Direct help and feedback

I have to say, I was impressed with the amount and quality of feedback received by the previous post asking for help. I'd like to start a new topic that allows others to get the same type of feedback on their sites. This would be helpful to "newbies" and veterans alike. Additional feedback on the story itself would be great, but this iste has it covered with "Member Reviews".


I'd like to start with my site, ( http://apocalypsenovel.weebly.com ) , and I promise to do the dame for anyone that reviews my site or anyone else's in this topic.


I meant same. I will not do the "dame" for nyone that reviews the site (LOL)


Well I like the look of your site (except maybe the orange background--it's pretty caustic). One thing you might want to add though, is an "about the story or author" tab in the sidebar.

As it is right now, the little trailer thing and "Why?" sections you have at the beginning of the first chapter are a bit confusing. I thought I was reading the chapter right off the bat, and then when i saw the "why" section I thought, "Well that was a ridiculously short chapter."

This was said in the other thread, but you might want to take the forum down until you have people who will post on it. Having it empty makes one wonder why they clicked the link.


Great, Alex. Thank you. Changes will be made.


I think the first chapter should be set off from the home part. Other than that, I think the site is pretty cool. I like all the pictures at the beginning of the chapter.


Alex -

Just a couple of comments from me on your site. The Ad at the top of the page is a little confusing because it takes presedence over everything else on the page. Also, your "HOME" link actually links to your last chapters. "Main story" does the same, and unless you have the initial link,it's hard for someone new to your story to find the first chapter. The top background banner is difficult to see, but that might be my computer.

On a very positive note, I like your writing. I am not a fan of fantasy, but your writing makes the characters engaging. You've gained a fan.


Apocalypsenovel


neat, clean and easy to navigate. freaky pics :P not a genre i usually enjoy, but if i did, i would feel welcome enough to give it a read :)


.


Sora - I like your site's design. I love the "cast" pictures, but I could not find your writing. I suppose it's because you will be posting in the future. I'll revisit then. Only thing I would advise is moving your "Bookmark" link to somewhere more prominent in the main body of the main page.


Apocalypsenovel


Sora - I like your site's design. I love the "cast" pictures, but I could not find your writing. I suppose it's because you will be posting in the future. I'll revisit then. Only thing I would advise is moving your "Bookmark" link to somewhere more prominent in the main body of the main page.


Apocalypsenovel


NiSp - You website is well thought out. I like the fact that it brings you to the last chapter first (great for faithful fans) but has clear links to individual chapters and a "story starts here" link. Great. Again, I am not a fan of Fantasy, but I just might have to become one. Your story writing is mesmerizing, but your blog writing is better by far! Your sense of humor comes through loudly and your writing "voice" is unique. I was laughing my a** off reading the your telling of the robber. (Now, it's 3 AM in the morning here in Boston, so not much would strike me as funny.)Congrats.


Apocalypsenovel


thanks apocalypse *grin* let me know when you convert :P


i would guess i'm still a little stiff when writing my stories, especially this one. mostly because it means so much to me as an avid fantasy lover and i've 'always' wanted to write in that genre. i'm a bit more myself in other stuff i've written in other genres, but they are nowhere near ready to be posted. recounting day-to-day details of my life? another thing altogether... glad you enjoyed it ;)


I like your layout. It's pretty easy to get from chapter to chapter, especially with the links at the bottom of each page. The font is large and clear enough to read.(at least for me)


The background is a bit bright, compared to everything else. Not sure if that'd have any negative effect on extended reading.


The first chapter is a pretty good introduction, and it reminded me of Tom Clancy for some reason... Anyway, you might want to break up the paragraphs a bit, they're a bit large.


All in all, I like it. Even with the extra stuff, the writing is still front and center, and it's nice to be dropped into the first chapter on the first click.


Oh... I thought this was for you, but thanks. I'll probably start posting in November. I'm working on the buffers, since life is getting the best of me at the moment. I'm glad you like the cast page too. What do you mean by "bookmark"? Are you talking about the RSS feed?


What I like about your site is that it immediately struck me as different from a lot of other sites out there.


I had already read a number of chapters before today and I seem to remember the main site colour was green? Is this a revamp?


Like Alex I am not a fan of the orange.


Apart from that, the general layout is great :D


Hey there:


Well, first off, I'd prefer that I don't get a critique of my site in this thread as a returned favor. I don't have a lot of internet time at the moment, despite having an incredible amount of commitments, so I simply wouldn't have time (not to mention the web skills) to make any changes suggested. I hope you don't mind if I just give you the feedback you wanted, and take a rain check on the returned favor. ^^;;


Oh, and while I'm thinking about it: if you don't get all the feedback you'd like here, you could always join some different web design communities. Several have forums specifically for site critiques, and I know a few web fiction and ebook forums (asides from this one) that have entire sections of their sites devoted to layout reviews.


Now, onto your site. The very first thing I noticed, before you even asked for help, was that your url is confusing for me. There's another website out there that has 'apocolypsenovel.com' as the url (one which has been around since 2005), and I know that once when I was searching for that site, I got it confused with yours until I glanced at the pages. Perhaps a url change to avoid confusion might help. Then again, maybe I'm just easily confused. ^^;;


I also thought your site was green before (I love lime green, so I thought it was nifty). I'm not a big fan of the orange. I know you can't change that on weebly without changing the layout, but the color is seriously distracting for me. Add in the faint gray diagonal lines and my eyes are begging for mercy. The art's awesome, however. Did you commission it, or -- ?


As for the summary font, the bold italic font doesn't do much for me. Especially considering that the slant of the italicized letters contradicts the gray lines of the background, it leaves me feeling a bit dizzy. It seems over-formatted for very little reason. It's the first text on the page -- unless you make it really small or a garish color, it's almost guranteed to get out attention WITHOUT all the bells and whistles. The one thing you might want to consider doing is justifying the text -- it looks better on most websites in cramped spaces.


I agree with adding more pages to the website. Something perhaps about the characters, or an about the author page, or something. Part of the joy of web fiction is being able to share more with your readers, so you should take advantage of that. I know that both as a reader and reviewer, I weigh how many interesting extras the site has to offer when I evaluate a story (be it for myself or others).


As Sora suggested -- really not a fan of having Chapter One on the main page. It just seems like too large of a jump between the summary and the work, almost as if it were being thrown at me. Giving the chapter its own page will give it a seperate ambience, and let readers catch their breath before making a decision and plunging into the world.


The fact that you've titled your site "Apocalypsenovel" is a bit confusing. If I didn't remember it being listed here as something else, I might not have understood which was the serial's title and which was the subtitle (for awhile, I thought the novel was called "Apocalypse" and then the particular chapter's title was "the Lifting of the Veil"). This goes back to the url thing -- make your url and site name intuitive. That way, people looking for your story will be more likely to find it.


As for the intuitive titling thing, perhaps you should rename "Apocalypsenovel Blog" to "news" or something similiar. I didn't bother with it the first few times I came to your site, because I assumed it was a blog of the LJ sense. I only clicked it in the hopes of making a fully informed evaluation.


The text on your links page is a bit small, and the mish-mash of sites (a political blog, for instance) would probably be better served with some form of categorization -- alphabetical, favorite serials, what-have-you. I would also consider typing the site's name and then hotlinking it instead of posting the url -- it's easier to remember that way, and less cluttered.


I can't comment on the writing, though, since I haven't read it yet.


Hope that helps.


Thanks to everyone. I have learned more this weekend than i had in the previous three months. I will be making some of the changes noted here, including changing the background color, ( I liked the green site better too, but the chapter line-up wasn't as clear), and also giving the first chapter its own page and trying to organize my home page and blog/news page a little better.


The Name of the site (Apocalypsenovel.weebly.com)and the name of the novel (The Lifting of the Veil)and the possible confusion brought on i will have to give some thought to. I named the site Apocalypsenovel because that is the kind of book it is. As I was on weebly and the address was available, it did not occur to me to check if a similar name was already being used. (My fault)


As you all know it takes a lot of time and effort to maintain a good, working website, and even more time to write for it. It is very hard to balance the two and do them well as an amateur. Having feedback like this makes it much easier. If you don't want my critique of your site or anyone else's, just do as Morgan did and request to reciprocity. (It makes it easier on me!)


Thank you all.


So I made some changes to my menu bar (among other things, I got rid of the top ad, which didn't bring much anyhow). I was wondering what you all thought of it now.


I do plan on making a new welcome/home page, but that will have to wait for another day (or month) when I have time to create a whole new page.


Alex! Great job. Much Cleaner look, perfect navigation! Well done.


Well done, you! You've already incorporated a lot of the changes folks suggested by the time I've gotten around to looking, so nothing but nitpicks here.


I would take the green background--#7A9431--a couple shades lighter. Like maybe #CBE38B? Experiment a bit. I think you need a slightly higher contrast with your text.


Move your bookmark widget higher, like into the menu bar.


Concatenate your little award logos and map thingies into a single bar if you can.


Lose the stats counter. No one else cares but you. If you need stats, Google Analytics, baby.


Move your ads where they'll do you some good. They won't do you any good at all stuck down there at the bottom of the page.