Succor

New Guide Layout Feedback

5 posts in this topic

I went perusing through the wizard guides this afternoon and I seem to have stumbled upon the new layout with which Icy Veins intends to convert their guides. It's definitely a departure from what we all have grown accustomed to and I'd like to offer up some constructive criticism, get some feedback from everyone else that frequents here, and maybe also get some comments from the site's content creators as to the intent behind the changes. I do think I understand the reasoning for the changes and support them, but I'm concerned about their implementation.

Primarily, I think the new format is confusing in it's layout and unnecessarily complicated. Before, I only had to do a quick hover/click of a class and a build and then I was able to see all the variations of the build (speedfarm, solo GR, and group GR) on one page. Now, I have to navigate upwards of 5 different pages just to access the information that used to be a simple flick up or down of the mouse wheel or a clicking through the tabs of the skill load-outs for each variation. Not only is it more pages to have to click through and navigate around, I've now lost that easy side-by-side comparison I once had when looking at a build. I could easily see what slots of a build where swapped out for different items when farming or pushing or what skill was swapped out for another when transition between a variation of the build. While admittedly it may have been not the most organized or pretty display of the information, the fact it was all in one place made it very convenient to compare and analyze the entirety of a certain build and all its variations.

Additionally, it's a bit hard to decipher what exactly is trying to be conveyed within the subsections in the new format. I've grown quite accustomed to knowing most Icy Veins builds come with farming and greater rift variations, along with the occasional death breath and group greater rift variation. To see the differences you would use the skill tabs at the top, the parenthetical descriptions after each item in the gearing and gem tables, and then the more nuanced explanations in the skills/gear/cube descriptions. And while I can see traces of that organization in the new setup, it seems to suffer from some inconsistency and redundancy.

Take for example the Lightning Archon and the Arcane DMO set. The 'main' build of the Lightning Archon seems to be farming focused (or maybe bounties as the 'Role in the Current Meta' suggests) with solo progression and group progression variations included afterwards. However the Arcane DMO guide seems to have its main section devoted to it's solo pushing build with it's farming variation added afterwards - the opposite of the Lightning Archon structure. There's not a lot of clarity (at least from my vantage point). Even more confusing is if you move to another build such as the Arcane Torrent build and all of a sudden there are no farming/solo/group builds but just a main spec with arcane torrent and then two variations that swap in spectral blade and electrocute (which do seem to be more farming oriented to counter the more progression focused build of the arcane torrent variation).

Last of my critiques is that the main spec or explanation of the build seems to be unnecessarily split up between the first three pages (Introduction/Skills/Gears). This is probably the one change I feel most certain about that should be changed. I just don't understand why that information has to be spread out on three unique pages when they're all related and focused on explaining the core build. To me, it just seems like it adds to the clutter of each guide and make it unduly hard to navigate.

OK. That's a massive wall of text but I just wanted to make sure I was clearly explaining my point. I'm certain I've still not done it justice but I'll let it stand and make sure I highlight what I DO think is positive about these changes. I embrace where I think the intent of this change was heading. I think it is very worthwhile to try to find a way to separate and better organize the variations within each build. Giving a build a unique page for it's farm/solo/group variations can be useful and would help better explain how each variation can be played. As much as I was advocating earlier my love for having everything on one page to easily compare and contrast, I totally understand the desire to separate and bring more focus to individual variations. At times it was very messy to look at a gear table that is trying to give recommendations for three different variations for the build or read through a paragraph that was desperately trying to explain all the alternative gearing selections for a slot while not becoming a run on sentence or mammoth paragraph.

So, going forward, I think my main suggestion out of all this would be to make the 'Introduction' page more of a generic introduction of the build while giving a quick overview of each variation (farm/solo/group or different mechanic such as spectral blade and electrocute for the Arcane Torrrent build). From there people could then click on the variation they want to find out more on and on that page would be a whole rundown of the entire build (play style, skills, gear, gems, cube, etc.). I think it would help bring clarity as to what variation people are looking at when viewing the guide and make it easier for the folks who have used the site in the past to adjust to the new changes.

So, thoughts? I'm most likely not seeing the whole picture clearly here and I would really welcome anyone's feedback on my half-formed opinions about the layout. I would really love to hear from the folks that came up with the layout and hear their ideas about why they did it this way as it may help me better understand the functionality. I love this site and it's been easily  my number 1 resource since coming back to Diablo almost a year ago. A large part of the reason why I kept coming back was it's superior layout and organization compared with most other sites out there that cater to D3 players and I want to see it continue being a superior product for us in the future as well! Cheers!

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Reading through this now, I'll let you know when I'm done in a few days ;)

On a more serious note, I'll pass this on to the writers. Any feedback is good feedback when we are trying new things! It allows us to keep refining things until we and our users are both happy with what we have on the site.

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Yea, I realize I was flirting with novel status. :S I just hate when criticism is levied my way and it's only given the scantest of explanations or rationale.

Thanks for passing that along and looking forward to hearing their thoughts!

Would still be curious to hear from others whether they feel the same or not or if they have an entirely different thought on the format or how to improve it.

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Made an account just to post here. I agree with Succor here, the previous layout was much more fluid to go through. The new one seems like a lot of work for not enough reason. Maybe you could implement something along the lines of what he's suggested, or consider going back to the previous layout. I have chosen one go-to site for Diablo 3 and this is it.

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Good to see variations back in main page of builds. Following this I'd also like to have all build items on main page visible too changing with buttons like skills or just all listed at once. I hope it's coming..

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