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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » Polls & Comments » New RPGWatch site design

View Poll Results - Do yout think we need a new design?

No, keep it as it is 71 59.17%
Oh yes, I'll show you… 26 21.67%
I want Little Ponies 11 9.17%
I don't care 12 10.00%
Voters: 120. You may not vote on this poll

Default New RPGWatch site design

November 11th, 2017, 18:45
I'll add my two cents for what its worth. Some context - again, for what its worth - I've been involved in website design and development as my sole profession for almost 25 years now - and I own a small but highly successful agency who work on fairly complex projects with budgets often in the 6 figures.

I think watchers have spoken pretty clearly that there's not much desire from them for an overhaul - and I would have probably guessed that before reading this thread. I don't think the demographic you're trying to appeal to needs/wants things to be changed aesthetically. As long as things function relatively well - and the desktop site mostly does - then it's probably time you don't need to invest. Now it is possible to add a fresh coat of paint and not change those fundamentals… I just don't think you need to - and it's not likely to have any impact on your numbers. If that's the goal, you might be better looking at optimizations aimed at SEO (though I have not looked at anything to suggest you do - or don't - need to do that).

However, I will add to a few other comments that I do think the site needs to be made responsive. Having to pinch and zoom to use it is a pain (and you're getting dinged by Google for not being responsive). Maybe some user's eyes are still sharp enough that they don't need to do that - but a lot aren't.

Making the site responsive doesn't mean the desktop site needs to change at all. You just need to have an experienced front end dev work through the CSS and optimize it for handheld devices - and possibly some minor tweaks to the views.
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November 11th, 2017, 22:42
Never change a running system. I've seen so many sites getting worse after "design improvements". Maybe in 20 years, when there are new gadgets that need to be implemented, that would justify a technical upgrade while trying to keep the overall look intact.
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November 12th, 2017, 07:44
Originally Posted by tomasp3n View Post
You don't find yourself zooming in and out a lot on the phone? I do that anyway, and also often switch between landscape and photo depending on if I'm reading or writing. That's what I'm referring to. Convenience.
No I donít have that problem. I do have a big phone though. I find that in landscape it fits fine and I can read it on a phone. On the iPad itís as easy as desktop to read.

I understand what your saying though there are sites that I find I need to zoom in and out on.
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November 12th, 2017, 08:08
Why are the ponies not winning.
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November 12th, 2017, 18:30
This is one of three sites I use on the internet, and the only one I've never had an issue with the functionality. I'd like it to remain that way.
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November 12th, 2017, 20:22
Most of the recent changes on web pages I liked were extremely bad and focused on mobile phones. Like the current pcgamer page.
It's horrible because using a PC I want to have one List of News in chronigraphic order. I don't want to puzzle together which of the news were added since I visited the page 2 hours ago. I also dislike to scroll down the whole page because all the pictures are cluttering the news.
So, yeah. I am pretty happy with how it is right now.

Edit: One thing which could be changed is to add little "news boxes" in an additional column to make use of PC screen widths. But these should not replace the list of news, but they should be an addition to highlight some of the news with a little picture and the intro of the news maybe.
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November 12th, 2017, 20:31
The most import and most used submenu is "Forums/New Posts". I'd place it on the main page as a button, because it is hard to select on a non-PC device.

Or simply use greater menu fonts.
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November 13th, 2017, 01:49
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
Unfortunately, responsive design does often go hand in hand with a more mobile-focused aesthetic. There's no need for this to be the case though, and if were implemented well, it just means that more content would be displayed as the screen gets larger. On a site like this, it could be done really well.
I'm working in web development since 9 years and I've never seen that happen - making a website responsive had always hurt the desktop experience.
Originally Posted by SSIGuy View Post
Making the site responsive doesn't mean the desktop site needs to change at all. You just need to have an experienced front end dev work through the CSS and optimize it for handheld devices - and possibly some minor tweaks to the views.
My first intuition was to look at the splitted user data left and right of the posts within a thread - good luck making this responsive with "minor tweaks to the views".
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November 13th, 2017, 02:31
Originally Posted by Caddy View Post
Why are the ponies not winning.
The fact they are not is one of the reasons I like this place
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November 13th, 2017, 02:33
Originally Posted by Kylex View Post
I'm working in web development since 9 years and I've never seen that happen - making a website responsive had always hurt the desktop experience.
I think there's a simple reason for that - the impetus has almost always been to make a site easier to view on mobile platforms, because that's where the industry has decided people are going.

But, it's definitely possible to harness responsive design in the other direction - to enable better use of space on larger displays. It's just rarely a business priority, and it's not often seen done well. It could be interesting to apply it to a news site like this one.
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November 13th, 2017, 03:08
I voted "I don't care". Not because I don't care about the site, but I'm neutral about the change. I'm happy with the current look, but I guess the new look won't hurt either (once a while, brand new design would look fresh and could attract new members - although the site contents like reviews and member behaviour is more important than the new look)
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November 13th, 2017, 03:20
Originally Posted by purpleblob View Post
I voted "I don't care". Not because I don't care about the site, but I'm neutral about the change. I'm happy with the current look, but I guess the new look won't hurt either (once a while, brand new design would look fresh and could attract new members - although the site contents like reviews and member behaviour is more important than the new look)
Should have joined the ponies…
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November 13th, 2017, 04:42
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
But, it's definitely possible to harness responsive design in the other direction - to enable better use of space on larger displays.
I'm not sure if you meant, in part, more text from one side of the screen to the other, but if you did this is horrible for ease of reading. The same is true if you have tiled images piled one after another - it just becomes a maze of incongruent information. While I think this site's main page could stand to benefit from some very minor updates (use of side margins for articles?), the overall design of the site is efficient and clean as it stands.

Case in point: NexusMods Old vs tile-overload New. I would hate for what is currently an easily browsed site to go down a similar grotesque path of inefficiency.
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November 13th, 2017, 14:51
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
I'm not sure if you meant, in part, more text from one side of the screen to the other, but if you did this is horrible for ease of reading. The same is true if you have tiled images piled one after another - it just becomes a maze of incongruent information. While I think this site's main page could stand to benefit from some very minor updates (use of side margins for articles?), the overall design of the site is efficient and clean as it stands.

Case in point: NexusMods Old vs tile-overload New. I would hate for what is currently an easily browsed site to go down a similar grotesque path of inefficiency.
No, not just cramming the screen with as many tiles as possible, but just making more optimal use of space. Looking at this screenshot that TheSHEEP provided, I would certainly say that this is not optimal, either aesthetically or functionally. I don't find it particularly readable - lots of white space, lots of cramped text, and elements not very well balanced.

Spoiler


I just think it would be quite possible to improve upon that with some modern techniques, with better spacing, sizing and page balance. I don't think the fact that lots of other sites have used those tools badly precludes doing it well.

Of course, if I were Myrthos I probably wouldn't bother, as no matter what change is made, it will likely result in a lot of work that will just be badly received.
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Last edited by Ripper; November 13th, 2017 at 15:51.
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November 13th, 2017, 19:57
The RPGWatch design supports skins. The idea is that any new skin would just exist next to the current one and we enable registered people to select the current skin instead of the new default one if they like. Although, at the moment, the existence of such a new skin is not set in stone yet.
The forums design is different from the RPGWatch design, but also there a different skin could be selected. Non-registered users and those who prefer not to not have persistent cookies and need to log in on every visit, will see the new design by default.
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November 13th, 2017, 19:59
Also make sure to disable Add Blockers on RPG Watch. Not necessary here as the adverts are small and non intrusive.

In contrast to (and this is an excellent example on how not to use empty space): Spiegel.de

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November 13th, 2017, 20:43
Originally Posted by Myrthos View Post
The RPGWatch design supports skins. .
Hey, I got an idea for a new poll question. What color do you view the watch in? Light? Dark?
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November 14th, 2017, 00:08
I too voted for no change. The site is perfectly fine on my laptops, and my iphone is fine (it just requires zoom adjustments, especially for the pulldown menus). Most modern sites are image/video bloated, slow, and unresponsive. The simplicity of the RPGWatch site serves us well. It's fast and clean and controllable. I hate sites that constantly rearrange the layout on you, never getting it right, while impeding the user.
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November 14th, 2017, 02:36
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
I too voted for no change. The site is perfectly fine on my laptops, and my iphone is fine (it just requires zoom adjustments, especially for the pulldown menus). Most modern sites are image/video bloated, slow, and unresponsive. The simplicity of the RPGWatch site serves us well. It's fast and clean and controllable. I hate sites that constantly rearrange the layout on you, never getting it right, while impeding the user.
This. I am so sick of site bloat. Massive giant images everywhere. Very little text. All flash and no substance. It seems to be a thing these days. Provide less information on your site while adding more useless dazzle. One page I go to through my IP Provider is so loaded with movie clips, fancy apps, and razzle-dazzle it takes up to a minute to load even on an ultra fast connected.
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November 14th, 2017, 03:17
Voted for no change. I am old fashioned and web site changes to me mean more loading time, more animations, font type and size changes, which all add to diminishing my enjoyment in reading, interacting and following news using simple text here.
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