The Next Generation of Butlers Is Here

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Re: The Next Generation of Butlers Is Here

Postby The_Hankerchief » December 27th, 2016, 10:31 pm

So, how does one get back to their personal profile from the main menu? To get to mine (mind you, I'm doing this via a smart phone, so it may just be the phone), I've been having to jump to the forums, clicking on my forum member profile, and hen jumping back to the main site. Is there an easier way of doing this? Thank you.
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Re: The Next Generation of Butlers Is Here

Postby Oly-RRR » December 27th, 2016, 10:41 pm

The_Hankerchief wrote:So, how does one get back to their personal profile from the main menu?

There's a dropdown menu button in the top right corner, when it opens the link your profile is listed on the top (at least that's how it is on my Android phone).
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Re: The Next Generation of Butlers Is Here

Postby The_Hankerchief » December 27th, 2016, 11:19 pm

Oly-RRR wrote:
The_Hankerchief wrote:So, how does one get back to their personal profile from the main menu?

There's a dropdown menu button in the top right corner, when it opens the link your profile is listed on the top (at least that's how it is on my Android phone).

Oh, okay. Must've not seen it. Thanks, Oly!
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Re: The Next Generation of Butlers Is Here

Postby Saayi » January 3rd, 2017, 8:35 pm

I love the redesign of the page! it's clean and it looks good... the only thing I really didn't like was the fact that I can no longer see how many fans a comic has, to be able to see the amount of readers is great, but I wish I was able to see that feature too :P
It's great anyways ^^
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Re: The Next Generation of Butlers Is Here

Postby HABE » February 7th, 2017, 7:59 pm

The new front page looks nice technically. I liked it well enough at first, but now after using it for a while, I find it stops me from looking for new comics or engaging with the site anymore.

Simple observations first:

• The "Your Favorites" section just gets in the way. If I wanted to look at my favorites, I would not be on the front page.

• I used to scan the Recently Updated section to find new things, but that's gone now. I guess that turned into Fresh Picks, but it doesn't feel as fresh. Maybe the fewer titles shown make it less likely for something to catch my eye. Making me click for more defeats the purpose. I never bother.

• A clever banner ad used to lure me in, but the larger cover art just makes nearly all comics easy to instantly dismiss.

• It always looks like the same old comics fill the other sections like before, so I just scroll by without looking—actually faster so I don't have to look at them again. I preferred these sections hidden behind tabs where they kept the front page from feeling dull and monotonous. Now the monotony is here to stay.

• I also used to scan the Forum Talk section but this design discourages that, maybe because the list is so small it seems less active. Again, clicking for more defeats the purpose of a quick glance for anything new or interesting, so it seems like nothing ever is. The community aspect of the site should be a selling point.

In fact, the front page doesn't focus on any of SJ's selling points. It doesn't create any kind of site identity either. It doesn't give me a reason to choose SJ over other hosts that may not be better but have designs that tell people they are. It doesn't make me want to join in or explore the comics that are here. There's no longer a sense that SJ is a DESTINATION where you go to join others who like to read or make comics. It's just a funny name in the margins of a grid of large and mostly unappealing thumbnails.

The only goal of the new design seems to have been to showcase larger art. To me, the unintended consequences of this was to create the impression that SJ is a generic site for beginners and kids just messing around. If I were unfamiliar with SJ, the front page would convince me not to post comics here (even if there was an info link that told me that was an option, which there isn't). Even beginners don't want to feel like they're on a site just for beginners. Again, the lack of site identity in this design forces me fill the void with the poor first impressions I get from many of the the covers.

I think the general design idea seems nice enough at first glance, just not in practice. I can't imagine what it was specifically intended to achieve beyond basic cosmetics. And if nothing, then why not? It's the most important page on the site, and this design doesn't seem to do anything a front page needs to do for a site to survive.

I'm not asking for changes, just telling you how I see it.
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Re: The Next Generation of Butlers Is Here

Postby Admin » February 8th, 2017, 6:08 pm

Thanks for your feedback.

What do you think makes you feel a lack of identity? The design itself, or the way the content is presented?
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Re: The Next Generation of Butlers Is Here

Postby HABE » February 9th, 2017, 10:19 pm

Right now SmackJeeves is just a name in a margin. I doubt it means much to a new visitor. Unless I'm missing something, there's no further information about what SJ is, who it's for, or why someone should sign up. There's no attempt to sell the site to a potential new reader or creator. I can't see anything that tries to communicate what impression we're hoping to make or give reasons why visitors should come back.

Other sites might seem to get away with being nearly as sparse with the identity cues, but they also have multiple main pages and sections that answer all the questions above. They also maintain a constant presence in their hosted comics. No matter what you're reading, you always know what site you're on, whereas SJ fades into the fine print of most users' templates. (This is also an example of one of SJ's many unique selling points that don't seem to be mentioned anywhere.)

For me, the design itself and the way the content is presented are filling the identity void with bad assumptions. For example, even if all the covers were excellent, to me the limited number of them shown in each section still makes the site feel small, with few notables to choose from. The way each section always seems to show the same handful of comics all the time makes this even worse, like that's all we've got.

Incidentally, I think the "more" pages look good. I just never think to go there. I only now just thought to click on the "Comics" top menu-bar link. It never occurred to me to do that before because the front page is already nothing but comics, so it seemed redundant. I think the front page's emphasis on the same old comics all the time kills my mood to explore.

But maybe that's just me.

P.S. Sorry, I didn't see the Redesign Poll thread. I would have posted this there instead.
Last edited by HABE on February 10th, 2017, 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Next Generation of Butlers Is Here

Postby eishiya » February 10th, 2017, 8:55 am

HABE, I think the front page is meant to show a "join ussssss" kind of banner to people who aren't logged in, but I don't think that's been added yet because Admin hasn't figured out how to make it look good. I believe that's what the group shot collaboration was intended for.

I agree with HABE that there aren't enough changing comics on the front page. The front page was exciting for a little while, but now I don't like going there anymore now that I've seen the covers of all the comics that are constantly up there.
I also agree that the comics/browse page is the most effective visually, since it radiates from the logo and has a large splash of colour. I think that the site feels just as SJ-ey and identity-heavy as the old site did, at least on my screen where there's plenty of blue background going on.

I think the fact that comics' sites aren't SJ-branded are a major selling point of the site, but I do think that the default templates could use SJ-branding it that can then be customized away.
(I also still think an optional reader toolbar with SJ branding and tools like faving, going to your next unread faved comic, comic navigation, etc would be a good compromise for this, and a huge usability boost. Since SJ templates are complicated in their structure, perhaps it'd need to be served with iframes rather than as an extra element on the page.)


Minor request: Can the titles of profiles be changed to something where the comic's title comes first? "Webcomic Profile" is not useful information and makes the sites' search results and Twitter link cards look unappealing (and in Twitter's case where that's basically the only thing that displays, very uninformative!). Maybe something like "Comic Title, a webcomic on Smackjeeves" (can replace "a webcomic" with "an online comic"). I don't think it's terribly important that the title says it's the profile if the title mentions SJ.
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Re: The Next Generation of Butlers Is Here

Postby JoKeR » February 10th, 2017, 1:16 pm

eishiya wrote:I agree with HABE that there aren't enough changing comics on the front page. The front page was exciting for a little while, but now I don't like going there anymore now that I've seen the covers of all the comics that are constantly up there.
I also agree that the comics/browse page is the most effective visually, since it radiates from the logo and has a large splash of colour. I think that the site feels just as SJ-ey and identity-heavy as the old site did, at least on my screen where there's plenty of blue background going on.

That's why I suggested a random rotation of the 50 or 100 most popular, spot lighted or rising stars. Just to have more visible versatility.

eishiya wrote:I think the fact that comics' sites aren't SJ-branded are a major selling point of the site, but I do think that the default templates could use SJ-branding it that can then be customized away.
(I also still think an optional reader toolbar with SJ branding and tools like faving, going to your next unread faved comic, comic navigation, etc would be a good compromise for this, and a huge usability boost. Since SJ templates are complicated in their structure, perhaps it'd need to be served with iframes rather than as an extra element on the page.)

But what about comics which use already frameset ...like mine http://www.katran-online.com ??
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Re: The Next Generation of Butlers Is Here

Postby eishiya » February 10th, 2017, 2:02 pm

JoKeR wrote:But what about comics which use already frameset ...like mine http://www.katran-online.com ??

IFrames (inline frames) are a separate concept from framesets. Iframes essentially display two (or more) separate webpages on one page. It will not affect your layout at all, your entire site would just be shown a little bit lower, below the toolbar.

By the way, framesets are deprecated in HTML5, so if you want to keep up with the standards and make sure your site is shown correctly in future browsers, you may want to recode your template xP Browsers are not obligated to support deprecated features. Most do support them, at least for now.
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Re: The Next Generation of Butlers Is Here

Postby JoKeR » February 10th, 2017, 2:58 pm

eishiya wrote:By the way, framesets are deprecated in HTML5, so if you want to keep up with the standards and make sure your site is shown correctly in future browsers, you may want to recode your template xP Browsers are not obligated to support deprecated features. Most do support them, at least for now.

Not possible. the frameset is set up from my domain provider 1&1 ...it's just a forwarding to the smackjeeves page. :?
I could only afford a domain and no web-space.
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Re: The Next Generation of Butlers Is Here

Postby Campion » February 15th, 2017, 7:05 pm

Interesting addition of "All-Time Page Views" to the stats page. Are there going to be more stats in that section?
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Re: The Next Generation of Butlers Is Here

Postby Admin » February 15th, 2017, 9:23 pm

Probably not any time soon, no.
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