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 Nasar7

If you keep making smart updates like that I may subscribe yet.

Posted by MrCellophane

Guys, please please PLEASE add an "edits overview" to the wiki pages so we can figure out who is reverting our well-meant edits, and duke it out with them! I'm holding off doing hardcore wiki work until then

Posted by TigerDX

This is a great improvement over the current video stuff. The player still doesn't have keyboard shortcuts for going back 10 seconds or 1 minute, but I guess that's how Flowplayer is and you guys can't really change that.

I'd like to recall the idea Jeff had once about having a way of getting a straight shot of all Giant Bomb original videos. The Featured list almost covers this, but it doesn't include a lot of interviews or I Love Mondays, for example. I want to express how much I think this would be an awesome feature, and really hope there will be a way to get that in the future.

(As an aside, almost my only reason for downloading videos these days is to have the convenient keyboard scrubbing in VLC for when I miss something. That and they generally run better on my Mac that way.)

Edited by FlipperDesert

Looking pretty slick, I just wish I wasn't a poor student with an iPhone bill and summer coming up.

Posted by InfamousBIG

All these layout changes are so fucking sexy, just sleek and amazing.

Posted by Digi7alS3lf

The redesign looks great.

Is there any update regarding the load times?

Posted by StriderNo9

new comments design is cool. The keeps getting better.

Posted by Babylonian

You guys are so awesome to us. There was one thing about the autoplayer I didn't like, and within 24 hours, you fix that and then add five more features. Seriously, you're the best.

Posted by NHLmaniac

Auto play button doesn't work for me yet. No matter if it is set to on or off everything still autoplays when I switch videos. Using Chrome.

Posted by rjayb89

Dave, these videos can't even pop up in front of my face Dead Space-style, and it's the 21st century. You guys really need to catch up with the times.

Online
Posted by allenibrahim

Awww. I feel like subscribers always get the coolest features now. 

Posted by Jethuty

Damn

Dave Snider and the team are goddamn awesome.

Edited by Branthog

I've been a little down on this place, recently, and thinking of not re-subbing in September, but all the changes and efforts to improve it are making me seriously consider keeping my subscription going for another year.

Posted by Silver-Streak

Dave Snider and his Team of Top Men are awesome. No other sites of this nature listen to user feedback on changes. Just look at Gawker and it's nonsense.

Posted by ChrisTaran

Even with auto play disabled videos continue to auto play. I'm using Chrome 12.0.742.100 on Mac OS X.

Posted by Philzpilz

Thanks guys, you're awesome

Posted by coonce

Great post dave. @Subscribers -- thanks so so much for helping us out :)

Posted by RPG_Master

Subscribers can now select HTML5 as a video option if they're using a supporting browser. (Chrome, Safari, IE9)  

So I'm assuming y'all are currently using H.264. Any plans for switching to webm anytime soon?

Posted by Shimakaze

I love it so far, but There are some things I really would like to have changed. 

  • The video that is set to play next always defaults to the newest video on the site. If watching something like the endurance run it would be much more intuitive to have the next episode played automatically. Also, it might be just me, but when I watch a video from a while back and it loads up the next video it seems like the next video in the relevant list should be played.
  • I would REALLY love a queue/playlist function
  • As commented before, there should be full screen search results with sorting options when pressing enter. (sorting by date added, alphabetical and so on)


Posted by PillClinton

@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.

You're right, at no point was that ability taken away, but the ability to quickly and efficiently with one finger motion tab up multiple videos from the video page using key commands was indeed taken away. And that's something you would value too if it was important to your workflow and the way you've been browsing the web for years. But no worries, because they've already said a fix is forthcoming. Good ol' Top Men.

Posted by Sek0n

Really loving the new stuff. :)

HTML5 full screen doesn't seem to work correctly though. In chrome it goes into in-browser fullscreen(still see the addressbar/taskbar/etc), and IE9 doesn't even show the fullscreen button.

Posted by Scrawnto

@Sek0n: Pressing F11 should hide the taskbar/addressbar/etc in chrome.

Posted by Sek0n

@Scrawnto: Yup, I know. Just pointing it out, as it doesn't seem like that would be the way it was intended to work.

Posted by kellexile

Can we get FIrefox added to the HTML5 support?

Posted by Fuga

terrible

Posted by rargy

Alright, now it's awesome.

Posted by TheHakku

Embiggen has become a reality.

Posted by beard_of_zeus

@Babylonian said:

You guys are so awesome to us. There was one thing about the autoplayer I didn't like, and within 24 hours, you fix that and then add five more features. Seriously, you're the best.

Totally agree. Many thanks especially for the autoplay on/off toggle.

Posted by NHLmaniac

@nigglesmckraken: Firefox doesn't support HTML 5. There is nothing Whiskey Media can do about it.If Mozilla ever adds HTML 5 to Firefox then it should start working automatically on Giant Bomb.

Posted by Meowshi
@allenibrahim said:
Awww. I feel like subscribers always get the coolest features now. 
Face it kid, we're nothing but the rabble now.  
Posted by Circ

Glad to see GB/WM keeping things user/customer centric.

Posted by allenibrahim
@Meowshi said:
@allenibrahim said:
Awww. I feel like subscribers always get the coolest features now. 
Face it kid, we're nothing but the rabble now.  
Aww man. Someday, I'm going to forma  ragtag group of rebels and we're going to tear down the walls of Whiskey Media's members! And we're going to take their leaders! And we're going to WATCH HAPPY HOURS!! To arms, my bretheren!
Posted by UnsolvedParadox

Looks pretty slick so far, glad I'm a paying member!