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-   -   The Future of TLS (https://thelifestream.net/oldforums/showthread.php?t=17753)

Pixel 10/21/2015 05:55 PM

Yeah, the site needs to have more of a blog style layout, like novacrystalis, etc, with images. Maybe have some highlighted stories at the top. That way we can have smaller update articles. And people can scroll through older stories.

I'm not sure what you want from the design, but I dont want anyone coming along making this place look really fucking generic. Or claiming to have a design degree and wanting to change it for no reason. If that happens, I'm out.

Lex 10/21/2015 07:20 PM

I think that was made pretty clear in the minutes Pixel. When I talk about design, it doesn't mean our colour scheme or banner (which will remain the same or at least be similar), I mean how our content is presented on the front page. And that will be based entirely on presenting our content in a better way and giving people easier/ more obvious access to featured pages. That's one of the reasons we want a wordpress theme that we can change around. Try a layout for a week, see how it goes, change if need be as time progresses.

Fangu 10/21/2015 07:51 PM

Yeah site design != graphic design. Generic confusion tharr.

Call it layout or something :monster:

Pixel 10/21/2015 08:06 PM

Yes, but I am being asked to be involved, so some redesign is being talked about on the graphics side.

Flintlock 10/21/2015 08:09 PM

Any new theme will require, at the very least, some tweaking of the graphics you have already made for us. We could also move to a more remake-oriented design, following the example of your new banner. Would you be willing to help with that sort of thing?

Pixel 10/21/2015 08:16 PM

Yes, that was always the plan. I'm just saying, there have been attempts to change everything drastically. If I hadnt put my foot down then, this place would be purple right now.

Tetsujin 10/21/2015 08:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pixel (Post 664098)
Yes, that was always the plan. I'm just saying, there have been attempts to change everything drastically. If I hadnt put my foot down then, this place would be purple right now.

*shuffles uncomfortably and looks at the purple forum skin he's using* :whistle:

Lex 10/21/2015 10:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pixel (Post 664098)
Yes, that was always the plan. I'm just saying, there have been attempts to change everything drastically. If I hadnt put my foot down then, this place would be purple right now.

Lmao, don't worry. This site will be the colour of the lifestream as long as I'm alive :monster:

(unless they make the lifestream like... orange in the remake lolololol)

The Twilight Mexican 10/22/2015 05:30 AM

Depending on how much news/how rapid an outpouring of it you expect to get as the release of the remake comes closer, Bleeding Cool may have a layout worth looking at for inspiration -- say three or four big boxes at the top with the newest articles, then a cluster of smaller, easily distinguishable boxes beneath, a sidebar with either trending news articles or site content that you want to call attention to, etc.

Flare 10/22/2015 05:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flintlock (Post 664064)
I think it's important to talk a little bit about our motivations. These are not just changes for change's sake.

When the remake was announced back in June, it sparked a wave of enthusiasm to work on TLS projects. Some new people have come on board and published great articles, but we've also let other attempts to produce content fall through the cracks. As and when the release date approaches, we can't afford to let that happen. We need a modern site design that we can all be proud of, that makes us want to publish content and shout about it to everyone, saying "look at this awesome thing I'm part of". And, as I brought up in the meeting, we want to maximise our chances of Square Enix looking at our site (after we contact them about it) and think, yeah, they deserve a review copy - or multiple - before the remake comes out.

I understand if some people are concerned about the changes. I've gone from being a total optimist on TLS projects ("People will totally update the 'Happening Now' bar every day when they stream or whatever" - lol) to being much more cautious, and I don't want us to bite off more than we can chew. But we do need to do something. As much as we've grown attached (or not) to our current front page and forum designs, they're not going to hold up by the time the remake comes out, when we'll have new content coming out of our eyeballs. At the moment, the front page only properly highlights four articles - I doubt many people click on anything in the "more news" or "latest from the forums" sections - and so much is hidden behind the somewhat unintuitive menu system. Our content creators deserve better than that. And our forum software, as well as feeling outdated in desktop browsers, is unsuitable for the modern mobile world, where so many of our visits are from phones and tablets.

I really like how you wrote this Flint.

So with the Remake on it's way, the site gets a sort of 'Remake' as well; kind of fitting.
For what it's worth, the two years before I became a member here, I used to click the 'more news' quite often, because I always loved reading the articles here. Of course a lot of people using the net nowadays are more about speed I think, and having the info right at their fingertips without having to look for it (lazy bums :awesome:) so making more than four articles visible is a good idea, I think.

Since I love this site so much, I'm really looking forward to how it evolves.

Um anyway I'm like a total noob when it comes to site designs, but yeah. :monster:

Omega 10/22/2015 07:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lex (Post 663993)
TLS is going to write a remake walkthrough when the game releases. Yop pointed out that this will draw in a load of people. I suggested writing a guide for the original game as a community event which I'm happy to head up/ direct. Arguments in the past have been that "the best" guides exist elsewhere (think Absolute Steve), but this doesn't need to be an in-depth mechanics guide. It just has to be a walkthrough, it's fairly weird that we don't already have one. A poll will be created to determine whether this is minimalist/ missables by section or a full walkthrough. Writing this guide will be practice for the remake.

Various parties have been contacted for interview.

Interesting. Very interesting.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ruby Rose (Post 664019)
I'm gonna throw a hissy bitch fit. :monster:

standard

Lex 10/22/2015 01:33 PM

That "various parties" thing isn't supposed to sound so closed-doors/secretive XD, I was just being lazy.

I've contacted teamfourstar about a possible collab/ interview for a linkshare idea for their FFVII abridged, JasonTandro has contacted a few folks, and so has Vader. And then there's Marc Papeghin (FF medleys YouTube guy) who said yes to Flint but wants to wait until his next medley is ready to go :)

Cthulhu 10/22/2015 06:53 PM

With regards to interaction design, we've basically come to the conclusion that first and foremost, we'll need Goals - what content do we want to highlight, etc. From that follows function in the form of things like clickpaths (I'm just talking out of my ass here, I know little of that shit), or, how quickly do people get to the information they need.

Say for example we want to be the primary source for things like character profiles; top priority #1 would put those right on the front page, #2 would put a list with direct links (and thumbnails) to each of them on the front page, #3 would put them behind a menu or screen, #4 would hide them away somewhere (but TBF I don't think we'll need to have a deeper level of navigation - two to three clicks to get to a page like that would have to do). Ideally, for all FFVII / remake pages/static content, you'd be able to get there with a few clicks or directly from google.

Another thing, and I think this is an important one, would be to have a comprehensive walkthrough - I've linked to Gamepressure.com's guides, which (at least the few I've seen) aren't that in-depth, but they're clear, to the point, have a few images, and probably why I like them the most, a long and prominent index on the side.

I'm imagining it to have three levels of sorts; the primary one would be to just give a to the point walkthrough, only a little more than a bullet point list. The second level, hidden behind either collapsible sections or links, would be things like spoilers, 'did-you-know' tidbits (including for example differences with the original - although at this time we won't be able to predict how big those will be), and comprehensive yet boring lists of things like character and weapon statistics. Links from the guide to other pages (character profiles, LTD analyses, etc) would be vital to promite in-site navigation and retention.

Finally, I'd like to finally bring some ads to the front page. TLS is costing me money, which I don't mind paying, but I'd still like for it to one day break even. More of a personal achievement than anything really. Alongside that would be a means to get a bit more predictable income from the site - ads get ups and downs and shit (peak month was shortly after the remake announcement where I actually made moar money off of ads than I spend on expenses!11one. So we're pretty close. I actually had a look just now, right now it's at about half to 2/3rds of expenses covered)

Pixel 10/22/2015 07:06 PM

I'm surprised you don't have ads. This place will earn money over the next few years. As long as its not intrusive, or video ads that cause lag, its fine

Omega 10/22/2015 08:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lex (Post 664174)
That "various parties" thing isn't supposed to sound so closed-doors/secretive XD, I was just being lazy.

I've contacted teamfourstar about a possible collab/ interview for a linkshare idea for their FFVII abridged, JasonTandro has contacted a few folks, and so has Vader. And then there's Marc Papeghin (FF medleys YouTube guy) who said yes to Flint but wants to wait until his next medley is ready to go :)

I thought it was TLS folk?


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