Welcome to the modern world
Article originally published 9th of December 2008
The Hattrick look of 2008 is finally here. It’s a clean and direct, yet characteristic, look with discrete and modern design elements – and the old Hattrick charm is still present! It’s made to fit today’s bigger screens, with a larger font which makes it easier for you to read.
We’ve focused especially on navigation and usability, and both have been heavily improved. The new left menu has fewer choices and is always expanded, making your navigation easier. As one test user said: “It's very intuitive. After 5 minutes you feel that you've used it all your life.”
Additionally we just couldn’t stop ourselves from adding a very nice amount of new features into the new site. And an update of our Supporter package too, for example an awesome kit designer. We hope you don’t mind.
We've worked for quite some time with the new design (and the dotnetification) now, and it feels really good to reach the end of the road. During the way we've gotten very nice feedback from our test users and from the community when showing screenshots of the new design. There's been a positive spirit about the new look since day one and that spirit has only grew more positive along the way.
First time design has been in focus
The reason for why this new design has been liked by so many so fast is perhaps not that strange. This is actually the very first time in Hattrick history where we really have focused on the design, thinking through every page from scratch. This has resulted in a much better structure, and also a structure where we've taken future improvement ideas into consideration. Secondly, all images and icons are made by the same artist, making sure everything on the site is made in the same style and fit together.
As mentioned above this also means the end of our code rewrite, everything is now in .NET. This means the end of the irritating time-outs every now and then, and it will also be much easier for us to add new features to the site now. Because yes, we intend to further improve this new site even after this release.
The logic behind the top menu
The backbone in this new structure is the top menu, which is divided into six categories where each top category opens up a left menu with options. Under My Hattrick you find everything related to yourself and the community, under My Club you find everything related to your club and World will show you the national and international world around you and your club. Our Forum and our Shop are categories of their own, and finally you have Help where you can find the help you may need from time to time.
Two looks for the price of one
The new design is available in two different skins (standard and simple) and more skins will be added in the future. The simple skin is especially designed for smaller screens and slower internet connections, but it could also be a simple matter of taste which skin you prefer.
New stuff here, there and everywhere
There is actually something new on more or less every page, so there is a lot for you to discover. The first thing you'll notice is perhaps the new pictures on the site; showing fans and sponsor moods – and naturally also the player faces (or silhouettes). The faces play an important part to show if a player is injured, for sale or has a red card.
You can choose to display your players' skills with bars instead of the classical look. The skill bars are especially helpful for new players who haven't learned all denominations by heart yet. You set your preferred display choice in the preference page.
Non-supporters have also got access to four shortcut icons on the top of the page, making it easier to reach your mail inbox, HT-Live, the transfer and the search tool. You will also find some team and player stats included for everyone and on the series page you can now add all matches in the upcoming round to HT-Live in one go – and added matches will not disappear if you happen to get a time-out. When talking about things that will not disappear; players you've placed a bid on but don't have the highest bid on any more will still be visible on your transfer bid page.
There are humans around you
You'll notice that you're not alone in this game (if you ever felt that way). Hattrick is also a social game and you'll now also be able to see much of the activity that takes place on the site – making the game more alive. On your team and series page you can see your recent visitors, and supported teams are shown for Supporters (but if you don't feel comfortable with others seeing you, you can switch on the privacy options in your site preferences). On your series page you can also see which managers are online, and in the series news feed you find press announcements, player transfers, when match orders for the upcoming series match are submitted and much more.
A new forum designed for both casual and advanced forum users
You will also find a brand new forum included in this release. It's been made much easier to use and understand for new and casual forum users, but still has the depth needed for the advanced forum users. Read more about the forum and how to use it in the forum editorial, we thought it deserved its own.
The amazing kit designer and other Supporter updates
If you're a Supporter you get perhaps the most fantastic new feature included in this release, the new kit designer. Words actually don't do this fantastic application justice, now it's actually quite safe to say that you can create the match kit you've only been dreaming about in the past. And it's quite easy to use; pick the form you wish and drag and drop it on your kit, then adjust size and colour. Don't forget to save when you're done.
The kits are visible on the team page, in the match report – and also in the player pictures. This leads us to the new cool player pictures, exclusively made for Hattrick by the artist Beach (who's also made our pictures in the past and the pictures to our board game). The new faces give Hattrick and the players a lot of character, much more than the old ones did. The new faces are based on the old characteristics, but as there are much more variations now (more variations of long and short hair, more variations of a certain hair colour etc.) some characteristics may look a bit different now. Naturally, if you don't want the faces visible you can turn them off in your preferences.
As a Supporter you can get your own Hattrick look in your manager avatar, which also is shown in the forums. In this first version you get a random face each time you change avatar, but we have plans for a second version in the future where you can set it up yourself by choosing different face elements. Please note that if you have faces switched off you can't set your avatar.
On each of your player's page you'll find his latest appearances on the pitch, training details and the absolutely brilliant post-it note. Add to this that you've got a shortcut icon to your supporter page, improved supporter and flag collection pages, and you get a glorious update of the Supporter package.
First step in the Alltid integration
Included in the new design is the first step in the Alltid stats integration. Alltid Plus members now have access to Alltid stats within Hatrick – just click the Alltid icon on relevant pages. Alltid stats will be available for more users later on, when the next steps in the integration have been completed (which will take some months).
Make your own discoveries
Even though we would like to, it's simply impossible to talk about every single little thing in the new design. To a degree we also think it's more fun to discover your own favourites and it leaves some room for aha-moments too. So we suggest you take a discovery tour all around the new Hattrick world, and then let us know in the forums which your new favourites are. The forum is also an excellent place to ask any question you may have about the new site.
Some special thanks
Finally we would like to send a special thanks to all our test users: our game officials (GM/LA/Mod/CHPP), our GUI reference group, all our Stage testers and the Swedish users who together with their non-playing friends tested it live at our office. Thanks for all the bug hunting, feedback, suggestions – and especially for keeping our spirit, motivation and energy up. This simply couldn't have been done without you.