Over the past year, we’ve improved and expanded IGN in exciting ways. Our product and development team have made massive updates to game, movie and show pages that include more useful content for people wanting to research games, we’ve overhauled the IGN strategy guide navigation to make it better for desktop and mobile users we’ve redesigned a Shows page that makes it easier to watch the latest episodes of our shows, and we’ve launched our new game library product on IGN Playlist, which aims to help people get their games in a single place across platforms to play. One thing was missing though – to unify the new IGN experience in a coherent way, so today we’re proud to share the new IGN sidebar with all of you.
- throw it back far — IGN has been in the game since the ’90s, and we designed our website before it was cool! It’s true that we actually had one around the turn of the millennium Sidebar Navigation. Since then, screens have gotten bigger and wider, and yet we’ve been rocking our top-of-the-line navigator for over a decade. We thought it was time to take a little nostalgic inspiration and screen space to make browsing IGN more useful for our readers.
- The sidebar is designed and developed with you in mind — Your Library gives signed-in IGN users quick access to their game library, wishlist, playlists, and game profile. There’s also a quick library search to find games to add to your backlog or mark games as a beat. When you add games to Playing, you get a new section on our Guides page for quick access to guides for the games you’re currently spending time with. Pinned below you can also register or log in and access your account and notifications.
- A unified experience — After creating a sidebar experience for IGN Playlist, we decided to test a sidebar experience for the rest of IGN, and it really put our previous Navi to shame. Users visited and interacted with sidebar navigation almost twice as much as our top navigation, and more people found more content that mattered to them. We are now able to provide a consistent experience across IGN content, products and guides, and there is no context switching to mobile.
- More is less — The new organization of the sidebar brings pages that were previously relegated to the “More” menu to the front. Now it’s easier to access pages with game reviews or TV show reviews, upcoming releases, gameplay videos, and our new rewards portal – a place for registered users and subscribers to redeem discounts and benefits. The “More” menu contains only sober details that shouldn’t bother you too much, but keep the lawyers happy.
- Smart Shrinking Technology™ – Okay, it’s not really trademarked, but the fine folks on our engineering team have been testing our new page navigation system for different device sizes and window widths. Resizing your browser window moves the sidebar out of the way to keep your content readable and viewable. We also give you quick links when you minimize the navigation system, so you can quickly get to important places. The bar will also do its best to remember your breakdown and expand your tastes between visits — but we’re making no promises to incognito detectives and history buffs.
Our product vision is to help people enjoy more games, movies and shows and share experiences in fun and inclusive ways. We hope the new sidebar is fun, useful, and helps you find some interesting parts of the site to help you explore, whether you’re just checking in a few times a month for things like travel guides, or checking our home page every day come something new. So forgive our dust when we release this update and work on updating features like Maps to the new sidebar. If you haven’t tried adding some games to your library yet, you still have a few days left Win your game wish listso there’s never been a better time to try it!
To celebrate the new IGN Sidebar, we’ve created a playlist of games we think you’ll enjoy.
Let us know what you think of the sidebar in the comments.
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