There are many videogame websites vying for hits on the internet. Ranging from privately owned WordPress blogs to growing journalism sites, the gaming community has the benefit of being inundated with quality reviews, features, and editorials. As a result, if you want your site to flourish, it should be designed to immediately snag your audience’s interest. The right visual shorthand can go a long way in establishing your site’s ethos without neglecting the standards of good webdesign.
Whereas this may not be true for other sites, dark layouts are widely associated with videogame content. Standard themes for such layouts include gun-metal grays, blacks paired with bold colors (like lime green or red), or even dark navy. These colors help establish an “edgy” or modern feel, which meshes well with the overall theme of your site. With this palette, however, you’ll want to avoid the more cliché temptations that some outlets fall prey to. Carbon fiber textures (along with anything “tactical”) will cause your site to be indistinguishable from other designs. Instead of tapping into these hackneyed clichés, consider, instead, investing in an eye-catching logo. A logo will help you develop brand awareness and make watermarking your images a breeze. Bonus points if you can completely avoid FPS-related visual elements.
For the ease of consumption, it’s always a prudent design choice to incorporate a slideshow feature that highlights your most prized and recent written works. This feature is useful not only for the visual elements that it generates, but also because it ensures that your more important content is upfront and center. This design choice is true not only for videogame sites but any site that relies on published, written works. The only tricky aspect with this feature is ensuring that it’s compatible with mobile devices. If your visitors have to scroll past the feature slideshow to reach other important navigational tools, that’s poor web design. Most game website templates (like the variety you may use for WordPress) come with this feature, though it may not be mobile device compatible.
In addition to highlighting your features, it’s essential that your site include a tabbed menu bar that categorizes your published articles. Particularly savvy web designers will include additional flash or CSS based drop-down submenus for each of these items. Your reviews, features, and interviews should each have their own tab on this menu. You’ll also want to include an “About Us” tab that gives information about your staff and their credentials. If you’re open to freelance writing, you’ll want to include a tab for that as well. The point with this tabbed menu browsing is that your content is well organized and easily navigable.
Though your focus in the site may be the written content, don’t underestimate the value of incorporating visual elements. This should not just include the html- and css-based logos and images. You should also plan to include supplementary screenshots and videos with the articles themselves. Like anything design related, poorly incorporating these images can make your site look cheap. As a general rule, avoid wrapped text. Wrapped text is difficult to translate appealingly onto mobile devices. Instead, center-aligned, larger images tend to be more universally friendly.