Agreed. I remember a thread about it about 4-5 years ago where I (and others) said pretty much the same thing.
I actually kinda started on a redesign, but then the site changed and that blew up my concept.*
The main issue is that the site has changed, but the format hasn’t. The graphical design certainly looks old/basic in places, but that’s more of a visual/style issue.
The main issue is how it surfaces content.
For a long time the site was basically a blog by 4 people. As such, the default wordpress blog format worked pretty well.
Which is basically what RPS uses - a default blog layout with the blog posts listed in reverse-chronological order and a couple of categories.
But RPS is no longer a blog run by 4 guys, it’s a news magazine with content from multiple writers and freelancers, with (it seems to me - they do protest though) a much higher rate of content output. That means things get pushed off the front page pretty quickly and then disappear into the ether.
They really need a magazine format, highlighting recent articles from different sections on the front page. This would allow the flood of news keep flowing without pushing the more interesting features out of view.
Most other sites have switched to magazine formats long ago, and one can’t help but feel that sites like Polygon, etc… spend a lot more time, money and effort on web design.
Things like the taboola ads are annoying, but probably unavoidable. Some other things may not be possible because of server loads, advertising requirements, costs, etc…
But it still feels like they could devote a little more resource to improving the other aspects of the site.
The current stream-of-conscious blog format still works ok if you are checking the site every day, or multiple times every day. But I’m in the same situation as the OP - less free time means I don’t check the site every day and then when I come back I find that I need to scroll through 6 pages of stuff to spot the interesting stories. Which I’m doing less and less often these days.
I can’t say for sure that a site redesign would mean I came to the site more often, but it might.
PS/ I’m sure someone posted a link to a mobile version of the forum a long time back.
*Incase anyone is interested, my idea at the time was that people came here for the writers, so the design should surface that more and give each writer their own section, bio, photo, etc… but then Jim left, Nathan left, John, Alec and Graham had sprogs and started writing less, and more and more content was provided by a wider range of freelancers and other writers… which kind of diluted that idea.
Nothing against the new writers - I just don’t know them as well and they don’t seem to have have such distinct styles.
It might still work, and I still think it’d be nice to have a games site that focused on the writers more.