Announcements

The New Shiny Escapist

| 13 Dec 2011 19:50

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

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