Giant Bomb News

233 Comments

Recent Design Changes [UPDATED]

We've been mucking up your favorite websites a bit, by embiggening them.

UPDATE: Based on feedback from our subscribers we recently made the following changes to the video hub.

  1. Logged in users will see the latest videos by default.
  2. You can now toggle auto-play on or off.
  3. Subscribers can now select HTML5 as a video option if they're using a supporting browser. (Chrome, Safari, IE9)
  4. Back button functionality now is completely consistant across the entire page.
  5. Middle clicks and command-clicks act as normal for opening new tabs.
  6. Timestamps added to video thumbnails (this one will be in this afternoon).

We'll continue to monitor feedback and make changes as needed. Thanks for the support.

ORIGINAL STORY: This post is likely a bit overdue. If you haven't noticed by now, the engineers have been fooling around quite a bit on the Whiskey Media sites' design over the last several weeks. Right now those changes only show up on Giant Bomb and Screened, but expect the rest of the network to receive these same updates relatively soon. In general, most of these redesigns have been met with approval, but I felt now was a good time to explain the thought process since we're planning to do a lot more pixel-pushing in the next few months.

In general our team tries to accomplish the following every time we start a redesign project:

  1. Remove clicks and make the content more accessible.
  2. Provide a better experience for the subscribers that support us.
  3. Be pretty.

Today Alexis and Mike launched a new video hub that hopefully hit all three. The page looks the same for subscribers and regular members, but in use they are drastically different. Rather than explain it, check out the video below. Put simply, we removed page loads completely for subscribers so that they can get from video to video much faster.

Pretty cool, huh? Same page and layout, but really a better experience for our paid members. I'm bringing this up because it's something we plan on doing a lot more of as we attack pages to redesign this year and wanted to be upfront with you guys about it. The reasoning is simple. For non-paying members we still have to worry about pageviews. Those pages contain ads, and ads bring us revenue. For subscribers, well, you're already helping us out, so we're gonna build the site towards you as if we were building it for ourselves. That is to say my dream site, a site without clutter and tedium. Biodigital jazz, man.

That said, I still think the Internet is mostly a mess when it comes to UI and we will always try to avoid adding to the pile. For non-subscribers we will continue our policies of not taking away features that exist and not adding undue pageloads that break up content. That means no multi-page reviews, slideshow galleries, or general click traps intended to do nothing but load ads. It's simply a bad way to build the web, and Whiskey Media wants to stay in the not pissing you off business. But as we attack new pages, we do plan on giving subscribers as many high fives as possible.

If you have any questions or concerns please let me know in the comments below or through a private message. If the sillyness of an "embiggen" button has taught you anything, it's that we listen to all the stupid ideas that come our way. Thanks for supporting our sites.

Dave Snider on Google+
233 Comments
Posted by snide

UPDATE: Based on feedback from our subscribers we recently made the following changes to the video hub.

  1. Logged in users will see the latest videos by default.
  2. You can now toggle auto-play on or off.
  3. Subscribers can now select HTML5 as a video option if they're using a supporting browser. (Chrome, Safari, IE9)
  4. Back button functionality now is completely consistant across the entire page.
  5. Middle clicks and command-clicks act as normal for opening new tabs.
  6. Timestamps added to video thumbnails (this one will be in this afternoon).

We'll continue to monitor feedback and make changes as needed. Thanks for the support.

ORIGINAL STORY: This post is likely a bit overdue. If you haven't noticed by now, the engineers have been fooling around quite a bit on the Whiskey Media sites' design over the last several weeks. Right now those changes only show up on Giant Bomb and Screened, but expect the rest of the network to receive these same updates relatively soon. In general, most of these redesigns have been met with approval, but I felt now was a good time to explain the thought process since we're planning to do a lot more pixel-pushing in the next few months.

In general our team tries to accomplish the following every time we start a redesign project:

  1. Remove clicks and make the content more accessible.
  2. Provide a better experience for the subscribers that support us.
  3. Be pretty.

Today Alexis and Mike launched a new video hub that hopefully hit all three. The page looks the same for subscribers and regular members, but in use they are drastically different. Rather than explain it, check out the video below. Put simply, we removed page loads completely for subscribers so that they can get from video to video much faster.

Pretty cool, huh? Same page and layout, but really a better experience for our paid members. I'm bringing this up because it's something we plan on doing a lot more of as we attack pages to redesign this year and wanted to be upfront with you guys about it. The reasoning is simple. For non-paying members we still have to worry about pageviews. Those pages contain ads, and ads bring us revenue. For subscribers, well, you're already helping us out, so we're gonna build the site towards you as if we were building it for ourselves. That is to say my dream site, a site without clutter and tedium. Biodigital jazz, man.

That said, I still think the Internet is mostly a mess when it comes to UI and we will always try to avoid adding to the pile. For non-subscribers we will continue our policies of not taking away features that exist and not adding undue pageloads that break up content. That means no multi-page reviews, slideshow galleries, or general click traps intended to do nothing but load ads. It's simply a bad way to build the web, and Whiskey Media wants to stay in the not pissing you off business. But as we attack new pages, we do plan on giving subscribers as many high fives as possible.

If you have any questions or concerns please let me know in the comments below or through a private message. If the sillyness of an "embiggen" button has taught you anything, it's that we listen to all the stupid ideas that come our way. Thanks for supporting our sites.

Posted by Crono11

I'm liking what I'm seeing.

Posted by benjaebe

Love it and love you, Mr. Snider.

Posted by MisterMouse

I am actually really like the new comment style, great job design and engineering team!

Edited by PillClinton

Great job with the redesign, guys. Looks super slick. Also, thanks for listening to feedback and being willing to make changes.

Posted by tourgen

you guys have put together a pretty nice site

Posted by DarkbeatDK

Thanks for adding that Quick Comment option I requested on Facebook :)

Posted by wickedsc3

I like it too. I think you guys should add a tag for Happy Hours and TNT's that you archive, under the video tab.

Posted by MooseyMcMan

Man, I wish I could be embiggened. Wish I had a credit card.  
 
Either way, keep up the great job duders! You are the toppest of top men. 

Moderator
Posted by Thompson820

This looks great, loving the work you guys are always putting into the sites. Probably the best UI design on the web, IMHO.

Posted by NathHaw

Thanks for continuing to make Whiskey Media better for all and especially for the paid subscribers.

Posted by Artie

Comment system is swell. Also: 
 
GiantBomb has ads? Am I ruining the website by running ad block?

Posted by Pishogue

Absolutely fantastic! I like clicking on Andre's belly to embiggen!

Posted by Xeiphyer

Oh hello sexy comment boxes.

Posted by DefAde

If you could just fix the 'line breaks' after ever link in every article, it would be better than awesome

Posted by Bigheart711

Nice! <3

Posted by JeffTheBadger

The new video hub looks sweet and also tight!

Posted by TeejIV

I like the new comment style, but it's really hard to tell which page of the comments I'm looking at. Maybe it's just my monitor, though.

Posted by FLStyle

Very nice, the redesigns have been a breath of fresh Whiskey air.

Posted by enemymouse

Very awesome.

Posted by Zimbo

I really like the new video page designs. I also love the embiggen icon despite being a filthy internet peasant and not being able to use it.

Posted by Brackynews

/cross-crowd-high-five aka pulling-a-klepek

Posted by Zero_

@wickedsc3: I agree - they need also need a tab that archives the random Justin.TV stuff they do, especially for the E3 streams.

Posted by ExplodingTuba

I can honestly say that as a non-paying member of Whiskey Media that you have taken the most respectable and honest approach and it is very refreshing. Keep up the fantastic work, all of you!

Posted by Kinggi

Really slick shit i must say.

Posted by Branthog

After some initial font bumpiness many weeks ago, things have seriously improved. The site is gorgeous and getting more useful and sensible to navigate. Probably my only current problems are:

1) I really hate all the facebook/twitter tie-in stuff. Don't use them. Don't want to use them. Don't like having it plastered everywhere. Same goes for reddit, furl, digg, +1, delicious, pinboard, stumbleupon and so on. If I use something, I probably already have an interface for it and having a button on the page is just more clutter.

2) It's nearly impossible to follow a discussion. This may have changed recently, but since I gave up trying a long time ago, I wouldn't know. Primarily, the problem is that if I make a comment and someone responds to me, it's fucking impossible to find it in the thread. Even if I have private messages turned on and it notifies me, it just gives me a link to the discussion and I have to click on every page and do a CTRL+F with my name or their name or part of the discussion to find it on that page. Not so hard if there are two or three pages, but not worth doing when there are dozens.

Posted by ghostchant

The embiggening is upon us!

Posted by csl316

Only problem is that videos keep switching for me midway through. I was immersed in Child of Eden, then got sent to Alice. Then 10 minutes in, sent to Duke.

That part sucks;

Posted by l3illyl3ob

And here I was just thinking "I really like the new layout, I just wish clicking a video didn't make me load a new page!"  Turns out, that's just because I'm a non-paying scrub.  I have no problem with this, your reasoning is pretty solid.

Posted by angryemu

I really like the new design, but for some reason it has killed the frame rate on the videos for me. They run great in full screen and ran great embedded in the page on the old design. Now, though, I'm getting less than 10 fps on embedded videos with the new design. Weird.

Posted by Devil240Z

Looks great. Really like the additions. Pretty soon I might stop watching all the videos in Itunes... Well that still seems to be a ways off.

Posted by FateOfNever

This weirded me out a bit at first, but after realizing this means I can watch the Persona 4 Endurance Run (or any other series of videos) without requiring two tabs open for easier access to the videos I want, I am totally behind this change.

Posted by DarkHeroZark

Dave, I LOVE the Enbiggen button

Posted by crusader8463

The new video page is still doesn't do the one thing I want it to. I'm trying to watch the Endurance Run and I have it bookmarked on the page I left off on, but every time I go back to the bookmark it loads page 1 at the end of the DP ER instead of the page I left off on. It's a pain in the ass to find the page every time.

Posted by Blair

Great stuff, guys!

Posted by TehJedicake

Paid members ftw!!!

Posted by FrederickOggVorbis

Enjoying the redesign aswell

Posted by rargy

It's great but it needs an option to turn off auto-loading of the next video.

Posted by snide

@Branthog: You can turn off the facebook links in your profile settings area. Come on dude, you think I wouldn't give you that option? :)

Posted by Pinworm45

I like the updates but my only complaint is that it's TOO big. I have a 22" monitor at 1680x1050, and the site feels so big, like I'm running it at 800x600 on my monitor or something. Lowering the text size makes it better, but then the text looks weird and is hard to read and doesn't match the size. I guess what I'm saying is it'd be cool if it could be scaled down a little bit, but I'm guessing that'd be a bit difficult. 
 
Either way, keep up the good work.

Posted by AhmadMetallic

WOOOOOOOOO

Posted by Yummylee

Watching that video in full screen felt so meta-rific it was a little disorienting.

Edited by ShaggE

Oh WOW, the video page and comment section look nice. Huge, huge props to the Top Men.

Edited by Forcen

Nice changes, but i cant embiggen without restarting the video.

Also, a HTML5 mode with WebM video would be awesome.

Posted by ThePickle

The embiggen icon is the best thing to happen to the internet since Rich Gallup.

Posted by Figcoinc

I really enjoy what you guys are doing with the site. As a proud paid member I also appreciate what is being done to make our experience as streamlined as possible.

Posted by BlazeHedgehog

I have one problem: Lately, picking "Streaming" will mean that the video just ends after 20 minutes like it reached the end of the file. With the way that works now, instead of being able to rewind and pick up where the file died, it will instantly skip me to the next video and using the back button on my browser doesn't seem to work.

Posted by Hexogen
@Poki3: It's a subscriber only feature.
Edited by LifeByDegrees

I really appreciate the development that has gone into the Whiskey Media brand- and the website development is a huge part of it. 
 
The process of viewing content is key to long term viewer satisfaction and keeping those that just try the site in the mental process of coming back.  
 
One concern and potential improvement I've run into follows here-:

Is there a way to make viewing longer series of videos easier?  
Example: I'm watching the Persona 4 Endurance run videos.  

In the current design- if I click through the archive of Endurance run videos- then click on the specific video- its difficult to go back quickly to the older- somewhat buried content is- as the script does not allow for a simple Back browser button. I think this is simply a part of the design that has a very specific function- but is something that cold resolve a lot of future issues.
 
 In other sites- this is often resolved- or not resolved- by having the recommended videos include the naturally next video in the series.  
 
This same sort of issue occurs with podcast archives on the site. 
 
Though somewhat unrelated- I can't seem to access the vast majority of recent Bombcasts via the RSS feed or iTunes? Is this me- or is something specific to how the Bombcast is managed? 
 
Thanks for all you do!

Posted by blueaniman93

This is awesome!

Now everything looks shiny.