I read quite a few web comics. Every once in a while, I’ll be introduced to a new one and I’m reminded anew at how horrible the user experience is of the web comic experience as a new user. I’ve not yet found a web comic which I feel even has a barely acceptable user experience.

From the most trivial to the most radical, I present some suggestions:

  • At the very least, have at least one place on the page where the previous/next comic button always resides. That way, I don’t have to continually hunt for the link on every comic. Either make the comics a fixed size and put it below the comic or just add it above the comic.
  • Keep your actual comic above the fold. I don’t want to have to scroll down every time I visit your page. If you want to have stuff above your comic, use HTML anchors and anchor the next/previous links.
  • Use an AJAX preloader to load the n adjacent comics. Currently, it takes me more time waiting for your comics to load than it does to read them. This is unacceptably inefficient.
  • Allow me the option to display more than one comic per page. I would love to be able to take in comics a week or month at a time.
  • Create a consistent API access to your comics so that I can use desktop software to consume it rather than do everything through the web browser
  • Make available a .zip file of your entire archives so I can just download the images to my machine and use whatever image viewer I want to view them.

I would love to see web comic authors start thinking much more about the user experience of comic reading and doing something to fix this abysmal ecosystem.

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