A significant update to Steam's UI appears to be on the way, according to a leaked post by Valve. Originally posted in the closed, developers-only Steamworks group, the document outlines all forthcoming changes to the storefront, including a home page visual refresh and new discoverability sections, among other things.
Originally leaked on NeoGAF, I've verified with a member of the closed group that the document is legit. Chief among the changes is the home page refresh, which Valve writes "will be getting a visual refresh to use bigger game images in some places, add some new ways of surfacing games, and remove some visual clutter".
A new left column will be added, with a menu linking to several destinations including new releases, top sellers, recently updated, upcoming releases and specials. Meanwhile, a new section called "popular among friends" will do as the name implies: highlight titles recently played or purchased by people in your friends list. There will also be a new section on the home page dedicated to "top selling new releases".
More interesting, is the promise of new "global customer preferences" which will allow users to permanently filter out categories on the home page they're not interested in. "This will let customers opt to exclude particular types of products, such as Early Access, Software, Videos, and VR from appearing on their Steam home page and on a couple other browse pages," Valve explains.
Whether you'll see a new release on the home page will also be more determined by your habits and preference. At the moment, a title gets 1 million impressions on the home page upon release, though they aren't targeted. Now, they will be.
"With the upcoming changes, newly released titles will appear in a few different ways on the 'New on Steam' page and in the 'New on Steam' Queue," the post explains. "The goal is to reach a more engaged group of customers, and drive more relevant traffic directly to your store page. This change should result in your title appearing to a smaller, but better targeted group of potential customers based on their preferences and tastes. New releases will continue to be recommended to specific users on the Steam Home page and can appear in popular lists if doing well." Visibility for game updates will be similarly refined.
The Steam Curators functionality will be updated significantly, allowing curators to mark whether a title is "recommended", "not recommended" or whether their post is "informational" rather than a judgement. Curator selections will now appear in the main, front page banner occasionally, and followed Curators will have a dedicated section on the home page, as well as its own landing page.
For the full rundown, here's the leaked document on NeoGAF. It's expected to roll out "in a few weeks", though Valve is welcoming feedback from developers.