Web Design Hot Seat: Tomes of Atlantis and Moth City
This is the second installment in the Web Design Hot seat. Same rules as all of the Hot Seat critiques. I’ll discuss the participant’s work and then open the conversation up to the group at large. Each header contains a link to the comic’s Web site, and each image is a thumbnail you can click to see a larger version of the image.
Here’s my first-screen view of the Tomes site.
What we have here is a symphony of wasted space. Tons of wasted space along the top and a significant chunk of wasted space all around the comic.
This is a situation that can be solved with one, simple fix. I’ve referred to it in previous Web design discussions as the “Side-saddle layout.” Put the logo to the side of the comic instead of directly over it.
Once you do that, everything else falls into place. Take a look at how much more I’m getting in front of the reader by making that one, simple change.
I even got the headline for the first blog post in there! My ads have the potential to start paying at a higher rate because they can actually be seen. Those Scribol ads might start performing better, too. Likewise with the social-media buttons, which were hidden before.
- For the love of all that’s holy… please don’t use those awful-looking, clunky, horrible default navigation buttons.
- For any square- or vertical-sized comics, do your readers a favor and put the navigational buttons above and below the comic.
- Those colors are awfully intense. I’d love to see them a little less saturated. I’d also like to see a color scheme experimented with that wasn’t red and blue. I get that this is a military adventure. But you can pull off that look with a more subtle palette. Right now, those colors are painful. What would happen if you chose to pull out that gold from the eagle insignia in the logo? I experimented with it (click the thumbnail to the right) and I think it’s a somewhat stronger presentation.
This site is absolutely beautiful.
The colors, the typography, the site architecture, the prioritization… they’re all top notch. This site works functionally, and it works aesthetically.
I have only complaint. The comic, which is equally beautiful, is too darned small. It’s gorgeous, intricate art… and it’s suffering at the size it’s being presented at.
I’d love to see something more along these lines.
You’ll notice, I didn’t lose more than a couple pixels of my original first-screen view. That’s because that bar of site-navigation stuff below the comic can be reduced to about half its original depth. You could even keep the icons and the text at close to the same size. You’d just need to adjust the text so it fits into horizontal spaces instead of vertical ones. Then those four-line explanations become two-line explainers.
Look at the change in impact it gives your comic.
Same with the blog graphic below the comic. I didn’t change it in the example above, but it’s way overpowering as big as it is. Reduce that bad boy to about half-size. Its placement makes it prominent. It doesn’t need size too. Hell… if it were me, I wouldn’t feel the need to label something that is so obviously a blog with a huge graphic that says “blog.” I think most of the readers get it.