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Site Redesign Beta Opening to All
  • Posted by Dave
  • Posted on June 2, 2020, 7:52 pm NST

UPDATE: As of 11:15 AM on June 3rd, the site redesign is now available to all!

With this release, Mystery Island has also received a conversion to the new design. (And with it, a new map.) The Neoboards have also been given a visual update.

We recommend reading through the Release Notes for full details. A few important bugs have been fixed as well.

Exciting news! Starting tomorrow, all Neopian users will have access to the beta test of the site redesign. Only Premium members up until now have had access to the beta, so non-Premium folks will finally get to join and check out the new site layout.

Here's the official announcement from TNT:

Hi guys! We wanted to give you all some updates on the beta release of our mobile-friendly site redesign. As many of you know, the redesign has been in a closed beta available to a few select users, including a large portion of Premium members, for a few weeks now. We will be opening up the beta to all users tomorrow so that we can get feedback from all player-types on this early beta build. On that note, please keep in mind that the redesign is in very early stages of development. We know there is a lot more to the site than what is currently here and we are excited to have more updates in the future. However, we wanted your feedback and suggestions to help guide us throughout development so we are opening it up for you guys to try out!

You can read what is part of each release including features, known issues, bug fixes, etc. on our Release Notes page here, which will be updated once the Open Beta releases as well. You will also be able to head over to the Mobile Beta neoboard to discuss any questions, suggestions or just general comments you may have. We will also be sending around a survey next week for those who would like to give feedback.

Also a quick note on the exiting/entering beta, you will be able to switch in and out whenever you want! If at any point you want to return to the classic site, all you have to do is click 'View Classic Site' in the profile menu on the left-hand side of the page. (Any bugs pertaining to getting forced back into beta view after selecting classic view have been fixed.) Then, to return to beta just click 'Switch to Beta' link in the upper right corner of your navigation bar.

Thanks for all your support and loyalty over the past 20 years and we're excited for you guys to see all that Neopets has in store this year!


Some important things to note, as mentioned above, is that if at any time you wish to exit the redesigned layout, simply click on your Neopet in the top left corner, and on the menu that pops up, click on "View Classic Site". Doing so will now permanently send you back to the old layout until you explicitly choose "Switch to Beta". (Earlier during the beta testing, this was broken and would only let you leave the beta for 24 hours.)

The note above also hints that some more areas will possibly be added to the beta site. Keep an eye on the Release Notes for official details.
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There are 56 comments below. Add yours!

solkort, June 2, 2020 8:51 PM NST
Omg I wanna try it, let's hope this feedback helps them so we can get a nice new version!
neocoladude, June 2, 2020 9:00 PM NST
It kinda worries me that it took this long just for a UI overhaul to leave beta, and the death of Flash is just around the corner...
dave - JN Staff, June 2, 2020 9:09 PM NST
The biggest threat to Neopets from the end of Flash is customisation not working and games not working. Considering they have a working (albeit with some kinks to work out) Flash-free version of customisation, I think they're on a decent path.

I'm curious to see how many games we get converted by January 2021, though. This is pure speculation, but I do think we'll definitely lose some, like the oddball Shockwave games that really haven't worked for years now (since Shockwave retired even earlier). A few other oddball games like Shenkuu River Rush that use Unity (I think?) might also not make the cut.

In the meantime, there's plenty of time (IMO) to get world maps converted, the few Flash dailies/wheels, and some of the miscellaneous NC Flash features.

I fully expect old Flash content that is not essential to current game play (like old plot comics, old Advent animations, etc.) not get converted, period. (And that's why we've been occasionally working on preserving those features--stay tuned for some plot related preservation coming soon!)
dave - JN Staff, June 2, 2020 9:11 PM NST
To add on, there are also plenty of games that are already Flash-free (Dice-a-Roo, NeoQuest, Sakhmet Solitaire--those kinds), and other major site features are also Flash-free, like the Neoboards, the Battledome, restocking, etc.

Redesigning the stuff above to fit into the new site layout doesn't have a deadline, so even if it takes awhile, there's no major pressure to finish before they stop working.
zixianna, June 2, 2020 9:22 PM NST
Do we know what issues have been taken care of, and which ones are still open, from the closed beta? Almost feels more like alpha phase at this point, and throwing the doors open to everyone in the process.
1jediboy, June 2, 2020 9:27 PM NST
YAY!!!!! 🤩🤩🤩

@Dave - You guys should legitimately talk to TNT about what YOU can archive FOR them so that they can just remove it completely from the site! Doesn't that free up bandwidth space and potentially make the site faster?

Even if it doesn't make it faster, it sure does clean up a lot of stuff on that might not be necessary for the flash-free conversion.

Like the pronunciation page! You've COMPLETELY documented that page! They're likely never going to update it anyway... so why not just remove it from the site? Free up space without erasing history by working CLOSELY with the brilliant Neopets history preserver that is!
pikasuno, June 3, 2020 12:39 AM NST
If they have fewer flash games on the new version of the site, hopefully they can put the time into fixing an important non-flash game: Bilge Dice.
jawsch, June 3, 2020 5:15 AM NST
And yet it's been over a month and they've not changed, added or done anything to the beta site.

Not sure what benefit there is to enabling for everyone if they aren't even updating anything yet. Lol

Just going to disappoint and frustrate more people.
apophis324, June 3, 2020 6:04 AM NST
Still opting for a fully white design as an option, as opposed to full colour as I keep seeing in the screenshots. Too much for my eyes to handle! Brain overloooaaad!!
combustibles, June 3, 2020 6:17 AM NST
the new design is an eyesore to me. I can see it working for mobile devices, but I play neo on my desktop.

What is it with webdesigners and making "sleek" UIs that don't actually make it sleeker or simpler to navigate their websites.
lalaiscool600, June 3, 2020 6:39 AM NST
where do i find the beta site?
beyondelsewhere, June 3, 2020 7:18 AM NST
Not a constructive comment at all here but... how did you (whomever's screen grab that is) get your beta in purple? I can't find a preferences option to change from yellow. (thank you!)
dave - JN Staff, June 3, 2020 9:28 AM NST
@beyondelsewhere: Those options are not released yet.
nefarity, June 3, 2020 12:19 PM NST
Site isn't even loading for me. Just get an error 504. I wanna play the AC
liup20, June 3, 2020 12:57 PM NST
i dont see anybody talking about the new Mystery Island map
oh baby what it you doin
dillpickles, June 3, 2020 12:59 PM NST
I particularly love how they missed the Ninja school on the new MI map. Oops?
dreww355, June 3, 2020 1:02 PM NST
I really like the neoboard redesign, but the new Mystery Island map is... yikes
zixianna, June 3, 2020 1:15 PM NST
@liup20: AHHHH! GAH! Wow, yea. First off.... wassup with that art? Second, I have 4k resolution, yet there are still scroll bars everywhere, and it doesn't fit on the screen if I use a half-page browser. That doesn't seem like it would be mobile friendly at all?
1jediboy, June 3, 2020 1:17 PM NST
I... admire it's... smoothness?

Mystery Island looks more like it was designed by someone from Poptropica! 😕 Except... not as round. Didn't MI already have an HTML view? 😕

Where do I go to send you guys pictures of the site as is for documentation posterity? (Note: See my previous post, please.)
chocolatjellopudding, June 3, 2020 1:35 PM NST
Feel like this is bad timing with us being in the middle of the AC...but at least we can see it in action finally. Also....yaaaaaaaaaaas Mystery Island!
chocolatjellopudding, June 3, 2020 1:36 PM NST
Nvm...the island doesn't look as great as I was hoping...
bananas, June 3, 2020 1:54 PM NST
What happened to Mystery Island? Looks like we went back in time with art and layout...
For me visually not as appealing, could have done some sights or boats in the ocean, but I guess it might be flash friendly? Bit slow still for me on computer
dave - JN Staff, June 3, 2020 1:58 PM NST
I'm not a fan of the Mystery Island map art style. I think that needs a total redo. It's very flat, almost as if they forgot the lighting and shadows work. And same sentiment as others on the gradient style backdrop... no, thanks.

But I do like the direction they took in terms of functionality. It's neat seeing it be full page width, and on a mobile device, it's Google Maps-esque in being scrollable, making the map usable on smaller screens.
chocolatjellopudding, June 3, 2020 2:24 PM NST
Extremely flat. Functionality is great but compared to other map updates, MI was completely jipped.
catsrnice, June 3, 2020 2:29 PM NST
So I click on my Neopoint balance (The amout of money I have on hand) and I get taken to...the bank?

I'm sorry how does that make any sense.
catsrnice, June 3, 2020 2:29 PM NST
(I was being sarcastic, that's not an actual criticism)
princesspolabear, June 3, 2020 2:32 PM NST
Will I be able to play Neopets on my iPad when the redesign is permanent?
liup20, June 3, 2020 2:38 PM NST
i definitely agree about the bad timing of this open release, the home page doesn't even load
um chile anyway so...
yekith, June 3, 2020 2:45 PM NST
What terrible timing. :/ Now the site won't load...
beyondelsewhere, June 3, 2020 2:58 PM NST
@dave Thank you! I'll be happy when it IS an option. Purple is my fave colour
roshchodesh, June 3, 2020 3:55 PM NST
Do not like. ACK! I feel like I'm in kindergarten with the primary colours and the B I G L E T T E R S
(I may have missed it, but, where is the NST CLOCK?)
yekith, June 3, 2020 4:29 PM NST
Right now I only care about how I still can't get the site to load so I can play some more AC games. :/

I couldn't check the mobile version much cause of the same reason. For worse, the site's been logging me off every time I close the browser for days now. The same is happening now with the mobile version every time the site dies, even if I don't close it.
mavegibson, June 3, 2020 4:32 PM NST
I'm a bit surprised that everyone is hating so hard on the new MI map. Usually I'm the one mercilessly shredding things, but I don't think the art is THAT bad. It doesn't look bad, just unfinished. And maybe it is just unfinished - this is beta after all.

All it really needs is more shading, more contrast and more detail. It's not ugly or bad, just a bit preliminary looking.
yekith, June 3, 2020 4:37 PM NST
I was just finally able to see the MI map and I don't think it's bad either! I don't mind less quality images on mobile as long as it's practical.

But seriously, why was I able to load the site on mobile (although it dies for moments) but the normal version won't open on my computer? Is it just me or? Been trying for hours.
kyrette, June 3, 2020 5:13 PM NST
Guess that explains why the site has been awfully laggy today. Did anyone else get logged out too?
Also, the new Mystery Island map is ugly, I hope that they fix it.
Why did they decide to do this in the midst of the AC. Dang it, JS, I'm sorry, but you have horrible timing.
themeepit32, June 3, 2020 5:13 PM NST
the new MI looks like it's made in MS paint sadly.

I don't care for it. I hope they can make it look less ugly and MS-painty
bonju, June 3, 2020 6:11 PM NST
The map isn't bad, just looks halfway done. Missing a lot of shading and lightning. I mean just look at the water and how plain it is
thaliel, June 3, 2020 9:10 PM NST
loading is awfully slow there and if I do not turn adblock off, I will only see a blank site
apophis324, June 3, 2020 11:12 PM NST
Where can I leave Feedback for the new site? Do I send in a ticket? That's inconvenient...
peppermint, June 4, 2020 12:28 AM NST
Kind of reminds me of when the local news channel where my mom lives decided to make their site mobile "friendly"... they had an awesome weather page, easy to see all the maps and radar on your PC, then came their "friendly" mobile version... half the maps and radar vanished and those few that were left were hidden in a weird box you have to click through forever.

From that and other botched attempts I've seen, making something mobile "friendly" is not friendly to anything, even mobile.

If they want people to play Neo on their phones, they should make an app for phones and be done with it, then redesign the main website to keep up with the loss of flash, but still retain the basic appearance.
kyrette, June 4, 2020 8:06 AM NST
I'm glad you can revert back to the "classic" layout - it's the layout I've been used to for the past 10+ years and my brain doesn't really like change
Hope they keep that feature, though, since I don't really play Neo on mobile, but if it's useful to the people that do, then great!
apophis324, June 4, 2020 10:29 AM NST
@kyrette. Sadly, I believe they have already established they will not do that. Even though it would be better on so many levels.. they won't.

We'll just have to adapt to appearing and disappearing buttons, extra clicks to get to where you want to go (Inventory for example) and *gasp* Push Notifications! We need those! R-Right?
What do we need Push Notifications for exactly?
apophis324, June 4, 2020 10:36 AM NST
(Sorry. I stand corrected on the inventory bit. You can still click the amount of Neopoints you have, they just also thought it would be convenient to have an inventory button in that useful sidebar menu).
tomatereloco, June 5, 2020 12:33 AM NST
I was expecting way more from the phone version. For example turmac roll could have used slide and tap motions instead of tapping in specific areas. The app itself looks a bit unresponsive
recklesse, June 6, 2020 12:56 AM NST
Sorry. I stand corrected on the inventory bit. You can still click the amount of Neopoints you have

On the mobile version that takes you to the bank. From there (because it isn't a beta page --yet) you can click again to get to the inventory. When the bank is converted over I guess we'll be stuck with the extra click to open up the side sub-menu before we can go to inventory.

The clock and the inventory button really need to be at the top of every page. I use them frequently. This feels like driving a car without a rear view mirror (and with dodgy brakes).

And why??? do we have to click a huge button in the middle of the page just to see the board header?
It kind of reminds me of those user lookups I really hated, that were a 'splash' page with a bunch of links or hovers to see the actual content.
recklesse, June 6, 2020 1:03 AM NST
I was already drifting away to other sites recently.

This may just clinch it.

But perhaps that's the plan. Scare away the older players to attract a new, less critical, demographic.
chibiaden14, June 6, 2020 10:24 AM NST
Wooooow...and that's a bad wow, too. I'm not entirely impressed with the overhaul, but I AM willing to give it a chance once more features are done.
dark169, June 7, 2020 10:51 AM NST
Why are so many websites obsessed with redesigns lately? New Twitter, New Reddit, New , DeviantArt Eclipse, and now Neopets Beta! This trend has to stop! Especially if it results in a new site logo that is "streamlined".
gigiamore, June 8, 2020 7:31 AM NST
Can't stand it. I'll play till it's made permanent, but then my premium and I will be on our way.

Why cant we see our background and foregrounds on our pets? Makes me feel like I spent money for absolutely nothing. My UL will be useless too, maybe they'll make that editible though.

Feel like I'm playing on a Vtech "My First Computer". Looks like it was made for babies and display sucks on desktop. It might be okay for phone, but boy is this hideous. Why couldn't they do a hybrid like Jelly's IDB? Would work a little more nicely at least. I would like a permanent sidebar, or the option for it at least on desktop.

I do agree the site needs an overhaul, but this is a bit excessive.
sharlimar, June 8, 2020 8:43 AM NST
I may be "dumb"...I have read what is said about "reverting back to the classic layout" but...after I click on my neopet I don't see a pop up box. Where can I find this box to click to revert back to classic? (no box pops up on my page--I'm using Firefox browser). Thank you.
sharlimar, June 8, 2020 8:48 AM NST
I can click on my neopet, get its info up, have a side bar beside that pet with choices: make active; customize; send a photo; view lookup; view abilities; equip for battle; edit homepage; edit description. Where can I find the choice to revert to classic? Thank you.
recklesse, June 8, 2020 9:30 AM NST
Sharlimar, it's the little circle picture of your active pet (top left) that you click to get the hidden sidebar menu.
recklesse, June 8, 2020 9:34 AM NST
Oh, wait..! You're in quickref. That's not a beta page, so it won't have the beta layout. Try going to the neopets homepage or the neoboards to switch mode.
sharlimar, June 8, 2020 9:55 AM NST
Thank you I'll try that
sharlimar, June 8, 2020 9:57 AM NST
recklesse It worked!!! Thank you
thecrazyoo, June 8, 2020 6:48 PM NST
Oh my...
Oooh my...
Wow, after years promising on a mobile friendly site... That's pretty disappointing.
I don't even know what to say lol

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