In 2003, a small company called Valve launched Steam, which would eventually become the leading online game storefront. Over the years, Steam has witnessed numerous seasonal sales, game releases, and the emergence of memes surrounding Half-Life 3. In its most recent updates, the platform has introduced several new user interface features, bringing the Steam interface into the modern era after undergoing extensive beta testing for months, if not years.
Steam’s user interface has undergone a significant visual overhaul, encompassing new dialogs, menus, fonts, and colors. The objective was to enhance the visual appeal and usability of Steam by implementing targeted improvements. These changes are prominently visible in various areas such as the main Steam header and footer, Settings menu, and the Screenshot Manager. However, it’s worth noting that the updates extend beyond these specific locations, but these areas showcase the most noticeable transformations.
During exploration, users may also come across more helpful notifications, which now provide detailed breakdowns of specific updates. Additionally, the small green bell will only illuminate when there are unread brand-new notifications. This means you can disregard friend-related notifications without being alerted by the bell every time you open Steam.
When diving into games, you’ll now encounter a redesigned in-game overlay that offers improved functionality and customization options, complemented by a convenient toolbar. You have the flexibility to rearrange, add, or remove panels and tabs within the overlay to suit your specific needs. Additionally, a new Notes feature has been introduced, enabling you to swiftly jot down information. This feature goes beyond mere text, allowing you to include images, multiple notes for the game, as well as local and cloud saves, ensuring your notes are accessible wherever you are. Furthermore, you have the ability to pin the overlay to your game screen, keeping it visible while you play, or you can apply this pinning feature to any other tab based on your preferences.
Valve has undertaken significant codebase refactoring behind the scenes in order to improve code sharing across the Steam Desktop Client, Big Picture Mode, and the Steam Deck. This will enable the development team to implement features and fixes more efficiently, including those introduced in this update, which will be simultaneously available on the Steam Deck. Furthermore, technical enhancements have been made to the Mac and Linux versions of Steam, resulting in improved performance.
Overall, Valve is investing effort into enhancing the usability and overall visual appeal of Steam.