noguchi
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Would be great if you made the site easier to read on smartphones. You made the landing page experience much better recently, but going to the articles themselves still dumps you directly into the desktop site layout.

Otherwise, thanks for all your effort!

Kris Graft
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Actually, we are working on mobile versions of our pages. Hang tight!

Maurício Gomes
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I dislike the gigant molineoux picture

Chris Charla
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Needs more race car coverage.

Kris Graft
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Oh man I KNOW.

Curtiss Murphy
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I like the new look, and I miss the features section. :(

Brandon Sheffield
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I do find the upper-right bit just a little confusing - it's not labeled, so I don't know what it's meant to be. it confuses me a bit more since the top post in the upper right area is also two other places on the front page.

is some stuff only up there? is it a mirror of some things that are linked elsewhere on the site? those are the questions my brain asks about this interface!

Kris Graft
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Ah yeah ok. The main big one and the five on the right are our top stories, selected by editors (most interesting, most newsworthy, biggest impact, etc.). We pin those up there manually. They also appear in reverse-chronological order in the "Latest Updates" section if you just want to scroll through all of our content. But yeah, I kiiiinda see what you're saying re: the top right. Kiiiiinda...

Christian Nutt
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To an extent I suspect this is partially because we split the site into two columns for so long, and now the top is unified -- if anything it's a more typical layout than our old one. You'll get used to it!

Zack Wood
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Looks great, and I like the gigantic features section!

Bart Stewart
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It's good to try new things, freshen up a bit, and start providing device-aware formatting.

On the other hand... while I'm good with the general reformatting, the iDevice front-page layouts are super-frustrating since you implemented them a couple of weeks ago.

Specifically:

1. The iPad version doesn't allow pinch-resizing beyond a certain point. I can't blow up the center column so that it's more easily readable.

2. The iPhone version can't be resized at all. Instead of showing me abstracts of all the main elements and letting me pinch to zoom in on the piece I want, now I have to take the one column you choose to show me or click on a word and wait for that page to load.

3. Neither front-page version offers an option to display the full desktop-style front page.

I understand the changes are a work in progress. I hope this feedback is helpful.

Kris Graft
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Hey Bart! All noted, and yes, very helpful.

E McNeill
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I'm happy with the design (though as an RSS junkie, I'll almost never see it), but I'm a teensy bit worried about the content changes. I like the blogs, and I suppose that longer articles don't need a special "Feature" label, but I do love my Gamasutra-produced/edited content, and I worry that it's being de-emphasized. Community content is cool, but it's the voice of the professional editors and journalists that I value the most on this site.

Kris Graft
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I also like the community content, and people are definitely reading it. I'll make sure that you'll still have plenty of Gamasutra produced/edited content to go alongside that.

Renan Rennó
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I'm a gama daily user, I barely check the site's home...


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