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View Full Version : Does the new Web store de-humanise Games Workshop?



thinkerman
29-10-2008, 12:01
Hi all,

The new webstore has been up now for a while in the states and fast on its way to being up a month in the UK.

We've all had time to surf around, play with and explore the new site. Friends of mine have deep criticisms about the site from slow loading to flash objects here, there and everywhere.

Some of them however love the larger pictures and expanded image database.

Others feel the new site has taken away the hobby side, the fun news section, clear access to other workshop sites and find it de-humanised and geared towards selling you everything at every turn

Id be interested in hearing the communities responses and thoughts about the new site now that we've all had a chance to use it and there possible ideas for improvement... if any?

neXus6
29-10-2008, 12:08
I'm not that impressed by it I have to say.
The layout and design just isn't very user friendly, for me atleast.

Now I will admit it could just be that I'm to used to the old site.
:p

Templar Ben
29-10-2008, 12:48
I do not like it but the site is not geared for me. The purpose of the website is not to tell me how to build a board, how to make an Ad Mech army by converting IG, or the secret history of the Lizardmen. The purpose of the website is to make it as easy as possible for someone with a passing knowledge of GW to purchase everything they need with the least amount of effort. Since that is the goal, I think it is designed to fulfill the requirments. The only addition I would make in that regard would be to have a way to buy an army with one click.

For instance, if you want Space Marines, there could be a "buy it now" feature that will give you a 1500 point army made up of 4 tactical squads, 4 Razorbacks, 2 assault squads, 1 Dreadnought, etc for the list price (maybe a small discount but I wouldn't expect that).

This would then hopefully be supported across all armies with a few different builds (Mechanized IG, Abhuman heavy IG, Armored Company IG, Conscript heavy, etc.) that way you can find what best fits what you need and then buy it in one go.

Foolish Mortal
29-10-2008, 13:04
I voted neither like nor dislike. I have just placed my first order on it, so here's hoping it works OK.

I guess it does what it's supposed to do, but can be a bit slow at times.

I had trouble creating an account, but a quick call to GW got that sorted quickly.

I hope it gets some development as it goes on, but I think, for me anyway, that the main problem will be getting used to it after so many years with the other one.

de Selby
29-10-2008, 13:18
I don't buy direct from GW any more and the new website is both slow and not much use as a reference, so not too keen on it but probably GW don't care.

Lord Malorne
29-10-2008, 13:21
For browsing things to buy, TBH is very good....

For GW's official website...it is just shocking.

Ganymene
29-10-2008, 13:23
I like the new layout, but I wish they had more hobby features like on the old website.

They seem to have retained some of the articles, but not nearly as many as I remember.

I find it very user friendly, although I have not ordered anything from it, I haven't had any problems finding what I need.

Jedi152
29-10-2008, 13:23
I'm still ambivalent about it.

It's nice and flashy, and i love how you can get big pictures, but it's still awfully slow and hard to navigate.

Lord Malorne
29-10-2008, 13:29
Anyone else had browsing problems?

I looked for some shoulder pads, they were on the site after an easy search...go to GW the next day to order, exact same as my computer the guy and myself could not find them anywhere on the entire site after and extensive search...later that day I check and...boom! back on with the same search we used...not impressed.

Ward.
29-10-2008, 13:32
There's too much crap on it, the old one could have been updated to include everything the current one offers with 10 minutes in dream weaver.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a GW fanboi at heart, I even tried to justify the pre-made gaming table but even I know the website isn't at all user friendly.

freddythebig
29-10-2008, 13:46
I used to regularly visit the old site, just to have a nose through the articles.
I have looked at the new site a couple of times and to be honest I do not like the layout at all.
I can appreciate what GW is trying to do with this site but I am afraid for me it has driven me away.
I am still a fan of GW and the background to their games and will carry on buying stuff, just not from this website.

Wintertooth
29-10-2008, 14:13
from slow loading to flash objects here, there and everywhere

I can't find any flash objects on it at all, and I'm sure I'd notice because I block them by default. I think you're probably confused. All the animation and transitions appear to be handled by jquery (http://jquery.com/), a javascript library.

I haven't personally experienced slow loading, and my connection is routinely awful. I wonder if it's a browser thing. There's a lot of javascript on those pages. I have a timer add-on for firefox which tells me pages take about 5 seconds to load after emptying the cache. Safari feels faster but I don't know if there's a timer for that. I don't think that's unbearable, considering the number and size of images (a vast improvement over the tiny gifs of the old site).

As far as articles go, yes they're mostly poor and badly organized. But I don't remember anyone ever having anything nice to say about the old ones, except maybe Black Gobbo near the start of its run. It's a shame they haven't taken the opportunity to improve them, but I don't think I've lost much.

As far as it goes as a store, well, the navigation works for me. It's not that different from the old store: game system, army, force org, unit. I notice a lot of product descriptions that read like they were actually written by somebody who plays the games occasionally (although this doesn't seem to be consistent yet). Decent-sized images and full statlines are a godsend. I never saw availability and order status messages on the old store. My orders still go to discounters where possible rather than GW, but I've found it very useful for browsing.

Clearly they still have work to do, but for me it's leaps and bounds ahead of the old one.

Killgore
29-10-2008, 14:18
the selling part of the website is good, i especialy like the larger pictures


as for the hobby side? pure tripe, difficult to find things, not as clear as the previous website.

Morph
29-10-2008, 14:58
Trouble is, there's no real reason to go their unless you're buying stuff. So unless I know I'm going to get something, why bother with the website? I feel less inclined to read it now than I used to (which wasn't often).

What GW really needs to do is have regular hobby articles and features that will get people coming back to read, and as a side-effect of that people will think about buying stuff that they haven't before.

I always compare it to the Magic the Gathering site. There is no way I would have played Magic for the years that I did had it not been for new things to read every day, constantly keeping my interest in the game and so shelling out for new product.

ankara halla
29-10-2008, 15:01
Not bothered. To be honest, I very rarely visited the old site, and not at all after the bitz service got killed, so the change means very little to me.

I've glanced at the new site once, just to see what the ruckus was about, but from that very brief visit, I'd have to say that the older one seemed more coherent.

The boyz
29-10-2008, 15:15
I'm not a big fan of the new website at all. I find it a pain to navigate and I generally, just do not like the new layout.

I used to use the old site quite alot. Mainly to just read various articles here and there and work out the cost of any potential new purchase's. However, the new website layout just completely put's me off from visiting and using the new GW site.

bravey
29-10-2008, 15:18
The website is really slow, especially on my bad internet connection. I mean, come ON! Who wants to wait 4 minutes just for 1 page to load?

scarletsquig
29-10-2008, 15:37
It just loads... very... very... slowly. :(

GW don't seem to made the connection that to host a flashy website with massive images loading constantly, you need to have fast servers capable of handling the load.

It's also the fault of whoever designed the website, as it appears to load image content before it is required, and does so very slowly.

I work with flash for a living and can tell you straight that they've got the XML injection on that page very badly wrong. I am browsing on a 1.6 ghz processor, 1 gig of RAM (typical cheap home pc) and the page is unresponsive until ALL of the images have loaded. That should never happen, images should load without disrupting the browsing of the site.

And another thing... the expanding submenus do not load inline and do not stay open... if I'm looking at the wood elf core units and want to look at one of the wood elf special units, I have to:

1) Click core
2) Wait for page to load
3) Click warhawk riders

This should be a simple case of:

1) Click core, dropdown menu expands instantly with no page reload.
2) Click Warhawk riders.

All very basic ease-of-navigation stuff that is sorely lacking.

Plain shoddy web design, and that's before I start ranting about the sliding gradient transition animations, and the annoying use of inline javascript popups. ;) If I were GW I'd ask them to take it back and optimize it properly, as it stands they've done a bit of a cowboy job of it. All looks and little function, pretty much every useless "web 2.0" design company does this.

C-Coen
29-10-2008, 16:41
Even while hating how long it takes to load a page, I still kinda like the new site, because of the big pics of the mini's. So 50/50 for me.

theHandofGork
29-10-2008, 17:03
I like the larger pics on the new site, and the "glossier" feel to it as well.

However, the new site seems to be another nail in the coffin of the "GW is run by gamers for gamers" mentality. I dislike the lack of hobby and background material as well as the constant links to buy buy buy.

TwilightOdyssey
29-10-2008, 17:15
The navigation is very unintuitive (to me), but I've had no problem ordering. I like the fact that you can pick your order up from your local GW, since no one is ever at home these days anyway, and it gives me an excuse to visit the shop and say hi to everyone.

Overt_Spy
29-10-2008, 17:37
As the store, it's alright. It's not the smoothest site to navigate, but it's easy enough if you know what you're looking for.

I just dislike it because the hobby aspect, indeed anything aside from purchases felt like it was included as a second thought. They're all grouped together at the bottom of the navigation bars. You don't find them unless your looking for them, which I don't like. I use to enjoy mindlessly wandering through the old site, looking up background and modeling tips and stuff on a random page. Can't do that anymore.

Lostanddamned
29-10-2008, 18:44
I dislike how many of the articles have vanished.
the old Black Templar section had an awesome tutorial on painting black armour, which I wanted to look at the pictures of to get an idea on how to paint my Dark Elves (the glossy black armour). But of course, this has been removed.

Temprus
29-10-2008, 20:09
I wish the new website showed the packaging and actual contents of the boxes/blisters rather then just showing finished models. Having just the front/back covers would be a start. The site coule be better organized too.

ToFG Month Three is a good example of this, it shows up under Warhammer 40,000* Warhammer 40,000 Articles* Collecting but not in the main collecting articles section at Gaming* Gaming and Collecting Articles*Collecting the way Parts 1 and 2 do (on both UK/US sites).

Fist of Crimson
29-10-2008, 21:50
It just loads... very... very... slowly. :(

GW don't seem to made the connection that ... All looks and little function, pretty much every useless "web 2.0" design company does this.

What Scarlet squig said, only i don't have all the technical terms for stuff. In summary: Slow and crap.

Snoozer
30-10-2008, 11:14
For the longest time I was trying to find the site thinking I was at the GW-Online shop... thats just bad.

And too much flash- thats all I have to say.

:D

WanderingRogue
31-10-2008, 09:46
well as for the content and articles.. i know they have just hired 2 people whos soul purpose is to provide more articles... so that side is just a matter of time till it starts getting back up to speed

G

Slaaaaaanesh
31-10-2008, 13:37
I like the new layout, the only thing making the site a pain to navigate is the very slow loading, it's like being on 56k again.

thinkerman
31-10-2008, 16:09
Thanks for everyones in put thus far:

Looks like everyones main gripes are with the speed of the website and the lack of hobby articles

The Guy
31-10-2008, 17:20
I detest it, slow, unresponsive and more ads on it then a pr0n site! I already know what the models look like and what they do, so WHY do they keep throwing the latest space marine in my face?!?
Give me the old website anyday...

Radium
31-10-2008, 17:23
Yeah, I really miss the old articles but apparently they will be brought back some time soon(-ish).

But as a webstore it's pretty good, easy to navigate and looks smooth.

BrianC
31-10-2008, 17:45
Its fast enough for me in Chrome, faster than Warseer.

Its been said a few times now but I agree that as a shop its much better, as a hobby resource its much worse.

The search engine seems to be broken, on a search for Tactical Marine I get each of the results three times, and what articles that are on the site get buried beneath a sea of product in the results if they show up at all, try how to spray gun, an article with that name exists but doesn't even get returned, very poor.

The Phazer
31-10-2008, 18:33
As mentioned above, the XML injection and Javascript library are extremely badly coded (I've not seen anything as bad since the last time I saw a Pluck message board platform).

That's why it runs like a dog on many people's machines (it also almost without fail crashes mobile Safari). Add to that the stupid homepage redirect which is something which was a number one thing to avoid on a website back in 1999, and it's simply a very badly designed site that's hard to use and works very badly in a modern web environment. Amazon would never, ever design a site that made it so hard for other people to put a link to them to buy a product. As an e-commerce site it's failure.

The problem is, it's suppose to be an e-commerce site…

Phazer

cailus
04-11-2008, 05:35
I really don't like it and other than a half hour play on it when it was new-ish I haven't been back.

My problems with it:
1. Horrifically slow
2. Clicking on links taking me back to the main page.
3. Awful emphasis on hard selling.
4. It's not really hobby orientated.
5. Difficult to navigate - much like their 40K 5th edition ruleset, it's a bit too counter-intuitive for my liking.

kikkoman
04-11-2008, 07:00
send an email with feedback on your opinion of their website layout

Coasty
04-11-2008, 09:36
I haven't been ableto get onto the blasted thing more than 20% of the times I've tried.

Emperor's Grace
05-11-2008, 14:29
I like the new layout, the only thing making the site a pain to navigate is the very slow loading, it's like being on 56k again.

As I'm still on 56K telemodem, it's a true pain...

And I do miss pics of the component sprues, even if they can't be bought separately.