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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  • Posting in an old thread but this still feels topical. This change has made the site unusable for me, you've removed the best features of it while keeping others untouched at all (comments section much? could've used a rating system). What happened to the hype ratings and my game library? Was great to use that Wanted List to keep tabs on upcoming games.

    Of course people usually hate change but it's not just because it's different, it's functionally awful and aesthetically displeasing... and just because every other Web 2.0 site updated doesn't mean you have to follow.

  • Along with the new redesign it looks like you have changed hosts too. You guys used to be hosted on Limelight and use Limelight's CDN for file downloads. Now you have moved to Amazon AWS and it looks like all the files are served from Amazon's West Coast datacenter. File downloads used to be served to me from a local Toronto Limelight CDN server. Now I need to get my files from across the continent. This has resulted in my file download speeds dropping from 3.5 MB/s to around 1 MB/s. What is the point of paying for Mercury membership when I can now get faster download speeds from completely free game file websites?

  • Interfaces shouldn't need to be explained. They should just "work", if you have to explain how your site works, then you've made it too complicated.

    Additionally, I'm unlikely to ever run into the new interface anyway, since I do almost all my reading in Google Reader. I run through all my site reading there. It's rare I visit a site anymore anyway. If a site doesn't have an RSS feed, I generally don't bother anyway.

    Having said all that, it is an improvement over the last design in that y'all had the content squashed on the left side.

    General remark: I hate squashed content. Why people feel the need to constrain site widths and have all this blank space on one side or another annoys me. Use that space for betterment of your content.

  • The screenshot system is not working for me in IE9 RC. The link from an article to a screenshot will work, but the left/right arrows as well as thumbnails simply pop me up to the top of the page instead of changing the screenshot.

    It's working fine for me in Chrome and FF4 B11

    I'm with most people that I overall don't like the redesign, but the /news page is tolerable. Please increase the length of the news blurb to what it was before. The shorter description means I have to click on shit to actually read it, and I hate having to click around a ton.

    Also, I miss my HardOCP links. I honestly probably actually clicked on more of their articles from the old shack news page than I did shack articles. Convenience lost.