Category Archives: Web Design

Mobile Manga

Google Analytics has now added separate segmentation for mobile users.  I’ve been looking at mine lately and I don’t have many mobile users visiting my blog.   But, then again, my anime and manga blog is not mobile friendly because the widgets and the large images make it slow to load over mobile.  Also, since I deliver my manga in zip files that are usually 5MB or larger, mobile viewers can’t view my work.  I’ve found on my iPhone that I can’t download the zip files, so there really is no reason to view my blog unless the reader wishes to actually read my prose.   I wonder, though, since most mobile screens are so small,  are they relevant manga viewers?   But then I consider the future.  The tablets are coming and, so, perhaps, I should be prepared?

Many of the manga aggregation sites I visit are in the early phases of experimenting with delivering manga images via mobile devices.  I’ve attempted to read manga on my iPhone and it’s no fun because my iPhone’s screen is too small.  I’ve also read manga using my mini-note.  The problem with the mini-note, though, isn’t the size, so much as the image needs to be rotated 90-degrees to see a full manga page at a reasonable size.  (By the way, I’m still waiting for that little application on my mini-note that rotates the screen and remaps the mouse pad and the arrow keys so I can use it as an e-reader…)  My guess, though, is that the manga aggregation sites are welcoming the tablet PC with open arms and making preparations for explosive growth.  I wonder how this effort compares to that of the actual the actual manga license holders and legitimate distributors?

So far, the mobile manga efforts appear to be rudimentary.  The sites are using simple “liquid layouts” and have stripped out most of the content. leaving the page image and basic navigation.  The images, too, are smaller and more compressed.   Here’s an example of the difference between the default site and the mobile site from the One Manga website:

Default Site

Mobile Site

One Manga gives the viewer 3 size options, but there’s nothing fancy like Google maps’s ability to zoom in on an illegible section.  Regardless, it’s a good start and they are thinking ahead to the coming technology.

I think it’s very interesting that the folks who are taking the first steps toward mobile manga delivery are not the big publishers.   Again, we have a situation where resistance to evolving technology or the inability to adapt quickly is leaving big businesses open to somebody else meeting the unfulfilled wants and needs for their products.  With respect to sites like One Manga, the product is being given out for free by fans who are doing the manga translations as labors of love.  But as a consequence, the expectation that manga is free online is being reinforced further.  This may also prevent mobile manga delivery from being one of the value adds that could have been monetized directly by the legitimate distributor.  Regardless, I applaud One Manga and sites like it for their foresight and a willingness to innovate.

There’s a lingering question, though.  If One Manga and sites like it aren’t doing this for money (perhaps they get enough money from advertising to cover the cost of servers), then why are they constantly moving forward and innovating?   I wonder has it ever occurred to big business that money isn’t the only thing to compete over?   But more on that at another time…

10/GUI — Meh …

My husband sent me video of the “10/Gui” multi-touch mouse replacement.

Link

Yay — put the touch interface physically on the user’s desk instead of in the screen.  The first thing that  came to mind watching the video is “nice”, but show me how you type accurately at keyboard speed.  And with that I’m at “meh.”  Also introduced in the video is the idea of a linear windows management system.  I immediately blanched on this idea.  I’ve never encountered the problem this guy described.  My windows always pop up where they were last opened or closed and I like having layers of different windows from which little pieces peek out so I can see what I’ve got open.  I also like arranging my PC desktop how I like — but then again I’m sitting in front of two very large flat panels, multi-tasking away as I translate and monitor my e-mail/RSS Feeds  …

This is not to say the concept is bad.  It’s just that having a huge touchpad below a traditional keyboard causes ergonomic issues of it’s own.  Basically, a keyboard and mouse are placed at the same distance in front of the user so the user is in a neutral position regardless of which device he or she is using.  Along this line I see a five-fingered multi-touch mouse  or an integrated keyboard/touch interface device instead.  I’ve seen the a keyboard/touch device on a PS3  where the keys on the keyboard can be used as the touch interface.  As for a flat touch keyboard, that allows for all kinds of modifications and customization based on application by pairing it with a screen underneath the surface.  People could create their own interfaces with a few “primitives,” which could have great possibilities for gaming, image editing, music making, and things like Bloomberg.  Manufacturers could make one keyboard for all languages.  In combination with haptics (or the likes), keyboard-like feedback could be provided, thereby creating a very familiar experience.

Personally, though, I’m very happy with the mouse.  A lot can be done with very little movement, plus mice are quite inexpensive and space friendly.

Got Cherry Blossoms?

Do you need cherry blossoms?  Are you gonna die if you can’t find some?  Well, I’ve got cherry blossoms for you!  Here’s what’s in the collection (The flowers are actually peachy colored.  I guess WordPress recrunched the file to “web only” colors):

cherry-blossomcollectionHere’s link to the vector art file for Illustrator.  Have fun and make something lovely!

In the future go to the Lovely Items Blog for more freebies.

Still no Flash for Smartphones

I have an iPhone and the Flash incompatibility drives me nutz.   Personally, I thought Flash would be perfect for smartphones … well …I hope Adobe gets it’s act together because the mobile devices are taking over and it would make this Flash-Monkey (that is me) very happy (Snowball Sim for everyone!!!).  Here’s a link to an article with a little blurb on the matter.

Omari’s Sister Translations is Live

Omari’s Sister Translations is live at:

http://translations.omarissister.com

I have only posted the chapters 4 and 5 of “Zettai Heiwa Daisakusen.”  I will post chapter 6 tomorrow and chapter 7 later.  I’m currently in the process of translating chapter 8 (I’ve been slowed by putting up the website — hahaha!).

Anyhow, I got to play around with some Javascript.  I used a modified version of the 3-state button code from the Negrino and Smith Javascript book and I did fierce battle with the tabbed panel script that comes with Dreamweaver.  I started playing around with a drop down menu for the chapter selection, but I decided that wasn’t necessary and went with links in the right side secondary menu column.  I felt it was better to get to the point, rather than have the user hunt around the UI looking for a way to read the chapter they want.  Yep … I had to remind myself to keep it simple.

Next is the tough part because I have to do specific page layout styles to fulfill the assignment requirements.  The current website uses a hybrid style.  I still have to make a page in which everything is liquid and one that is completely fixed.  My feeling is that form follows function so I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about matching functions for those forms.  I think for the liquid layout I will modify an existing page for mobile devices.  This makes sense to me because you don’t know how the different mobile browsers will render the page, so if it done as a liquid layout, the page will fill the width given.  As for the fixed, the only thing that comes to mind is a “print friendly” page.  So … whoo-hoo!  A “print friendly” might be a good opportunity to play with PHP … hmmm …

Anyhow, check it out.  I like the way it turned out :).