With the advent of the new financial year, Ukie and our development partners Arkenford kicked off a series of updates and changes to the UK Games Map, improving the look, layout and functionality across the public front end of the map, as well as a few behind the scenes changes to improve the underlying data - the first batch of which have now been released.
Before we get on to those updates, it's worth a quick reminder that the UK Games Map now lists 2,092 active games companies (plus a further 419 companies no longer trading), 145 "service companies" ranging from law firms to QA to esports and everything inbetween and 229 games courses across 91 academic institutions.
There's still plenty more changes to come, but here's the story so far:
Layout and Search
Search has had a huge overhaul and now brings back results for any word on the text strings, rather than from the beginning only. This means that searching for "sports" now brings back both Digital Sports Arena and Sports Interactive, rather than just the latter.
To make search results clearer, we've colour-coded the results by result type.
We've also moved and labelled the filters section of the map UI to make it clearer that these are different to the content sections.
When clicking on a search result, the map will automatically zoom to that company, with the options to view the profile or compare the company shown.
As a shortcut, you can also use the search results menu to choose to find the company on the map, view the profile or compare them.
With search results for games, these will link through to the games companies that made them, with the company's games list showing the searched game and game info.
Where searches bring back many results, we've added pagination to improve navigation as well as showing the numbers of results.
We've also refreshed the layouts for games company profiles, tidying the website and social media profiles into icons and reframing the company data into clearer sections.
Other layout changes
We've also added a notification for mobile/tablet users recommending that the map may be better viewed via desktop.
As ever, we welcome any feedback and suggestions for improving the map and would love to hear more about some of things you're using the map to uncover or how it's helping your business. Please let us know any thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More updates soon, so watch this space!