Clean Design on GamespotPosted: February 5, 2012
For the better part of a decade, I have trusted Gamespot.com as my source for all gaming information. While sites like IGN.com and Gametrailers.com offer more in terms of video content and a broader perspective on pop culture in general, I have stayed a loyal fan of this site because of its staff of writers and general style. I have also been a fan of their review process — they have issued only 7 perfect scores in their 16 year history — that really scrutinizes games to the finest detail. Although their integrity was challenged a few years ago, they are still the site I reference before dropping $60 on a game.
Lastly, they have a booming community of users, with their “System Wars” forum being my favorite board to creep to read the latest flame war, fanboy rant, or general irreverent post regarding each console. About a year ago they overhauled their site making it nicer to view and giving users a variety of new options that helped “modernize” the experience. However, there are also several annoyances that come with becoming a “modern” website.
The first thing that pops out on the homepage is the advertisement for the latest Ghost Recon title. The advent of widescreen computing has given webmasters added real estate to cram in an abundance of ads. You might think this is actually a Ghost Recon site if you didn’t look at the top of the page. But again, this is the reality of a web surfing experience, so you can’t detract too much from it. In fact, most websites use this method of advertising in their websites, so users are quickly getting used to it.
As you scroll down, you are greeted to the bulk of the home page. This is the meat of the site that helps lead the user into the inner workings of the site. The main box in the middle of the screen highlights the latest articles and editorials as well as links to major game reviews. The right side has a trending option of which games and devices are currently causing the most amount of buzz on the site. In the middle are video reviews, trailers and other video media for user to experience. Finally, near the bottom there are the latest reviews of different games.
The site also has a nice white backdrop, although this wasn’t always the case. Gamespot used to have an all black backdrop that caused tremendous strain on the eyes. This option is still available to users via a toggle near the top of the page
Finally, the message boards give the sense of community to Gamespot, and the community it has is quite large. System Wars, as stated, is a fun place to argue about irrelevant topics like which game is a graphics king, which game is a console graphics king, who would win in a fight between Nathan Drake, Master Chief and Mario, etc. It makes it worth coming back to the site every day, especially on weekends when news and reviews aren’t updated.
The site overall has a nice, clean look that is bright, easy to read, and bursting with content that keeps the user interested.