18 months after its initial launch we decided to overhaul the design and scope of the Dreamarena portal site ( the walled garden content portal available only to Dreamcast owners – see Dreamarena )
The site had organically grown, in terms of content, but so had the pressure for real estate on the site’s homepage and so this was something that we needed to address, but the SEGA executives were also keen to do something daring and innovative with the design also, something that would connect with gamers’ imaginations.
In additiona the Dreamarena homepage had to provide direct links to every part of the site, it had to be quick to load and work in the same way in five different languages.
The solution we adopted was built around the user experience of using the Dreamcast controller as the input method. Unusually for a website we found that a scrolling horizontal
The adopted solution displays a world in isometric 3D, where content icons reveal their menus upon rollover. This environment scrolled left to right and revealed other content areas – this was proved to be an intuitive interface when browsing with the Dreamcast controller.
By the time of its re-design an important source of revenue for the Dreamarena was co-branding areas of content; allowing users to access non-gaming 3rd party content. This presented creative challenges in that the site was in danger of becoming ‘over-branded’.
I worked closely at this time with SEGA’s content partners to produce content that fulfilled a multitude of commercial imperitives. This work ultimately led to writing the Dreamarena Styleguide as a means of clarifying to all parties how the site should look and operate.
The Styleguide was born from a need to clarify how the Dreamarena look and feel was to be used as the scope of content provision started to widen. Co-branded areas and web-enabled games all needed to comply with the Dreamarena house style, plus more design agencies were being involved in creating content for Dreamcast promotions.
The Styleguide document outlined all the necessary design rules for making Dreamarena compliant pages and also included details of best practice for making pages to be displayed on TV and more specifically for the Dreamkey web browser.
Client: SEGA Europe
Launch: September 2001
URL: No longer live