This is now the sixth GameProducer.net update. I decided to take away the bigger pictures and give more room to the text content, now the text in the top left gives a brief idea about the site and should help new people to first read the introduction. There’s still couple of visual things that I’m changing (like some fonts might be too big in some pages).
To make sure this is not a post only about GameProducer.net visual update, I’m writing here the lesson I learned today: compare your website to other people’s websites when making changes. I basically went to see the list of most popular blogs at Technorati and picked roughly 10. Then I typed three words on a notepad “better”, “equal”, “worse”. It was my idea to simply look at one popular site and then look at my new template and mark X after one of these words. I compared simply “how my site looks and feels compared to these sites visually, and which one is cleaner?”. I got one “x” in the “worse”, one mark in the “better” and rest I marked “equal” (although I felt there could have been few more marks in the “better” and also maybe one more in the “worse” category). I knew that I couldn’t beat the one site in simplicity at this point (simply because I’m keeping that much stuff in the sidebar) but for me this result was good enough. It helped me to put some final touches on how to arrange the layout and how to keep it clean. I also managed to find the colors for the header links quite well thanks to this comparison.
Here’s the list of the changed stuff:
- Visuals: I removed 4 big images, and added a simpler header – and a small greyscale picture of me. I suppose this helps reminding readers that there’s only one guy behind this blog.
- Introduction: I put a link to introduction in the top left corner with few welcome notes. My intention is to help new people to quickly understand what this site is all about (“daily gaming business & production tips”).
- Free stuff: Everybody loves that, right? Now I have added free stuff section where I shall list (surprise, surprise) free stuff. At the moment there’s not much to check, but at least something – and I will be putting more free stuff there in the future.
- Newsletter: I have had newsletter for some time already, but now I have put it in bit more visible space in the top left corner.
- RSS feed: Like newsletter, RSS feed has changed place. Now it can be found via the header links, and also from the top left corner.
- Reader introductions: About 60 people have already told about them in the Introduce yourself blog entry, and I’ve now put this item in the header links – to give it bit more visible spot that in the previous layout.
Those are probably the most visible changes, and feel free to browse the site to check out more. The good old sales stats are available and the article archives contains now over 500 posts. I will be making tiny changes on that page as well.
That’s it. In the end I would like to mention that Adrian Crook (Game Producer at Relic Entertainment) has given me an interview, and I will be putting this article online within just a few hours.
Stay tuned, and remember to subscribe to the newsletter to make sure you get informed when new interviews, sales stats and other special reports are available.
Feel free to tell your opinion about the new visuals.
P.S. I’m also postponing the Carnival of Game Production’s 3rd edition – I’m waiting to get few more articles before putting it online.