The New Shiny Escapist

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The New Shiny Escapist

Today we're revealing some big changes here on The Escapist, the most noticeable of which is a new look for the website. Culminating the last six months of hard work here behind the scenes, this revision not only creates a more beautiful and readable site, but also includes substantial new underlying technologies. This new tech facilitates easier navigation, more contextually relevant articles, greater social integration, and expanded user customization.

It was nearly three years ago that we made a similarly large change to the site. The layout changes, modularity and programmatic support that came with that redesign allowed us to change and grow the site naturally with the state of the industry, and to do so relatively efficiently. To have made it three years with the same overall design is a great accomplishment in its own right. However, to take us into the next three years and beyond, we must make sure to know where media is headed and what our users want of the site.

Our key mission was to improve and increase usability. Here at The Escapist we offer a huge amount of content that spans a broad range of subjects and formats, posing a substantial challenge for the site to present all of it easily and effectively. As our offerings grew over the course of the last few years, so did the need to more effectively display them. Our editorial team made fantastic strides in curating this content on the front page, updating throughout the day the stories that appeared in the features areas on the front and subsequent pages. But it simply was not proving enough, as our home page grew packed, even cluttered, with great new videos, features and breaking news. We needed better tools to manage these areas, to help users discriminate between types of content, and to let the stories themselves breath and flourish in the design.

So today The Escapist launches fresh and new, expanding on the previous site with a cleaner, more open design with features that will make it easier to find what is new, what is hot, and to explore our enormous archive of favorites. We received a great amount of feedback on the presentation of our content, and we listened. Some highlights of the changes you can see today on the site are:

More Open Design - We have added a lot of "air" to the site overall, whether on the front page or individual content pages.

Available Navigation - To better address finding our wealth of content we have created several new methods of navigating the site.

  • Dynamic Navigation Bar - We have completely revamped our navigation bar to be fully dynamic, constantly updating with the newest items with automatic user customization.

  • Sortable Displays - There are now even more sortable lists of content throughout the site, allowing you more fine grain control over list displays to find exactly what you want, whether it be by chronology or popularity .

  • Section Markers - All feature boxes now clearly display the type of content being shown with a section marker, linked to the appropriate feature section for quick access.

  • Information Boxes - Using our revamped tagging system, all relevant content clearly presents more information about the game title, franchise, publisher and similar related data so you can easily find more contextually relevant information.

New Content Sections - Also facilitated by changes to tagging, new sections are available to browse, such as the platform-specific pages now linked on the navigation bar.

We are excited to present the new site to you, but this isn't the end of the story of course. We have already received fantastic input from the Publisher's Club and implemented many of their suggestions. We look forward to your comments as you experience the changes and get comfortable with the new site.

We appreciate everything you, the readers, have done to make the site what it is today. This place would not be the same without your voice!

Thanks,
Greg Lincoln,
Vice President of Production

Permalink

Oh god, the video are crashing on me. It took forever to find the forums. Im sorry but this, is alsmost as bad as when gwaker redid their sites, but here the site actually takes longer to load.

THEY CHANGED IT NOW IT SUCKS, RAGE RAGE RAGE RAGE RAGE

Now that we've got that out of the way, I don't particurally like some aspects of the site change-I liked the old color scheme and feel a bit better. However, I very much like some of the options that the Escapist has added.

First impressions: I hate it. But, as with every other website who changes their layout, I guess I'll grow more accustomed to it.

Also, and I'll attribute this to the site changing and whatnot, everything is loading super slowly.

Well obviously it was a bit of a shock at first and it'll take getting used to. But so far I'm liking it, well done escapist people.

Well the forums are raging pretty badly. I don't actually have any problems with the new layout, navigating and stuff is pretty simple...

My only problem is the list of consoles across the top, it just looks a bit out of place to me.

It's too spread out as an interface, I feel like there is just a bunch of empty space in between points of interest in the site. The last interface was easy to view and navigate, where here I just feel lost. I know that it's new so you can expect someone to work their way around it in the first few minutes but it's much more difficult because of the way it's set up then just because it's new.

Saw this coming since I'm Pubclub. Gotta say I don't have much to rage about, but I kind of wish the color scheme was a little warmer. Easier on the eyes.

I knew one of these days you would change the apperances (well I'm still suprise that you pick today of all days to change it or is this suppose to be a Xmas present?), afterall no website can stay the same forever.

I like the new drop down menu and the open and close features but I suggest you could maybe tone down the white background abit?

I love it... I wish there was an optional darker template, perhaps somewhere in the profile selection or something, but I can live with bleeding eyeballs. Inefficient site design I can't live with, so this particular change is very much welcome.

I appreciate what you're trying to do, and I hope the new features will prove useful.

In the meantime however, please tone down the bright whiteness! I've got a headache after just the first few minutes. Add a background or something...

EDIT: Also, why do all my Escapist RSS feeds appear to have gone nuts?

Dango:
Well the forums are raging pretty badly. I don't actually have any problems with the new layout, navigating and stuff is pretty simple...

Thank you for your kind words, benevolent stranger!

I'm willing to get used to a new site. You guys sound like it's been a lot of effort and it's for our benefit. Thank you for that. The only thing that I would have asked for was a heads up. I might not have seen it, but a letter from the editor a week or so in advanced would have been nice. Thanks for all your work and I look forward to seeing more of your amazing content.

"Culminating the last six months of hard work here behind the scenes, this revision not only creates a more beautiful and readable site"

Say that one more time with a straight face.

The background hurt my eyes and the site looks messy and just plain bad.

Well, the Design Team sure did fail if streamlining was the idea, because the new design is cluttered like hell.

So far I don't particularly mind it, but then again I have only seen it for two minutes. Does seem a bit "cleaner" than the old one if that makes sense.

Sorry, not a fan. At all. I'm all for change, etc. etc., but this design is incredibly busy on the eyes. Why are the forums more marginalised? You have to scroll down to see the hot topics. Groups aren't as easy to access, either. I can't even find the groups portal.

The new design- the pale blue bars that head the sections- is in fact very busy on the eyes, and incredibly bright. It's just not very satisfying aestheticly.

Overall, this is a very, very disappointing change. The front page is cluttered, disorganised and takes forever to load.

Very disappointed.

EDIT: In case the staff is looking for proper feedback, I'll break it down:
- The colour scheme it unattractive- the pale colours are just, well, garish. The darker navy was better.
-The front page lacks any distinct dividers or visual cues to seperate sections. It looks cluttered.
-The bright white background is, well, too bright.
-The lag is incredible.
-The drop-down menus are nice.

Itsthefuzz:
It's too spread out as an interface, I feel like there is just a bunch of empty space in between points of interest in the site. The last interface was easy to view and navigate, where here I just feel lost. I know that it's new so you can expect someone to work their way around it in the first few minutes but it's much more difficult because of the way it's set up then just because it's new.

Pretty much this for me. I don't like all the white, and I liked how the recent articles feed worked before, I don't like it so much now.

I just want you to know that I'm wearing sunglasses. it's 10 PM and i'm on the northen hemisphere, and I have to wear sunglasses. just thought you might want to know.
otherwise the layout is... well it worse than before, but could be a lot worse (as youtube demonstrated). If you change the colors back to the previous version I think I could live with this.
Otherwise, I'll either get used to it, or decide I'm fed up with internet companies fucking over their customers and see if I can find a better website somewhere. (fat chance)

Eh...I'm not the raging type, but I do think the new design is a little too open, to the point of being bland. The colors also seem a little too cool, but I suspect I'll grow accustomed to that particular change.

Other than that, I dunno. Something about it feels...too generic. Again, I might grow accustomed over time, but for now at least, it just feels like "a game journalist website" rather than "The Escapist".

Dislike the color scheme right now. Like the navigation toolbar at the top.
It's a bit slow though, and the front page is kind of a mess with too much clutter.

I'm hopeful, but I wouldn't say I'm currently happy with it right now.

Can i have my old layout back? This one is so bright my monitor is burning out.

Not sure why it needed to be changed.

I'm not gonna lie... I got on the home page and thought it just looked like trash. It's just so plain, boring, and unoriginal. The old site had some life to it, and now I feel as if it's all been sucked out.

In all seriousness though; I'm not ecstatic about the new look; but I can see how others may like it, and may just take a while to finally get used to it.

People are freaking out for nothing. Only problem I have is the colour scheme. So much blue and white. I live in FInland, I'm cold enough as it is. I liked the blue-yeallow of the old site. Throw some red in here. Orange, maybe?

Also, it's really slow for me, but that's a thing that will be fixed right away, I would imagine.

Can someone tell me where to find the series index?

That page had everything I ever looked at on the escapist, all the videos and whatever else I would occasionally look at, it also had the latest of everything from comics to series down the right side.

I love it...

Kotaku, take note: The layout didn't change too much, and it all feels more light and fresh.

This doesn't look great - the solid white background makes it look a lot more amateurish and cheap but I guess I'll get used to it.

Where's the blue? Blue is the staple of Escapistmagazine.com, and now you've gone and fucked it all up.
Other than that who am I to complain since I don't care for this site anymore. Although I if I were to truly complain about something it's all the open areas which could be used for something. Also the blue is missing.

I honestly think it will grow on me, EXCEPT ALL THE WHITE! Its way too bright. The drop down menus are very nice. BUT THE WHITE! The new main page forum navigator is also nice. BUT DID I MENTION THE ABUNDANCE OF WHITE!

So yeah, tone down the white, and it will be a lot more enjoyable.

Has anyone mentioned that it's too bright, and that the news should be on the top of the page?

I'll do so.

Again.

Great work on the tech side, I just don't like it for this website.

EDIT: The site is running really slow as well. I'm sure people have also noticed and commented, but it takes so long for a page to show up, I haven't checked.

................

I came here to rage, but... eh, people are already doing that.

I just wish we still had the sidebar that went straight to the shows...

It looks like facebook now. Like... the current facebook. The bad one. With boxes and feeds everywhere, and everything way too spread out and inefficient.

Before it was compact, streamlined, efficient, and warm. Now, its facebook.

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