We’re taking a break from looking back at 2015 today, and instead looking forward to the upcoming user interface (UI) redesign over at one of our favourite sites, Boardgamegeek! Nicole interviewed head geek, Scott Alden (aldie) about the upcoming design, and we share some shots of what the new interface looks like for games. If you’re a fan of BGG.com like us, perhaps you can contribute to their end-of-year support drive happening now.
Nicole: What has been the most requested change to the UI from users?
Scott: The biggest request is to remove a lot of the clutter from the game page and give it a modern clean look. Also, make the site mobile friendly and easier to add game ratings and log plays. Easier access to reviews – Reviews are the #1 thing people are looking for these days.
N: What did Team Geek look at and feel were the priority things to work on and make changes to?
S: We did a user survey in January 2015 and used that information to drive what people feel are the most important features. I also wanted to make the collection and play tools act a lot more like an app.
N: What’s been the balance between reworking the back end of the site versus the front end design?
S: It’s probably 75% front end and 25% back end. We’re trying not to do too much on the backend – but we did develop some APIs that assisted in making the game pages a lot easier to develop.
N: Are there features that are on a want-list but not viable right now? Would you be thinking of working these in at a later date?
S: I have hundreds of features and improvements in mind! BGG users have also requested several hundred things to improve as well. We’re gonna be busy for a long time.
N: Will there be much user customization within the redesign as far as what a front page looks like, etc?
S: Currently there isn’t a way for a user to customize their game page. We want to craft an experience that should be useable for everyone. That’s not to say we’ll never have customization in the future – it’s just not a priority now.
Nicole: Do you anticipate that the redesign will have a real shift in how users are interacting with and what they use the site for? More ratings, file uploads, etc?
S: I think/hope so – we’ve moved some of the hidden parts of the game page to front and center and made them a *lot* easier to use. For example – the collection system is right at the top of every game page, and you can rate and comment on games with just one click.
N: Is the new design optimized for mobile use on phones and tablets?
S: Yes – that was a huge priority for us.
N: Will there be a roll-out of a new design to the mobile app?
S: The mobile app will likely be discontinued. I’m not completely sure yet what will become of it, but the mobile version of the site will do more than what the app can do.
N: How has the Beta stage been regarding user feedback?
S: It’s been really great! A lot of great feedback has been provided and we’ve iterated and changed the design from its initial version over the year.
N: Million dollar question – When are you hoping to launch?
S: We want to launch ASAP. We *might* get to open beta by the end of 2015, but it’s looking more like January 2016 where anyone on the site can use it, and once any leftover bugs/improvements are completed, we’ll switch everyone over.
N: Hope December is treating you well and it’s a well-earned break after BGGcon!
S: Still lots of work to do but it’s been a lot of fun to finish the ideas we’ve been working on for the entire year.
Thank you so much to Scott for taking the time to chat to us about the site’s redesign. 2016 looks to be a great year for BGG, and we’re excited to see where the new design goes next.
The BGG redesign already looks really polished; great interview and overview!
Thanks, Josh 🙂
Really looking forward to this. BGG is awesome already, but there’s a steep learning curve. Hopefully the redesign makes it more user friendly & pulls in more members.
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How soon will those new APIs be publicly available? I’m currently in the middle of writing a simple little app that uses the current API extensively, and I’m wondering if the new APIs would make this easier to develop.
I hope the new website comes with a native scorer. I would like to mark and upload the score automatically.
I’m excited to finally see the new design! Seems like people have talked about this forever. I’m going to share your article on The Game Crafter’s news blog too. 🙂 Thanks!