Online Comic Book Reader Gets a Redesign at ComicMix
Last Friday, with no fanfare, we released the first major upgrade to our ComicMix online comic book reader since we launched our free online comics last October. We have done small upgrades every month or two — like adding the ability to link straight to a specific page, remembering what zoom level you like and remembering that you always want two-page spreads. But this upgrade was significant.
First, we eliminated those little page number links at the top of the screen. We were only using about 30 pixels for that strip, but vertical space is already limited by all the toolbars and junk in your browsers, so why waste any more? Since computer screens are almost always wider than tall, we put the page navigation on the right — the same way that applications like Adobe Acrobat, Apple’s Preview app, Quark and Pagemaker do.
Do you need to click on those little page thumbnails to flip through our comics? Of course not.
You can click those thumbnails to jump around within an issue, but you can also go from page to page (and issue to issue) many other ways. Just like your space bar lets you jump through web pages one screen’s worth at a time, hitting your space bar in one of our comics takes you from page to page. If you have zoomed in enough, hitting your arrow keys will also scroll the pages around. Or if you enjoy mousing, you can use your mouse to drag the pages around — just like in Google Maps. You can also use your page up and page down keys to scroll and turn the pages. And, if those weren’t enough for you, when you put your cursor over the comic pages little left and right arrow buttons become visible. You can click those to go to the previous or next pages.
But enough about paging, what else is new? Well, I’m glad you asked.
We also added a pretty little info panel that you can get to by clicking the magnifying glass icon. It has all of the writer/penciler/inker credit details. We hid the help text and reveal it when you click the question mark icon. All the rest of the tools should be self-explanatory and each shows a little tool tip explanation when you put your cursor over it (like "Two Page Mode"). Clicking our ComicMix logo takes you back to the ComicMix home page and clicking the little minus at the top right of our logo hides the sidebar navigation.
There is way more to come from ComicMix in the realm of comic book reading apps, but we had this redesign ready and we didn’t want to keep it to ourselves any longer. Our reader has been road tested in IE6, IE7, IE8, Safari, Firefox, any Firefox-based browser and on iPhones, but we can’t catch every flaw. If you have any trouble with it, please let me know via our contact form. Thanks!