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.