Zarj's Webcomics - What Can I Do Better?

Discussion in 'Review My Site' started by zzzj_2812, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. zzzj_2812

    zzzj_2812 New Member

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    Hello everyone! One of the sites I run on my x10 hosting is Zarj's Webcomics: check it out at http://zarj.tk. I'm planning on adding a login system soon, and I'm looking for advice in the following areas:

    1. Should things on the site be moved around at all? Is it easy to find things? Is the overall layout ok, or does it need to be improved?
    2. Is the color scheme ok?
    3. Is the comment system easy to use?

    For the record, everything on the site is built from scratch.
     
  2. essellar

    essellar Community Advocate Community Support

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    The only real problem I can see is that it took me wa-a-a-ay too long to figure out that there was a sort of xkcd-meets-ReBoot thing going on.

    When you hit the main page using a high-rez monitor, it's kind of easy to miss the "game sprite on their down time" characters -- the first impression is just that something has gone horribly, horribly wrong with the CSS on the site. You have to sort of work backwards from the text, then notice the lines, then finally the characters -- then you notice that the ground is the environment and not just a bad choice of border-bottom-color.

    I think the problem is that you know too much about the site (you've been "following" the comic since before it existed) and have fallen into the trap of believing that the readers will immediately see what's going on. That might have been true if they were forced to star with #1, but I can see the disorientation getting to be a bigger problem as the front page gets deeper and deeper. The conversations are clever, and it would be a real shame if people missed that because they can't get into the game space.

    A more stylized header, one that's about orienting the user rather than deprecating the writer, would help a lot, I think. Using "game box" versions of the characters (think Mario) and a simple title+subtitle would explain things and set the expectations appropriately (low-rez sprites are people too).
     
  3. zzzj_2812

    zzzj_2812 New Member

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    Thanks for the input, essellar!
    About the image size and whatnot - what kind of monitor are you viewing the site on? I'm using a 15" 1280x800 laptop screen to make the site, and I have access to a 23" HD monitor (which I'll be checking stuff out on shortly).
    As for the actual content - what exactly did you mean by deeper and deeper? To some extent there is some character development going on, but for the most part, I thought each comic could be viewed fairly separately (in fact, this is the second time I have started the site, and I have them in a different order than I did the first time).
    I totally agree with you about the header. I had some thoughts in that regard when I put it up but didn't think twice about it. I'll be putting a better one up today or tomorrow.
     
  4. essellar

    essellar Community Advocate Community Support

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    About "deeper and deeper": you're getting away from setting up the scenario. In a couple of the comics, it was obvious from the conversation that it was game characters, but with others it's far less obvious. I know, with only 9 comics it's hard to say there's a "trend" going on, but if the user winds up on the "current" comic and has to page back to the beginning to "get it", there's less of a chance that they'll make allowances for the graphics. (Not that everything needs to be slick -- xkcd proves that -- but the tiny, fixed-size pixel-art characters don't make a lot of sense if the game scenario goes away.)

    My current working monitor is 1920x1280, and it's the little guy around here (a 15"-class laptop). I have bigger.
     

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