RPGFan


Mike Salbato
RPGFan Spring Cleaning, Part I
Updates on some updates we've completed, and what's to come.
03.22.17 - 11:50 AM

You may have noticed some minor changes around the site recently, which are the start of some overdue but welcome! coming updates. I'll briefly touch on what's done, and then what's to come.

Visual & Usability Improvements

The platform visuals on the Reviews and Media indexes have been updated. Besides a toned-down gray color scheme, the graphics are now higher-resolution and will look better on Retina/HiDPI screens.

The RSS Feeds & More column has been removed from the right-hand sidebar of the site. Don't worry, the feeds aren't going away: you can still subscribe to our feeds via links at the bottom of every page. Note that we supply two main RSS feeds: "Full" subscribes you to every update on RPGFan, while "Reviews" is a feed you guessed it exclusively for our reviews.

That sidebar also housed our podcast RSS feeds, but you could already access those from the podcast hub page. Of course, said hub page was less than ideal to browse, so it's been completely overhauled this morning. With larger text and an easier-to-use layout, we also now offer clearer links for accessing episode lists, RSS feeds, and both iTunes and Google podcast directories.

Finally, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you: We have indeed been testing some different fonts in recent weeks. We've settled on Open Sans, which you're seeing now (and if you're not, refresh and/or empty your browser's cache!). It's easier to read, and scales better to different sizes. We've also bumped some font sizes up a little, since we haven't kept up entirely with ever-increasing resolution sizes over the years.

All of this leads us to...

Mobile Optimization

It's 2017, and thanks in part to Apple for pushing mobile browsing forward with its new iPhone... oh, wait, that came out in 2007. Okay, well. Yeah.

RPGFan has been around per our slogan since 1998, and was built via static HTML pages that would never go out of style... until they did. We've wanted to properly mobile optimize for years, but the sheer amount of legacy content and old layouts meant it was a ridiculous amount of heavy lifting to manually convert.

Thankfully, we've finally found a solution to make this feasible (thanks Mark!), and we've been testing several parts of the site since early January, so this is finally going to happen. It's partially what dictated some of the above changes, like larger fonts and high-resolution imagery, as we work towards something more modern.

We don't have a set launch date yet, but we're looking to debut in the next few months, before spring is out.

And Then...

To wrap up, after extensive planning and rebuilds, we're also making progress on a larger site overhaul that will provide much-improved functionality and usability for both you and us. An improved process for us means we can get stuff to you faster, and the things we have planned will also make finding the things you want on the site much easier. It's a far bigger project than it seems, but that's the basic idea.

We really don't have a launch date for this one, but it's actually a thing that's happening now, so we'll bring you updates on it when we can!

If you have any questions, feedback, or thoughts on any of these changes or our plans, let me know! (I can't answer everything, but I'll answer what I can)


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