Website Design Complaints/Suggestions
I'm aware some of you are diehard fans, so bear with me here. My beef is with Reverie's poor website design skills, and I made this post as constructive as possible. This website hurts my eyes, and if it hurts *my* eyes, you can bet I'm not the only one with issues. There's a fanbase out there that Reverie is scaring away.
Flash. It's stupid. It makes the site load slower. It prevents a website from being properly indexed by search engines. And what's the most upsetting is that it puts limitations on me, the viewer and I can't increase the font size, I can't press the back button. Some people can't even view flash, which further reduces a potential audience.
Recommendations: Hire a web designer. If you're trying to attract a new audience, you should embrace usability. Do away with the flash and go for pure HTML/CSS. People will respect you more because not only will they be able to find you easier on a search engine, they can actually view the website without the loading time. Increase Reverie World's font size too. If a vibrant young go-getter like myself has to squint to read text, it's TOO SMALL.
The navigation is awful. On the Reverie World website, the navigation is far too bright, and on the DoF site, the navigation is dark and hard to read. It blends so well with the background that I couldn't find it at first; this hidden navbar feature is certainly impressive, but viewers are notoriously bad at scavenger hunts. DoF also features authentic "page flipping", letting viewers recreate one of the most irritating features of books; it looks neat, but I want to view the page NOW, not after three screens that I didn't want to look at.
Recommendations: Darken the font color on Reverie World's navigation. On DoF, move the navbar to the top of the site, and brighten the font color. When people go to a website, they look for navigation; don't make them search at the bottom of the screen. If you're trying to find fans outside of HG, they won't be loyal or patient enough on their first visit to figure out an annoying navigation system. On that note, take out the flipping page feature. One of the few advantages of flash is the speed of clicking on links, and this kills it.
The forums are ugly. An ugly dark brown with black text. There's no contrast. The links are too dark, and when I hover my mouse over them, they're too bright. Everything's dark enough to make the smileys and icons annoying and distracting. It's a chore to read. The Post Reply and New Topic buttons are also incredibly small and hard to read; these are important buttons, so I wouldn't see how itty bitty buttons with ugly scribble font encourage more posting.
Recommendations: Brighten the background color of the posting areas so text is visible, and make the hover color of the links darker. Make the post buttons larger, increase the font size, and make the font style something basic, something that I can read. Verdana, perhaps, or Georgia.
Hidden keyword bomb. Go to the Reverie World website. Click on the View button on your browser, click Source, and then scroll to the bottom. Among the HTML coding lies what looks like dozens of hidden keywords, that were designed for a Google bomb of some sort: trinidadian girls, big butt latinas, intravenous infusion drug handbook, contest free car, chick hydroslide, cross dressers forum, ***** restraints. Why are these on here? What professional game studio has links like this hidden in their code?
Recommendations: Remove it! I can understand why they're hidden; "people wouldn't want to scroll down to see dozens of inappropriate keywords unrelated to Reverie!" But a better way to hide irrelevant keywords is to *delete them*. All of them. I know it's tempting to keep "chick hydroslide" in there, but darn it, do it anyway.
Anyway, that's pretty much all I have to vent about. Now, I'll click this small "Submit New Thread" button, and try to read these very small-texted options... by the way, increase the font sizes of these too.
I dont mind at webside... just too few info atm there but hopefully will be soon changed that, and i didnt have any troubles you stated there except waiting when i first come there (but i dont mind that) and i love how does the forum look (its just like one from dreams =)). I like the navigation tho and stile of a book (but agree that this last could be argued).
Well, there's a new website for DoF in the works and as for Reverie's developer site I don't think anyone goes there much.
Yeah, the forum's a bit iffy in some places but I've never had trouble reading peoples' posts.
As for pole-dancing-exercise-class and other stuff in the code, well I've no answer for that. :p
There isn't anything I can do about the Reverie site, because I have no access to edit it. Joseph V., do you have any idea why those are hidden in there?
However, if you use internet explorer or firefox, you can probably just zoom in on the webpage to see the text better.
In IE8, go to view, zoom, and select the zoom amount. Or you can just go to the bottom right of IE8, and find the zoom button, and select your zoom amount there.
Hello Aro. (I am Impeached at AoKH if you don't know that yet)
Anyway, I kind of agree with your sentiments about the company website. I've always thought it's kind of lacking and really hard to navigate. Except I do not agree that flash is a bad medium.
We do have a website designer, a very good one IMO (Ryan Zelazny). Although I'm not sure if he designed the company's website, he is designing our new one. In fact, our previous publisher wants to hire him since they saw the WIP of the new DoF site.
The hidden keywords .. I have no idea why those are there, perhaps we downloaded some sort of base to use for our site's development and it came with those. I'll see to it they're removed.
EDIT: Removed the keywords..
I'll see if I can talk to Ryan about fixing up the Reverie World site a little bit (tone down brightness, font size up). Thanks for the suggetsions, Aro.
The Text is fine in size... It is not hard to see, and if you are experiencing troubles you could easily zoom in OR just above your post that you are typing there is a size and font buttons see? we could type them bigger if you like? ;) :p
Admittedly the site needed improving but it is irrelivent as the new one is currently being developed :)
The forum background isnt 'that' ugly... it may not be extremely appealing but it is easy to put up with, there isnt much wrong with it really... As for the links... I quite like the colour, I detest brightly coloured stuff and the links are not that bright thank god :) It isnt as if they are so dark you cant tell between text and links? exactly....
As for the links... what you think brought us here... ;) i joke!!! :p
The post was constructive, but I was surprised about some of the stuff you complained about...
As far as I care as a client:
Recommendations: Download and install flash because if you don't, then youtube won't work either :p
Recommendations: Wait for the new game site and then comment it again.
Recommendations: Do as You wish.
Recommendations: Do not search for p**n, search for Dawn of Fantasy.
But of course, I did not ment to offend anyone with my post. As it is a forum we expres our opinions on it. TNX.
Hmm well i'm also a web designer so here are some comment from me about this ;)
Flash. It's stupid.
I cant really agree with that statement.
Now a days you are pretty much expected to have a good flash website ( at least for a game company ) and DoF has if you ask me a pretty good 1 ( yes it has some issues )
The main issue with it is ,if you are on the overview menu and would like to go to say Race's it will do the following.
Overview - features - etc etc - till it come's to race's.
Instead on most site's it will just go right away to race's ( well in this example then! )
So thats kinda giving you extra loading time ( but who care's anyways :P its just a sec or 2!! )
The navigation is awful.
Navigation on both site's is pretty easy you just click on the things u want to know more about, nothing of a real challange there
I do agree that when you click for further information it loads into a new web-page, which is kinda weird if you ask me, you can just make a bigger text screen on the same page to do this.
the forums are ugly
Well about the forums, i just want to say thisl
Show me a forum thats really good looking! forums are there for tons of information and not to look shiny & pretty ( its a bonus ofc, but mwhe this is good enough )
I myself have not experience any problems with fonts or the size of them, but this might have to do with resolutions you are watching it in.
Hidden keyword bomb
Well to be honest i dont really care what they put in there to get more hits.
Most ppl don't check source code anyway( why where you :P! )
But i do agree with you its kinda weird for a game company to have such things as keywords.
Anyways that was just my 50 cents on this post.
By all means i'm not a hardcore fanboy ( i'm planning to be 1 though!! )
But i dont think the website & forums aren't all that bad.
Its not the best flash website out there, but certainly not the worst ( or even close to being called badly )
Thanks for the feedback Aro_.
However you are mistaken on a couple things.
You are right, some people cannot view flash. However statistics show that 98% of all internet users have flash. Also to be competitive with other video games in our market having a flash site is pretty much your only option. Really if you don't want to have flash at this point in time you are really limiting your own browsing experience, many major sites require flash to browse.
The rest is all left up to the designer. The current website has a lot of limitations, however the current website is encoded to play with Flash Player 6, it's a pretty old format which did have quite a few limitations.
When your saying the site loads slower that's a hard comparison. It depends on if you are viewing the same design, will your CSS/HTML site include background music and sound effects, will your CSS/HTML site include embedded video. If not, of course your Flash site will take longer it has more content to load. If you are using just base graphics and text then your flash site may load a fraction of a second slower but nothing most people will notice.
The control of text size can be implemented by the flash designer if they want to control that option.
Flash websites can be properly indexed by search engines and a lot can be done for search engine optimization. Your statement is completely false. (note that even though Dawn of Fantasy's website is in flash we still are the first link in google, this is due to the domain name, and doesn't reflect the design of the site what so ever).
As for the hidden keywords on the RWS site, I have no clue with that. On my original copy on my hard drive I don't even have any meta tags added.
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