It has certainly been a process (over 12,000 articles written over 11 years don’t move themselves!) but the all-new DigitallyDownloaded.net is almost set for launch. We’re actually expecting to flick the switch next Thursday so, unless disaster hits, we’ve only got a little over a week before we can say “toodles” to this site, and boldly enter the next chapter of the Website’s existence.
Now I must advise you all to expect disruption. I’m going to be flat-out getting the new site as ready as I can, so it’s just as well the review schedule is relatively light right now, because I have very little time for playing and reviewing games. There are still bits and pieces I’ll have to share, but please be patient with a slow website pace over the next two weeks. It’s going to be worth it.
Now for the good stuff – sharing with you some in-progress images of the new-look DDNet! Please note that things are still subject to change, obviously. It’s still a work in progress, but the general structure and design is now set down.
We’ve gone for a classic newspaper-style look, with a clean minimalism about the presentation so it will be easy to navigate around and find the information that you’re looking for (that art that you see there is the cover art for the top story, not a website design element).
Simple. Efficient. Straightforward and easy to use. Oh, and as an added bonus there will not be a single ad on the website (other than for our own magazines and products). This site is going to be 100 per cent funded by people directly supporting it. I’m not playing silly buggers with ads and pop-ups and stuff.
And then as you scroll down to start reading, you’ll find that… wow! We’ve actually made the text comfortable to read with a decent-sized font! After so many years of writing such long reviews and being stuck with the tiny text of this website design, we thought you deserved that.
And finally, it might sound like a small thing, but we have proper author’s bios now. No more of those ugly text bylines stuck in at the top and bottom of pages. We’ve focused really closely on making this a highly readable, highly enjoyable website, and it’s the little things that count in that regard.
As one final note, this website is going to be responsive so, yes, mobile users won’t be left out any longer (about time, right?). In short, this has been a massive investment in time and money… but I do think it is worth it, and I really can’t wait to flip that switch.
– Matt S.