Site Design II: Forum Consultation.

The last time I submitted a site to Webfictionguide, I did so without first consulting this forum. Fortunately (like most moderately dumb animals) I can learn from my mistakes.


So...


http://www.knightfall.350.com


I'm no Web-Picasso(2.0), and thus it's fairly basic. I'd definitely appreciate the opinions of those people who know better. Both constructive and destructive criticism welcomed.


The graphic on the 'gate' or front page of your site is absolutely humongous. This isn't that much of a big deal, but having to scroll down, and having the bottom scroll bar pop up, are both distracting and just a little bit annoying. Personally I don't see the need for a front page like that, the graphic itself is interesting enough, but the more buttons you make your potential readers click to get to the good stuff the fewer readers you'll actually end up with.


Dark gray text on a black background can also cause problems, especially if your installments are going to run to the long end, causing reader eyestrain. Yet another little annoyance, but little annoyances can pile up, and up, and up, and on the internet there's nothing to keep someone from just clicking off your site and going somewhere else.


At the top I think it would help if you visually separated the links to segments that have and have not been posted yet, do the buttons in different colors, or fade them, or something, and I would also say that you probably want to make sure that there's a link back to your main page up at the top where people can easily see it, on every page.


And, because my momma taught me not to comment unless I had something nice to add: I really do like your graphics, they fit the moodiness and theme, and the premise for your story sounds really intriguing.


Thanks, Wanderingwidget! The cover page has received a corporate downsizing, and I'm debating scrapping it entirely. I've also added some visual separation to the topside links.


At least at first, the installments themselves will probably be in PDF form (I know PDFs aren't that popular, but the issues are reasonably sized and there are bells and whistles in the formatting that just get immolated whenever I try to put them into plain HTML). Still, I want to avoid inflicting eyestrain wherever possible (hmmm... a superhero with the power to control the forces of eyestrain- and his name would be... no)- so does anyone have any suggestions for a good text colour? I know dusty grey is better than white when it comes to contrast, but what's better still than that?


Somewhere out there is a perfect font with a perfect colour; a text design so pleasing to look at, so striking-yet-inoffensive, so incredibly effective that it makes grown men swoon and women weep. We must find this font, and we must do so now!


:: hits you upside the head with the anti-pdf stick ::


WHAT on earth could you be putting in a pdf that you can't do with a little html / css? My mind can't even fathom something that you could put in a PDF and not on a website.


-.-


I agree on the PDF point. The use of PDFs should be a bonus or an aside from the web content. Most people don't like looking at PDFs and they're a very heavy type of content. Not as accessible to a general person wandering around the web, who gets RSS feeds, and just wants to watch stuff pour in.


However, they are excellent bonus material. Especially for readers who want to take the story on-the-go. For Kindle, other e-readers, and even Scribd.


But don't go that route for the primary material.


The above is my experience with publishing Mill Avenue Vexations. I started doing PDFs in order to catch more readers, but it was never a request for the primary source, which I keep as HTML for maximum readership.


Ditto on the PDF front. Make 'em a bonus, not the only way to get at the stories.


I quite like your cover page, but I've always liked cover pages (even though I think they're not popular for a number of perfectly correct reasons). My only problem with it is that above your cover page graphics, your small "Knightfall" logo is almost entirely unreadable. The Knightfall logo that appears on the site itself, though, is quite clear. Perhaps the cover and the larger logo can be combined somehow?


But other than that...I like your site. I like your regular use of graphics, because even though there's not much content up, it establishes both mood and interest. So good job there! :)


All right, all right- Public Opinion, you win this round. I concede the PDF point- I'll make sure there's a HTML version of the text available. But the PDF's going to have a big underlined tag saying "Super Mega Pretty Sparkly Version," or something.


[*Lurches mumbling into his corner, complaining about the way of things.*]


Oh, and thanks Peedee- I switched logos; is the new one noticeably more prominent?


Mmmmm....no, it still seems a bit hard to read. You have to parse it out, even if it's just for a split second. I dunno, I'd be curious to see what others think, or if it's just me. But because it's such thin text, with the horses and the cross in the background, it gets lost easily.


At least to me. Seek thee out other opinions... :)


I have to say, even with my glasses on it's hard to make out the words there. They're thin and fading into the black. I like what you're going for, it's just a tad bit hard to read :)


Hmmm- I've fiddled around with the contrast a bit to make the words more definable. Hopefully that's worked a little better than just plain making it bigger does...


Looks much easier to read now.


Although my eye tends to get drawn more to the figures below than to the title. But that could just be me.


I'm odd that way.


Just a quick word of thanks to everyone who gave advice- www.Knightfall.350.com is now fully up and running, with issue one freshly published in pdf AND html forms. I'm still open to further input(f particularly regarding font colours, etc), but I think I've got a decent balance. So thanks again, assorted Webfiction Fairies, Leprechauns and Vampires.