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A short critique of web comic web design

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Something that is slightly frustrating about the page design of certain web comics is that even if the site is very pretty, there will be some issues with navigation and layout of the comic’s web page. Very few web comics use the kind of web design elements that other sites do. Even web comics that do, don’t use these elements consistently, which can be a little confusing if you are trying to find copyright information or the author’s byline.

Here are some problem areas that I have noticed:

The about page: Sometimes the about page does not have a lot of useful information; there might be information about the story itself, but it might not have when the comic was started, the days it updates, or who wrote the comic.

Copyright information: Copyright and other proprietary information should be on the bottom of the page, in the footer. I have seen a few web comics that don’t have a copyright at all. (Note: Even if you have an about page you should still have copyright information in the footer.)

Navigation issues: Sometimes it is not entirely clear how to find anything on the web comic site. Sometimes the information you are looking for will be in a completely different place than where you were expecting it to be. Very occasionally, it is really hard to figure out how to navigate through the comic because the back and forth buttons are kind of counterintuitive.

Cluttered layout: Usually the main issue with cluttering is the ads. Too many ads on a page is a distraction to the reader. Another issue is social media features that can take up most of the page, or are located in the sidebar, which can also be distracting to the reader. I feel that a separate forum page or a less intrusive area for the social media feature is a better idea.

In short, I really wish that web comic page design was more standardized and that I didn’t have to hunt all over the place to find out when a web comic updates, or who wrote it.

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