All C's Reboot
Comic book stores hold a special place in my heart. I have been to many. The camaraderie that comes with playing a highly competitive game and occasionally flipping a table is a bond like no other. This design is an effort to help out a local comic book store and collectors everywhere, with a solid theme of organization.
I conducted 8 in person interviews with people at varying levels of comic knowledge. My goal was abstracting how they buy, why there, and how do they organize.
My interviews lead me to the conclusion that most collectors do not buy their merch from local sites. There are just many other larger sites out there that also sell what they want. When asked why they prefer those over a local site, they explained that there are better selections, better search, and better buying options on other sites. This made me give serious thought to what my site can have that amazon doesn't. And that is collector centric organization and a local community with intimate connections that amazon cannot provide.
Common themes among comments were the importance of convenience. Being able to avoid the comic book store sometimes and still be part of the community online was ideal. The organization of content and inventory was paramount to collectors and another convenience for everyone else.
The journey to Hi-fidelity included finding a color palette that wouldn't clash with the vibrant comic book covers and making sure I didn't go overboard with the comic book theme (as easy as it would have been to put those dots on everything). I looked through countless color palettes and comic inspiration. I used 2 different comic book fonts, one more decorative and one more low key, along with a very easy to read font for more content heavy areas.
A comic book store is a community. You collect, you trade, you battle. A good comic book site needs to be an extension of that community. It was missing a good way to organize your collection, and keep in touch with your comic book fam.
Create an online experience for the comic book store community to organize and communicate, A place to keep track of and build your collection.
As it turns out, most comic book sites struggle with organizing the insane amount of content that they have, coupled with managing an online store. Comic shop owners that I spoke to on my journey feel the site comes secondary to the store. The relationships are made in the store, therefore the site is more of an afterthought.
THE OLD SITE
The struggle was making sure all of the content was easy to find, and easy to organize. I had several lists that I wanted the user to be able to add to on the fly. I denoted them with icons that could quickly be familiarized. This site was going to need a serious filter, with the right criteria for every user. Along with a an exact search, I wanted to have fun browsing categories for the guest that just wanted to look around.
Stretch goals for this site included a chat feature with the Store owner and a chat system in the events category, connected to your unique profile. You can also see how many times an item has been favorited by someone else in the community, which gives a more intimate rating system.