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
Edited by MrKlorox

In Firefox 4, the video on this page is too large. It's extending past the page's intended width and is being partially covered up by the Featured/Recent Articles and Popular News pane on the right. Seems like the main pane is below 600px now. (edit: just realized it was the old video player. Now that I re opened this page the new player is up and it fits properly)

edit: And now after I've posted a comment, every single word in the entire page that isn't in my Firefox dictionary has the squiggly red underline signifying the word is misspelled. And everywhere I click, a flashing | cursor thing shows up as if I was clicking in an editable text box like this one.

Posted by Sayishere

Im liking it alot, nice one.

Edited by armaan8014

This seems to be working for non members as well. What are they talking about?
 
Edit: Except for embiggen. Only thing not working for non members.

Posted by CrashTanuki
@snide: Thanks for acknowledging the issue. I get that the paid members deserve a lot of your attention, but us freebies need love too if you want us to make the big switch. Keep up the great work.
Posted by Diablochicken14

Awesome work Top Men!

Posted by President_Barackbar

*Duke Nukem voice* I'd buy this for a dollar!

Posted by Winternet

I just want to take a bath in this new design.

Posted by SpartanAmbrose

It's like you were reading my mind, Dave! I was just thinking about how it would be awesome if you could access the comments without having to load up the old video page. The embiggen feature is great as well. Whiskey Media already had the best websites in terms of content, now you're just spoiling us with the best interface on the internet. Great job, Jeremy.

Posted by Kraznor

I appreciate the effort and the notion is cool but all the videos I've been watching lately have been loading pretty erratically and I can't help wonder if its related to the recent changes. Gotten to the point where it stopped playing halfway through a 90 second MK trailer to continue loading. Didn't used to have these issues and I'm using the same connection. This has primarily been on the mobile site, if that makes a difference.

Posted by cikame

I'm a tabbing mad man so as long as every link/picture opens easily into a new tab i'm good.

I can't tab screenshots but i only ever really look for 1 or 2 specific pictures so it's not too bad.

Other than those things, excellent website design unlike gamespot which progressively gets worse and worse.

Posted by cambot3000

Please give us the option to disable the next video from playing automatically.

Posted by ChickenPants

Good job guys, I understand what you're going for with this.
 
Only minor complaints: You can no longer see the date of upload above the video. Also I used to like how you could see what was uploaded on each day on the left of the page. Finally, it would be nice if you could turn autoplay off.
 
They're only little things, I'm not going to lose any sleep over them.

Posted by Vexxan

Very cool! Keep up the good work, Whiskey folks!

Posted by Castiel

@wickedsc3 said:

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.

That's a great idea! Keep them all in one specific place each, then it will make it much easier to get an overview of all of the Happy Hours and TNT's.

Posted by ShaneDev

Comments look good but the auto-play is a terrible idea, thankfully its being fixed.

Posted by BadNews

@100_Hertz:

I don't understand. How do you not have the ability to open videos in new tabs? all you do is right click the video and choose open in new tab. All this new design is doing is instead of reloading giantbomb each time you click a new video it will just do a quick load of the video and comments.

Posted by CornishRocker

Embiggen me, Giant Bomb.

Posted by Xpgamer7

Perfect, although the loading between videos leaves something to be desired on weaker computers.

Posted by Areian

I love the new video player. Well, mostly anyway, I would love if you could disable the automatic loading of a new video, and or at least give us a better way to select the next; maybe a playback queue?

Posted by Blueblur1

I can't believe Dave took the 'embiggen' suggestion from that Twitter user. So awesome. lol

Posted by teekomeeko

@cikame:

Yup, I do the tab-tango, as well. I have incredibly bad short-term memory, so tabbing content reminds to take a look at it as I start wondering why the heck I have so many tabs open.

Posted by kist

Wow that's cool, didn't know you could load up videos while watching one on the new design. It's really useful. Thanks for the hard work from all you guys, you manage to stand out from the rest of the internet in a really good way! still my favourite site

Posted by Robopengy

Aw, I miss the old way videos were archived and the new way videos aren't in the center of the screen is a bit odd. But I've gotten used to all the other changes so I bet I'll get used to these :T

Posted by jagenheim

@Artie said:

GiantBomb has ads? Am I ruining the website by running ad block?

Yes. Keep ad block running on IGN and sites that are just there to piss you off. Keep it off for whiskey media sites that still need to show you ads but doesn't want to show them in your face all the fucking time.

Just click the ad block button and select 'not for this domain' and you will help whiskey media without having to pay anything.

Posted by Tennmuerti

Please please please.
 
I need a way to stop continuous play.
 
It's driving me nuts! ><

Posted by bmarie82

Thank you very much sir and other sirs involved, we all appreciate the hard work.

Also I am greatly amused by the embiggen icon. Keep being tops top men!

Edited by Pr1m8

wait a second there are supposed to be ads? 
i cant remember ever seeing ads 
where are they ment to be? 
 
edit: bugger my whitelist isn't working properly sorry WM

Posted by JamesKond
@100_Hertz said:

edit edit: Wait, hold on. I just reread the post and watched the video. You're telling me that if I wasn't a subscriber I would be able to actually open videos in new tabs?! Well, what the fuck! In this very specific case, I would actually prefer to not be a paying member.

Also, I do like the embiggen button.

I love using tabs for videos (loading two videos at the same time or whatever) I have been considering becoming a member, but this seems like a bad thing. But hey, room for improvement!
Posted by ZagZagovich

Sorry if it's a double post. I pressed the post button when the internet crapped out for a sec.
 
Just wanted to say again that I don't like the new layout. video description, what's up next and game info are stuffed together and text gets way too crammed so neither game nor video description are easy to read. Video choosing bar ls hard to read and navigate. It starts with featured videos but they come last in the order of categories. And why would there be a featured category if there is already a featured video on the main videos page? It contains videos that were selected at one point but they all are in the other categories so it is redundant. search looks weird being so low and right alignment looks weird for it too. Maybe the whole new left to right switch is actually what makes me feel weird about it or that it is the same design gamespot had when I started using it. Hope any of that helps. You guys know what you are doing. Main page is kick ass by the way.

Posted by DeeGee

@JamesKond said:

@100_Hertz said:

edit edit: Wait, hold on. I just reread the post and watched the video. You're telling me that if I wasn't a subscriber I would be able to actually open videos in new tabs?! Well, what the fuck! In this very specific case, I would actually prefer to not be a paying member.

Also, I do like the embiggen button.

I love using tabs for videos (loading two videos at the same time or whatever) I have been considering becoming a member, but this seems like a bad thing. But hey, room for improvement!

I don't understand this at all. At no point was your ability to right click and select 'open in new tab' taken away.

Online
Posted by Lyfeforce

Dave I digital-anonymous-man-love you.

Posted by JBrighty

still cant read links and headlines : firefox4.0 pc win7 
any hints ?

Posted by TheRyanx2

Looking good!

Posted by iAmJohn

@Siphillis: We used to have 'em, but they got rid of them a year and a half ago, maybe two. They didn't really add much.

Basically, what you're asking for is for them to get rid of the "FIRST!" quest. To which I say: no.

Posted by heavyplay

Is there any way to stop the next video from automatically loading and playing after the clip I'm watching has finished? Because I really hate that.

Posted by heavyplay

@DeeGee said:

@JamesKond said:

@100_Hertz said:

edit edit: Wait, hold on. I just reread the post and watched the video. You're telling me that if I wasn't a subscriber I would be able to actually open videos in new tabs?! Well, what the fuck! In this very specific case, I would actually prefer to not be a paying member.

Also, I do like the embiggen button.

I love using tabs for videos (loading two videos at the same time or whatever) I have been considering becoming a member, but this seems like a bad thing. But hey, room for improvement!

I don't understand this at all. At no point was your ability to right click and select 'open in new tab' taken away.

I think the confusion is that middle-click for new tab no longer works. Right click -> new tab (like you said) still works.

Posted by Shuborno

@heavyplay said:

Is there any way to stop the next video from automatically loading and playing after the clip I'm watching has finished? Because I really hate that.

+1

If I have to walk away from my computer or switch to another task quickly I want to be able to come back to the same video.

I'd also prefer the Video Hub to default to the Newest videos, not the Featured ones.

Otherwise it's slick. Good job.

Posted by ahoodedfigure

This design philosophy warms my heart. It's one of the reasons I've pitched my tent over there in the alleyway way back when. I need to set fire to no trashcans to keep my digits from falling off if there are no mutliple page views. 
 
All I've noticed is that the site feels a bit faster, which makes me less sad...  is that called happy? Yes. Happy.

Posted by Deathpooky

FYI - From Dave's twitter: "Feedback that makes sense. Autoplay optional, timestamps, open in new window. The team will tweak and improve as usual in the next week."

Posted by BonOrbitz

I love it and am glad that you guys are building the site design for us subscribers.

Posted by rmanthorp

Subscribing next month! :D

Moderator
Posted by Vager

Absolutely love embiggen!

Embiggen would work well in text articles too, by moving the sidebar down and giving the entire article the site's full width. I hope you'll consider it when you start working on that part.

Posted by SeanFoster

Thanks for all the nice perks for being a subscriber. I'd be a paid member even without them, $50 a year or whatever it is is a small price to pay to help support the content I love so much.

Posted by rottendevice

The engineering talent at Whiskey Media is beyond amazing.

Thanks for being so open about the rational behind the design changes! The paid membership is totally worth it!

Posted by MrMuscle

Im using IE and i have some problems with the DOWNLOAD button on the videos. Because of the EMBED button right below it wont let me select a quality on my download so i cant get it to start. It just jumps out of the menu and targets the EMBED button.

Posted by TinyGallon

Having some weird usability problems with my iPad on the Videos page.

When you click the name of a video, the title in the upper Right Hand will change to the correct title, however the video box stays the same and gives the error message "Flash version 9.0 or greater is required" (I can still click on the Video's title in the Upper Right to go to that Page, where the video is displayed correctly)

Not sure the pecking order for iPad bugs, but watching HD video thru it *is* the reason I'm a subscriber. Keep up the great work! Thanks :)

Posted by aagaard

I'm really digging the new layout changes. The sites look awesome! I've got a few feature requests as well as a bug rapport though:

Could we have more precise timestamps in the comments please? That plus a robust notification system whenever someone answers a thread you're participating in would really improve the commenting section.

In the bug department, I've noticed scrolling problems with the arrow keys whenever I use the New Editor. Pressing the up and down keys result in something similar to pressing home/end. Changing to the Old Editor clears up the bug. I'm using Firefox 4.0.1/Windows and running it in safemode doesn't help (so I doubt it's my extensions).

Posted by snide

@TinyGallon: We have a fix for the iPad issues along with HTML5 support coming in a couple hours.

Posted by FireSketch

Really nice work on the site, duders. It's inspiring :)
Gonna go premium tonight, finally worth it, even on a student budget.

Posted by chilibean_3

I'm not sure if I like WALL OF VIDEOS. It's a little overwhelming at first.

I love the embiggen button.

Thanks for trying to make some cool improvements!