Sorry, most users don't even know what a namespace is. They want to type in a word and get results with one click, no extras.
Example: A user has read PCGT and wants to know what it is. Give it a try. The only page that appears is the glossary. And this only because I've moved it to the main space (where it doesn't belong, but Help:Glossary is already occupied by a general Fandom glossary and I didn't want to overwrite it). The search would have delivered no results if the glossary had still been in the Asphalt Wiki namespace. A search bar where you have to specify parameters you have no clue of is useless.
Besides, I don't regard the top bar as part of our wiki. It is something we have to accept because we are allowed to host our wiki here.
I don't cling to the search bar tile, but it can be used by visitors as-is; and advanced users can choose more options right from the start, without having to know namespaces by heart or start a dummy search just to get the button for the advanced search which finally displays the desired options. Our search bar is the result of the Fandom search function being cluttered, not vice versa.
- "As you’ve stated the Wiki Activity feed is on every page so why have it again on the Main Page?"
Because that's where it belongs. I find it extremely molesting to have it on each and every page. It's an editor thing, not for readers. Wikipedia does not have this feed on each and every page for a reason. This again is something we have to accept because Fandom wants it so. Perhaps we'll have more design choices when Gamepedia and Fandom are merged next year. I'd be glad to finally get a Gamepedia style design without being forced to lose 1/5 of my screen width to empty space and another 1/5 to a completely useless sidebar.
As for the ads, I don't know, I turned the all ads off.
Asphalt 8 and 9
- "If not, you could have each game column take up the whole row instead of dividing them to make both games fit."
That's what I said. I made two columns in the beginning because
- I didn't want fans to argue which tile is at the top, so which game is "more important". But I we could rotate that, be it daily or having the tile with the latest update automatically placed first.
- at the beginning, the A9 tile almost had no content, so a whole row would have been a waste of space. Now that the A9 people are always busy updating the tile, two rows are certainly a better solution.
- "could be implemented into a gallery slider"
No. Sliders are extremely unflexible to format. And I don't to wait for information to show up after 10 or more seconds. I want to get to the main page, see my game and jump to the current event I was looking for. Most A9 players don't play A8 and vice versa. They simply don't care about A8 events sliding and sliding before they see what they want.
- "or a button gallery with links"
If we have rows instead of columns, we could think of that. The point is that we'd have to design general buttons for Festivals, R&Ds, Championships, EDDs, MP seasons, Special events, Drive Syndicates and whatever Gameloft comes up next with. The games are currently changing at a pace that makes it close to impossible to keep track of everything, and the least thing I want to do is to design new buttons when they invent something new.
Another point: Event names are sometimes very long. The list format is better in this case. A name like Apollo Intensa Emozione (Research & Development) would take three lines inside an image button, cover half of the picture and be hard to read because of the line breaks.
By the way, both the A8 and the A9 tiles will get one or two more of the mini tiles with active live countdowns for MP seasons and in-game ad series. You can't see them yet because we're running the script only for beta testers at the moment.
Rainbox Six example
I appreciate your visual work on the Rainbox Six front page, but your buttons are mainly a repetition of the dropdown menus at the top bar and lead to less appealing category pages.
Asphalt Wiki has developed in quite a different way over time. Our forum is almost void, no one uses it. Discussions take place in comments under the current update and event pages, so it is most important to direct users directly from the front page to the current events they are interested in. Before we had the new front page, users often posted questions or comments under pages where they weren't noticed.
It is true though that we could add a row of fancy and graphically appealing icon buttons for some of the main games and categories. I think that's nicer and a good addition to the dry dropdown menus, although it's a repetition.
In a way, the mini tiles like the one for the A8 MP season or the current drop rates already are a version of these image buttons. I want to group more information in these mini tiles in the future, but we first had to see how the system of the new front page was working (it's not that old yet). The news, the A8 and the A9 tiles all come from different editors, and we have to provide a consistent and error-safe way for them to edit and update the info without accidently destroying the front page layout. The current combination of lists and mini tiles is a good compromise.
As you may have noticed, I'm against most of the changes you suggested. We need separate boxes for A8 and A9 as they will get further infos in the future. But it is planned to have this grouped in the mini tiles, so it's very similar to image buttons, just more flexible.
We are also planning a feature like "On this day" on Wikipedia which would get another tile and be automatically filled with content by date, so the overall structure is going to change anyway.