bit-tech.net

Archive for the ‘redesign’ tag

Something special is about to drop through your letter box

Posted on 8th Apr 2011 at 15:18 by James Gorbold with 178 comments

James Gorbold
For the last five months the editorial team behind Custom PC, bit-tech and bit-gamer has been busy beavering away into the small hours working on a total redesign of Custom PC.

This weekend you'll be able to see the result of all that hard work.

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An update on the redesign

Posted on 20th Apr 2010 at 17:10 by Alex Watson with 152 comments

Alex Watson
Yesterday saw the launch of bit-tech's first complete redesign in five years - with new features and a new look. A change in design is always going to be a challenge, especially when it comes after such a long period of time, and for a site like bit-tech that's so important for its community.

However, it was time for a redesign. We felt the old design just wasn't working any more - I went into the reasons in full in my post introducing the redesign, but basically, we were producing too many articles for the old design to handle - it couldn't surface them for long enough - and because we couldn't update the site that frequently, we were tied into producing very long articles.

Add in changing demands of advertisers, the Custom PC integration and our plans for the future and we felt a new design was needed.

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Welcome to bit-tech 2010

Posted on 19th Apr 2010 at 10:33 by Alex Watson with 265 comments

Alex Watson
Five years is a long time. Wars are fought and finished in that time. Huge buildings are constructed in that time. Children grow from tiny babies to annoying kids in that time. The Stone Roses even made a second album in that time. On the internet, five years is an eternity. Empires rise and fall in that time.

Back in 2005, there was no Twitter and Facebook was still for university students. There was no iPhone and people still referred to Windows Vista as Longhorn. Yet if you checked bit-tech in 2005, it looked largely as it does today. Here's ex-editor Wil's piece on the last redesign.

Over the years, we've made a few changes - adding a blog and a podcast, some links to Dennis sites - but essentially, the site looked the same. While the site has carried on, a lot has changed, both in terms of what we cover and what happens behind the scenes. We're now writing a much wider variety of article types, so while we do still have massive reviews of motherboards and graphics cards, we've upped the amount of games coverage we run, and of course, there are shorter and more opinionated pieces on the blog.

In fact, we're writing more in general, and the fact the old bit-tech front page couldn't show any more than ten main articles was quite frustrating. Then there's the fact that web advertising has moved on; five years ago, skyscraper ads were great. These days, MPUs and site takeovers are the norm, and the old site didn't support them that well.

Behind the scenes, things have changed, too - in 2008, bit-tech was bought by Dennis, and we spent much of 2009 figuring out how bit-tech and Custom PC could work well together. We feel like we've cracked it now, and 2009 was great for us in terms of business, meaning we could hire staff and explore new projects such as Rich moving to the Far East to be our man in Taiwan.

All this meant now was the ideal time to redesign. The team had been looking at a redesign in 2008, but the Dennis buyout meant it shifted to the backburner. We started with those designs, and Jamie, bit-tech's developer - yes, this site is built and maintained by one man - got a new beta working remarkably quickly. We then started inviting readers to test it, and ended up with over 100 people helping out. We took in their feedback and refined the site over the past three weeks, and today it's finally ready to launch.

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