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Author Topic: Navigation questions  (Read 4330 times)

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Offline thedugs

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Navigation questions
« on: January 15, 2010, 11:00:13 AM »
OK, I PROMISE I'll get more involved rather than just 'hey, questions about my own site! Pay attention to me!' So right after i post this, I'm off to comment on other threads. Having said that...

Our webcomic site is unique in having three authors, and three different strips. We do sometimes crossover stories, but for the most part they remain seperate. Each strip posts on a different day- one on Monday, one on Wednesday and one on Friday.

After almost a year of having regular navigation (next takes you to the next new day, previous takes you to the previous day's comic) we're wondering if our navigation should be comic specific. Meaning if you are on a Monday strip, previous would take you to the previous Monday. To see one of the other strips you'd need to click on that category in the top bar.

PROS OF CHANGING: Easier to follow individual storylines. Good for readers who only like one of the three strips.
CONS OF CHANGING: Possibly confusing? Looks like we're three seperate entities instead of a collaborative effort. People who only read one strip may not be exposed to a good strip from the other days.

Any feedback is welcome.
www.thedugs.com
Baseball webcomics updating every M/W/F since Apr 09!

Offline Rob

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Re: Navigation questions
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2010, 01:38:05 PM »
My feeling is that for regular updates the differentiation probably isn't necessary but since one of your three stories is continuity specific it might be a good idea to separate them in the archive so that people have a choice.

The problem is, that can be hard to implement. And when it comes to the computer stuff I have no advice to give.

Good luck.  ;)

Offline Dr. BlkKnight

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Re: Navigation questions
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2010, 05:42:02 PM »
I know the underlying logic behind what you're trying to do, but I'm not sure if it's possible (or if it is possible, it's probably not easy) to do without writing custom code and database work.

Offline Terrence Marks

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Re: Navigation questions
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2010, 02:19:45 AM »
Main page: keep as is.

Archives: If the storylines are set in the same universe and loosely tied together (eg. Doonesbury), keep them together.  If it's entirely separate, with some cameos, separate the archives.  If someone asks you "Who are these other people?" and your answer begins with "They really aren't in my comic, but " then separate.

Hmm...a quick glance makes it seem like they're thematically tied together and things could go either way.

Offline Swaptrick

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Re: Navigation questions
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2010, 11:05:24 PM »
I think the bright green is a bit overpowering, see about adding a baseball bg image such as low transparency baseballs and bats keeping with your sites theme, or at least tone down the neon green a bit.

Tips for the comic. Bigger text and bubbles. One mistake I made when starting out and I see a lot of people making is not giving enough space to bubbles and text. No one likes to strain to read a comic. Its either the size of the text, or something else but it has a somewhat blurred effect to it. My bubbles these days are made with the circle selection tool for the bubble and the pen tool (add to selection) for the tail. A curved tail (in my opinion) looks better than the sharp triangle. I use a 2 or 3 stroke set to the inside.

I like that there are nav buttons above and below the comic.

The side of the site are bland and you could stick some ads in there, or a twitter widget or something to fill the space up.

Biggest underlying suggestion: Please pick a different color scheme other than white and neon green. I learned my lesson because my site used to have a fully neon red background which killed your eyes. When I try to read something in your blog section, the green sides just radiate out and make me not want to read your updates.




Offline Dr. BlkKnight

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Re: Navigation questions
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2010, 11:36:52 PM »
While your points are indeed valid, thedugs was asking for suggestions on how to handle navigating through three rotating comics on one site and not a critique of the website as a whole.

Offline Swaptrick

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Re: Navigation questions
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2010, 06:11:37 AM »
Ah sorry about that, I just kindof jump in there and start offering advice.

In your particular case, you have 3 comics which comprise a single website's 3 day a week update schedule. The site is called The Dugs but there is no comic called The Dugs. The reader is presented with one of 3 comics, each with their own title. That may confuse some. Since the main page is a central point, then let it serve its perpose. Make it a hub, make the main focus be the main banner with the Dugs logo, possibly featuring prominent characters from each comic, and just as you have it now, explain that this is a collection or grouping of baseball webcomics. By adding at least 1 character from each comic on the main banner, you will let people know what to expect and what to look for.

 Under the banner, I would have 3 links, each about the size of a leader board ad, featuring the title and characters from their respective comics and the update day such as (Tsunami: updated Mondays) then a seperate one for (Ghosts: Updated Wed) and another for (Portland: Updated Fri). 

As far as where the links take you, I'd say create totally separate pages with their own look. Seeing the same background etc. over and over for different comics may seem tiresome. That being said, make sure to have the central theme stay the same, such as the Dugs logo, baseball theme etc. But the backgrounds could change whether that be images, color, something to let them know "hey, you're really looking at a separate comic here."

As long as you have the main "hub" page clearly establishing "Hey, this is a site with multiple comics and below is where you click to read them", then you're off to a good start. You may want to offer a preview button to show readers an example of each comic as well.

Sorry for the rambling and vocabulary failures, I haven't slept yet and its 6:12 am. Stupid Star Trek Online being awesome and keeping me up.

Hope all goes great, wish you success!


Offline jeffa

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Re: Navigation questions
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2010, 02:58:15 PM »
Swaptrick has some good advice there.

I've thought about the same issue you are having for a new venture I'm planning. My current comic is a standard one comic site, but the new one will have multiple kinds of content (multiple comics, stories, articles, etc. -- assuming I get it off the ground...).

My thoughts are very similar to Swaptrick's.

I plan to have the home page be the central place where whatever is current bubbles up. I would have the most recent comic fully displayed at the top, and the nav buttons refer to THAT comic. I would clearly display the comic's title and pub date. Somewhere I would have links to the other comics that would jump to a page where they are the sole focus and nav is for them.

Having said that...

An alternative that I think would work as well would be to keep what you have, but add the prominent title for the displayed comic. Nav would be for the COMPLETE set of all comics, but you have separate pages you can link to for each comic that has self-contained navigation.

Offline thedugs

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Re: Navigation questions
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2010, 12:32:20 PM »
First off, thanks for the excellent feedback. It is much appreciated.

Based on suggestions here and elsewhere, plus our own discussions, we changed the nav buttons to reflect the current comic. Navigation by day can be done with the calander and navigation by comic by the bar at the top.

No, it's not perfect yet but we're going to continue to tweak it. We'll certinally bear in mind that many people don't like the overpowering green! We originally thought green would be our main color due to- well, grass is green. But I think a more subdued color may be in order?

Again, great suggestions guys. Thanks.
www.thedugs.com
Baseball webcomics updating every M/W/F since Apr 09!