While this is still a blog, there is also going to be some work displayed here for the class where this blog came from. This post is going to be focused on a website I’ve found. I’ll be doing my review on the entire site as well as various outside elements related to it. It has to be related to my own website, and I’ll be going over both design principles as well as visual choices in my criticism.
The website I’ll be putting up for critique is for the webcomic “Cucumber Quest” by Gigi D.G.. This is a comic where a new page of a story is uploaded three days of the week for people to follow along with. The front page gives you two links to the first page story, or to the most recent page. My original inspiration from Gigi’s site was from the background since the pattern is easy on the eyes. From here, exploring further led me to believe that I could inspire my entire website on this layout.
The most prominent layout are those for a comic page. Everything on the page is laid out to the width of the comic page, which is the centerpiece of each web page. On the top and bottom of each page are four arrows. The one on the far left takes you to the first page in the story, then the next button takes you to the page before the one you’re currently on. On the right, the closest arrow to the center takes you to the next page. The furtherest arrow on the right takes you to the latest page in the story. This is a staple of webcomic sites, and most people keep these arrows to help people continue a story, go back to the home page, or even have a dropdown menu in the middle letting you choose a page to load. As the web has evolved, webcomics become easier to navigate as you can click the image to continue loading the next page in the comic.
I thought I would keep the simple design throughout each page on Cucumber Quest on my own website, but let the layout stay basic enough for a portfolio. I was not making a layout meant for a webcomic, but principles from Gigi’s site come into play often. The navigation bar is on each page, and each image can be clicked to go to the next. Images are the centerpiece, and laid out accordingly to keep the width of all pages on the site the same size.
This website by Gigi still has problems, though. The simplicity behind the layout makes things somewhat difficult. If she wants more things on the navigation bar, she’ll have to make it taller in order to fit in the width laid out by the comic page, otherwise it would be wider than the rest of the page. There are also some distinct choices by the author that do not make any sense. The archive page has links to each page of the comic, but it is updated manually. It’s not very consistent most of the time, and each link does not show a picture of the page you’re looking for. Each page just has a number, or chapter. It’s confusing and does not help people figure out where they left their place in the story. However, the author does acknowledge readers who want to continue. A webcomic is pretty easy to breeze through the past pages in a few hours, but the author has implemented an RSS feed for new pages.
Overall, the site is simple in design and style, but clunky in navigational space when the comic is not the focus of the page.