At the beginning of September Image saw fit to remove their existing site and replace it with an ugly splash screen… for nearly two months! Today they finally released their new design and it’s… um… well it’s better than their last one.
Image was going in a good direction, even with the poor design execution.
Simplicity was obviously key, and the color scheme, and lack of information overload reflects this. There are no moving elements outside of the link roll, and I’m happy to find that flash is no where to be seen.
You can finally check a new release list, which is very nice because checking DiamondComics.com was the best way to get this information in the past… and sometimes the best is also the worst. This was one of those cases, but all has been made right in this area.
There is also a blog on the site now. Here’s what Image had to say about it in the official press release:
The blog is a place where any creator working on an Image Comics title has a voice to talk about not only their upcoming work, but to share artwork, concepts, previews and more!
This is a good thing… for now. But it could go downhill. I could see this space turning in to a big advertisement for their comics. I guess it all depends on how much leeway they give their employees.
I am really very disappointed at the lack of creativity shown in the overall design. It could have redefined comic book websites, but instead it failed. The visual elements are weak, and I just don’t understand the layout.
The worst part of the new site is the navigation. It’s a jumbled up mess. I sat there starring at my screen for nearly a full minute trying to make sense of the header before I realized what I was looking at. Someone PLEASE explain this design decision to me. Is it simply a take on tag clouds? Those things are bad news, why imitate them?
Last, but not least I would like to touch on the development aspect. The markup is insanely long on the home page, due in part to the use of tables. The site is far from valid as it currently spews out 187 errors. There is also a style sheet. What the style sheet lacks in errors (only 1 at the moment), it makes up for in warnings(too many to count).
Image seems to be a bit more pleased with the results:
The sleek new design, by Steven (Hawaiian Dick) Griffin and Image Comics own Production Artist Allen Hui, has been in development for months and sports a host of features, including:
Sleek? In development for MONTHS?! Unbelievable.
So was this site worth the wait, and was it smart of Image to take down their site 2 months before releasing a new design?
No, not in the least.