Letter from the Editor: Back in Black

Shacknews is back with a redesign that celebrates its history while looking forward to the future.

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Shacknews is back. We have experienced three consecutive months of all-time highs in monthly unique visitors. We had our largest presence ever at E3 2018 where we hosted interviews with developers and crowned MegaMoose64 our Shacknews World Champion in our first ever electronic sports tournament. We are carrying this momentum forward in all parts of our company. Today, we unveiled a brand new redesign of Shacknews.com. This is phase one of a two part redesign. Today's update focuses on improving our search engine optimization and social media presence. We have also completely overhauled the tools our writers have at their fingertips. This was a massive feat, but we wanted to tangibly improve the Shacknews experience for our readers. 

It is a very daunting task to modernize a twenty-two year old website while maintaining its identity and respecting its history. When we began this redesign process, I pulled up my favorite Shack design of the past. It was green and black, and there was a ton of information on the site. This redesign shares that same spirit. With a focus on mobile as well as desktop user experiences, we tackled this project with an attention to detail that is very apparent. The return to a black website was important, but allowing users to choose was the extra detail that makes this place so special. Optionality is something that I love as a user, and it is at the core of this redesign.

What was once old is new again. We have brought back our iconic Shacknews logo with a bit of our own new take. We will continue to draw inspiration from our rich history while pushing Shacknews forward. There is a laundry list of improvements that we have implemented today ranging from our Chatty comment threads appearing at the bottom of articles to Google AMP support. Articles are easier to find with improved visibility of our topics and it is super easy to share them to social media. A ton of little things have come together to make this redesign a major update for our users as well as our writers. 

I want to thank the team at Greenlit Content for the work they did helping us achieve our vision for what Shacknews should be. Thanks to my staff for their amazing work, and thank you to our readers and Chatty community members. As we hammer out the bugs in the next few days, my focus will shift to phase two. I plan to provide our users a new and exciting way to express themselves like never before. 

Do it for Shacknews!

CEO

Asif Khan is the CEO and majority shareholder of Shacknews. He began his career in video game journalism as a freelancer in 2001 for Tendobox.com. Asif is a CPA and was formerly an investment adviser representative. After much success in his own personal investments, he retired from his day job in financial services and is currently focused on new private investments. His favorite PC game of all time is Duke Nukem 3D, and he is an unapologetic fan of most things Nintendo. Asif first frequented the Shack when it was sCary's Shugashack to find all things Quake. When he is not immersed in investments or gaming he is a purveyor of fine electronic music. Asif also has an irrational love of Cleveland sports.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 1, 2018 10:00 PM

    Asif Khan posted a new article, Letter from the Editor: Back in Black

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      August 1, 2018 10:43 PM

      sweet.

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      August 1, 2018 10:55 PM

      b2bShack!

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      August 1, 2018 11:02 PM

      Woah, the comments at the bottom of the article are very slick! :D

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        August 2, 2018 1:43 AM

        Agreed! Very nice looking.

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        August 2, 2018 11:04 AM

        Asif!

        I'd suggest possibly highlighting the main comment / post automatically so the reply option is already there without having to click on them. It's probably not super clear for random visitors that you can actually respond directly from those articles.

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        August 2, 2018 1:15 PM

        this is probably the best part. Get interaction highlighted. Give me a reason to read the news, and a way to comment on it. That's what eased me into the chatty years ago, maybe it will do the same for some others

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          August 2, 2018 1:18 PM

          article comments looking so different from the chatty is a tad bit offputting though. Chatty redesign coming?

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          August 2, 2018 1:21 PM

          also chatty search results that have a result in the thread of an article (like this one) pull up the article and the comments thread but don't highlight the comment with the search term like it would if it was a regular chatty thread

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          August 2, 2018 1:27 PM

          and my posts don't show up until a refresh (unlike chatty)

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      August 1, 2018 11:06 PM

      It’s such a damn good redesign man. Seriously top notch. It makes me want to read the articles even more than before. A+ would shack again

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      August 1, 2018 11:21 PM

      Awesome! Massive thanks again Asif for the redesign and purring your heart and soul everyday into the Shack over the years(you are our savior) and of course all the work your Staff and other partners have done for the site over the years.

      Site looks freaking amazing and feels good! Fresh, clean and Pro is how I would describe it now.

      Mega man hug, a Bro high five and last but not least big respect.

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      August 1, 2018 11:22 PM

      Can’t wait to check this all out when I’m on a computer

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      August 1, 2018 11:42 PM

      Looks great on mobile too! Love it! Great work and thanks to the devs for already working with ThomW to implement stuff needed for the LOL scripts etc. Above and beyond!

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      August 2, 2018 12:56 AM

      Looks good!

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      August 2, 2018 1:12 AM

      I like the light theme better and I wish there was a light theme chatty

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      August 2, 2018 1:47 AM

      Looks good so far, man. Can't wait to see where you take it.

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      August 2, 2018 1:58 AM

      Nice! They did a great job with the redesign

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      August 2, 2018 3:03 AM

      Right on Asif. The site really does look great!

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      August 2, 2018 3:08 AM

      Here comes the Shack in black,
      Black and green like you rememberrrrrr

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      August 2, 2018 3:11 AM

      awwww yeaaaaa

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      August 2, 2018 3:22 AM

      I think the redesign looks great! Definitely enjoying all the content as well! Strong work!

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      August 2, 2018 3:41 AM

      Speaking as a Designer & Development dude I think the site mostly looks pretty good! My only real criticism is the font used for body text, shack sans. Its feels like the entire article is written as a header or title, it's really quite distracting.

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        August 2, 2018 5:37 AM

        The spacing of the body copy isn't good, bad kerning or that's just how the typeface is?

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          August 2, 2018 5:50 AM

          There doesn't seem to be any letter spacing (kerning) in the css. It's part of the font, they seem to have designed their own font which has various weights, and they've used a slightly lighter one for the body, but the design of the typeface itself is very much a header font not best used for blocks of texts.

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            August 2, 2018 6:46 AM

            I don't really agree about the letter spacing. I haven't noticed glaring kerning issues. I think adding even 1px of letter-spacing makes the type look a lot worse. I do rather prefer font-weight 300 or 400 rather than 500 for paragraphs, though.

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        August 2, 2018 6:36 AM

        Thanks for the feedback, sincerely! The goal is to make something both useful and good looking, so to that end, we'll keep working until we hit that. As Asif mentioned, this is part 1 of a larger push, which means things can and will evolve over time including type treatment. Thanks, again! - the designer

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          August 2, 2018 6:46 AM

          No problem, overall i think the site looks great. And trust me I know what it's like launching a big project like this, it is really about getting fundamentals in place and evolving it from there.

          Congrats.

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        August 2, 2018 6:43 AM

        I like it. It's different and makes it instantly recognizable that I'm on shacknews

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      August 2, 2018 4:40 AM

      You know, I did like that previous logo a lot.

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      August 2, 2018 4:51 AM

      OH yeah

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      August 2, 2018 5:15 AM

      GG. Nice design too.

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      August 2, 2018 5:30 AM

      Oh good! You got front page stories back in chatty

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        August 2, 2018 6:16 AM

        oh man posting from the article is awesome!

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      August 2, 2018 5:33 AM

      Avatars and Sigs are coming?!?!?!

      and provide our users a new and exciting way to express themselves like never before.

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      August 2, 2018 5:38 AM

      It even looks good on mobile. First time I can say that about the shack. Good job.

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        August 2, 2018 6:46 AM

        Thanks, I spent a lot of time working on the mobile design with our team. A bunch of little things that make it a way better reading experience on mobile.

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          August 2, 2018 9:52 AM

          Yeah, you guys did good work there. This is a really good move up, man.

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        August 2, 2018 7:54 AM

        Hear, hear.

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        August 2, 2018 1:31 PM

        Hooooly shit I hadn't even tried mobile yet.

        That might be the fastest loading mobile news site I've ever seen.

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      August 2, 2018 5:41 AM

      Beautiful design! Congrats on the re-laumch Asif!

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      August 2, 2018 5:46 AM

      I typically hate the redesigns sites are doing today, because they are focused on mobile. this redesign makes reading the shack on mobile web better, but doesn't ruin the usability in a wide screen browser on my crazy big monitor. Well done - can't think of a better compliment I can give.

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        August 2, 2018 6:12 AM

        I agree, it's pretty well done.

        Mobile chatty is pretty rough right now, hopefully they can fix it up over the coming days.

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          August 2, 2018 6:13 AM

          yeah, I should say that my comments were the front page and not chatty. I only use latest chatty on my phone

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      August 2, 2018 6:18 AM

      Bring back Late Night Consoling.

      (kidding)

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        August 2, 2018 8:01 AM

        I was spending some time yesterday wondering which truly is better: 18 hour posts or morning/evening chatty.

        I think 18 hours is better for continuity, but there's something special about seeing a fresh chatty fill up.

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      August 2, 2018 6:38 AM

      Looks great. Both on mobile and pc.

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      August 2, 2018 6:44 AM

      The redesign really is nicely done (front end work is my career)!

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      August 2, 2018 6:48 AM

      The comments section at the bottom of the articles is really well done.

      I wouldn't mind that replacing the existing desktop web chatty...

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      August 2, 2018 7:56 AM

      Comments under the article looks awesome.

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      August 2, 2018 7:57 AM

      the front page font strains my eyes :(

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        August 2, 2018 7:58 AM

        everything is far too equally square. it makes it hard to read.

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      August 2, 2018 7:57 AM

      Semantics question: Can one have a "brand new redesign"? One can have a brand new design. One can have a redesign. I'm not sure if you can combine those in that manner.

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        August 2, 2018 9:49 AM

        Sure you can.

        Brand new design > redesign > BRAND NEW REDESIGN!

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      August 2, 2018 7:57 AM

      This is fantastic. Great job.

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      August 2, 2018 7:59 AM

      Question: are Chatty comments on front-page articles now indexed by Google?

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      August 2, 2018 8:02 AM

      Awesome messaging!

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      August 2, 2018 8:16 AM

      Is the giant chatty header permanent? Still not sure why it doesn't shrink when scrolling like the rest of the site.

      https://i.imgur.com/1xMGpGM.png

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        August 2, 2018 8:21 AM

        it shrinks on the chatty for me like always

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          August 2, 2018 8:28 AM

          Very strange. I've tried edge, firefox, and chrome, and it's full sized in each one. Assume it's supposed to shrink like the rest of the site, not sure why it won't in any browser.

          Assumed it was bugged since it was across the board, even with the browsers I never use. Hmm.

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            August 2, 2018 8:29 AM

            Ctrl-f5?

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            August 2, 2018 8:31 AM

            i can make it happen intermittently in edge. i do think there's something going on but i don't know what. i also notice it's REALLY slow to make the shrink transition

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              August 2, 2018 8:45 AM

              Hmm. I don't know what the deal is. Resizing the window to a narrow width shrinks it completely, like it would on mobile probably, but that's different. Tried disabling all extensions and forcing the refresh, still no luck. As for Firefox, this is an all new install of the latest version. Chrome is up to date as well, and Edge I never use but it's busted there for me, not even intermittently functioning.

              Just gonna try using that old css thing in stylus to hide it completely when scrolling for now I guess.

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            August 2, 2018 11:44 AM

            I'm on Firefox and it doesn't shrink for me either. On either of my machines.

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              August 2, 2018 2:42 PM

              Found a browser where it does shrink for me as it should, the Steam web browser.

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      August 2, 2018 8:30 AM

      I still get the letter "ref" in front of every post, using safari on ipad

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        August 2, 2018 8:42 AM

        in fact in tront of the first word of every post

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          August 2, 2018 10:30 AM

          no one has this? Its very annoying

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            August 2, 2018 10:42 AM

            Yes it happens for me

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              August 2, 2018 10:52 AM

              ok for moment I thought I was shacking wrong

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        August 2, 2018 11:49 AM

        Yea this is how it is on mobile Safari and mobile Chrome as well. Hopefully they can fix it.

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      August 2, 2018 8:51 AM

      Wow. The little windowing animation for the comments on front page is super slick. Posting from the front page! Amazing!

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      August 2, 2018 9:36 AM

      Bug Report for The Man With The Briefcase, the twitter link at the top links to twitter.com, not the shacknews twitter account.

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      August 2, 2018 9:57 AM

      I hope the new editor tools didn't kill aardvark the forgetful editor. He's my favorite.

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      August 2, 2018 9:57 AM

      Man that is really slick. Looks good on mobile. Nice work.

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      August 2, 2018 10:51 AM

      Whoa, the front page chatty looks pretty cool, and very different from the chatty-view chatty.

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      August 2, 2018 11:21 AM

      The story isn’t loading for moi...

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        August 2, 2018 11:30 AM

        On a third party app?

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          August 2, 2018 11:43 AM

          stories in LC.app are broken

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            August 2, 2018 12:22 PM

            It's kind of broken in shack browse too. I used to have to do a lot of JavaScript and code injection to make the old site load faster. Hopefully I can just load the new site as is

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          August 2, 2018 12:53 PM

          Yeah, bizarrely they don't seem to be showing up there.

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      August 2, 2018 12:47 PM

      I just have a really quick question about the Twitter bio for @shacknews "Gaming News on the Cutting Edge of Technology."

      What's up with that? Is the website itself cutting edge? The content? The games? The gaming news?

      Or is it tongue in cheek reference to the fact that the website used to be run by a dude from a Pentium 4 that he dropped one time?

      Or is it too late in the day, and my buzzword radar is working overtime and I'm ready to just go home and lay down?

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      August 2, 2018 1:39 PM

      I'm loving everything about the NuShack, Thanks Asif

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      August 2, 2018 1:42 PM

      [ REQ ] Before this mega thread expires, can the Dev team please add a new CSS to the names of the poster so that it is not the same color as the post itself(which is white and white right now). It is sort of driving me mental LOL :)

      The mouse over color on the posters name looks perfect(that blue color) and then all you need to do is make the new mouse over color like yellow or something.

      Thanks XOXO \m/ :)

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      August 2, 2018 1:45 PM

      I like it, nice job shacknews team!

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      August 6, 2018 9:34 PM

      I still miss Random Comments.

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      August 7, 2018 3:30 PM

      I love that the old logo is back. Things are looking pretty awesome. :)

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      August 12, 2018 9:13 AM

      I heard in the Podcast that shack has a new design. IT LOOKS BADASS BLACK. I love it.