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Author Topic: Dragon Does Reviews -- The End  (Read 3088 times)

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Offline Dragon Powered

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Dragon Does Reviews -- The End
« on: July 30, 2010, 06:29:20 PM »

Aliens have landed!  They're here to take over the... erm, I mean save the human race, and it's all through Internet dating! Ok, not really. It's simply too soon to tell quite what's happening, but... ZAP!

Review Site: The End

FIRST IMPRESSION:
The End is a comic produced by Ran Brown, a comic artist and web designer. So this review is just a bit different because the comic author is quite familiar with design and layout, and isn't asking for help so much as just an alternate view.

That said, I find The End website to be very pleasing and nicely presented. It is created using Wordpress / Comicpress as a base, but the design varies enough from the standard layout that it isn't immediately recognizable as such.

*Load Speed: 7
I can't say exactly why, but many times when navigating through pages it took several seconds for the page to appear. It wasn't due to graphic sizes, since the entire page appears almost at once. Likely it's just congestion on the web server.

*Color Mix: 9
Colors are warm and rich, not too bright. The colors of the comic feel at home with the colors of the site, which is made up of designs similar to the comic.  The only detraction is the gray window-glass textures used in the areas below the comic. While they don't take away much from the overall feel, those areas could be much cooler with a spacey design derived from the alien craft.

LAYOUT:

*Content vs Layout: 9
The layout and the comic work quite well together, with header area, a decent nav-bar, the comic and then comments from the authors below. Buttons are well placed, and everything looks neat and tidy.

*Ease of use / Navigation: 8
The navigation buttons used for the comic are unique and fit the style of the comic, with a slight alien feel to them. They are found just below the comic image only, but the comic's format is such that the buttons are generally viewable while reading. The navigation bar has a nice look, but oddly when mousing over the links they don't highlight but rather that section of the bar disappears, giving it a somewhat broken feel.  Making the bar glow eerily for the links, or making it more 3D so it seems pressed down would be a nice touch.

*Clutter: 10
There isn't any clutter here, everything seems in its place. I suspect Ran's parents never had much trouble getting her to clean up her room.

*Ads & Placement: 8.5
Ads consist of a large banner ad in the header and a tower ad below the comic on the far right. Both have fairly high value. The top banner covers a good portion of the header though, making it hard (or impossible) to tell what the image behind it is supposed to be, and while the colors of the current ad (from Pictures of You, another of our great members) fit nicely with the site layout, I have to wonder what other ads might look like in that placement.

TOP-DOWN IMPRESSION: 9.5
The site has a good feel to it, and makes me want to read it, even though there are plenty on my current list. Aside from the couple of nit-picks I've mentioned, I couldn't ask for a lot more from a webcomic site, whether based on Wordpress or not.

*Secondary Content: 9
For a webcomic as young as this there is a lot of additional content to peruse. Quite a few pictures reside in the Gallery, the About page has interesting information and there's even a Store with some of the artist's works up for grabs. The Cast page has tidbits of info about almost every character that appeared so far, in fact, so many that I'm not sure who the main characters are. If it continues to grow it may become overwhelming, but right now the story is new, so those characters listed may well be the main characters.

*Social Content: 7
The social side is pretty good, with comments for each comic, author comments on the main page, Twitter and DeviantArt. Ran also makes an effort to respond to many reader's comments, which forms a stronger community. There is no forum, which could benefit the readership. There seems to be a good following, even though the site is young. It would be nice if the artist's blog could be navigated to read previous entries. Those are available in the RSS feed, but it would be good to have a way to read them on the site.

OVERALL IMPRESSION:
The artwork is very nice and the story, while just getting started, is interesting enough to warrant making the site a favorite.  The site design adds flavor to the comic without distracting, maybe it could do with a tweak here and there, but it's very pleasant as is.

*Overall Rating: 9.5
If you aren't reading The End then you'll probably be one of those left behind, wondering why everything went black.

Offline Dragon Powered

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Re: Dragon Does Reviews -- The End
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2010, 06:39:44 PM »
Oh!  One thing I noticed but forgot to mention is that some of the images on the site are hyperlinked to the image itself, when it really shouldn't be.  For example, in the Store, the image "STORE" is a link to itself.  This also happens in the Cast page and a couple other spots.

Nothing that breaks anything, just seems a bit odd.

Offline mcfadyn

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Re: Dragon Does Reviews -- The End
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2010, 02:09:19 PM »
Yeah, this strip is really a piece of awesome.
Sometimes, you have to take a step back and access the fact that you're a moron.  What?  Well you ARE.

Offline ran

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Re: Dragon Does Reviews -- The End
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2010, 07:14:07 PM »
Yeah, any images that I've hyperlinked by accident were things that I added to posts using the 'add media' buttons in the post sections >_< It does that automatically for some reason. I guess I just need to be more diligent.

As for not being able to read older news posts, I'm not going to lie--it's not like there was a lot there that was particularly important. Because we have two authors, if I don't disable the ability to leave comments on them, there are three places on the main page where people can leave comments. Two would be too many. I had a separate section that let people read past news posts, but the second that I disables all of the commenting abilities, they stopped showing up. =/ I have no idea why that is, but I couldn't figure out a way to fix it.

And lastly:

Quote
*Clutter: 10
There isn't any clutter here, everything seems in its place. I suspect Ran's parents never had much trouble getting her to clean up her room.

Ahahahaha, I am the most messy person in the universe. As I speak, I am looking at my freshly 'cleaned' room and it's still a death trap. =/

Offline Gibson

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Re: Dragon Does Reviews -- The End
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2010, 04:26:44 AM »
Quote
*Clutter: 10
There isn't any clutter here, everything seems in its place. I suspect Ran's parents never had much trouble getting her to clean up her room.

Ahahahaha, I am the most messy person in the universe. As I speak, I am looking at my freshly 'cleaned' room and it's still a death trap. =/

When I visited Ran at her apartment, there were Copic markers everywhere! And booze. Booze was also everywhere. Everything else is hazy.

I have the same slowing down when I'm on the page, and I think it might be that globe widget. I might be wrong, but it's the only thing there that I don't see on other sites. I may also know nothing about computers or the internet.

Offline ran

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Re: Dragon Does Reviews -- The End
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2010, 02:45:21 PM »
Yeah, you know, there's still booze everywhere, and I don't even live in the same place anymore. Now I have a two story house filled with empty beer cans wine bottles, with various half-full bottles of harder stuff scattered everywhere...wow, I sure sound like an alcoholic. I blame my brother in law (who is also my next door neighbour)...he started brewing his own beer and insisting that I should 'drop in and take some whenever I feel like it.' But yeah, most of my mess is still markers. >_<

It may very well be the revolvermap that is slowing things down, but I'm going to give it a few more weeks before I remove it--I just installed some caching plugins, and also rewrote my .htaccess file after it somehow committed suicide. Things have been running much faster on my end--let me know in a week or two if it's still doing that and I'll take it down.