Old news now really, since we already had a devblog on the subject and now its all released and live and stuff, but I thought I’d give some of my own input on them.
I’m not going to delve into the community site much, because while its an improvement over the older offering, it still feels ‘clingy’. The content doesn’t feel its own – its basically putting everything we already had into a shinier kind of wrapping paper. This change is not unwanted by any means, it just feels kind of unfinished. Unfinished in a way that makes you think that its a work in progress; and that’s why I’m reserving judgement on it for the time-being.
The other site however – the new eveonline.com – is very interesting indeed! Styled in a similar fashion to some of the previous expansion mini-sites, you’d be forgiven for thinking its all style over substance.
Beneath the veneer and fluff though, all of the information is laid out in a stylish, yet logical way, and the content is organised into four core sections, with lots of nice, concise bullet points of information. Lots of graphics help to space out the chunks of text and make viewing the whole site a rather pleasurable experience.
The navigation is also organised in a fairly logical manner, although I’m admittedly not a big fan of drop-down menus at the best of times, and this one does seem a tad on the chunky side. Maybe I’ll get lucky and it’ll disappear one day.
I like the pages in this section. I really like the interactive starmaps that we get presented on each page, but I feel it would be better to have it all consolidated onto the main ‘One Universe’ page with customisable filters so we can see what we want to see. The inclusion of screenshots from some of the larger/more populous systems is a nice touch, and one that I hope can be expanded upon as time passes.
In addition to my comments above, I feel like the maps being on each page detracts from the actual content of the pages. I was certainly distracted from the snazzy informational tabs at the bottom for a short while as I spun the map about and clicked on various systems. But these bits of information are vital for newer players. Much more so than a fancypants rotating map. Something to think about, anyway…
Under ‘The World of EVE’, it might be nice to have regionalised maps for each of the races. Since there’s stats for each empire already listed there, it would be a nice accompaniment. Just an idea!
All the information here is very useful to the prospective pod pilot.
And let us not forget the ship spinning simulator. Now even the non-sysadmins amongst the playerbase can spin their favourite hulls during their lunch breaks while daydreaming of exploding everyone else’s. I am lamenting the loss of the spin counter though. 😉
This is my favourite section, I think. While the graphics and interactive shenanigans of the previous section were very lovely, I feel that this section has the most to off (at the moment) to new or undecided pilots. There’s a breakdown of all the main career paths you can take when you start playing, as well as a getting started guide, and even a handy-dandy RPG-esque multiple choice quiz to help you decide if you’re finding it all a bit daunting.
It will be nice to see these pages populated with more career-specific media (the videos and screenshots at the bottom) as time goes one, too.
The main page is a bit messy. The montage looks like it was good on paper but didn’t really work in practice. Its confusing and all over the place.
That said, the pages within are laid out nicely, and the fiction has handy download links for pdf, mobi and epub formats, which I’m guessing means something to people that have e-readers (sadly I do not).
The videos are all reasonable quality and are embedded on the site properly rather than just using YouTube as some kind of perpetual whipping boy for content delivery. This also allows much more control over, well, the controls; they are all in-keeping with the layout of the website. And if you want the full HD experience you can always download the videos in a variety of different formats depending on what floats your boat.
This section shows a lot of promise if the current offering is anything to go by.
The main page is another messy, confused montage of ‘stuff’, but clicking around gives all sorts of information on goings on ‘about EVE’ rather than explicitly in it. If they can work on the layout issues and put out some more substantial content, I think this could be really valuable for showing the strength of the community without having to dig around on forums, the dedicated community website or even the wiki.
Its really good to see the long overdue overhaul of the EVE website, and I think the segregation of the major sections – community, forums, EVE Gate, EVElopedia and eveonline.com is a move in the right direction for both uncluttering the bloated and old main website and for not scaring off potential new pilots.
I think there could have been better use of HTML5. I think a lot of people out there are either using it gung-ho or not touching it with a bargepole. CCP is (so far) the only case that I’ve noticed where they are using some of it, but not all. Relying on canvas and video elements is all well and good, but why not go the whole hog and use all that fancy markup at your disposal for better organising of your content? There’s already failsafes in place for the canvas elements, so its not too much of a stretch, especially when there’s stuff like the HTML5 enabling script by Remy Sharp out there to take the backwards-compatibility headache away.
I’ve been working on redesigning this blog – for entirely too long in fact – and I think the new site has given me some ideas, so its all good really!