Meet the new Shacknews in a video tour

By Garnett Lee, Feb 23, 2011 4:01pm PST Hello, World Good, it looks like this thing is working. Welcome all to the new Shacknews! Yes, as your first look already told you, we've given the place a massive overhaul. When we started talking about redesigning the Shack, we decided to go all the way and not just slap a new coat of paint on things. The changes you see--and those you don't behind the scenes--throughout the site reflect months of work toward the goal of creating a better Shacknews experience. Clearly, the front page is a departure from the blog format of old. We absolutely intend to continue reporting the video game news of the day as our core content. And we have a revised news page for that as well if you prefer the traditional "river" view. The new Shacknews home page comes at things a little differently. The visual approach gives us an easy way to quickly present the best stories of the moment. It results in a page you can quickly scan to see what stories you might want to check out right away. We also wanted to better support the community that forms the heart and soul of the Shack. That starts with a new and improved chatty. It now runs on a 24-hour cycle, meaning you'll never again get cutoff by the Morning Discussion or Evening Reading reset. We also bring in headlines from our news stories as a new root post. This puts the conversation for a story in one place and makes it easy to sit on chatty and see everything that's going on as well. It's an all new Shacknews underneath the hood as well. Not nearly as flashy, but maybe most important of all the upgrades, the end result should be a consistently responsive site. We also modernized many of the things you use everyday like the new screenshot viewer and video player. Enough talking about it, we're eager for you to get in and see what we've been working on. We put together this brief video walkthrough as a quick way to get familiar with the lay of the land. Give it a look, play with the new site, and thanks for being part of the Shack. We know this is a bold change. It's also just the starting point. There's a lot still to do and we'll be closely watching all the suggestions and comments.

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  • Yeah not diggin the new site lay out at ALL. Just a bright white background with black text? Did ANYONE learn that it's BRIGHT letters on a DARK background that make things EASIER to read? I just like going to shack and looking at the news right on the homepage, and get a little laugh from the shack comment of the day. What happened to that? It was easy, matter of fact, STUPID EASY to use. Now I gotta click on an actual news button to see what's up? Yeah, do not like at all.

    It looks nice yes, but the old one was much better. Better yet, how come you guys didn't make this a contest or something and have the community vote on the idea of which site layout was better? I think this would have gone much farther and better if it was done in that fashion.

    Bring back the old shack or make a community project. Just get rid of this new layout...

  • Ive been reading this site for 14 years now.

    The first version was about short, compact/clean news displayed fullscreen on a dark background. It was like following a RSS feed of tl;dr from every other gaming site giving us only what was important/intersting. It was easy to navigate, 1 page does it all just need to scroll down. it gave a nice and unique mood the site and made me want to hit it multiple times a day.

    Than it was "upgraded" to the last design, beige background tailored for 1024x768 resolution .. b bye fullscreen news but the addition of embed videos kinda made up for it I guess. Still I missed the old design big time and been camping on for the whole time it was up.

    Than this, white freakin background killing everybody eyes (how many complains about the white so far?) with 2 line news leading you do a new page making me hit back every 2second because I dont want to read walloftext.

    I has not happy, at least give us some theme option for the white, I dont want to download plug-ins to be able to read my favorite site.

  • Can you please just rename this website to "Gamefly News: Blindingly Terrible" and give us back You can fuck up that site all you want, but for all the reasons stated by others, we want it reverted. It's not about us accepting change, it's about you thinking you know what's best for us, or rather, what you think you can do to quickly line your pockets for quick cash without thinking about alienating the community.

    Fellow Shackers...are there any reasonable alternative gaming sites with similar communities, etc. to migrate to? This site has turned into something I'm not going to stay with if they don't revert things within a week or two.

  • Good work, the site is HARDER to navigate now, not easier. I have a 21 inch 1920x1080 monitor, I don't want to have to only see 3 articles on the screen at one time. Gamespot and IGN are better than that!

    Also, because of the crappy format, the comments are in the middle of the page, and I have about half of the horizontal space on my screen filled with a white background. Support widescreen damn it! Also, I have ad blockers up, and won't take them down until you fix this mess up, or I'll find another site that hasn't lost touch with its user base.

    This feels like the "upgrade" in going from Morrowind to Oblivion with the inventory system...going from seeing ~80 items at a time on the screen to having to scroll down while seeing only 6 at a time in larger font. Support high resolution, or are you running 640 x 480 monitors? Get with the times!

  • In my opinion, the change of appearance of the home page has made the site lose all of its individuality, character, style, coolness, attractiveness and its appearance of authoritativeness and professionalism. It looks incredibly dumbed down. It looks like a site for exceedingly dumb people. The home page looks incredibly babyish. What's worse, it looks identikit. It looks like about 5,000 other completely amateurish gaming news sites. It looks like someone installed some cheap, cheesy content management system and just left the default style and layout on. The old design looked slick, hip, and clever. The new design looks amateurish, cheap, clumsy, lazy and stupid. Really, the old layout was very visually appealing, it had a very refined, sophisticated look. The new look loses ALL sophistication, it is big, dumb, moronic, and like I said, lacking all distinctiveness and individuality. It is utterly, utterly nondescript. It looks like so many other websites have been trying to look, which is just completely non-threatening and accessible to people with barely-functioning brains, and to four year-olds. I'm sure it will have its desired effect, which is to get all the masses of internet morons to start visiting, and increase Shacknews page views until it becomes as mainstream as IGN (with the content no doubt becoming equally paid-for), but it absolutely shafts the cachet the site has built up over the years, it shafts the core audience, it cheapens and demeans the site and its reputation. It's awful. I'm not sure if I'll continue visiting, the look was the previous design was a big factor in me choosing this site for gaming news over every other one out there. I think the redesign has ruined what made Shacknews a cool site which I told people about. And I have absolutely no doubt at all in my mind that it was done purely for commercial reasons, to increase traffic, and was primarily instigated by the corporate drones at new owners Gamefly. What a crock.

  • Yeah, I can't say I like it either.

    Things I don't like:
    - Front page is worthless to me. I just want a big list of news posts from most recent to least recent (like on the old site). I'm not interested in some sort of "top articles" thing, I want to pick and choose myself. At least you've got the News section so I can get this back
    - White background with a dark header with a dark comments area? What the hell? Pick one colour scheme and go with it. I know you probably chose black on white over the old white on black for readability purposes but at least be consistent. For the record, I preferred the old white on black scheme. This is too much white; it's too bright, tone it down.
    - Every article now requires a click through. I realise this is probably for your ad revenue, but it's goddamn annoying. Previously I could read short articles without requiring a click through. Now I have to click through every time.
    - Highlighted comments under article stubs are in pale yellow... why? Your colour scheme seems to be a white, blue, black mix and then you've got these random pale yellow blocks? Use a shade of blue instead. Consistency!
    - Is that massive empty whitespace at the bottom of the page there for a reason?
    - Where are the tags on the stories? They were useful to find related stories!
    - Some stories are missing links to their related games... example: (no link at all), (link to Gears of War 3, not Bulletstorm??)

    That said, it's not all terrible:
    - The new video player is much nicer
    - New screenshot viewer is nicer
    - Performance seems to be better

    It's certainly better than Gawker's "upgrade", but I don't really feel it's better than the old site at all.

  • I can't f#@*ing read anything on the glaring white. I guess they're compensating by only having two sentences per article.

    I hate the headline + 2 sentences style! The old style of having all the important information on the news page, and the "read more" for more was why I loved this site.

    1. Change the color
    2. Have actual content on the news page.

    I want to read everything in one giant list and only have to click on a next button. I will stop visiting if I need to click every article to read it.

    The advertising looks like ass with the contrasting site color, so you're failing you advertisers at the same time.

    Please fix this and let me love the shack again :(

  • Well, you guys finally did it. It's finally happened. You've made me side with the "you guys used to be cool!" crowd. I hope you're satisfied! lol...

    Seriously, though. If I wanted a bunch of single-sentence article headers accompanied by thumbnail images, I'd just go read Reddit. I come to Shack for something different, which has now been taken away, or at least thoroughly diminished.

    Think about it. The video section is a joke; filled with badly re-encoded YouTube videos leveraging an inferior playback interface. The reviews have become less and less substantial (with a couple of good exceptions). Much of the local content has come to consist of various contributors relating how their days/weekends are going (which would be perfectly fine if there was more original content being produced). And now the front page doesn't even have any sort of chronological dimension at all.

    Why should I still come here? I really do want to know. Nearly everything significant that set Shack aside from the usual sort of gaming news aggregators has now been nullified.

    Good writers are important, but if you make it a chore to get at their work, you're cancelled out the advantages they give you.