Re: Redesign

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Re: Redesign

Postby Admin » May 20th, 2017, 2:02 pm

So here we are, 6 months later, with a new design yet again. I hope you guys like it! Feel free to leave your feedback.

The mobile site should be a little nicer than before, with a few more pages converted to a mobile layout. COMING SOON: Banner uploads for the mobile version of Comic Profile. These will have the same aspect ratio of the new Comic Spotlight on the home page. The wider aspect ratio will work better on mobile than the tall comic covers.

Regarding the Premium Promo spots that used to come with the Donator and Premium subscriptions. I did my best to make these work on the redesign, but I couldn't get them to a point where I was happy with them. So promotional spots around the site will no longer be a part of the Donator and Premium subscriptions. If you bought a subscription for this reason and would like a refund, please contact me and I'll be happy to oblige.

Up next are a new update to mobile that should spice things up a bit and I want to hopefully see if I can get some form of embedded comments working.

Cheerio,
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Re: Redesign

Postby MidZM » May 20th, 2017, 2:10 pm

Wow I really like how the new design looks, it looks so much cleaner and aesthetically pretty. Beforehand the comic and profile stuff seemed cluttered (At least to me it did), I like how it's separated up now.
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Re: Redesign

Postby Quadrant » May 20th, 2017, 2:50 pm

I'm not sure about the re-redesign tbh. Other than it being impossible to see notifications on the mobile/compact view of the redesign, I didn't really see a reason to change. It worked before IMO.

The search bar at the top could be extended just to fill blank space. Possibly have it as a percentage rather than fixed width though the search does seem a bit better than the old one. Is there an option to opt out of being included on the community feed? Just FYI?

I'd feel the news box would work better at the side of the comic spotlight and have the favourite comics take up beneath it. Least since the news box also doesn't match the height of the comics on the third line. It might break the consistent spacing but it just doesn't seem right not to have it inline.

Other than that the header looks better. Least the menus are a bit more functional. I had an issue with notifications not loading in a browser when I resized the window from half to full, because the compact view didn't load notifications. This addresses that.
Last edited by Quadrant on May 20th, 2017, 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Redesign

Postby komae akabane » May 20th, 2017, 2:54 pm

Another re-design? Ugh..to be honest, i didn't like the last design but i think this one looks even worse..
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Re: Redesign

Postby Cave » May 20th, 2017, 2:58 pm

The new bar where you can get quick access to "My Comics" is nice, but the hierarchy on the front page is gone! The favorites list is way too big, the comic spotlight banners are too small and the news is really weirdly cramped and shoved between favorites and an ad.

Now that the section for quick browsing comics is tabs, it's more difficult to use because now things are hidden and you can't easily scroll through them.

The old design was definitely better. I think it would've been great with just the new bar being integrated.
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Re: Redesign

Postby Shard » May 20th, 2017, 3:07 pm

I feel like it takes too long to get to the actual comics on the site - like, I have to scroll way down in order to see what's updated, and the Recently Updated thing is no longer default which means that if I just wanna browse through recently updated stuff it's that much more effort going into it. I liked the old system of "Recently Updated is default if you're logged in but Popular Stuff is default if you're logged out" tbh. I do like the fact that you can cycle through several pages worth of comics on the front page though. Also, I really don't understand the point of the Community Feed - I'm not particularly interested in what's happening on every single comic on Smackjeeves, y'know? Maybe if it were just limited to things in my favorites list or things I frequently read I'd understand but right now it's just taking up room to me. I don't see the appeal of the Big Brother-esque "I know everything that's happening on the site ever".

I do like some of the other changes that have come about from this though - quick-jumping to the comic upload page is very handy, as is quick-jumping to the main site (in case of need to quick-reference things). I also like the return of the User-Search function. Other than that, though... I feel like this is a puzzle that was put together improperly. The parts work but the way they were placed together just seems sloppy and silly.
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Re: Redesign

Postby Campion » May 20th, 2017, 3:19 pm

Admin wrote:Regarding the Premium Promo spots that used to come with the Donator and Premium subscriptions. I did my best to make these work on the redesign, but I couldn't get them to a point where I was happy with them. So promotional spots around the site will no longer be a part of the Donator and Premium subscriptions. If you bought a subscription for this reason and would like a refund, please contact me and I'll be happy to oblige.


I was the one that originally asked about this. While these spots aren't mentioned as part of the advertised agreement for donators and premuim, it was nice to have a place to showcase those comics that support the site. Perhaps something can be done, such as an insertable widget, much like the mandatory Google/PW ad boxes used with free comics?
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Re: Redesign

Postby KawaiiYusra » May 20th, 2017, 4:31 pm

I'm not going to say the old layout is better, I'll just focus in on 2 minor things that bother me about the new layout that I think the old did better.

1. The top area feels too cluttered, I liked having a nice splash header of all the spotlight comics rotating out, because it makes a good first impression and wasn't squished between multiple things thus competing for attention.

2. I don't think I can speak for everyone, but I don't really care to have my favorites listed the front page and on the top. The new, just updated, spotlight comics etc. are the ones that really need attention. My favorites are comics I already know about and if they have been updated I feel like that should just be a notification that goes to a separate page, because I'm going to go check up on them anyway. So that way all the comics I may not know about take up more of the front page and have a higher chance of getting new readers.

Otherwise it's not terrible :) the tabs are nostalgic and I like that the search bar is on top.
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Re: Redesign

Postby popchromatic » May 20th, 2017, 4:40 pm

I think it looks pretty good, but I'm only looking at the desktop version. My only gripe, and it's selfish and personal, is that my comic just made it into Rising Stars and now that there are fewer comics displayed it's not on the list anymore. Haha. :) I assume the "See More" button is supposed to take you to something like the old Rising Stars section, but right now it's not linking to anything.
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Re: Redesign

Postby mattyboi » May 20th, 2017, 4:59 pm

Tbh I REALLY don't like the new redesign.
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Re: Redesign

Postby eishiya » May 20th, 2017, 5:14 pm

KawaiiYusra wrote:I'm not going to say the old layout is better, I'll just focus in on 2 minor things that bother me about the new layout that I think the old did better.

1. The top area feels too cluttered, I liked having a nice splash header of all the spotlight comics rotating out, because it makes a good first impression and wasn't squished between multiple things thus competing for attention.

2. I don't think I can speak for everyone, but I don't really care to have my favorites listed the front page and on the top. The new, just updated, spotlight comics etc. are the ones that really need attention. My favorites are comics I already know about and if they have been updated I feel like that should just be a notification that goes to a separate page, because I'm going to go check up on them anyway. So that way all the comics I may not know about take up more of the front page and have a higher chance of getting new readers.

Otherwise it's not terrible :) the tabs are nostalgic and I like that the search bar is on top.

Quoting for agreement. The new front page feels super-cluttered and unpleasant.

I like the new top bar (or rather, I like the drop downs, and I tolerate the banner ad since I understand it's important), but I think everything below that looked better before.

I like that the tabs are back, but I feel like it would be much better if "Favourites" were just another tab and the previous Spotlight thing was back full-size, sort of like a mix of the tabs and the previous layout. I also think each tab should display more comics. I see that one can click the arrows to see more, but using tabs allows the site to have more covers at once in each section, and I think it's good to make use of that. The front page feels cluttered with non-comic stuff, and empty of comics currently - not the right look for a comic site. I think I'd rather see 3+ rows of comics (or however many fill 90% VH perhaps?). I think I'd also prefer the arrows switch between tabs, with "See more" buttons to go to a fuller list. If I want to see a lot of comics from the same category, I'd rather it be a full browse page, not the little tabs on the front page.

If the pages aren't going to be full-width, why not have the blue on the sides, like how it was on non-front pages before? It's a nice blue, and the site feels bland and empty without it.

Community feed is 2x wider than it feels like it should be. I liked the forum and community set-up from the earlier version more, where it was narrow and to the side. At the bottom and so empty-looking, it just looks like something I should ignore, even though normally that stuff is interesting to me.
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Re: Redesign

Postby Scarlet Salamander » May 20th, 2017, 5:40 pm

Two complaints.

1. The favorites on the home page is unnecessary and detracts from my ability to discover new comics. It's big and makes the whole thing feel cramped. Plus, it's more work to find actual comics, since they are shoved at the bottom.
2. The new comic toolbar. This is my biggest complaint. I preferred it better with the last update, which was a vastly superior improvement, it made it easier to quickly update my comic and check stats.

plus the community feed is kind of annoying.
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Re: Redesign

Postby midgart » May 20th, 2017, 5:42 pm

Popping in to offer a positive opinion. I think this new design is great. Not perfect, but a really good step.

As both a creator and reader, I think the tabbed sections for comics on the front page work so, so much better than having everyone argue about which ones should be at the top. In the forums with the last change, I found myself seriously disagreeing with some other people about which order the sections should go in, so I think this is a good solution to easily flip through. This way you can look at the sections you're interested in and ignore the ones you're not. Also, the ability to easily flip to more comics within each section is great, although I wish the "see more" appeared on all the pages so you could click it right away if you just wanted to go to that full page.

I think the critique of the top being cluttered is fair but..I kinda like it anyway. The spotlight feature is smaller, which I like (sorry, I always ignore it/skip over it and have literally never clicked on a comic from it). And it gives you easy and quick access to your favorite comics. A good, usable feature imo.

Only thing I don't care for/about is the community tab, which I expect I will never look at, but I have no suggestions for what I'd rather see there so, meh, whatever.

Tbh, I think a lot of people just don't like it when things change.
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Re: Redesign

Postby Ultima527 » May 20th, 2017, 5:50 pm

eishiya wrote:
I like that the tabs are back, but I feel like it would be much better if "Favourites" were just another tab and the previous Spotlight thing was back full-size, sort of like a mix of the tabs and the previous layout.


This. I absolutely loved seeing my favorites on the homepage in the previous layout, but now it just looks jarring.
I like all the new features that have been added, but the whole thing just looks messy. The more I look at it, the more it seems like an attempt to combine the last layout with the one before it, and that's a concept I can definitely get behind, but I think it needs tweaking. It all goes back to the favorites thing...everything seems disproportionate. The last one had a cleaner look to it. I mean, I think Twitter looks messy, so maybe I just have high standards?
As for the community feed, I understand why people might not like it, and while I personally don't agree with the way it's set up or it's size, I think it's a good thing. It can serve a similar purpose to "just updated" (or whatever it's called these days). It might be a good way for people with fewer fans to get attention...of course, they'll have to compete popular comics, which will likely have a bigger presence since people will be much more active on their profiles...but it's still the same general concept. If any and all activity on one of my comics appears on the homepage, even if only for a second, fine by me. I'll take all the attention I can get!
(Hypothetically)

Just for clarity, all of this applies to the desktop version. The mobile version is fine and I have no problems with it, and it's just an unfortunate coincidence that I practically never use the mobile version of anything ever. Nothing against mobile SJ...I just generally prefer to use my laptop.

I have a question though; was this layout made to accommodate the feedback on the last layout? Because if that's the case, these problems are a little more understandable. Even if there's a consensus, trying to please everyone can have mixed results.

EDIT: Take everything I say with a grain of salt. I just went back and found the favorites weren't as jarring as I remembered. It's all first impressions.
Last edited by Ultima527 on May 20th, 2017, 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Redesign

Postby popchromatic » May 20th, 2017, 5:51 pm

I agree with most of what you said, midgart. Not to diminish the opinions of the dissenters, but I think dissent will always be more vocal in situations like this.

The truth is that no one's going to agree on what "should" be biggest or most prominent.
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