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Welcome to PixlBit 2.0!

After a few weeks of hard work, the face of PixlBit has changed.

It started with a menu. I wanted to provide a better means of navigating the site and seeing all of the content we were offering at the time. I had polled the staff for their opinions on what would work and had settled on a design. It would tease a variety of content within it and have a more logical organizational structure so that everything was within reach. Before long I had a working prototype, but something still wasn’t right.

While the menu clearly would’ve accomplished my intended goal, the problems ran deeper. The site’s design wasn’t really fitting our needs any longer. Many of the features launched with the site weren’t really of practical use and much of the site wasn’t tailored to what had become our operating procedures. At this point I had gone to Chessa.

“So, I finished up that new menu,” I said in a defeated tone. “Oh, that’s cool,” she replied, clearly uninterested in the topic at hand. “Yeah, but I don’t think I’m going to use it. Kinda been rolling around the idea of rewriting the site.” Chessa’s interest was piqued.

“Does that mean we can change the colors?” “Yes,” I replied. “Seriously? Do it. The site is so ugly!” Defensively, “It’s not ugly! It’s just looking kind of… I don’t know, dated?” “No, it’s ugly. It was ugly when you made it and it’s extra ugly now.”

“So, when are we going to get started?” Chessa added in a bubbly tone. “Well, whenever you want. We need to find a new template.” “OK, chop chop! Time to find one now!”

“I see someone is eager. Have you just been waiting for me to say this or something?” I added. “Nick, you know that I’ve hated the site template from the beginning. It’s hideous. It needs to be brighter. It needs to be better organized. It needs to not look like a gaming site.”

I agreed, at least about the part of it not looking like a gaming site. I wanted something clean looking, something that I could easily augment over time without it looking like a hacked together mess – like the original iteration of the site.

Initial searches were fruitless, but eventually we found some obscure template site with something that was pretty close to what we wanted. We made a variety of modifications to the base design and settled on a bright design that appeared to be easily extensible and customizable.

From there, things just fell into place. I quickly arrived at a backend coding solution that would make it easy to produce a page on the site and greatly reduced the database load time, allowing for pages to load that much quicker. Other improvements were made to the backend structure to improve search engine interaction, producing something that will coexist better in the current internet landscape.

On a user level, the site should obviously look a lot better, but also be much easier to use and to navigate. We’ve excised everything that was unnecessary or didn’t serve a strong purpose, and we’ve redesigned every page so that they are interlinked in a logical manner.

Along with our new look, we plan to turn over a new leaf, bringing bigger, better, and more consistent content. We’ll be dabbling in all sorts of presentation types and will hopefully be running many multipart specials on topics of interest in the gaming world.

Please let us know what you think, enjoy the new design, and be sure to check in throughout the week for some special features from the entire PixlBit staff.


 

Comments

Joaquim Mira Media Manager

05/16/2011 at 12:19 AM Reply | Permalink | Report

Hooray.

Our Take

Jason Ross Senior Staff

05/16/2011 at 01:09 AM Reply | Permalink | Report

Does this mean I don't get to capture Sammy and feed him to my cat?

Great news!

Our Take

Nick DiMola Director

05/16/2011 at 09:11 AM Reply | Permalink | Report

Man am I glad to have this thing launched. I've had it done for a week and the anticipation was killing me. I'm really proud of the updated look and I hope that everyone enjoys it. As always, if there are any problems at all, please let me know and I'll get them fixed up as soon as possible.

bustin98

05/16/2011 at 11:42 AM Reply | Permalink | Report

I would like to say that I find the Games page a bit jumbled. There doesn't seem to be a focus. What's the purpose? Just to show what's coming out soon, or is it just a list of games in the order they were added to the database? I know you have a Previews page and a Reviews page, but the Games page could stand a bit of organizing. A box of recent reviews, a box of recent previews, a box of latest news... or just organized by console.

Also, I don't think it would be a bad idea to have a drop menu under Games that lists the various consoles. Even if you narrow it down to the most popular consoles.

Other than that, the site looks great. Well, the 'human test' captcha is a bit of a pain. It would be nice to have a 'new image' option in case the first one is too difficult to read.

Nick DiMola Director

05/16/2011 at 01:57 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

I can definitely take a look at both of those things. Yeah, the Games page was a bit of a challenge because it doesn't have a really strong purpose, but I think you are on the right path. Refocusing it to be a release list on entry, featuring all sorts of other content probably makes the most sense. Look for an update in the coming days.

I'll also see what I can do with the captcha image. It should be easy enough to regenerate the image, but I'm using a third party tool to do it, so who knows.

In any event, thanks for the feedback and I'm glad to hear you like the design!

Nick DiMola Director

05/20/2011 at 01:01 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

I know this should make Jason R. super happy - I just finished implementing the ability to change the background color of the site.

If you have an account here, just head over to your profile page and go to update the information. There should be a color wheel there. Choose a color, preview it if you'd like, and save. From that point, the site will always sport your chosen background color rather than the default.

If you get sick of it and want to change it back, swing back over and click the reset button and save. Voila, back to normal.

Enjoy.

Jason Ross Senior Staff

05/20/2011 at 01:28 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

I logged in to find PixlBit a bright pink.

And yet I was nearly content.

Only now, we need a way to alter text color and link color as well.

Sorry Nick, we just do!

Matt R Previews Editor

05/20/2011 at 03:10 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

I made mine pink too!

I've been to other websites, but this is the best.

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