Dark Horizons Phase 3 Underway

Dark Horizons fans will remember ‘Phase 2’, a major overhaul in the site’s design in late 2003 that changed the look and format of the site to something very similar to what was still in use this year.

The move caused a bit of a shock amongst users as it was very sudden, very drastic and without warning. The change at the time was necessary though for health and economic reasons on my part and things stabilized pretty quickly.

Since mid-2007 an even larger overhaul, ‘Phase 3’, has been in development and to avoid the sudden change I decided to ease the transition in gradually over a couple of months. If I’ve seem distracted at all for the past 12-18 months, the work involved with this has played a big part in that.

80% of the work with ‘Phase 3’ involved changes behind-the-scenes here to the way the website was run. That was all completed several months ago with minimal changes to what you, the user, would see on the site. Some may have noticed a few minor adjustments but overall very little would seem different to you even as the way I run the site now is completely different to what it was as recently as six months ago.

Today however kicked off the start of the front-end changes, the stuff you the user sees. Between now and the end of the year there’ll be various elements added to the site that many have been asking for ranging from a wider and cleaner design, a comments system, better integrated video, adjustable text sizing, an alternate color scheme for those who prefer black text on light backgrounds, improved search options and so forth.

The aim here is to provide you the user with much more options and ways to access all of DH’s content, but keep the simple easy-to-use and clean design that fans of the site most often compliment. As always though constructive feedback on the changes are welcome.

I do have to admit upfront though that things will be a little out of whack at times – some elements will look downright strange, others won’t work properly (the news box on the homepage and the news section is currently wonky, try accessing the news archive page for now). Rest assured tweaking will continue to take place over coming weeks and months to smooth out any issues. All I ask is patience please – if something isn’t working properly for you, come back and try again later. If it’s still acting up, please let me know and we’ll get to it as soon as we can.

Some big things are in store folks and I hope you’ll take the ride with me.