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