•  
Home    Archive

News: Webcomics beget Webcomics!

00:00:30UncleRobotI know CPR...
18:39:34Chadm1nSpammers must die. Now.
16:56:16Chadm1nAs promised a few weeks ago, Webcomics Community has been upgraded!

Author Topic: onSite Reviews - Tempest Legacy  (Read 4324 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline CorvusErebus

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • Chief Web Designer
onSite Reviews - Tempest Legacy
« on: February 25, 2010, 11:40:47 PM »
Okay. Today we'll be reviewing the Tempest Legacy.


The tempest legacy is rather difficult to review. If the footer is any indication, the design itself is nearly four years old. Furthermore, it looks like it's being updated by hand, using HTML. So, in this review, we will cover the benefits of a content management system, as well as recap and expand on colour theory, and layout. Let's dive in.

ABOVE THE FOLD - 3/5

This is a hard one. Most of your main page is above the fold. But as we'll discuss in layout, the main page is lacking in some important content (Such as the comic itself). Also, a large banner and a style border take up space While not bad in themselves (The border helps make the site), when combined with the random dead space that seems to exist, the site becomes a tiny bit bloated.

USE OF COLOUR - 2.5/5

Well, you actually have a workable colour scheme here. Blue, Gold, and gray. Unfortunately, you don't really incorporate these fully in to your site. Right now the site is very gray and dead, with the only colour being the logo. Now, this does draw the eye to the logo, tis true. But the rest of the site is harder to navigate for it. The gold, being a bright eye catching colour, should be used for links, as it's used to draw the eye in the logo. The blue should be used as an accent colour throughout the site.

A great example of this is the navigation arrows. Gold text on blue arrows would make them really pop out of the page. This is a good thing, since navigation arrows are one of those key elements you want the eye drawn to. The same applies to your navigation links, and headers. Use colour to designate the live areas more.

Also, consider making your text white, or very light gray. Dark gray feels very "Inactive". While using it in unimportant parts of the site will really help accent the important ones, the text itself is not unimportant. The eye does not want to read gray text.

BANNER - 4/5

You have a nice banner really. Your logo is prominent and well positioned. That being said, the entire thing is a tad on the large side, and it IS only a placeholder. But it works darn well for what it is.

NAVIGATION & LAYOUT - 3/5

Your navigation and layout really aren't bad actually. The biggest issue is that the Comic is on another page. Rule Number One. Your comic is NOT Penny Arcade. You don't get the privileged of a reputation, or readers that will hunt down new strips. Put the comic on the front page! This is a Must!

Other then that, the website feels like it's made out of cut up chunks from another site. The way the title bars cuts off, the random solid bars of colour. It feels like it's all sort of glued together from parts. It also looks and feels like a hand updated website. So next up we'll discuss themes, the truth about Content management systems, and dispel some of the myths I've seen thrown around the forums.

What is a content management system? A Content management system is a set of server side tools to automate and streamline the updating process on your website.

Myth Number 1: Content management systems are only used by people who can't build real websites.
 FALSE. Over the last decade, the face of the Internet has changed quite a bit. Any professional designer will tell you that some form of content management is a must. Modern websites are large and complex beasts, with many features and functions to manage. It is beyond the scope of human ability to manage a modern website single handedly. The manpower required to run a website such as Microsoft.com or CNN.com would skyrocket to a rediculous level!

Myth Number 2: Content Management Systems limit your designing options.
Again, this is false. While some CMS's are stricter then others, most have been designed to be skinned and themed to blend in with any site. One acusation I have heard particularly is that comicpress will allways look like comicpress. To understand how false this is, The fallowing are some websites that run on comicpress.

http://www.pvponline.com/
http://starslip.com/
http://sugaryserials.com/
http://oycomics.com/
http://www.octopuspie.com/

And that's just the results of a 5 minute hunt. Comic press is really only limited by your capabilities as a designer. In fact, most other content management systems are actually HARDER to theme then wordpress/comicpress, requiring a great deal more code knowledge.

Myth Number 3: But I don't want to use comicpress, and that's my only option!

False Again! List Monkey! Bring me the list!

http://drupal.org/
http://rubyonrails.org/
http://www.joomla.org/
http://www.jaws-project.com/
http://phpwebsite.appstate.edu/

Again, a 5 minute list, hardly comprehensive. Now, each of these will require varying levels of work to be usable, as they aren't specialized in any one content. And I will say this as well. There's a reason Comicpress has no serious competition. If you're website is well designed, it should look somewhat like a comicpress site (without looking like the generic comicpress theme). Truth be told, there's a bit of a science here folks. 2 +2 should be 4.

Finally, The reason you should want a CMS most of all (besides ease of updating). Consistency! A single theme can be applied to all the content on every page, creating a unified look with ease. Pages can be created quickly and dynamically, without having to worry about the underlying structure. A content management System isn't a limitation, it's a requirement in the professional world.

SOCIAL TOOLS - 0/5

There's not a ton for me to put here. Depending on how you choose to go with a Content management system, it will dictate your best choices in this regard. The important thing is that you get your comic out there!

SECONDARY CONTENT - 3.5/5

The secondary content is actually really good. Unfortunately, the bare minimalism of the theme really drags it down. It suffers heavily from a "Dead" feeling, as we discussed previously. Also of note, the "Artists" page (Why Plural?) needs to be relabeled "About Me". This is a one man show after all. The archive page needs to be reworked to. The long list of pages is already unnerving, and will only grow more daunting as you continue. Finally, The order the buttons are in seem odd. The Archives should be much higher, near the top. Organize your links in order of actual importance. If a reader where to give up and stop reading halfway down, what buttons do you MOST want them to see?

TOTAL - 2.5 out of 5



NEXT WEEK: We review But Not Really! Keep up the Coding
« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 11:43:45 PM by CorvusErebus »

Offline Mutt

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 25
    • The Tempest Legacy
Re: onSite Reviews - Tempest Legacy
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2010, 08:30:09 PM »
Well, thanks for the review.  You've definitely given me some things to think about.

Comicpress is out though. With the exception of sugary serials, most of the sites you linked look the same to me.  I see it so much I just hate the look of it.

But, thanks for taking the time. Honest feedback is always good!  ;D

Offline CorvusErebus

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • Chief Web Designer
Re: onSite Reviews - Tempest Legacy
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2010, 11:14:52 PM »
Could you clarify please? I really fail to see any similarity between Octopus Pie, Oy, Starslip, and say, the old Estrangel website. Unless you mean they all have comics on webpages with text bellow them. In which case I'm not really sure you'll have much luck with anything. =/ I mean, Your current theme more closely resembles Comicpress then oy or Octopus Pie. Are you sure you aren't just jaded against the "powered by Comicpress" footer?

I'm not trying to start an argument, I'm actually curious. When you sit down and really list it out, how are these websites all that identical (Beyond the requirments for any webcomic/sequential image gallery).

Offline GaborBoth

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 56
Re: onSite Reviews - Tempest Legacy
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2010, 11:46:51 AM »
I found this article the most useful so far! Thanks.

The List Monkey made me chuckle!
There is a your/you're mistake under the second list.
,,People never grow up, they just learn how to act in public."

Offline Pete

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 70
    • Bardsworth
Re: onSite Reviews - Tempest Legacy
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2010, 10:31:45 AM »
I'm with Mutt on this one.  I've not had any urge to use ComicPress at all.  While the sites may not LOOK similar (although PvP and Starslip are pretty close in layout structure), they tend to FEEL similar.  Which isn't a bad thing in the grand scheme of things; it's just an aesthetics opinion.  I don't know if Mutt feels the same way, but I know I don't want my site to "feel" like someone else's.