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Author Topic: Dragon Does Reviews -- Last Res0rt  (Read 3150 times)

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Offline Dragon Powered

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Dragon Does Reviews -- Last Res0rt
« on: June 18, 2010, 05:18:54 AM »

Here we go... Seems we're off on an adventure of sorts, on another world full of anthropomorphic somethings, vampires, zombies and assorted what-not, set inside a game show where these creatures vie for survival. What could go wrong?

Review Site: Last Resort

FIRST IMPRESSION:

Busy, very busy. There is something going on all around this site. Links and buttons and characters asking for stuff, my oh my!

*Load Speed: 6
Lots and lots of graphics in use here, so page loads are noticable. Not terrible or excessively slow, but noticable. Several times on navigating between pages the background behind the main content failed to load (due to some outside link hanging no doubt), leaving the page very hard to read. Each time a page refresh cleared it up, but it's still a bit annoying.

*Color Mix: 8
Most everything on the site complements the comic, since it's primarily created in the style of the comic. The background is red with something like a film strip reel edge forming the vertical border for the content.

LAYOUT:

*Content vs Layout: 8
The layout is quite busy, with the comic taking up the left side of the content area and two columns of buttons and ads on the right. However, all the buttons match the style of the content, which adds a lot to the feeling overall. Some portions, like the donate link and the comment area, are actual comic characters addressing the reader and encouraging use of that area. A nice touch. However, it's yet another Wordpress / Comicpress site, and is pretty much obvious in that.

It would be very nice to see creativity in design without being hobbled by a Wordpress layout.

*Ease of use / Navigation: 8
Navigation is fairly simple, with the basic text/arrow links both above and below the comic. The main menu area is simple white text on a black strip just under the header banner. Cookie cutter look, but functional. There is a Forum button under the Store graphic which is linked to the Store as well, rather than the Forum.

As I've mentioned before, meta tags are good for bringing in new readers. There are no Keywords (perhaps wordpress has a problem with keywords since it seems to be a common theme), and the description tag remains static throughout the site. The description tag is the most important tag, and should offer a quick description of the page it represents.

*Clutter: 7
Such a busy site, with so many buttons and links, it does appear cluttered. All of the buttons and such are organized pretty well, and all have a definite use here, but the number and variation of them make it seem easy to stumble.

*Ads & Placement: 7
Ads are placed along the right side of the page, some small ones below the various buttons, a banner below the comic, and two tower ads on the far right placed one above the other.  The top tower ad has the most value, being 'above the fold' and obvious at first glance. However, it also seems the least used, since it contains a default ad for the same site it appears on. The banner ad is the same, showing an ad for the Last Res0rt store.

Value wise, it might be good to lower the base price of those two ads to get advertisers comfortable with displaying on the site. The button ads don't really fit the design where they are, unless they could be changed to a size more closely resembling the other buttons they are in line with.

TOP-DOWN IMPRESSION: 8
The look is good, and some work obviously went into putting this site together. The characters voicing their suggestions for the different sections is a very nice touch and the layout, for a Wordpress site, is well done.

*Secondary Content: 9
There is plenty of extra content here, with information about the author, the story, cast backgrounds and details, links, etc. The Cast page is laid out nicely, with the various cast images being links to additional information about that cast member in the form of something like arrest records. One such member appears to have lost a leg and is bleeding all over the mug shot screen...

*Social Content: 8
The Last Res0rt site encourages community by way of comments below each comic, a forum, a Facebook page, Deviant Art group, Twitter and a Furaffinity fan group (for those furry fans). There are even comments enabled at the online store.  I didn't see where fan artwork or fiction is encouraged, but overall there is a good community following the story.

OVERALL IMPRESSION:
Last Res0rt is a decent site to visit and is designed to complement the style of the comic. It offers plenty of resources for learning more about the story and the cast involved, which is good because it may be a bit confusing for a first time reader. The layout could be less busy, but with the layout as it is visitors using a small device will be able to view the comic without having to scroll much. However, the RSS feed contains full versions of the comic so there isn't a need to visit the site at all if just reading the comic.

*Overall Rating: 8
Cyber-punk, futuristic, other-worldly, kind-of-almost-human creatures on a bloody adventure... and vampires.  If that speaks to you, give it a look!

Offline JGray

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Re: Dragon Does Reviews -- Last Res0rt
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2010, 06:57:06 AM »
My thought when looking at the page is my eyes are drawn to the right and the characters saying we can buy stuff with their faces on it. Not to the comic. That should be the primary focus.

Offline Gibson

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Re: Dragon Does Reviews -- Last Res0rt
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2010, 11:02:26 AM »
A lot of people would disagree with that.

Offline Dragon Powered

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Re: Dragon Does Reviews -- Last Res0rt
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2010, 04:03:15 PM »
Yeah, it really depends on how a creator directs their site.  The comic is the main content, true, but it shouldn't be the only attention draw if the site is expected to make money.  In this case the creator uses the comic characters as a hook for financing, purposely making them draw the reader's attention.  Hey, over here! Come check out my stuff!  It's a good idea to make the financial side as interesting as the entertainment side.

Finance is shot in the foot, though, by ad space priced a tad higher than advertisers want to pay and by full content delivered in an RSS feed that brings no revenue, or visitors to the site.

Offline Alectric

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Re: Dragon Does Reviews -- Last Res0rt
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2010, 01:16:06 AM »
Hey Dragon, are you still writing a piece on meta tags?

Offline Dragon Powered

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Re: Dragon Does Reviews -- Last Res0rt
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2010, 04:03:49 PM »
Yes, actually.  I've just been a wee bit on the busy side lately.