An update to the Steam user interface and library has been in the works at Valve for years now. Today, the company finally feels comfortable enough to show off their Steam UI overhaul and did just that during a presentation at GDC 2019. I'd like to first thank Game Informer and PC Gamer (and again) for a lot of the information and screenshots you'll see below.

First up, let's talk about the changes coming to how your Library will look and function with this new update. The Friends list is now integrated into a column on the right side. No idea if this is an optional dock or not. The top area will now show off the games you recently played on Steam. Other games are shown below that with thumbnails that can scale in size. The game list on the left looks fairly similar to what you have now.

Steam 2019 update - Library

Probably the biggest improvement in the Library view is the fact that Valve is now adding in a way to filter your games using the tags that have been available for every game on the Steam storefront for years. You can now make use of an advanced search, filtering through tags to find games that match. If you filter using multiple tags at once, you can even save this as a "collection" for quick access later.

You can check out the filters in action in the image below.

Steam 2019 filters

Game Page
What about individual games? How do those look when you click on a game in your library? That too has gotten a significant overhaul.

First off, you will notice that this page now prioritizes recent events and updates. Underneath that is a feed of what your friends have been up to as it relates to that particular game. On the right side, the Friends section is still present but it prioritizes showing friends that are currently playing the game you are looking at. Below your friends you'll see DLC, achievements, trading card information, and screenshots that you have taken.

Steam 2019 game page

Events are a new feature coming to Steam alongside this UI overhaul. Events will be a page within Steam that will include a feed of what's going on with games that you follow and have in your library. Was a game just updated? You'll find it in Events. Is there a stream going on with a game you play? It's shown in Events. This can be done for everything from announcing new weekly challenges for games to informing you of a big tournament that's coming up.

Valve specifically noted that the Events page was built to help support "live service" games. These are games that are constantly growing, constantly getting updates, constantly having in-game events, and so on. Valve's Alden Kroll shared the thought process behind this addition to the GDC audience.

"We think of this as the way developers will be able to communicate with players through Steam. We want to build the foundation for a communication platform where all the interesting things that are happening in games can find their way to the customers. And the customers that are interested in finding out 'what's happening in games in my library, what kind of events are happening, what's been updated recently, what are my friends doing,' making all that much easier for players to be able to find."
Events will once again make use of algorithms to curate a page based on your interests. You will still be able to manually sort through these events to find content that you want. You can also hide content on these pages that you don't care to know about.

Steam 2019 events

Event Notifications
A big addition that supports the new Events page comes in the form of new notifications Valve is adding to Steam. You can now set reminders for different events. These reminders come in a variety of flavors, including: Calendar support for Google and iOS, Steam client notifications, email notifications, text messages, or reminders on the Steam mobile app.

The Events and subsequent notifications have already started to be tested by a small group of developers. A larger testing phase will begin with an open beta within the next couple of months.

Steam 2019 event reminders

There will be a beta that begins this Summer. Presumably, it will be at this point that you will be able to get your own look at the new Steam UI in action.

This redesign and update has been in development at Valve for over two years now. We saw some potential concept leaks as far back as February 2017.