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Press Reset: Episode Two - 'But can it run Crysis?'

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A note from Justin Glow, product manager for Polygon:

When Chris Grant and the Grantettes joined Vox Media to create a website about video games, I was excited. Not only to work with Chris again (we both saluted the Running Man every morning at AOL together), but also to dive deep into a project at Vox with the hindsight of having built The Verge. We’ve learned a lot since then, and I was excited to jump in and start working on Polygon.

We started with a project kick-off in May, where the high-level idea of Polygon was pitched to everyone on the Vox product team, and we worked as a group to put together a minimum viable product for launch. (Fixed timeline means fixed scope.) We then transitioned to the solution design phase, where broad ideas are turned into realistic plans, including wireframes for each screen, and lots and lots of user stories. Those wireframes and user stories inform the design and development process, where layers of fidelity are added in an iterative process.

As soon as we have just-enough designed for each screen, we get the mocks into markup (HTML, CSS, Javascript) as early as possible, which lets us interact with the site in a browser — as opposed to a static, lifeless mock — to validate and refine tricky interactions. Once markup is complete, it’s integrated into our publishing platform, Chorus, and iterated on even further until we’re feature complete and ready for launch. Each screen on Polygon (and let me tell you, there are a lot of screens) goes through this process not once, but three times -- one for each resolution breakpoint -- to create a responsive, adaptive experience that feels native no matter where you visit the site: on your desktop, tablet, or mobile phone.

But it doesn't stop there.

Products at Vox are in a constant state of iteration. We're always bug fixing, creating new features, refining the existing, and continuing to evolve the product over time to respond to the ever-changing Internet as a whole.

What you'll see at launch will be the collective work of many months of meetings, design iterations, and late-night development sessions, but represent a small chunk of what our long-term plans are for Polygon.

Likewise, what you'll see in this episode of Press Reset represents an equally small chunk of the process. I hope you enjoy it.

Justin Glow
Senior Product Manager, Vox Media

Watch the next episode of Press Reset.

See more Press Reset on our Press Reset hub page.