Making the site easier to read?

General and high profile video game topics.
TheEagleXIII
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Joined: December 22nd, 2019, 9:33 am

Re: Making the site easier to read?

Postby TheEagleXIII » May 16th, 2020, 4:48 pm

The alternating blue/black background actually makes it harder for me to read. One thing that's particularly jarring is that the colour changes mid-sentence which kinda messes with the flow of the text (I'm also finding myself double-checking I haven't accidentally skipped a line when the colour changes too). The gradient is definitely an improvement, though.

It couldn't hurt to trial a darker grey. But if you're insistent on having a change, I'll echo that paragraphs would be preferable over alternating backgrounds.

Personally, I think the site was near perfect as it was. It's that simplicity that drew me in, even on the text-heavy reviews.

If you want an alternative solution to the problem... maybe capping the reviews at a certain number of words would be better? Especially if you don't wanna mess with the block-of-text aesthetic (which admittedly was part of the appeal of the website when I found it). I know it's easier said than done, but it'll help keep the reviews a bit more uniform, and maintain that aesthetic.

If you're worried that too much text is making the site harder to read, maybe it's a sign there's too much text. That was your goal in the first place, right – concise bite-size reviews?

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VideoGameCritic
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Joined: April 1st, 2015, 7:23 pm

Re: Making the site easier to read?

Postby VideoGameCritic » May 16th, 2020, 5:02 pm

I applied the "gradient" approach to the mobile site too - just as a temporary trail.

I thin The Eagle's idea of tightening up the reviews and "sticking with the basics" might be a good idea too. I think over the years I've become a bit of a perfectionist and drifted from the site's original down-and-dirty approach.

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LuckyMan
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Joined: April 7th, 2015, 7:32 pm

Re: Making the site easier to read?

Postby LuckyMan » May 16th, 2020, 6:04 pm

To me that looks even worse... like someone made a mistake with the background coloring. Very distracting.

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Stalvern
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Joined: June 18th, 2016, 7:15 pm

Re: Making the site easier to read?

Postby Stalvern » May 16th, 2020, 6:19 pm

Agreed with everyone else. Putting anything behind text makes it harder to read, not easier. Nothing but black has any business being there, and if big blocks of text are a problem, the solution is to break them into smaller paragraphs or edit them down.

Lucifixion
Posts: 30
Joined: January 4th, 2020, 6:32 pm

Re: Making the site easier to read?

Postby Lucifixion » May 16th, 2020, 7:12 pm

I like this newer format, though it may require some tweaking. Of all the sites I frequent, this one left me with a similar burn-in to staring into the sun. I don't experience any problems reading with the black-blue background. For those who don't like this, maybe changing the blue into a more subtle charcoal grey shading from the black would be less jarring. Or perhaps even add a slight bit of colour to the text itself and keep the background black. Either way, I like how it softens the contrast from straight black and white. For what it's worth, my monitor is a 39'' LCD tv.

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Making the site easier to read?

Postby VideoGameCritic » May 16th, 2020, 8:45 pm

My friend Brad suggested maybe larger text or better spacing. He may have a point.

In the 20+ years of running this site the resolutions of our devices has increased. Consequentially my review text has effectively gotten smaller and smaller. This might be a good time to bump up the font size and adjust the spacing.

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ActRaiser
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Joined: April 8th, 2015, 12:38 pm

Re: Making the site easier to read?

Postby ActRaiser » May 16th, 2020, 9:41 pm

Dave, my friend, I think you need to consider adding paragraphs with actual spacing between the paragraphs and not just identions.

I get you love the idea of quick hits. But, in my humble opinion these reviews are no longer quick hits when they extend and wrap around the picture and keep going and going. I love to read them but they are challenging.

djc
Posts: 127
Joined: September 24th, 2016, 3:42 pm

Re: Making the site easier to read?

Postby djc » May 17th, 2020, 1:56 am

Criticism is never easy to digest even when it's constructive. So first, kudos on taking the initiative for looking to modernize and revamp your site.

There will always be people who hate when things change. These are the people who go nuts on twitter every time Facebook tweaks their interface a little bit. On the other hand, there are designers who feel the need to change just for the sake of change which is also not a good thing. Sometimes it really is as simple as "don't fix what isn't broken."

Putting any kind of color-shift or gradient pattern (especially repeating blocks) behind text is distracting because the human brain instinctively attempts to decipher the pattern. This makes it harder to focus and concentrate on the text as you need to force yourself to ignore the background.

I am all for larger text/more spacing. I already feel the light text on a dark background is the better approach as it reduces eye strain. I would recommend going with either a slightly less black (really dark gray) or slightly more gray text instead of white so there is not as much contrast between the words and the background.

There is a generational thing to consider here as well. Millenials (and beyond) typically look for shorter blurbs about something or a video to watch - very little interest in reading long passages.

All in all, again thank you for continuing to review and improve what has already been a fundamental resource for the gaming community.

-DJ

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tREVdesigns
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Joined: April 27th, 2020, 11:55 pm

Re: Making the site easier to read?

Postby tREVdesigns » May 17th, 2020, 2:00 am

The reviews would be easier to read with slightly more line spacing and paragraphs to break up the continuous block of text. I find it distracting when the text size changes when the Read More is clicked, I always find myself losing the place where I left off. My personal preference would be not to wrap the text below the image, but keep it in one column. The sudden line length change mid paragraph hinders readability.

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Stalvern
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Joined: June 18th, 2016, 7:15 pm

Re: Making the site easier to read?

Postby Stalvern » May 17th, 2020, 2:30 am

Multiple people have mentioned the text as being a harsh white, but it's the same muted blue as on the forums.


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