Next Steps

Next Steps

November 20, 2013

Earlier this week, I submitted the newly rewritten Fresh Comics to the iTunes App Store for Apple's portable devices. This new version features an entirely new user interface and backend and introduces the entirely new feature of issue previews.

Over the next week, I'll be doing a pass over the Android app to bring it back up to feature and performance parity with the iOS app and should have an update in the Google and Amazon app stores by Thanksgiving.

With the two main apps updated, I've been debating whether to start next on the Windows Phone updates or to revisit the website. After some deliberation, the next updates to the Fresh Comics will be to the website, with work on the Windows Phone revisions beginning some time after the New Year.

The rationale for this choice is driven by several realities:

  1. The current website is the second version of the Fresh Comics site and reflects an earlier era for the app when it was entirely focused on weekly releases. Today, Fresh Comics includes shops, events, conventions, and more and the current website doesn't reflect the wealth of information available. Rather than treat the front page as "brochure-ware", I'm looking forward to making it more akin to the front page of a newspaper for comic book fans: this week's releases, conventions coming soon, and shops and events around you.

  2. The Android version of Fresh Comics introduced user accounts and some very basic functionality on the site. I'd like to flesh out the work that's already been done and expand and improve upon it. The iOS version of Fresh Comics introduced some basic collection tracking features and I'd like to make that available via your favorite web browser.

  3. The current look and feel is quite "long in the tooth". While it's doing quite well capturing traffic from search engines, there's a lot of improvement to be had in terms of keeping visitors on the site. I think that a there's a lot that I can do to improve folks' on-site experience once they discover Fresh Comics.

  4. The current site reflects an aesthetic that's rapidly become dated. In order to keep the site's aesthetics inline with the apps', a visual overhaul is needed.

  5. I'm personally a bit worn out on mobile development. Rather than jump headfirst in with the Windows Phone update, some time spent doing web work will be a nice break while accomplishing something useful.

I'm eager to update the Windows Phone app with these new features (it is my favorite mobile platform, after all), but I think that the web update is the next logical step.

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

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