Homepage Redesign

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Homepage Redesign

Postby Admin » June 9th, 2017, 1:42 am

Hey Guys,

After listening to everyone's feedback on the new site redesign, it seemed like a lot of complaints were about the new home page. As you can see, it's been redesigned - hopefully I've addressed the main complaint was that the previous design was too cluttered. Looking forward to your feedback.

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Re: Homepage Redesign

Postby PJSam » June 9th, 2017, 9:35 am

Well I like it.
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Re: Homepage Redesign

Postby eishiya » June 9th, 2017, 10:51 am

I think this is better, but visually I preferred the one prior that had more blue and a bigger spotlight. I'd still prefer to see that make a return, but with the front-page structure of this layout (tabs and three columns of community stuff).

Things I like:
Favourites at the bottom where I don't have to look at them. I still think they'd be better off as a tab though. Having them on the front page at all is a bit useless since we already have the dropdown.
Community stuff in one neat, three-column section.
The square ad is neatly placed and doesn't feel like it makes the page crowded.
Decent-sized spotlight.

Things I don't like:
On mobile/small screens, favourites are at the top again. Why the inconsistency?
The site still feels empty because there's so much white space on the sides. I think the actual width of the content is fine, it's just the lack of colour that makes it feel empty.
Comic profiles are still only wide enough to accommodate 3 comic page previews per row, for a total of 6. I'd like to see 8, like in the past. With 6, profiles feel empty and even though it's a difference of only two pages, it feels like my options to preview a comic before jumping into it are much more limited.
Still no comic summaries even on large screens. I liked those. Since the images are also designed to include those, some of them feel a bit empty without any text.
Still not enough comics on the front page. How about three rows instead of two? Since it's all tabbed, you don't have to worry about too much scrolling. Two rows only fills up a little over half the vertical space on my screen. Because the sides are so empty, it also feels like space is being outright wasted.
In the comic administration areas, the styling is still stuff left over from the old layout :/ On the other hand, the added colour at least gives it some life.
Nitpick: Most things have nice rounded corners, but the spotlight area doesn't.
Nitpick: So many drop shadows everywhere. I realize they were present on the earlier layouts too. They just make everything look kind of dirty and muddy imho, and a bit outdated. Clean edges have been in fashion for a few years now. In addition, the drop shadows aren't even used consistently xP
Nitpick: The title bar on spotlight is a gradient. I've mentioned before why this isn't a great idea compared to something sharp-edged.
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Re: Homepage Redesign

Postby midgart » June 9th, 2017, 12:42 pm

I think it's an improvement except for the favorites being at the bottom of the homepage. imo, I don't see anyone scrolling down there to look at them when there's a favorites tab on the top bar thing. Not really a bad/ugly thing by any means just..seems kinda useless down there.
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Re: Homepage Redesign

Postby TheJGamer » June 9th, 2017, 8:19 pm

Nice. You bought back the Site News and made the Community Feed smaller!
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Re: Homepage Redesign

Postby NorthernJin » June 9th, 2017, 11:49 pm

I like the layout much better. Would you consider bringing back the tag/category/genres? If I'm looking for new comics to read I'd much rather do it by genre I'm interested in rather than solely whats popular.
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Re: Homepage Redesign

Postby Admin » June 9th, 2017, 11:54 pm

NorthernJin wrote:I like the layout much better. Would you consider bringing back the tag/category/genres? If I'm looking for new comics to read I'd much rather do it by genre I'm interested in rather than solely whats popular.


No luck searching by tag?

I do eventually plan to add a search suggest feature to the search box that will also suggest tags as you search so you can search for more specific tags than the most popular 20 or so we have listed.
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Re: Homepage Redesign

Postby Shard » June 10th, 2017, 2:44 am

Admin wrote:No luck searching by tag?


Cutting into this conversation to point out why that might be - I did a quick cursory check of my favorites; just the first two rows because I need to be going to bed, but a quick skim-through to see what tags were on what comics. Of the 12 comics that I checked, half had no tags; one had tags but had put a # in front of the terms so two # were showing up on the profile; and of the half that did have tags, several of them were missing genre-tags and just had general tags based on what the comic was about (pokemon, nuzlocke, sprite [which, while helpful, doesn't give a genre], and so on). So while tags are... kinda helpful to have, if the author has no indication that they need to put the genre of their comic in said tags (alongside whatever other key phrases they might want to use to attract readers), then- well, they're gonna want to use more of those key phrases to attract people than the "genre" tags. Not to mention the little boxes that said what genres were available are no longer there, so people who might otherwise have trouble classifying their comic or not really know what they want to look up may have trouble with tags. (I hadn't even realized suggested searchable tags were a thing because I so rarely look at that side of the screen when checking what's updated lately, but that might just be tunnel vision.) Point being, having the check-box things was... well, it was helpful, because it gave some very general things that you could classify your comic as. Sometimes it was a bit limited, but to me it was a way of saying "Here's some things people generally look for, as well as a little thing that'll help push people to your comic if they search for comics of its genre".

I think something that might be nice is to have a combination of both? Like - either some pre-generated tags that you can just click and have them pop into your comic's tags, or a half-half split, where it's got the whole "here's the checkbox of the standard stuff, and here's a box where you can put the specific stuff you think might help your comic stand out". Either way, the pre-determined options were helpful, both for new comic makers who don't quite know what to tag their stuff as, and new readers who might not really know what they're looking for.

(Sidebar - is there a way to search multiple tags? I feel like it'd be super helpful if, say, I'm looking for a comedy comic about pokemon, then I could input multiple tags so I don't have to scour the comedy section for pokemon comics or the pokemon tag for comedy comics.)
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Re: Homepage Redesign

Postby KawaiiYusra » June 10th, 2017, 2:37 pm

I like this a lot better :D No complaints here! I do agree with the tags that everyone is suggesting, but that's more of like an addition and separate project to work on rather than having anything to do with the actual layout. If you guys have time to work on something that, that would be amazing. Also keep in mind you're not going to please everyone so of course there is always going to be "you should do this, or you should do that' but seeing as the responses so far have been mostly positive I think you should settle with this layout.
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Re: Homepage Redesign

Postby Oly-RRR » June 10th, 2017, 2:45 pm

I like this version! :D

Things I like the most: the combo of tabs and big Spotlight! and the community section, tidy and covering both the forum and site activity

Things I'm not big on: Favourites on the main page still feel redundant, I scroll down to see what else is there and it's just Favourites I check daily as it is. Surely everyone internet-savvy enough to make a SJ account is internet-savvy enough to find favourites without them being on the main page as well... (I feel the same way about the length of profile pages - is keeping 20 recent comments visible that necessary, maybe 10 or 15?)

And I think Spotlight looked better in the older version when it had some text about the comics' contents over the pictures, I think it was a more effective way to attract readers.
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Re: Homepage Redesign

Postby Ultizeta » June 10th, 2017, 3:24 pm

I still feel as though the site needs some of the classic blue back to decorate the pages. Lacking that blue anywhere other than the header still makes the site feel unfamiliar and generic to me.
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Re: Homepage Redesign

Postby Ultima527 » June 10th, 2017, 4:30 pm

Haha, I didn't know the favorites were at the bottom until I read this thread!

Honestly, the cluttered look was my only beef with the last design, and this new design solves it. The comic spotlight is bigger again, the tabs (which was the one thing I missed about the first design) are still a thing and the favorites are still on the main page! (Although I seem to be the one of the only ones who wanted that...)
I really like how the forums, news and community feed are all next to each other; it's very organized!

And yes, I like the favorites at the bottom. Something about it feels more personal. The public, newsworthy stuff is at the top, so you see that first and then you go down to the stuff that personally interests you...I'm having trouble articulating this, but the point is, I like it.

I hope I wasn't too harsh with the last design. At any rate, you have one less conflicting opinion to worry about. Good work!
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Re: Homepage Redesign

Postby NorthernJin » June 10th, 2017, 5:35 pm

Admin wrote:
NorthernJin wrote:I like the layout much better. Would you consider bringing back the tag/category/genres? If I'm looking for new comics to read I'd much rather do it by genre I'm interested in rather than solely whats popular.


No luck searching by tag?

I do eventually plan to add a search suggest feature to the search box that will also suggest tags as you search so you can search for more specific tags than the most popular 20 or so we have listed.


Hmm, what I mean was when the very first redesign was done, there was a genre/category thing, and it was really good!

Oly-RRR wrote:I like this version! :D

Things I'm not big on: Favourites on the main page still feel redundant, I scroll down to see what else is there and it's just Favourites I check daily as it is. Surely everyone internet-savvy enough to make a SJ account is internet-savvy enough to find favourites without them being on the main page as well...

I strongly DISAGREE with this. Favourites on the main page and very convenient and it's the thing I liked the most about all the redesigns since this started.
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Re: Homepage Redesign

Postby Admin » June 10th, 2017, 5:41 pm

NorthernJin wrote:Hmm, what I mean was when the very first redesign was done, there was a genre/category thing, and it was really good!


Are you thinking of the 2009 design? The December redesign got rid of genres and categories, it just had tags on the search/browse page.
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Re: Homepage Redesign

Postby JoKeR » June 13th, 2017, 6:11 pm

No flaw detected till now.
Have to check further ...and I've to look into the mobile version of the page. This version was a little bit borked in the past.
Well, it was unusable on older safari browser.
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