What’s Cookin’: 29-Aug-12 – VGCL 2.0!!
Author :        Date : 29-Aug-12

Hello all.

After many arduous months spent coding, I am pleased to finally present to you VGCL 2.0!  Before I delve into the specifics, please allow me a moment to describe its incarnation.

While assisting a friend with the updating of his website (The Video Game Critic), I took a hard look at the overall structure of VGCL.  During my critique, design flaws were identified that needed to be addressed to improve site navigation, display of information and overall presentation.  My lack of experience in web design and programming was mostly to blame for these initial faux pas, but our continually expanding content was also a contributing factor – the menu and page design were becoming cluttered and sometimes overwhelming.  After 1,500+ hours of coding, the end result is our newly redesigned website.  Let’s get to the details.

  • Changed font type and increased size to improve readability
  • Created new ‘mega-menu’ to present the majority of our content at a glance without the need to endlessly drill down
  • Added search bar to the top header to enable quick access to this function from any page on our site
  • Changed all page titles to reflect the page name first rather than our website to make tabbed browsing easier
  • Merged all personal blogs to more easily peruse our various rants (now located under the Articles Menu)
  • Reorganized Articles section to provide the top topics at a glance (other articles listed by Categories)
  • Added Social Networking ‘Share’ links to the footer of every webpage
  • Removed some unnecessary rows\columns to increase screen real estate and page appeal
  • Implemented Tabbed navigation to organize and present console data more efficiently
  • Added Notes & Comments for the Console Ratings to provide further commentary on the respective scores (1970s & 2000s complete – we are fleshing out the 1980s and 1990s systems)
  • Provided commentary regarding the game format and packaging
  • Screen shots of emulators, web links and other misc items
  • Fixed Comments section in Blogs
  • Removed image enlargement (zoom) due to minor incompatibility issues with some smart phones and older browsers. I may add this back down the road once I have the opportunity to test our site on some of the new smart TVs and other alternative web-enabled devices
  • Revamped all code to ensure consistent presentation across all browsers and platforms
  • RSS Feed was put on the backburner for the time being (need to complete a few other items)
In addition to improving the presentation, this new design will allow our content to grow without having to perform another major overhaul of the website.  Some light Java is utilized for the menu and tabs, so please enable when visiting VGCL.

We do hope this new design will improve your overall experience when visiting our website.  If you have any suggestions at all, or happen to notice a bug or two, please do let me know.

Thank you again and please enjoy!!

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