Marvel Comics sent out a press release on Friday touting the new Marvel.com, which boasts of premium, ultramodern features like "responsive homepage" and "a layout that automatically resizes and optimizes for any screen or device: desktop, smartphone or tablet." This is big news for the company, which had formerly relied on the "Hotel California" web design strategy of "make the site so complicated to navigate that once users enter the site, they can never leave." Despite the bold move that promises to "improve user experience," some fanboys are unhappy with the changes, citing reasons such as "not liking change" and "complaining is fun" as evidence that the publishing giant has really screwed up.
"I've been collecting cookies, the files deposited on a local computer to communicate personal information and preferences through a browser to a website, from Marvel.com for eight years now," said Travis Redding, a longtime user of Marvel.com. "Are all of those cookies meaningless now that Marvel.com has rebooted its continuity?"
The concern, while absolutely ridiculous and completely without merit, is still valid. Marvel's website reboot comes as a surprise to most users, and the company's executives are staying tight-lipped about the changes.
"Are you high?" asked Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada when we ambushed him at a press conference and asked him if the website reboot was a cheap publicity stunt meant to boost short term hits without any concern for longterm storytelling. "It's just a website revamp. It happens all the time."
"You should revamp your website at least once every couple of years," added Editor in Chief Axel Alonso, as a single tear rolled down the cheek of a reporter from Ain't It Cool News.
Controversy aside, some fans are complaining that the new website doesn't even meet the standards set forth in Marvel's own press release.
"The press release clearly states that the new website will resize to fit on 'any screen or device,'" complained Lilian Dawson, a casual visitor to the site. "But I have a Motorola StarTAC phone from 2002 with internet access, and the website looks like crap on the blue tinted, monochrome screen."
"That's false advertising right there," Dawson pointed out, adding that the phone also drops calls occasionally in areas with sparse cellular coverage, which she claims could also be Marvel's fault.
"I use two monitors in order to increase my productivity," offered Bob, a showoff who everyone hates. "Does Marvel.com plan to support dual monitors in landscape orientation?"
God, Bob, just shut up.
If you want to check out Marvel's new web design so you can come up with complaints of your own, click here. Then tell us why the new design sucks and is ruining your life in the comments below.
Here's the press release:
Experience the New Marvel.com Homepage!
This week, Marvel launched a boldly redesigned responsive homepage, with a layout that automatically resizes and optimizes for any screen or device: desktop, smartphone or tablet. With Marvel’s audience utilizing mobile and tablet devices more than ever, this will improve the Marvel.com user experience exponentially.
"More and more people are accessing Marvel.com from mobile devices," says Kristin Vincent, Marvel VP of Product. "We want them to have a great experience, whether they're in a store on their phone or sitting on a couch with an iPad.”
You can sample the responsive nature of the new Marvel.com homepage on your iPhone, iPad or Android device, or just grab the corner of your browser on your desktop and resize to see the various layouts.
Touch it, swipe it, turn it on its side—the new site is completely flexible. This is yet another example of how Marvel is blazing the trail, this time in digital using cutting edge technology.
“It's not just about using the latest technology, it's about making it easier for Marvel fans to find what they're looking for,” continues Vincent. “And as we roll this new design out to the rest of the site, we'll be adding some new features we're really excited about, so people should check back.”
This new, bold, modern design provides only a sneak peek of what’s to come. In the coming months, all of the major sections of Marvel.com will be re-launched with the new visual design and to support mobile/tablet devices.
Experience the new Marvel.com homepage today and get ready as Marvel continues to lead the digital ReEvolution into 2013 and beyond!