Steam UI update available now

In a long awaited move, Valve has just announced that the next version of Steam, its digital distribution and social networking service is now available.

"We made hundreds of changes to the Steam client as a result of customer feedback on the interface, performance, and functionality," said John Cook, Director of Steam Development at Valve. "For example, we swapped out the Internet Explorer rendering engine with WebKit, which gives us a bunch of size, stability and performance benefits. This release of Steam leaves us well prepared for another year of strong growth."

Some of the major improvements include the following:

  • Complete overhaul of Steam client UI design to improve discoverability of features and to better expose all the information related to games in your library
  • Complete overhaul of in-game overlay UI design to create a richer in-game experience exposing context sensitive information related to the game you are currently playing
  • New game details view, presenting a detailed view of all the information for a single game in your library
  • New grid view, presenting a graphical view of your game library
  • New news page in the store/client/overlay which aggregates from Valve related news sites, official community groups, and third-party gaming news feeds
  • New downloads view in the client, making it easier to track your progress downloading new games or game updates
  • New Steam store design, including more integrated community features, improved recommendations, and improved video and screenshots viewing (and much more!)

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29 Comments

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Anyone else having problems with the text rendering? ClearType fringing is REALLY bad in it for some reason. Also, the gradients are WAY overdone...

I like the UI, but it consumes a lot more memory than the old UI.

With the old UI it consumed 10 MB - 20 MB at most when not running any games, only jumping up slightly. The new UI is sucking up between 200 MB - 300 MB of ram when not running any games.

It's nice they made the move to webkit, just need to do something about memory consumption.

I like the new one, but it feels cluttered. Too much info that I don't really need displayed by all the games and whatnot. I liked the whole old compact feel.

shakey said,
I like the new one, but it feels cluttered. Too much info that I don't really need displayed by all the games and whatnot. I liked the whole old compact feel.

You can change the views.

I prefer the old one. The new one *is* good looking but I don't find it as clear and usable (far more important). The store's "next/previous" navigation is particularly horrible, IMO.

Fourjays said,
The store's "next/previous" navigation is particularly horrible, IMO.
How so? I don't see how it's different to a normal browser?

Kirkburn said,
How so? I don't see how it's different to a normal browser?

I'm not a fan of using AJAX for page changes in the first place, but within Steam itself the page "judders" as it scrolls up at the same time as doing the effect. Actually makes me feel a little nauseous and I'm not prone to things such as seasickness. Works better in a separate browser, but to me it isn't necessary in the first place.

What Anaron said.

I loved the old UI. Hated IE Rendering Engine, but loved the look. Also, i had a L4D skin and it was a nice tone and easy on my eyes. Cant wait till skins are converted or new skins are uploading/made for the new UI. I want SKINS.

Dont like the current skin at all.

But, I do like EVERYTHING ELSE. So besides the Skin, I love the UI, i love the fact that you can click "view > game details" and it pulls up news and everything about the game your clicked on. If it wasnt for me to click on MW2 to see what news popped up, i wouldnt of realized 10 more people left IW and joined Respawn. Jesus. I expected them to grow, but all of IW must REALLY hate Activision.

Cant wait till Robert Boeing leaves. I know he wont leave till Respawn is up and running and has a game to show in a few years but come on robby, dont be a activision puppet.

warwagon said,
What the hell is the need for all of these's new UI's to go black?????

Black looks nice? You can skin it though.

Smigit said,
Not bad. I miss the arrow at the top for swapping between small mode and the expanded mode however.
Note that the compact mode still exists, but for some reason it has been moved under the View menu (the server browser has also been inexplicably demoted to there).

Edited by Arkose, Apr 28 2010, 11:04am :

Yeah sorry, I know it's there. I liked having a button on the main window to jump between the two. The mini mode itself is actually an improvement since you can filter games on recently played ect.

:: Lyon :: said,
Already been using it since Public Beta Good to know that it makes the official release

Is it ironic that I just installed Steam last night after rebuilding my machine? I just assumed this has happened weeks ago as I haven't been gaming in recent months.

vaximily said,

Is it ironic that I just installed Steam last night after rebuilding my machine? I just assumed this has happened weeks ago as I haven't been gaming in recent months.

It did. It just happened to have the word "beta" next to it.