Thursday, April 24, 2014

Welcome to the new NGR!

Yesterday we made a post about the NGR Tumblr page turning a year old, and in that post we also mentioned how something major was coming for the domain name's one year anniversary on the 26th. Well, surprise! That update came early!

Today we are happy to announce that the new blog layout is now live! A few months ago we mentioned how we were planning on revamping the blog's template and streamlining the layout, but nothing ever happened. Shortly after the announcement my (Benjamin) uncle passed away, and life just continued to prevent us from progressing as quickly as we had hoped. It was a long hard road, but finally, the long wait is over.

Unlike our previous template, which actually used "Awesome Inc," our new layout is much simpler, and easier to navigate. Before all navigation was handled by a list of links on the left side of the blog, and all posts were shown in full on the front page. This set up sometimes made it difficult to find specific articles on the blog, and it also forced you to scroll through countless reviews, videos, and other posts just to get to it. Well, not anymore.

With the new template, navigation is handled in two ways. First of all is the links found at the top of the page directly under the banner. These are the site's "main" links which were originally on the left, but they have been reordered and moved to the top of the site for easy access. Meanwhile on the right side of the page, another list of links can be found titled "NGR Articles." These links allow you to sort through all of the articles on NGR, and only view what you want to see. For example, if you rather see all of our latest news articles you can click on "News" and all other articles will vanish. If you'd rather see one of our discussion topics or top 10 lists on the other hand, you can click on "Other" and only posts in the other category will be listed on the front page. Directly above the article links is also a search bar, so you can search directly for the article you're looking for as well.

Another major change we made is how articles are actually viewed. Instead of having a long list on the front page with fully expanded posts (which could take quite some time to load), all articles are now summarized with a "read more" link directly below. This new system makes the front page a little less cluttered, and it allows you to personally choose to read an article or not. (No more scrolling through walls of text just to see that new video!)

The final major change was actually an update to our mobile template. Previously when you visited Netto's Game Room on a mobile device, you were greeted with a generic white page with the names of our articles on them, and a not so easy to navigate menu. Yeah, we made sure to change that.

Instead of using a generic mobile theme, this time around we decided to make it feel a bit more like the standard web view. The color scheme has been customized to match that of the standard web version of the site, a navigation bar was added below the banner allowing you to sort the articles, a drop down bar with the main links can be found directly below it, and at the bottom of the page you can find the search bar.

Overall, the new mobile template is designed to give those on mobile the same experience as someone who is on a PC. While some minor features are still missing from the mobile layout (such as the top five article list), we felt they weren't truly needed and found that they only over complicated the simple layout. (That's not to say they won't be added in a future update, but at this time it is unlikely.)

Well, that about covers it everyone! Over the next few weeks we will continue to make minor changes to the new layout, but this is basically it. Welcome to the new Netto's Game Room!