Blarg2010 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Nick

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from Canada

  • Activity

    • Thoughts on the New Site (2018)

      1 year ago

      Blarg2010 Nick

      I'm beta testing the new site now that it's open, so I thought I should collect my thoughts somewhere before I submit official feedback on certain things. I find that it helps, when dealing with matters of design especially, to write things down first, then sort through it again afterwards to see if my opinions are still the same.



      Video Player:

      THE VIDEO PLAYER WORKS ON CHROME AGAIN! The old version of the player would often outright refuse to work on Google Chrome (or Firefox) for me. The new version is much faster and sleeker--no more opening Safari/Edge exclusively for RT videos for me. I also really appreciate the return of the ability to change video resolution. Too many times have I squinted through a 240p video, trying to see some detail, unable to push it up to HD despite having adequate internet speed to do so--no more.



      Search:

      The new search is much better as well. I gave it a test run and even found a video I hadn't seen before by searching for "Tower of Pimps." Having the results pop up so quickly is also very nice. In general, it feels much cleaner than the old search function.



      The Home Page:

      Currently, I'm not a fan of the home page on the new site. I've never particularly liked the whole full-page photo/video design for any purpose. I think it needlessly uses up screen real estate that could have so much other useful information on it. The thing about a video player is that once you click on it to play it, you can go full screen.


      Scrolling down, there's this Netflix-esq series of thumbnails for a variety of videos from different series and channels (including a "recent" section, which I do like--more on that in a bit) as well as a bunch of merchandise haphazardly thrown in there. It's a design that may be modelled after Netflix but feels more like the old Xbox 360 Dashboard.


      The main issue I have with this part of the home page is that it feels cluttered and disorganized. Having to scroll both horizontally and vertically makes it easy to feel lost in the maze of content. I think the solution here is to break down the design into it's simple components and really streamline those parts that work:


      Instead of having rows upon rows of thumbnails to sift through, a dropdown menu that allows the user to choose which category they want to look through would be great--much like the video page on the current version of the site or even the "series" page on the beta site. By doing this, we could have just one section of videos that can be filtered.


      For example: if I haven't seen the latest Hitman Let's Watch yet, and I also want to watch the new Backwardz Compatible, I would hit that dropdown menu and select "Achievement Hunter," add Hitman to my watchlist, select "FIRST" from the dropdown, and open up Backwardz Compatible to watch. If I just wanted to see what was new, I could just select "All" and start scrolling or visit the Series page and look there.


      Removing the forrest of thumbnails would also help the "Gear" row from seem less out of place. Right now it just feels like a badly placed banner ad.


      I think the key idea that really sums up my thoughts on the home page is that the home page should not try to be another video page. The home page is where you land when you first arrive at the site. It should have updates from the company as a prevalent aspect (Journals from the staff are a big one, maybe a Twitter feed if you're feeling particularly widget-y).


      Rooster Teeth is a high-tier video producer but it's not a video service; it's a community. Without a viewable community aspect, this beta design for the home page puts the user at arms length by removing any semblance of interaction.



      Channels/Series:

      These two pages (three, if you count the home page) feel rather redundant. "Channels" gives you a dropdown within the navigation pane which lets you choose a specific RT brand to explore. When you choose one, you land on a page that is identical to the homepage in nearly every way except for the featured video and the fact that the "Gear" and "Recent" sections are filtered for that brand. Then, beneath that, you can still access the rest of the channels' videos, making those extra clicks that it took to get there almost completely pointless.


      Both the home page and the Channels page give the user plenty of opportunities to access the various "Series" menus by placing those menus all over the place. There are selections of different series by all the RT brands on every page. I believe the goal for this design choice was to unify the site and allow users to access any part of the site they want from any other part of the site without having to use a navigation menu (which can now be hidden). I don't believe this was the right way to accomplish that.


      The design renders itself useless. By tying all the pages together, the need for pages at all is removed. By having different pages within that system, the design becomes obsolete. It sort of defeats itself.


      The Series page is the key video page. It has nearly everything the user needs to access the videos they want to watch. The ability to sort videos by genre, brand, release date, exclusivity, etc. is fantastic. The only thing missing is the ability to "see all videos" without having to go in and out of different series. I believe the goal of good web design should be to minimize page-hopping. By adding the ability to get straight to the videos from this page, we could minimize a lot of potential page-hopping. All in all, this page puts the power to access content in the users' hands. This page also makes the home page and the Channels page almost completely pointless in their current states.



      Live:

      I like this page a lot. It's simple but effective. It shows what the next live broadcast will be, as well as the following few. The only thing I'd add here is a full week schedule, letting people know what day of the week regularly aired shows come on.



      My Watchlist:

      Once again, simple yet effective. The ability to reorder items in the list is very useful and it's extremely easy. Just click and drag.



      Navigation:

      I don't think I'm personally quite ready for mobile-style site menus on my desktop interface. It feels needlessly clunky to open and close a navigation tab. I think the power of a good horizontal, sticky navigation bar has become underestimated by a lot of people lately. This is not a big deal, though. There are far more important aspects to web design than the appearance and position of the navigation bar (see above for examples).



      Comments:

      I like the new system for replies. It really cleans up the appearance of the comments section and makes threads nice and easy to read.



      Gear:

      The integration of the store into nearly every page of the site is a challenging topic that goes beyond web design. I've read some people's opinions that it feels like merchandise is being forced on them at every turn, and I tend to agree with them. The presence of the Gear section on almost every page feels ham-fisted and intrusive; however, it's important to remember that Rooster Teeth is a company that needs to make money. The fact that they have made it this far, doing their best to keep viewers from being bombarded with advertising, is incredible and very much appreciated. I trust the Rooster Teeth team to continue to do their best to keep our experience as pure as possible, so if they think having a section of the site dedicated to showing off merch we may want to buy is the best way to do that, I'll live with the extra scroll or two it'll take to get past it.



      Overall:

      In general, things are definitely headed in the right direction. With some more time, my opinion may change, but at this current stage I believe there are still some fundamental changes that need to be made to ensure the site is as good as it can be. Those changes are mostly to do with the User Interface/Experience. Once the "community" aspect of the site is launched, my concerns on the seeming lack of user-focus in the beta site may be slaked. I do truly hope the development team is able to maintain (or even improve upon) the integration between the community and video aspects of the site we've had in the past (embedding would be awesome!) so fingers crossed!


      I'm super excited about the prospect of what the site could become and I love having the chance to be a part of the community that's helping to shape it.

    • Let's Talk About Game of Thrones

      1 year ago

      Blarg2010 Nick

      I have some thoughts about the season 7 finale of Game of Thrones and the genius spoiler functionality here on the RT site makes it the perfect place for me to talk about it.


      There is one specific part of this finale episode that I want to talk about for now: Littlefinger's trial. Personally, I had a huge grin on my face as soon as Sansa addressed Baelish instead of Arya, but the way they chose to carry that scene out wasn't quite what I would have done were I the show runner. It left something to be desired and there would have been an easy way to avoid that if you ask me.


      If you need a recap of how the scene actually played out: Sansa seems like she's putting Arya on trial for murder and treason on the advice of Littlefinger. However, when Sansa asks, "How do you plead?" she addresses Petyr, not Arya. Before he knows is, Littlefinger is on trial for all (or at least enough) of his crimes at long last and he doesn't know what to do to get himself out of it. Then, Arya approaches him and cuts his throat with his own knife (the one that's been making the rounds since it was used in the attempt on Bran's life in season 1).


      If you ask me, there is one critical thing that would have made that scene so much better. Arya should not have been the one to deliver the punishment, it should have been Sansa. Besides the fact that Baelish's antics have been centered around Sansa for so long now (giving her a personal reason to kill him) Eddard's words in the first episode sprang to mind for me as well, "The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword." Sansa may not have the strength to behead a man but a stab to the heart or even a slice of the neck wouldn't take away from the power of that scene, showing how far we've come.


      Here's how I think it should have played out: Arya arrives after being summoned to the hall. Sansa and Arya have the same conversation as we got and the reveal that it is really Petyr Baelish on trial comes the same way. He tries to talk his way out of it and fails, just like we saw, then he begins to plead, just like we saw. Then Arya approaches him and waits while he begs Sansa for his life. Sansa comes to stand right in front of him. "Petyr Baelish," she says, "in the name of Jon Snow, first of his name, King in the North, the White Wolf, the Shield that guards the realms of men, I Sansa of the House Stark, Lady of Winterfell, sentence you to die." Then Arya hands her the knife and she carries out the sentence herself.


      Some of you might be thinking: how would Sansa know what to say? Well, she probably wouldn't, but Arya definitely would, if you ask me. She was always more interested in swinging a sword and Ned was, at least somewhat, willing to humor her in a lot of cases. I think the odds that he would have let her actually attend or watch an execution are pretty low but she would have definitely asked him about it and he probably would have eventually at least described it to her.

    • 3 years ago

      Blarg2010 Nick
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    • New trailer.

      7 years ago

      Blarg2010 Nick

      So today, I saw an awesome trailer at this link

      www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BeXtCG2ANg&list=UUfTa2CvL0RFEb48UZgQXeGg&feature=plcp

      Everyone who reads this should watch it too! I know I'm going to want to see this series when it comes out.

  • Comments (1)

    • TheRecreator

      9 years ago

      How did you guys do that last episode?! That was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please get back to me! That was the coolest thing ever!!! If its top secret or something i guess I'll have to Improvize!!

      http://redvsblue.com/monty

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