strawman wrote:It isn't my prose. It's the voices in my head. I can't type fast enough.
I think you guys are doing a, (what is the word?) "ausgezeichnet" job.
Encouraged by Bo's statement about future refinements, I would like the goal to be to add that note of "experienced strangeness" that characterizes the Drabblecast. And to give some examples, I suggested maybe making the site experience 3 dimensional, getting to different levels by means of hatches, ejects, or secret stairwells instead of simple links.
I imagine that this is possible, but also probably unrealistically complex... for the moment. But wouldn't it be cool for the website navigation to be a strange experience? Maybe down the road we will be able to get the same pool of development talent as Bo has with episode art. A Wikiwebsite, anyone?
I am in full agreement that the site is, for the moment, regrettably 'vanilla,' in terms of character and quirk. It betrays the Drabblecast sensibilities in that way. Tom and I focused a majority of our time on content and organization and search optimization. Far less on 'presentation' and further 'experience.' Now, I do want the site to feel 'ours' and I completely share your enthusiasm for that. I do not though have any intention on confusing the interface with bells and whistles, especially ones focused on puzzle solving, silliness or misdirection. While it would add character, the gravest sin an interface designer can do is artificially complicate navigation. We can achieve quirkiness in other ways. This site is first and foremost a recruitment tool. It should be crystal for new site visitors what the site is for, where information is, and what they should be doing to get started. No mysteries, no hurdles. Web surfers are impossibly flighty, even in our market, we must facilitate average, ADD user.
That said, how do we infuse character? I have thoughts. In 2012 I was looking to commission some of our more prolific art contributors to create non-episode-centric, theme oriented, imaginative drabblecast banner space images. Similar to what podcastle
has now. Or what 4th letter
does with their cycling header image (refresh a few times). Cleanly fitting an allotted space, but broadcasting a mood.
I also wanted to add more non-episode oriented posts. Similar to what Tom started with his archive site and 'top ten lists,' but on a greater range of topics. Comparable to a drabblecast blog, though not exactly. Norm could throw something together on his top ten elusive cryptids. Or something totally obtuse like 'why I love my cat.' Someone like Munsi could contribute a piece of writing (on drabble writing). I'd lead off with a less fun but very helpful 'new to the drabblecast' page, pointing to a sampler of our best episodes. Down the line, an entry like 'best of drabblecast zombies' or 'top 10 weirdest drabblecasts.' DiaboloicalPlots
is already generating similar content, and they're great, and have a lot that we could benchmark from. That sort of content is good for enriching the community, getting more of our character infused in to the site, and more pragmatically, good for catching the interest of search engines (hello 'zombie podcast' traffic).
I've personally made plenty of experimental, animated, and hand-crafty sites in my time. They have their place, and on a level, they suit us. But in the here and now, matured and client feedback hardened web designer man Bo Kaier has a different outlook. Function first. Goals second. Neato gonzo falderal third. we'll get to it, but not in the short-run, and never as an opponent to simplicity and usability.