IGDB.com has been a labor of love from a small dedicated crew for five good years. What started as a passion project turned into a full-time business venture for us, but with that came its own set of challenges, namely an ancient and complicated code base and an outdated design.
Without further ado, here is it the next IGDB website: next.igdb.com
Why a redesign?
It’s always been very important for us as a company to give back to our community and act as a bridge between the consumer and the industry. One of the main steps for us going forward is to better empower our contributors, making the whole IGDB experience simpler and more rewarding. Each contributor holds a lot of power since the information on the site is then redistributed to thousands of other projects via the API. By contributing to IGDB our users in fact help improve the gaming industry as a whole. We value our community very dearly and this redesign is for them :)
While moving our code base away from Ruby on Rails to our very own and shiny new API.3000, we took the opportunity to revamp the look and feel as well. For a more modern approach, we decided to base the UI on Material Design. Material’s card-based design suited our database perfectly, we could design around specific elements and target very certain user interactions.
We started with getting a feel from within our community, doing an extensive survey via the site, social media, and in-depth discussion directly with users on Discord. Our goals for the redesign were:
- A better display of information
- Easier ways to navigate
- Freshen up the brand
- New features!
- Better infrastructure for future implementation
What does this mean for Gamers?
Aside from a new look, you can expect a lot of exciting features and changes, we have redone our platform setup for the purpose of being able to develop better features faster! Expect more lists, better profiles, and personalization features.
What does this mean for Game devs & Publishers?
If your game is on IGDB you will automatically be getting a newly designed page, we have made the ‘presskit’ link much more visible and accessible as well.
So what’s new?
Being a large website we decided to unleash the new site in smaller bites! This is the first phase of the IGDB redesign:
We wanted to remake our homepage as a true discover page, integrating each of the core aspects of IGDB: Games, Reviews, Lists, and News. We decided to push more user-generated content and showcase a wider variety of games. From the new homepage, users will now have access to currently popular and upcoming games, recent reviews/news/lists and a quick glance at titles about to be released.
One of the main requests our users had was the ability to perform ‘quick actions’ without having to navigate to game pages. So we implemented a hover bar from any games on the new site. No more opening a ton of tabs! From pretty much anywhere on the site you can now add to lists, rate or write a review with a single click.
User reviews now play an essential part of the new site. We have always been very careful about wanting to be unbiased within the industry, and have made it one of IGDB’s core values to put that power into the hand of the gamers.
Lists and custom lists, in particular, have been one of the most requested updates, we therefore decided to push them on the Discover page as well as they help to feature a vast amount of games. We have a full lists feature revamp planned in store for the ‘List Phase’ update, so this is just the tip of the iceberg ;)
With over 50 news source providing daily news we have made it simpler and cleaner to browser through at a glance. Each game now also have their own News tab dedicated to them.
A ton of new updates and tweaks have been done on the game pages, starting with better-organized information which is displayed in a smarter way. It’s ironic that we as a database started running into the issue of having ‘too much information’ (a good problem to have!) so we went back to the drawing board to make it all more accessible and easier to read.
Each page now has its own sub-menu to divide the content:
- Overview: a quick glance at the game itself.
- Media: videos, screenshots, and artworks (Artworks have now been made visible alongside screenshots)
- News: a rundown of all the recent news on that game, taken from over 50 news sources
- Reviews: a collection of all the user reviews for that game
- Credits: a display of both the staff working on the game as well as the voice acting cast.
Game Pages now have a member’s rating overview! It’s been a long requested feature ;)
Search has now been made more useable by adding a wide variety of user interactions and filters. Compared to the old search you can now:
- Filter out Editions and Additional Content
- View results in 3 distinct views: Detailed, Lists, Grid.
- Directly rate, review and add to list.
In upcoming updates, we will expand Search to game companies, lists, game characters and more.
While a smaller addition, it was very important for us to convey the right message about what we are trying to achieve with IGDB to both the gamers and the industry. We want to give gamers amazing tools to track their games while helping out developers along the way! Many in our community were asking who was the team behind IGDB, come and say hi :)
As mentioned above we decided to stager this new site in various Phases.
In the future phases coming up you can expect: full revamp of our List creation feature, in-depth gamer profiles, advanced reviews, new company pages, social update, etc..
We’ll be talking and polling our community throughout the design of those phases, if you want to take part you should join our Discord
We’re in this for the long run and are incredibly grateful to our community who has been following us around since the very early days!