The site design is pretty good. In this day and age of short attention spans, art and multimedia trump articles for me. A design that was even simpler and more intuitive might go hand in hand with that. Something more visual and less text-based. Appealing more to the right brain than the left brain.
The biggest change I’d like to see bar none is for the forum link in the main page to be something that stood WAY out in the design. If I were coming to the site for the first time, I might not even realize it existed or feel compelled to check it out. IIRC, in the days of Die Welt you had the option to go directly to the forum or to the main site in the first page. Something like that.
I’d make a main page where you didn’t have to scroll at all, and would have a previous and next button to cycle through the posts (only the latest post visible, and giving you the option to hit previous and maybe “List of all previous” if people really wanted to check older ones). A big banner or lettering for the forum and not a whole lot of other options (keeping things as simple as possible). I’d like to get to the main page and have as few options as possible, which then could branch out into more complexity. Maybe drop down menus for Media for example instead of having a written list. I’d probably create something called Gallery where I’d put music, pictures, videos, stories, downloads etc And whenever there’d be more options I’d create thumbnails/buttons for them instead of just text lines. So as you enter the Gallery you get a visual for the different things available.
Gallery, Encyclopedia, Forum, How to Contribute (the list for the contributors would be inside of that)…something like that…no more than 4 or 5 visual options for you as you enter the main page.
The design is cool, don’t get me wrong, but it’s still way too complex and with too much text for a main page for me (quite frankly so is the rest of the site when navigating all the content but I can see it’s vale as it is too). I’m gonna go look for website examples to give an approximation of what I’d hope the site design would look like.
Articles can be cool, but maybe a different kind of article than the ones the site already has would be nice. More geared towards getting people’s attention. Something that’d I’d want to check out immediatelly if it was adverted on the main page. Kinda like gaming magazines specials or something. Like 1up’s retrospective years ago. I know this kinda of article is way harder to make…but it’d be cool if we had articles that were less focused on the game world necessarilly and more about PD fandom as it relates to the real world in some way. Even an interview with fellow PD fans asking them questions about their love of PD n art with their artwork included in the article or something. Adverted in the main page. I’d also have less descriptive text in each news post and way bigger letters. Trying to get an interview with Saori Kobayashi. Or stuff like that. Having the best articles related to PD be on and coming from this site basically. Not that the site isn’t already great of course Like I said I realize this might be a bit too much hard work, but it’s just me thinking out loud.