Site Redesign and Content Changes
I haven’t thus far commented much on the workings of AAW itself here, but to change that: Â If you think there’s nothing going on with the rest of the site, you’re right in terms of what’s been publicly posted in the last long-while, but wrong in terms of what I have in the pipeline.
In particular, I’ve been working on an entirely new and drastically improved layout for about the past year (first draft was in Feb 20 of ’09, looking back reveals—wow that’s a long time), and it has just hit the final-candidate stage at which the design is pretty much finalized and the work switches to implementing said design in a manner that works in a reasonable variety of browsers (Internet Explorer, how I hate thee: Let me count the ways… but at least IE5 is functionally dead, a different state of affairs from the last major redesign). Then comes the even more daunting task of making sure the roughly 300 official reviews and 100+ reader reviews, hundred-or-so other pages, dozens of supplemental pages, this blog, and the forums all get transitioned properly into it.
This may take a while (there are still things that haven’t been converted into the last redesign, which I intend to remedy), and while the bad news is you won’t see any of it until I’m actually finished, the good news is the site should be significantly improved for it. I’ve learned quite a bit about design, coding, backend structure, and most importantly believe I’ve come to a better understanding of how to best serve the people who actually read stuff here. I intend to apply all of this, along with every optimization trick I’ve picked up in the past four years, to give AAW as good of a foundation as I’m able, and one that should carry it through a nice long while before I start to get bugged by how much better I could do with new tools and techniques. I’ve also, I think, come up with a somewhat more coherent, and more fun, overall site concept that I intend to do something more major with in the mid-distant future when other life circumstances permit.
Bottom line is the site will be faster, easier to read, prettier, more coherent, more fun, and have less loose ends and mistakes than currently. I’m also planning on having some fun with new and more creative contests once everything eventually goes live—got a whole shelf full of not-entirely-crappy prizes lined up.
In terms of, you know, content, I’ve not been lax on writing reviews, I just take a (very) long time to prune and polish them—there are about a dozen in the pipeline, with a half dozen all but ready to post. I’ve also got a bunch of Japanese lesson stuff in the works for a little farther out, but I’m making some layout changes so am holding off on that until the new look is done so I’m not doing the formatting twice.
I’ll probably wax technical once things are more finished, for those who care at all about such things (being a geek,Â I do, so even if that audience consists entirely of me, I’m still going to), but in the mean time wish me luck if you’re so inclined.