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Thread: Site Redesign?

  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Halifax, NS, Canada

    Default Site Redesign?

    Has Rich ever discussed the possibility of redesigning the site? Apologies in advance if this has been discussed before. I want to be absolutely clear with my criticisms here: I don't think its current state is bad. Perhaps just outdated. Let me explain and point out some examples of what I mean:

    1) Even before Erfworld's recent closure (and please, let's not get into that here), I felt it was almost unnecessary to link it or host it on here since the comic had moved to its own site many years ago. Now, with it's closure, it's even less relevant to keep on the site. Although, maybe doing so so soon after everything would be in bad taste.

    2) As far as I know, the only sections that have been updated in years is News and Comics sections (and that only being Order of the Stick). The Gaming and Stories sections haven't been updated in a long time. I'll be honest, I never checked them out in the first place, due to lack of personal interest. I say that with no disrespect towards Amber Scott of Rich's D&D essays. I was always here for the comic.

    3) It's not very mobile friendly. When I'm on my phone, I usually have to zoom to tap the link for the latest comic. And then usually zoom in and out for the comic itself. Though I know from personal experience that making a website mobile-friendly can be a pain the keester (and even then, that was using Word Press for me).

    4) I think the comic's Archives needs a slight redesign. Rather than a long list of over a thousand strips, how about:

    a) A pull-down menu which navigates you to each book and perhaps each story within the book. Spaced out similar to how they're spaced out in the print books (though they're spaced out through Rich's great commentary)
    b) Big, clickable icons for each book.
    c) Both?

    Plus, the "?" and Scroll icons aren't clear on what they're supposed to be. Adding text below each icon, like "Previous Comic" and "About" would help slightly with new users.

    5) It's very text heavy. Which is, funny enough, a little appropriate given Rich's perchance for wordy comics (not a criticism!). Its current design, with the news being front-and-center, it looks less like a website for a webcomic and more like a site for a blog. Just on first glance, I mean. Aside from the "Comics" banner on the side, there's little indication at all that it's a website for a webcomic. I do understand that the site's was originally multi-purpose, to host Rich's essays and other sorts, but it is now and has been for a long time primarily for the comic.

    Compare it with some other webcomic sites:

    -Dumbing of Age has the comic front and center, with clear guiding buttons to go back. There's usually a banner advertising the latest book release or in this case currently, a convention appearance. Though given some people might not want to be spoiled by the latest Order of the Stick developments, having the latest comic on the main page isn't perhaps the best route.

    -Both PvP and Penny Arcade have big, clickable, mobile-friendly images for the "Latest Comic," "Store," etc. Both have blogs, similar to Rich, but they're not front-and-center. I think something like PvP or Penny Arcade would be the best route. The Comic link could have a small, non-spoilery preview.

    6) There's a LOT of white space, especially when you view a comic. I think reducing it would mean slightly less need for scrolling on the latest comic.

    I want to end this by saying I know Rich is already spinning many plates and I don't mean to add more stress by criticizing the website design. I just thought it was perhaps long overdue for an overhaul.

    TL;DR Version: Looks more like a blog than a webcomic. Less text, more clickable icons.
    Last edited by ThatNickGuy; 2019-10-29 at 06:47 AM.
    Author of The Armadillo Mysteries.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Sheriff in the Playground Administrator
    Roland St. Jude's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Default Re: Site Redesign?

    Sheriff: Thanks for the thoughtful and well-written out suggestions. We're not interested in crowdsourcing or hosting discussions on site redesign.
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    Sheriff Roland by Chris the Pontifex

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