Caitlin Grey (foenix) wrote,
Caitlin Grey

What follows is Dk and I discussing the Wotch redesign, so you'll wanna skip this. I just want an easy place to direct people actually interested in what's wrong with the site.

* DkPhoenix ( has joined #subcafe
DkPhoenix> I am currently perusing the Wotch Web Wank thread. Whee!
Foenix> YAY!
* Foenix has been waiting all morning to sic that on you.
Foenix> I got the PM, and finally just had to rant.
DkPhoenix> I haven't looked at the actual page in question yet, because I'm afraid it might crash me... o.O
Foenix> It was only IE where the issues really are.
DkPhoenix> But I will after I read the thread.
DkPhoenix> There is much to mock in all the "design experts" who are popping up
* Foenix went and tried it in IE, and got nothing more than the maroon background for about 15 seconds.
DkPhoenix> Ok, on to the offending site itself... *deep breath*
Ok. No crashes.
* Foenix grins.
* DkPhoenix gets out the red pencil...
* Foenix logs. ;)
DkPhoenix> The first, and most glaring problem I see is that navigation system. If I hadn't read the thread, I wouldn't have known it WAS the navbar. It is the antithesis of "intuitive"
Foenix> I like it, but yeah...well, you read my post.
DkPhoenix> But yeah, they are cute... I would add a small text link beneath each to solve the problem
DkPhoenix> Or put a text navbar off to the side... except...
Foenix> And then they double up with navigation under the images. =P
Foenix> Er, the comic.
* Foenix will let you continue. ;)
DkPhoenix> Ye gods, the right side of the screen is crowded up
DkPhoenix> I'm at a loss what to do there, since I am assuming "killing the google ads" is not an option...
Foenix> Random: All the Wotchies near the title, and all the people in the ad at the top...I just realized just hos cluttered that all is. Too much that draws the eye.
Foenix> No.
Foenix> Honestly, I'd make it horizontal and shove it below .
DkPhoenix> The google bar? Or that vertical secondary navbar?
Foenix> The google ad.
Foenix> A big help, I think, is tweaking those colours. If they weren't so bright, they wouldn't draw as much attention.
DkPhoenix> Agreed, from a design point of view. From a revenue standpoint, that would lose them some clicks
Foenix> When the ads become the focus, things have gone awry...
Foenix> But I digress. ;)
DkPhoenix> I see what they're trying to do, matching the color scheme of the secondary navbar with the google ads, it's camouflage, BUT... it is what is making the right side so cluttered
* Foenix will be intrigued once they start with actual strips in this new format, to see how it looks.
Foenix> Have you moused over the nav/info links yet?
DkPhoenix> Ok, and speaking of ads... I'm sure they're making money from t-shirt sales... BUT... that banner at the top draws focus from the comic. It really shouldn't be the first thing the viewer sees, makes the page look like a Geoshittes site
* Foenix nods.
DkPhoenix> Yeah, I saw the little callout popups
Foenix> I'm particularly offended by the little rotating stars...
DkPhoenix> I'm not seeing those... probably because I have killed gif animations :-P I'll reload...
Foenix> Heheheh.
* Foenix also isn't too keen with the popups going over the comic either.
DkPhoenix> That I didn't see... where do they come from?
Foenix> Mouse over the links in "The Comic" sidebar, and really anything over there.
DkPhoenix> Gah. Nevermind, I see
DkPhoenix> That's horrible
Foenix> It's the web designer putting his design over the content, IMO.
DkPhoenix> Those should pop over the navbar
Foenix> Or the Google ad. ;)
DkPhoenix> Agreed. It's "Lookee what I can do!"
DkPhoenix> Or the Google ad, yes ;-)
DkPhoenix> I question the need for a popup on every... single... goddamn... link. I suppose it's "consistency"
DkPhoenix> I didn't think y'all were all that bad. I would have been far, FAR worse. *g*
DkPhoenix> Why, I didn't see "10,000 retarded codmemonkeys flinging poo" used *once* ;-)
DkPhoenix> Ok, in summary, I would 1) Put text links below the "wotchies" navbar. 2) Shift those damn link popups to the right. 3) Move the Google bar. Putting the bonus pic link above it makes the bonus pic link look like just another ad. 4) Nuke that damn top banner completely, or place it at the bottom, in "News"
* Foenix nods. Put the tshirt and Google ad all down at the bottom.
DkPhoenix> The left-justifictaion of the comic itself doesn't bother me at all.
Foenix> Yeah, I never once said the design was absolutely junk. I like it, in broad strokes. But the details need work.
* DkPhoenix prepares to view source...
* Foenix ran the source through some validators, and accesibility engines for shits and giggles... ;)
DkPhoenix> Agreed. It's not a disaster, it just has problems, that are fixable without dumping the design itself
DkPhoenix> Oh my... I bet that was amusing ;-)
Foenix> W3C's HTML and PHP validators horfed out about 80 errors each.
Foenix> Or was it CSS? Meh.
DkPhoenix> The CSS validator would cry. I'm viewing source now.
DkPhoenix> It ain't pretty.
DkPhoenix> Let me add a #5 to that summary... For the love of all that is unholy, EXTERNAL STYLE SHEETS!!!
DkPhoenix> Sticking 10k worth of CSS in the head section defeats one of the fundamental PURPOSES of CSS.
Foenix> *nodnod*
DkPhoenix> Ye gods. Fuck. Sorry, that's a big pet peeve of mine :-P
Foenix> And I'm sure you agree with me that the answer to "I have problems with your site!" is NEVER EVER "get the latest and greatest!"
DkPhoenix> Oh no. If you do it right, the sight should gracefully deprecate all the way down to Lynx.
DkPhoenix> Now, I can see the argument that no one using a site reader is going to be interested in a webcomic, but, if you do things right, it will work with said site readers and text only browsers automatically
* Foenix nods.
And it really should crash XP with IE6.
* Foenix suspects she had many windows open, and it horfed on memory.
Foenix> SHOULDN'T ;)
DkPhoenix> Ok. The head section is more than half of the total page code. This is Bad.
DkPhoenix> I suspect it horfed on some of that javascript. There is a metric asston of it, and IE is wonky on script handling
Foenix> Pretty shitty professional web designer, eh?
DkPhoenix> For sure. Putting the stylesheet in the head is flat out amateur
DkPhoenix> I'm registered on those boards, but I am not going to suddenly appear from nowhere with my comments. Feel free to use any of them yourself, though
* DkPhoenix hisses... there's more CSS embedded inline. In the tables.
* Foenix doesn't know what that means. ;)
* Foenix will likely take the log, toss it on the ol' LJ, to show Scott, Ani, and coffeebadass.
Foenix> And Robin,
DkPhoenix> Ok. There's basically three ways to use CSS on a page. First, and best, is the external stylesheet. You put one line in the head section that points the browser to the stylesheet, which loads up simultaneously. Going that route, and using the same stylesheet on every page makes things load much faster and smoother. Since the stylesheet only has to load once.
DkPhoenix> This also reduces overall page size.
DkPhoenix> Second way is to stick the stylesheet in the head section of the page. This lacks elegance, but is acceptable... IF you're only using a wee little bit of CSS. Like, the code that removes the underlines from links. I did this on the Asteroid X pages loooooong ago, when CSS was new. (And I knew not what I was doing.)
DkPhoenix> Third way is to embed the code within the HTML tags. This is what we call "kludgy". It's only ok if you're using only ONE instance of the CSS. Once, and never again on any page.
Foenix> Think all that excess pre-code could be what the computer is processing in IE that freezes and has you staring at the maroon background for awhile?
DkPhoenix> Now, this "professional designer" has stuck the entire stylesheet in the head section, and is using embedded inline CSS throughout the page. All that could have been avoided if he/she knew how to use an external style sheet. And the page would be half the size.
DkPhoenix> Definitely. The head section is as large as the page content itself
DkPhoenix> Personally, I'd put the javascript external as well... ok, *I* wouldn't have used all that javascript, I'd have done the callouts with CSS. Is possible, is easier on the browser, and is damn cool, but that's just me :-P
* Foenix grins.
Foenix> And CSS would be good, and be reusable for all the archive pages too, since they should all be the same, except for the comic itself.
DkPhoenix> The only thing with using CSS for those popups, it won't work on IE 5.0 and below, or Netscape 4x... HOWEVER, the super-cool thing about CSS there is that old browsers just flat ignore it. So people using the old browsers would see the links, and never know there was supposed to be the pretty shiny spinning whirligig popup doohickeys there at all
Foenix> And it's not like they're necessary, just trying to keep some of the cute legacy stuff from the previous designs.
DkPhoenix> Oh and the meta tags? I don't care what he said about trying to optimize them... they are non-existant, except for the charset one. No description, no keywords, no copyright, nothing. The site is as search-engine unfriendly as it can possibly be.
DkPhoenix> And I keep going back to all that inline CSS... and crying...

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