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Introducing The New-Look PlayStation.Blog

Jeff Rubenstein's Avatar + Posted by Jeff Rubenstein on Mar 14, 2011 // Sr. Social Media Manager

PSB_logo
Notice anything different?

Today, we’re quite ecstatic to unveil the new look of the PlayStation.Blog. As the site marches towards its 4th anniversary in June, the patchwork, add-on look of these pages began to resemble the Weasley house. Also, we were tired of being unfavorably compared to our more attractive, cosmopolitan European sister site.

Unlike commercial sites, we didn’t redesign to serve you more ads, or because we have an in-house art staff that we have to justify. We redesigned the PlayStation.Blog with your requests in mind. How do we know what you’re looking for? You’ve been voting with your clicks.

PSB Homepage heat map

Over the past year, we’ve been analyzing where readers click on the site and, as you can see, items like PlayStation Store update posts and recent stories light up like a Christmas tree. If you only decorate your tree with white lights, that is. When we coupled this info with traffic patterns, Google searches, and other data, it was pretty clear what types of things Blog readers like yourself are looking for when you visit. This redesign addresses these needs.

So we’ve added prominent, permanent links to PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Home content. We’ve overhauled the search box with autocomplete. Our biggest recent releases now “live” at the top right of the site. And huge news won’t get pushed down the page nearly as quickly as it used to.

Conversely, with the old design many things weren’t as easy to find as they should have been. You’ll now find it easier to give feedback on posts via Twitter and Facebook (both of which had a fraction of their current userbase when we first launched the site). Related content will appear at the bottom of a post, and a string of features can be found in a scrolling “red box” belt right in the middle of the homepage.

We also know that the average reader owns a wider, higher-resolution monitor than when we first launched in 2007, and so we’re taking advantage of that additional real estate, and you can expect more and better takeovers of the site, like we did with UNCHARTED 3’s launch.

Screen shot 2010-12-08 at 8.00.29 PM

Now, we realize that this new design will take some getting used to, and some of you will probably hate it outright – at least at first. Many of you said as much when we inverted the color palette from black to white last year, though those complaints died out very quickly as we all adjusted.

Still, for those who really loved the old site, if you look closely, you’ll notice the things that *didn’t* change. The font, colors, and sizes are all the same. Comment replies remain an attention-grabbing red. Of course, the PlayStation news content you visit us to view will all still be here – you just won’t have to look as hard.

Over the course of the redesign process, we began to compare the new site to [lady with the hat]. Even if you don’t care for the flashy new hat, the old girl you know and love is still underneath.

Please let us know what you think. As always, we’ll be reading.

Sincerely,
Jeff, Sid, and Rey
Your PlayStation.Blog team

//Add Your Own

613 Comments   28 Replies

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51

+ askee360 on March 14th, 2011 at 9:39 am said:

Changes are always good. I like it!


52

+ SpyDudeFX on March 14th, 2011 at 9:39 am said:

Great work guys. I love the new design. However we are still missing some features like comment editing even for just 15 minutes after we post. A way to just view all official replies on a blog post, sometimes it’s hard to find the 5 replies among 500 comments. Speaking of that, we need more participation from staff especially the PS Store and Plus blogs which have something like a 1:10000 staff/user reply ratio. EU blog shows Plus icons by our names, can we get that too?


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    + Jeff Rubenstein on March 14th, 2011 at 3:12 pm said:

    Good points, all. Thank you.


53

+ pat_boy2008 on March 14th, 2011 at 9:39 am said:

I like it. Reminds me of Engadget.


54

+ darasta90 on March 14th, 2011 at 9:39 am said:

i think it looks nice, i like it !!


55

+ SlashZaku on March 14th, 2011 at 9:39 am said:

Looks pretty good for a first glance (just scrolled down the page taking in the layout). Really like the design with a lot of info all around.

Too bad the forum didn’t get this good of an overhaul…(low blow?)


56

+ XxAmEnEmxX on March 14th, 2011 at 9:40 am said:

you know, ive always watched the blog but never commented, and i feel this is the perfect time to loose this bad habit , congratz on the new look, its very slick


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    + Rey Gutierrez on March 14th, 2011 at 10:43 am said:

    Let me be the first to welcome you! We appreciate ALL feedback.


57

+ FATHASUN on March 14th, 2011 at 9:40 am said:

The old look did not bother me at all. I will go with the flow on this one. It looks good. If you guys provide limited customization like the forums it would be excellent.


58

+ notzippy on March 14th, 2011 at 9:40 am said:

Why did you go with a fixed width layout ?

Every monitor sold these days is wide screen format so your blog feels like I am looking at a SD show on my HD monitor..

go to html5 and give the geeks that visit what they want…

NZ


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    + Rey Gutierrez on March 14th, 2011 at 10:43 am said:

    Leaves plenty of room for Site Skins!


59

+ WoolySpud on March 14th, 2011 at 9:40 am said:

I dont like it, Need option to use old layout.


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    + Sid Shuman on March 14th, 2011 at 10:46 am said:

    Below the header art you’ll find a “classic view” that’s quite similar to the old Blog…except that stories are shown side-by-side for 100% more efficiency!


60

+ twistedfloyd on March 14th, 2011 at 9:40 am said:

I like it. Nice choices, and easy to navigate.


61

+ LeoMindfreak08 on March 14th, 2011 at 9:40 am said:

I like this new format! Congrats!


62

+ get_over_it on March 14th, 2011 at 9:40 am said:

I love the new look. Everything is easy to find. Outstanding job guy. I didn’t care for the old look at all and stay away from the site, but now it’s just sweet!


63

+ ZiggyPoopdust on March 14th, 2011 at 9:41 am said:

The site looks excellent guys, great job!

BTW, I met a bunch of you the two nights the Playstation Lounge was open to the public during SXSW. (My buddy won one of the PS3 bundles the first night) Very friendly people! Thanks so much for the games, drinks and fun! Hope to see you next year!


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    + Rey Gutierrez on March 14th, 2011 at 10:45 am said:

    I was following Jeff and the PlayStation tweets, sounds like you guys had an amazing time.


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    + Jeff Rubenstein on March 14th, 2011 at 3:13 pm said:

    Thanks for coming out!


64

+ morningdrive on March 14th, 2011 at 9:41 am said:

I like it. it looks way better and not so plain. really digging the colors! Nice work guys!!


65

+ Ftwrthtx on March 14th, 2011 at 9:41 am said:

Very nice.


66

+ zombie9 on March 14th, 2011 at 9:42 am said:

Me LIKE!!! Great job Jeff and to your Team.


67

+ CaruthK on March 14th, 2011 at 9:42 am said:

I love the new look it’s about time.EU.Blog look better then the US.blog. Now us.blog rivals theirs lol


68

+ whitwhit on March 14th, 2011 at 9:42 am said:

I think this new blog is way better than the old one. It makes everything simpler imo


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    + Sid Shuman on March 14th, 2011 at 10:48 am said:

    Glad you like it! It’s good for highlighting slightly older content that’s still valuable — stuff that would’ve gotten buried quickly with the old UI.


69

+ Chvor on March 14th, 2011 at 9:42 am said:

sorry but the new design is horrible. i love the kotaku style (before they changed it too >:( ] headlines. now everything is a mess.


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    + Sid Shuman on March 14th, 2011 at 10:49 am said:

    What specifically don’t you like? Remember that you can scroll down a bit for a classic-style blog post view if you’d rather navigate that way.


70

+ Pooky_187 on March 14th, 2011 at 9:42 am said:

I really like it, doesn’t look so ghetto or cheaply done.


71

+ BSSOCIALMEDIA on March 14th, 2011 at 9:42 am said:

Nic redesign! Now can you do something about the XMB?


72

+ Enigmatech on March 14th, 2011 at 9:42 am said:

I like the new look but it’s kind of cluttered.

Still nice though.


73

+ oshtriker331 on March 14th, 2011 at 9:43 am said:

love it!


74

+ Salacion on March 14th, 2011 at 9:43 am said:

Now this is just my personal opinion, but there’s too much going on. Too many sections de-emphasize the stories. I miss the black and white palette, as opposed to this new red and black one. At least a softer tone of red, please! Any good designer will tell you that you want a soft contrast of colors.

It’s just not simple like the old psblog was. It’s too convoluted. You have boxes that give no definition to the text; it’s just a box with text. At least some kind of gradient, border, section-employment, just something!


75

+ SupaGokuMan on March 14th, 2011 at 9:43 am said:

i love it but, its a tiny bit too busy for me. theres a lot going on at once. maybe the color scheme?


76

+ rebel_sera on March 14th, 2011 at 9:44 am said:

Its pretty none the less, but to much clutter. Although with change does take some time for getting used to.


77

+ trapper12 on March 14th, 2011 at 9:44 am said:

This looks slick. This layout also brings style too. I more than like it, I love it!


78

+ Freakz19 on March 14th, 2011 at 9:44 am said:

Not bad, but the previous design provided a cleaner feel.


    Jeff Rubenstein's Avatar

     

    + Sid Shuman on March 14th, 2011 at 10:50 am said:

    Thanks for the feedback!


79

+ memortally on March 14th, 2011 at 9:44 am said:

Like it … Always love the newness it looks just new :) i would love to see same refreshment for XMB in PS3 XMB is easy to use but it’s not look like futuristic ohh the last thing i am Happy that NGP will use new UI but must be more sleek design (compared to what i see in Tokyo announcement)

Sony you guys r always great keep up the goo work

And i am so sad about earthquake in japan hope japanese people bypass these days RIP l the people who dies in disaster :(


80

+ Arayku on March 14th, 2011 at 9:45 am said:

I think it looks great, now if our XMB got an update that would be awsome.


81

+ Richlando on March 14th, 2011 at 9:45 am said:

Looks horrid imo..


82

+ eilegz on March 14th, 2011 at 9:46 am said:

somehow i dont like it, maybe resistance to change, it takes longer to load also, it may take time to get used to this


83

+ TakiFuGu on March 14th, 2011 at 9:46 am said:

Hey Jeff, any words on the PSN iPhone app?


84

+ heisLaharl on March 14th, 2011 at 9:46 am said:

Very nice, very nice indeed, however; too much scrolling. Could you shorten the amount posts viewed?


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    + Jeff Rubenstein on March 14th, 2011 at 3:14 pm said:

    we’ll toy with it, yes.


85

+ MarvelousMont on March 14th, 2011 at 9:47 am said:

I love this. The color scheme is catchy. :)


86

+ SmooshyKing on March 14th, 2011 at 9:47 am said:

When you click into an actual Blog thread, the site looks quite nice. But the initial homepage is a jumbled, cluttered, over-stimulated mess.


87

+ lxatruch on March 14th, 2011 at 9:47 am said:

looks awesome!!
Love the colors!!


88

+ Butters360 on March 14th, 2011 at 9:47 am said:

The only complaint that I have is that we PlayStation Plus subscribers, don’t have a Plus sign next to our PSN ID’s.


89

+ wonderouswes on March 14th, 2011 at 9:47 am said:

the better question, how well does the blog read in the PS built in web browser?


90

+ FBanin on March 14th, 2011 at 9:47 am said:

Looks awesome… very nice!


91

+ MONEYISME on March 14th, 2011 at 9:48 am said:

Wow! I love it! It look very modern and eye catching. The link to the official PlayStation website and the diving of the posts by sections add so much more convenience too! The only thing which look bad to my eyes are: at the top right, where the PlayStation Store section is, I think it should be aligned to the top border and the “Posts Stats” section below, by either making the height smaller and making the width bigger or the “Post Stats” width smaller. The “See Also” section could have a small year under the day like in the post date at the top, so we know what year it is as well.


92

+ LBartley on March 14th, 2011 at 9:48 am said:

Is this design actually any wider? I can’t seriously be in that much of a minority with a 1920px width…


93

+ mizousenju on March 14th, 2011 at 9:48 am said:

it’s acceptable


94

+ dh4645 on March 14th, 2011 at 9:49 am said:

i like it.

so much better than kotaku.com recent redesign…still cant get used to that one.


95

+ KidCommando on March 14th, 2011 at 9:49 am said:

I don’t understand why there are multiple ‘blocks’ that contain the same information. You have the scrollable blocks to the right with recent posts, then you scroll halfway down the page and there are the SAME blocks with recent posts.

Did you just double the content on the page by adding the same content twice?

So now there are 3 boxes I can click on the front page with the same story about Rachet, and there are 3 boxes I can click on the front page to learn more about Singstore. NO, that is not redundant, obnoxious and confusing at all.

Seriously, it looks like a mess.


96

+ HouseMorton on March 14th, 2011 at 9:49 am said:

Normally I’d call it “change for the sake of change”, but the previous look was truly awful… this is much better. Still not as good as the original look and feel though, but a step back in the right direction.


97

+ WICKOtheSTAMPEDE on March 14th, 2011 at 9:49 am said:

I don’t understand why every website feels the need to trample their front page.. Whoever you’ve hired to design that page needs to seriously rethink design. Hasn’t anyone learned from Google yet? Arguably the most popular web page, and it’s design is incredibly simple. That has to say something.

Actual entries look fine, I don’t have any problem with those pages, but the front page.. ugh. Why are there scroll buttons which scrolls through content you’re listing below anyway? Nobody is going to use those, as it is much slower to focus on a button and click it than it is to use a scroll wheel anywhere on the page, not to mention that’s pretty much how everyone browses webpages these days anyway. Secondly, why are you repeating articles? The singstar entry is posted in about 3 different places, and I can’t figure out why? You’re exposing the reader to less information, as that space could be used by other entries. Lastly, why have articles side by side? Makes the site feel cluttered and slightly confusing.

Anyway, I hope you don’t consider this to be a rant from someone who doesn’t like change. I’m all for change, if the change is an improvement.


98

+ MONEYISME on March 14th, 2011 at 9:49 am said:

I would like to see more comment replies from staff too, and a filter to show only comments that have been replied to by staff. A comments search would make it more convenient.


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    + Rey Gutierrez on March 14th, 2011 at 10:49 am said:

    I like this one. This a good idea.


99

+ WCKidRock on March 14th, 2011 at 9:50 am said:

I think this is a great change! at first I was worried that I could not find what I needed to, but like the fact that I don’t have to scroll down to find all of the new posts that I have not seen yet.

my compliments to the team and I think they have definitely shown that they are a justified part of the blog!!


100

+ ProSoldier14 on March 14th, 2011 at 9:50 am said:

It’s nice, but the top portion just seems way too crowded and squished. But like you said it’ll take some getting used to.


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