millarworld.tv Comics Creators

What are the best designed news websites?


#1

We’re looking into the www.millarworld.tv main website and are thinking of adding additional features and content over the next few week. The goal is to have a site wih enough interesting news and tit bits, along with behind the scenes and access to creators that it’s something fans will check out every day.

As part of that we’re trying to decide how best to lay out that kind of active home page. So I’d like to ask of all the pop culture websites you might check out, like crb or comic book or entertainment weekly or bleeding cool, or other ‘news gathering’ websites in general, who do you think does the best job, has the best layout and offers the kind of items you’d like to catch up on every day.

Also, do you make sure of sites like Reddit more and more for your pop culture updates?


#2

I can’t think of any site that I’m super-impressed with their layout. Comic Book Resources probably handles it the best. I honestly think the current layout works really well. I think one of the big cruxes has to be that it is updated on a regular schedule (daily, twice a week, weekly, monthly). Otherwise, it just tends to look abandon like so much of the web.


#3

I would transcribe the AMA’s into something resembling an interview format and make a category for them on the main site.


#4

That’s a good idea. It could really be a self feeding loop. It could entice more people to participate.


#5

I agree that CBR is pretty good, especially the way it picks out key stories to highlight at the top (which helps avoid the cluttered look of stuff like BleedingCool and AICN, where it’s hard to sort through and pick out items of interest).

Outside of comics/pop culture specifically, I think the BBC news website is pretty good at striking a balance between being clear and intuitive but also having a lot of content that’s easy to access.

In general, sidebars listing popular stories and a top row of subject filters tends to make it easy to jump from story to story without having to go back to the homepage for navigation.


#6

Yeah it’s like - “Ah, Bryan Hitch - I wonder what he has to say about things?”

And then, “Oh, who’s next up, ah, Brian K. Vaughn - cool, I have so many questions to ask him about underpants.”


#7

Add me to the list who thinks CBR has a good format.


#8

I would do that also probably put all the scripts and stuff on the main page too – under a goodies heading or something. Also a dedicated previews link.

And do a weekly or fortnightly interview with Mark that covers everything from film to comics to supernatural monsters. Like the old Cup O Joe columns.


#9

It would also be a good idea to look outside of pop culture sites and into other industries to see how they prioritize information and structure it.

The Harris County Flood Control District (https://www.hcfcd.org/) puts a lot of information on their front page with little down-scrolling. The “Latest News” and “What We Do” are presented in slideshow format along with the bid one that has their primary information.

I looked at Electronic Design (http://electronicdesign.com/) and its sister publications (you can click on them at the top right) and they are pretty much all ugly nightmares. Engineering TV (http://www.engineeringtv.com/) broke ranks a bit and was slightly better than the rest but still had its problems.

PBS (http://www.pbs.org/) isn’t bad. The most important information is located at the top and there is minimal down-scrolling.

My personal feeling is that more information you can effectively and efficiently put on the screen before have to scroll, the better off you are.


#10

The UK government website won an award for its clear, minimalist site design, but you’d probably want a bit more going on visually for a comics site:

http://www.gov.uk


#11

I don’t see home pages that often. I almost always visit sites by RSS feed, or by direct links from Twitter/Facebook/etc.


#12

FEMA (http://www.fema.gov/) is not bad either.

The Houston NBC affiliate (http://www.click2houston.com/) is just a mess to me. The ABC affiliate (http://abc13.com/) and CBS Afiliate (http://www.khou.com/) are a bit better but not by much.

Uproxx (http://uproxx.com/) and Deadline (http://deadline.com/) have a similar design.


#13

I almost never look at the home page for Millarworkd. I always go straight to the boards.


#14

Me too.


#15

The Vulture


#16

Take a leaf out of the (still active) website set up to promote the movie Space Jam. I mean look at it! It’s got spinning gifs and everything!!!

http://www.warnerbros.com/archive/spacejam/movie/jam.htm


#17

I also like the idea of having a regular Top 10 feature - say Top 10 sexiest Millarworlders, Top 10 most Australian millarworlders, Top 10 Sexy, Australian Millarworlders. Top 10 Sexy, Australian Millarworlders with great hair-cuts. etc.

There’s universal appeal there for sure.


#18

Top Ten Australians to Avoid When in Australia.

(Tony Abbott is #2?)


#19

Yes, Abbott is #2 for sure!


#20

Sites like http://www.zergnet.com/ work surprisingly well… Big catchy pictures with blurbs underneath… If you click on a picture, it’ll directly send you to the corresponding site/page…

I think I had already told you that it’s a drag to click on an article (on the MW page) and have it send you to a page where you’ll only get a blurb and a “read more over xxxxx” kind of thing… that’s ineficient. A direct link is better, or make a collapsable tab under the article title on the home page where you can put the external link.

I’ll echo the idea of transcribing the AMAs in “interview”-like fashion, and put them on the main site as a feature.

At any rate, if you’re trying to do a hub-like site, you need more content, so again, the zergnet exemple is quite good for that.