Hyping up the Counter-Strike community with your Photoshopped wiki design doesn’t hype up anything.

Esports cool gal Anne Celestino 1 sent me a post made to the subreddit /r/globaloffensive. 2 There’s a couple of things wrong with the situation as I understand it, but ultimately, it’s a wiki crippled by someone who thinks Photoshopping a design is the same thing as designing it.

I’m not a particularly crazy CS fanboy or anything, but this post is more of about an aspect of the community meta, so if you’re looking for my opinion on the best way to eco in competitive play, you should probably look elsewhere.

Speaking from personal experience (I’ve done something like this before), having an artist that can help with asset creation in Photoshop or Illustrator makes for a great ally in the web development process. On the other hand, having a project leader that dictates what they want the website to look like using a layered Photoshop file is a recipe for trouble later on in the project’s life, especially when it comes to making adjustments as the ideal product’s specifications will inevitably change during the development of the site.

In the case of Knife Round (their Photoshopped design’s theoretical name), their first draft of the design being published just makes the entire project come off as a bit amateurish, if not incompetent.

Here’s the type of website they want to compete with:

Frontpage of the SC2 Liquidpedia by TeamLiquid.

This is another wiki they would be competing against that serves a wider audience:

Frontpage of the English version of Wikipedia.

Both examples have contrasting, easy-to-read and uniform color choices across their sites. The content on the main page is generally narrowly constrained to allow as much diversity in information displayed. These indexes share space with multiple elements at once such as featured content chosen by editors, links to important parts of the wiki, news feeds concerning the niche of the wiki or the wiki itself… the list of what’s appropriate here isn’t limited to these. Ultimately, the first page for these two wikis contain enough information that could be digested by a glance or two while allowing the user to quickly access what they intended to research.

Here’s their first design: 3

Frontpage of Knife Round, made by scrubalicious prime in Photoshop with l33t hax0rz.

So there’s a menu… and there’s some color changes… and there’s no wiki links anywhere—however, they did get that featured article front-and-center on the index. They even have a spiffy logo in the upper left hand corner, too!

A certain user in the thread—I’m not sure if this person is related to the wiki project or not—describes matter-of-factly why a wiki’s design is important: 4

If you go to a wiki and it looks white and bland, would you fully trust information from it?

In other words, a complete and good looking wiki makes, to the casual onlooker, more official. For example, I bet you, if the NY Times was made last year as an online-only paper, and the website looked like reddit (not bashing on reddit’s design, they are two completely different types of websites), do you think people would trust it like they do now?

There’s no way that guy is serious, right?

There’s no way that this project is serious, at this point… right?

  1. Anne is a Community Manager with the US branch of ESL and tweets at @hubwub.
  2. /r/globaloffensive: Remember the CS:GO Pro Wiki? Well we have finished our first design! Feedback is Appreciated!
  3. I actually have no idea who the person is that designed this, because there’s a little bit of the typical give-this-to-my-friend-to-publish feel about the post.
  4. earthrace57’s out-of-touch comment about what’s best for a fledgling wiki

6 thoughts on “Hyping up the Counter-Strike community with your Photoshopped wiki design doesn’t hype up anything.

  1. Owner of Kniferound here. I didn’t even know that post was made until someone linked me to this article.

    That wasn’t really supposed to be put out there yet, as it was made in about 25-30 minutes.

    The site should be live before the weekend, **without this photoshopped design scheme**, and still looking for more people to contribute, as that is the most important part.

    Sorry this may have made you mad, for whatever reason, I didn’t mean to!

    • It’s not that the design made me mad, it’s that I’m disappointed that the community is throwing its weight behind something that just looks cheap. In fairness, it’s new and new things need time to age. I might’ve been a bit too vulgar and quick with my thoughts in the post, but the bottom line is that I think that the community needs a wiki that’s just as professional as the others and I really hope that it matures beyond the rush-job design that was sent out to hype folks up.

      The defense to publishing something that looks cheap due to the fact that there was only 30 minutes spent on its initial design concept doesn’t really fly with me. Spending 30 minutes on doing something for free might be a good explanation for some communities, but spending 30 minutes on something in esports leads to folks questioning your commitment and passion for the game, especially when competing with bigger brands to cover a game (speaking from my experiences, here).

      Another thought that came to me after this post—has the Valve Wiki Network shown any interest in incorporating Knife Round into their list of wikis? (VWN oversees the wikis on behalf of Valve. One of their wikis is the popular TF2 wiki that was unofficial at first and then became official.)

  2. I find it hard to believe that you have nothing better to write about on your trifling, spiderweb-varnished blog than some pathetic, ham-handed criticisms of the efforts of the cs community attempting to better itself.

    While I’m somewhat flattered that a design I made in under an hour got around so quickly as to have someone as trite and insipid as yourself to actually write a full article on it, I still don’t understand why in the ever-propagating fuck you decided to write it. This is not by any means and end-all be-all design. It was more of an exhibition of what I am capable of providing to the project as well as a general guideline of how it could look. A guy in the irc channel really liked the look and decided to post it on reddit by his own prerogative. He “hyped” the community by posting this rushed, pre-rough draft design to let people know that we were serious about this and wanted to get the attention of our peers so that more could join us and help out. Feel free to come by the irc channel and actually help in the stead of sitting back and posting inane, uninformed drivel. quakenet #wiki.csgo


    • I expected someone to respond in kind with the level of obscenity I used to describe the design in the post, but I wasn’t expecting the designer to do so. Thanks for taking the time to bash out a comment.

      I should’ve been clearer in the post about a few things and probably a bit more constructive, you’re right about that. I was pretty bad at communicating my idea in the post because of how much the initial concept you linked in your IRC channel doesn’t look like a wiki at all, but I somehow condensed it to a reasonably-sized comment in the original thread on reddit:

      Just don’t get hung up on design, Liquipedia was basically MediaWiki’s default scheme with a different logo for awhile until it had become an established institution for SC and SC2—and hell, Wikipedia has almost always used MediaWiki’s default scheme. :P

      That’s really all I want to communicate. In a wiki, the design is a secondary thing that companies with money can cover later in the wiki’s life—but first, the wiki needs to be important. Revisit completely stylizing the wiki design when sites like Cadred and HLTV start referencing it in their write-ups and traffic is higher.

      Also—with it being Reddit and all—I am always suspicious that posts made on behalf of projects are made by the project’s designers themselves using alternative accounts, seeing it presented in that way on top of karmawhoring in a link post were sort of a big, red warning light flashing and staring me in the face. To see that this isn’t the case is good news.

      • Foreword: I am one of the administrators of Liquipedia and I’m also a fan of CS, so when I saw this thing pop up I got all up in their bidniss

        Actual content It’s actually me pushing getting the design done properly at the start. A lot of the issues we have in getting pages done is because we didn’t worry about design and now styling a page involves nested tables, dozens of divs and spans, classes out the ass, and sometimes basically writing all the styles for a page as inline modifications to divs. And then god forbid someone uses a different skin (we have a few). It’s a pain. It took many months to get the new skin on Liquipedia done, that’s true, but I’m pushing to have as much ironed out at the start so that creating good looking pages doesn’t become a nightmare.

        The biggest reason LP looks so pretty is because of our wonderful editors who take all that spaghetti css and make templates, which lets regular users not have to worry about it most of the time. Yes it makes things look clean, but it’s still not the approach which should be used when we have the opportunity to start fresh.

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