Welcome change, welcome Siliconera 3.0 (update 2)

By Spencer . March 4, 2008 . 5:39am

roar.jpg

Hi and welcome back to Siliconera! As I hinted to in the comments we were doing some redecorating and created a more functional layout. Let me highlight some of the changes in Siliconera 3.0.

 

Media Radar

We’re launching Siliconera 3.0 with the Media Radar, but it is still a work in progress. Simply explained the Media Radar is a group of five tags: Saturated, Solid, Spotted, Scarce and Sleeper that rates stories based on the likeliness they will be absorbed into mainstream media. In theory this will give unusual content tagged in the Sleeper category a space of its own, additional time to matriculate and make it easier to find. Since Siliconera covers such a broad range of news the Media Radar is designed to make discovering content on the site more accessible regardless of what you are searching for.

 

Question Mark Block

What’s inside? Click and find out. You never know since it’s random! I’m not going to be updating this every second, but it will change occasionally. It may even have secret surprises like contests, hidden posts or screenshots.

 

Gaming Map

On the bottom of the page is a world map with select regions. You can click on these categories to filter content to a certain country. Also all stories have a flag on the top portion of the post identifying where the news is coming from. I realized through the comments it was not always clear which region a release date was for, where this article was applicable for, etc. Siliconera covers many regions and this seemed like a simple way to covey necessary information.

 

I can’t take credit for all of this work or even much of it. Adriana de Barros who owns the Breathewords multimedia studio is the aesthetically gifted designer who crafted the new layout. Meanwhile, Aaron Brazell aka Technosailor aka code magician took care of the back end, programming, and bug testing. Both of them were an immense help for this project and I want to thank them. Really, thanks!!

 

Now that the dinosaur is out of the cave, I’m curious (and I am pretty sure all the helpers on the project are too) about how you feel about the design. So, please leave a comment!

 

Oh yeah! We can’t have a site re-launch without some kind of awesome contest right? Here is a look at what we are giving away.

 

secontest.jpg

 

Details coming soon…

 

Update: I'm listening to all of the concerns about clicking around. I don't know if I should say this in a post, but this is done to track what people are actually reading. While the front page was a nice one stop shop, it was impossible to see what the regular Siliconera readers cared about since most people did not click on the short posts. The majority of those clicks were from an external source, which meant if I used that data to gauge what content was "successful" on Siliconera it would be subject to outside bias. Obviously, longer playtest posts ranked higher too, but this data was largely irrelevant in determining what games we should cover. The only egalitarian suggestion to procure this information was to make each click essentially count as a vote.

 

As a middle ground solution I'm going to encourage loyal Siliconera readers who aren't crazy about the new design to try using the RSS/atom feed. I decided to switch this feed to full syndication (even though it probably means I need to hunt down reposting it) to alleviate the issue and ease your daily reading. 

 

Update 2: This topic isn't dead, it's still up for discussion. I appreciate all the honesty regarding the new layout and I have a few ideas how to have an option for a secondary layout more similar to Siliconera 2.0. If I can get a solution online it won't happen right away. This requires coding, unprecedented work and a little settling down. So, please be patient and feel free to use the RSS feed as an option in the meantime.


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  • http://www.ps3fanboy,com Andrew Yoon

    Wow. Very sexy redesign, Spencer. I <3 it.

  • maxchain

    Oh, wow! This new design means business. With dinosaurs. Very cool!

  • http://www.ps3fanboy.com Nick Doerr

    This is very cool. Color me impressed/green/envious/periwinkle.

  • http://www.allrpg.com Volcynika

    This layout looks so…odd…in a sense. But it works to where it’s very pleasing to the eyes! Nice job!

  • Noun

    Ooo… that map is a friendly addition.

  • http://www.fr4nz.be fr4nz

    good job, i like it ^^

  • jeffx

    I’ll repeat my comment from another post: once user profiles are in place, I would appreciate the option to go back to a black/white or simply “lite” theme. it makes siliconera safer for work. otherwise though, the redesign is awesome.

    very good idea about the map+flag! this was one of my major pet peeves.

    looking forward to the media radar becoming more and more useful in time.

    damn I hope I win one of these babies!!

  • http://accelzero.1up.com Jeffrey R.

    Sweetness, I like it!

  • tealovertoma

    Good job at the design, but I seriously miss the keywords. I’m definitely into games and game news but even I don’t know what console every single game in the world is for, especially not those obscure Japanese titles. Maybe it’s a good idea to tag them (with “[Wii]” etc) for example so people know if the article is worth checking out for them? Would make general browsing on siliconera a lot faster =]

  • http://ninjeff.blogspot.com Ninjeff

    Awesome redesign Spencer. The dinosaurs are a cool addition (suitable replacement for the old Godzilla figures). I’ll try to check out all the new features when I have time tonight, but already Siliconera looks much better. Great job to everyone involved

  • http://www.tvgp.tv Boston

    Great design! It’s still very clean (one of the things I love about this site) and very usable. And it has dinosaurs! Who doesn’t love dinosaurs?

  • Angelous

    Awesome redesign Spencer. Finally! A black background!

  • Lucas

    Killer new redesign, though I agree with the aforementione SFW “lite” mode. Nice work!

  • CreatureX

    Awesome redesign! I love it!

  • Andrew

    I think the new design is confusing and bland.

    The previous look was straight to the point with a dash of personality. But this almost looks like a section on Game Quest Direct. Good luck with the site Spencer.

  • K_G

    I don’t care for the new design…the posts now require jumps, while previously there was enough text to read a paragraph or in some cases the whole post from the home page, now there is like one and half sentences before you need to make a jump. Great for creating ad inventory, sucks for readers. If I came to this site for the first time, I wouldn’t click through anything and never come back…there isn’t enough of an immediate reason why a reader should stay anymore. Also limit the links on the right hand side to one line only…there is ton of dead space on the right hand side

  • Justin Bailey

    Woah. Am I in the right place ^_^? Nice redesign

  • Thebagofsand

    I LOVE it!

  • Daily Siliconeraer

    I appreciate the new graphics and color scheme, but I find the new layout very unappealing simply because it provides much less real estate for the interesting and offbeat posts that I have come to love. Thank you for the content, and thanks for listening to the opinions of your viewers.

  • http://www.nakedsushi.net/ Louise

    WOW. Great redesign. I like the new look at a whole, but I have to agree with some people above. Having a bit more text to read before the jump would be nice.

  • TacoBeaver

    OMG THIS OWNZ THE LAST ONE…. good job, ive been readin siliconera since Semptember and it needed a change :D

  • http://tastelikecrazy.com/ Amy [Ironic Gamer]

    LOVE the new design!

  • CaptainUlt

    A bit confusing…

    Can their be some layout change option?

  • http://kolbetronic.wordpress.com Kolbe

    Don’t get me wrong. I love the new outfit… but where’s good ol’ Godzilla? :(

  • http://www.siliconera.com Rolando

    Very nice redesign Spencer. The Gaming Map is a cool addition as is the Media Radar.

  • philemon

    Dunno, I’ve mixed feeling about it.. I don’t mind the new design, it just a matter of getting used to it (but still it was… Godzilla!), but the forced hit-the-jump-to-read-the-rest is a major step backwards. I’m with K-G on this one.

  • anifei

    Like other people were saying, Godzilla would be cool~ XD I was really surprised at first. =o I’m not so fond of so much black though. ‘_’ I liked how the old design felt more… I guess “light.” XD yeah- so I think it’s too black for me, but I’ll probably get used to it… nice web designing though ^.^

  • http://slynxes.wordpress.com/ Isao Kronos

    Old theme was better.

  • http://jeremysreviews.blogspot.com/ JeremyR

    The heavy contrast between the black background and white text boxes is a bit painful, IMHO.

    It also seems more cramped. I think the old one supported widescreen monitors, with this, everything is bunched in the middle and hard to read.

  • ItachiKouga

    I’m diggin the new look more organized with all the game news coming in nowadays but the old theme was better

  • Camden

    Wow. I just got on, and I have to say: why white, black, and red? I liked the earlier version’s “plain white” theme a little bit more, but I’ll get used to this within a week.

    Also, a lot of the things like the navigation bar and the “tests”, “videos”, and “?” buttons are a little scrambled, but you guys will probably fix it later.

  • http://www.thebbps.com Dan Zuccarelli

    I’ll definitely miss the godzilla inspired buttons, but overall I’m a big fan. Nice work.

  • http://www.ponytailscomics.com jeremy

    hey good lookin’

  • http://technosailor.com Aaron Brazell

    As the guy who implemented Adriana’s design, I’m a bit biased here but I think this is a huge improvement, Spencer. The challenge that you face is one that not many bloggers ever will face – that is how to present 10k+ posts to readers who may not have ever read past the 12 that are on the fron page – how to keep content fresh and present interesting angles of exploration.

    I’ve been in this business long enough to know that there is always going to be resistance to change in a community and that resistance is usually valid. They love the community and the site and changing the look, as simple as that might be, can be indicative of editorial or community changes as well. As we know none of that will happen, chances are that within a few weeks, the people who don’t like this will start to have the changes grow on them.

    Who knows though. It’s a tricky tightrope to walk.

  • Kaoro

    Like the redesign, but there are a few issues with the main page displaying in Safari. Not a huge problem since I use an RSS reader for the most part, but I’m sure it’ll affect someone!

  • http://www.siliconera.com Spencer

    @tealovertoma – Don’t worry! The keywords are not gone they are just within each post instead of being on the front page. Right underneath the “Related Posts” is a list of categories like system, developer, region and so forth.

  • CaptainUlt

    Would like classic layout change option.

  • http://technosailor.com Aaron Brazell

    @kaoro what are the issues in Safari?

  • tealovertoma

    @ spencer: Fair enough, but I still think it would browse faster if you don’t have to open the message – a tag near the title would be great.
    Then again I posted that before I noticed the different systems at the top, that makes it a hell of a lot easier =]

    I’m surprised about the amount of people that prefer the old version – IMO the frontpage is a lot easier to read through and scan for interesting posts; I think most people, like me, don’t read all messages as there’s just too damn many of them (keep up the good work).

    Just one bug – you’re probably already aware of this but some titles are in more than one category in the Media Radar. For example the Naruto DS title can be found in Saturated, Solid and Spotted.

  • http://www.siliconera.com Spencer

    @tealovertoma – Regarding the multiple categories it isn’t exactly a bug. Depending on the way games are tagged they appear in different places. I suppose there will be a bit of overlap, but the rate at which the items fall of the main page will differ greatly.

  • Aoshi00

    Nice layout Spence, was quite surprised to see this as I woke up this morning.

    I’m sure a lot of hard work and thought goes into it.. but I’m not too sure about the red (mainly the article titles), seems a little distracting to read for some reason. The old design was very easy on the eye and it was a breeze to just glance at all the headlines to find what’s interesting, now it seems “boxed-in”. Having more on the main page helps too instead of having two sentences and then getting cut off. Also I agree plain white was more inconspicuous when viewing at work, lol.

    BTW, is this final or a work in progress as you’re taking in feedback? Regardless, I respect your desire and need to keep things fresh.

  • CaptainUlt

    Please read my post!

  • Andrew

    @CaptainUlt

    I read your posts and I agree with you. The new layout is confusing and inferior.

    Let’s face it, it was an unnecessary move, but I feel other powers are to blame. The graphics would look better probably without the dinosaur graphics, but with this site now part of b5media so don’t expect Godzilla to make a return…

  • http://www.siliconera.com Spencer

    @CaptainUlt – WordPress doesn’t have anyway to cycle through multiple themes, so I don’t think the older theme will be making a return. It’s actually kind of funny because this layout is actually more similar to the original Siliconera layout way before the site was backed on WordPress.

    @Andrew – You in particular really seem to dislike the layout. I’m curious to what makes it confusing. Is it the Media Radar? I mean I guess that can be entirely ignored if you choose. Please, enlighten me :)

  • Pesmerga00

    A few people are complaining, but as a long time reader I like the new design. I find it easier to browse for posts I’m interested in, and change every now and then keeps things fresh. I also see where you are coming from wanting to know which posts get the most views. It looks like you put a lot of effort into it,it shows, but you can’t please everybody.

  • Melody Kitn

    Awesome redesign, was wondering when it was going to happen. Just keep the interesting game news flowing and whatever the looks (so long as it’s understandable), I’ll keep on reading and coming back for more.

  • sinisterff

    Cool Desing, altough I’ll miss the old simple one, but thanks for the full RSS feed it rocks!

  • CaptainUlt

    CRAP.

    Jumbled and messy.

  • Kaoro

    @Aaron Brazell,

    Well, now the site is working fine. Not sure what caused it. The news section was extending beyond and on top of the footer of the page with the gaming map and About Siliconera links. But it seems everything is OK now!

  • http://www.siliconera.com Spencer

    @CaptainUlt – Are you using an older version of Internet Explorer? The new design is known to have some issues with it. As I suggested in the update to this post I switched the syndication feed from summaries to full posts, which gives you and anyone else uncomfortable with the design another way to read the site.

    Also I’m open to suggestions on how to remedy any issues, but please elabroate more than saying “jumbled and messy”. Perhaps, present a solution or two for discussion?

  • meikiyou

    congratulations the change is great clean and beauty siliconera is the best place to saciate otaku anime games and now is much better ._.V

  • http://Destructoid.com Dale North

    Very nice! I like!

  • ChrisUlt

    Okay, one request:

    No hit-the-jump posts and add a splash of color.

  • badfish

    Spencer….I love coming here, but, I feel the site lost it’s simplicity which why I LOVED coming here. I will still come, but to be honest, If I just happend to stumble on here, I would agree that it seems so much like other sites. You actually had a major advantage over other gaming sites: 1. Your unique content. No one offer better! 2. The simplicity of the site and clean look.

    I support the site, but I feel like I”m just at another typical gaming site (which is bad in my opinion)

    Wish you the best, just trying to be honest man.

  • Irrelevant

    I agree with the two posts below, the only thing that really bothers me is that
    I cant read most of the post from the front page,(this can be fixed by just adding some sort of a button that once you click it, it will show the rest of the post without having a new page, or a button for a second mode of the site that shows the ammount of text the old site did.)
    For some reason the button that takes you back to the previous day reads “NEXT” and points to the right, which made me assume you guys had more news.
    What happened to the video links?
    Also a button that allows me to qoute people in the comments section.
    Also most importantly, your site looks like every other site, I found this site while browsing wikipedia and I stuck with it because the first part of an article that I read I liked, if this liked looked like it does now, I would have simply moved on.
    In short, the content is good, the layout sucks.

    “badfish Says
    Spencer….I love coming here, but, I feel the site lost it’s simplicity which why I LOVED coming here. I will still come, but to be honest, If I just happend to stumble on here, I would agree that it seems so much like other sites. You actually had a major advantage over other gaming sites: 1. Your unique content. No one offer better! 2. The simplicity of the site and clean look.

    I support the site, but I feel like I”m just at another typical gaming site (which is bad in my opinion)

    Wish you the best, just trying to be honest man.”

    K_G Says:
    “I don’t care for the new design…the posts now require jumps, while previously there was enough text to read a paragraph or in some cases the whole post from the home page, now there is like one and half sentences before you need to make a jump. Great for creating ad inventory, sucks for readers. If I came to this site for the first time, I wouldn’t click through anything and never come back…there isn’t enough of an immediate reason why a reader should stay anymore. Also limit the links on the right hand side to one line only…there is ton of dead space on the right hand side”

  • Irrelevant

    Also change this:
    “Irrelevant Says:
    March 5th, 2008 at 1:24 pm ”
    To this:
    “Irrelevant Says: March 5th, 2008 at 1:24 pm ”
    Much more clean or just make the date and time posting smaller it makes it seem on articles with one post as if there is another link.

  • ChrisUlt

    Agreed!

    Do two things please.

    1: Add a splash of color. It’s just black, red and a small bit of blue. Bland. Very generic. Just plain boring, even with the dinosuars (GIVE US GODZILLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!).
    2: No hit-the-jump posts (except for Reviews)! I liked the old design, because the news was just put their to read, and you can just learn and be happy about announcements and such and post a comment. Now, we have to hit the jump, and it get annoying to have to take extra time for it, and with the oringal design, we could instantly know the news and post our opinon.

    These things made Siliconera unique and simple. Now, it feels like were back to the ordinary. I appreciate the new features, such as the media features and the random ? Block thingy, but having a bland background and less simplicity ruins this. Adding the new features = GOOD. Complety screwing the design = BAD. Readers will lose the reason why they came to this site in a few weeks. I just want Siliconera 2.0.

  • Irrelevant

    also Make the media Radar button stand out from the options that are next to it(such as SATURATEDSOLIDSPOTTEDSCARCESLEEPER ), better aestetics. also if you hold your cursor over these it should have a short definition as to what they link to.

  • ChrisUlt

    Did anyone read my post?

    Also, RSS/Atom feed is nice, but devoid of substance and the classic Siliconera flair.

    Can’t Siliconera have it’s nice new 3.0 features (like Media Radar, ? Block thing, Gaming Map), without these new disappointing features (lost simplicty, bland and generic background, unnescary hit-the-jump posts) and give Siliconera’s it’s oringal design?

  • badfish

    Please bring give us reades a chance to VOTE for what we like Spencer.

  • Pichi

    This will take a while to get used to, but I think I’ll like it in the long run.

  • ChrisUlt

    READ MY POSTS!

  • ChrisUlt

    Crap….

    It looks like I’ll have to get used to this crappy and ugly design since this topic is dead….

  • em

    I would really prefer it if the articles are more or less on the front page instead of teasers that you have to click to read. It was much easier to have the content on page and scroll up or down to read them.

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