PVP Redesign has UX Problems

So PVP, a webcomic that I’ve followed since about 2002 (back when it was still physically published by Dork Storm Press) just launched a site redesign.

And it looks hideous.

Not in the way that most people would say hideous, mind you.  But rather from a User Experience (UX) perspective.  The header of the interior pages is 215px tall, and the front page is 415px.  When you add that to the typical browser/OS overhead of 100px or so, that means on the homepage, the content is starting about 550px down the screen.

Worse yet, Scott Kurtz (creator of PVP) has done that highly obnoxious thing (that I seem to recall him venting a couple years ago about Penny-Arcade doing) — moving the single piece of content that 95% of your visitors are coming to your site to view off of your front-page, thereby making them click through to the new page, doubling your page views, and doubling your Ad Impressions. (And doubling the aggravation of everyone who wants to just see today’s comic) (with doublemint gum)

Yes, the new site looks more modern and fresh.  However from the perspective of any visitor, with regard to usability, it has gone way down.

So as I hate criticizing things unless I’m ready to step up to the plate and do something to help, here’s a JS `bookmarklet` that you can drag to your browser bar to see how much nicer pvponline could look without that hideous massive header obscuring the screens of most of his audience.

Because let’s face it, Scott — most of your audience isn’t viewing the website on a 27″ iMac like you.

Without further ado (Yes, I do tend to ramble) here’s your bookmarklet:


Here’s the code that it executes:

+'#header .content,#headerSub .content{height:auto; padding:0;}'
+'#header .content > #adLeaderboard,#headerSub .content > #adLeaderboard,'
+'#header .content > h1,#headerSub .content > h1,'
+'#header .content > #featured{display:none;}'
+'#header .content .nav,#headerSub .content .nav{position:relative; top:0;}');

And the CSS that it puts in the page.

#headerSub {background:#000000;}
#header .content,
#headerSub .content {height:auto; padding:0;}
#header .content > #adLeaderboard,
#headerSub .content > #adLeaderboard,
#header .content > h1,
#headerSub .content > h1,
#header .content > #featured {display:none;}
#header .content .nav,
#headerSub .content .nav {position:relative; top:0;}

By the way, Scott, if you ever read this, I know you consider yourself a professional. Which makes it all the more aggravating when you are eternally incapable of having your webcomics actually follow a posting schedule. Occasionally, they’ll be up by noon on the day that they’re scheduled for. But those times are rare. Far more common, they may go up around 7pm, if you actually make the date they’re meant to be up for, instead of publishing them late and backdating them.

If you want to consider yourself a professional, then why are you chronically unreliable in having the fruits of your labor up, when every single one of the other webcomics I follow does manage it, day in, and day out?

For the record, the other webcomics I read are as follows:

  • XKCD
  • CandiComics
  • QuestionableContent
  • Sinfest
  • Nodwick/FFN
  • OutThere