I'm a huge fan of digital comics (read here to find out why I love them so much). For me, the far and away best option to purchase and read digitally is via Comixology. But just because I think they are the best, it doesn't mean that they don't have room to improve. Here are some suggestions on how I would improve the service. Some of these will be related to the website. Others will apply to the iOS apps. I can't speak to apps on other platforms as I haven't used them (but I would be interested to hear your ideas down in the comments).
- Delayed-Subscriptions: Subscriptions are great when you want to buy a comic as soon as it's available. For some publishers, however, they drop the price of the issue after 4 or 8 weeks. For those publishers I would love the option to subscribe, but only have that subscription trigger when a book's price has dropped after that waiting period.
- Wishlist: Spinning out of my delayed-subscriptions idea, I would like it if you could add a series to your wish list. That way when a new title is available (for sale or pre-order) it would be automatically added to your wish list. It would also be nice if you could sort the wish list by date added, series, or publisher (currently it's appears to just be date added.)
- Amazon: Comixology is owned by Amazon. You can pay with your Amazon credentials. You absolutely should be able to pay via Amazon Gift Cards.
- Publisher Sections: I'm sure that DC and Marvel are by far Comixology's biggest partners, but it would be nice if when looking at smaller publishers they had a "New Comics On Sale - Week of..." section. If I just want to see the new books for a given week from a smaller publisher it can be really hard to find. These screen shots were taken on the same day, Wednesday July 8th. This is notable because it's new comic book day, the most important day of the week in comic terms. They clearly show the difference in presentation. I know that Comixology has this information, because their iOS apps would show everything (another reason I'm upset IDW left Comixology.) Sure, I could look at the new section for all publishers, but if I'm just wanting specific ones then wading through the entire new release list can get frustrating. Making the pages for the smaller publishers more inline with the big two would alleviate that frustration, and if nothing else, be an improvement for consistency's sake across the website.
- Smart Lists: Overall I like the idea of the smart lists. However, I think they are too much as is and they begin to see redundant. By re-ordering them, the user can pick what's the most important. Take a look at the screen shot below to see what I mean by redundant. The smart lists sections, in this order, are:
- In Progress - Mostly worthless. I can't speak for other people, but I never stop reading one comic and begin reading another.
- Recently Downloaded - (only visible when looking at the Device section). Very useful. If I just bought a bunch of comics at one time I would like a quick way to see what issues I've downloaded.
- Recently Purchased - Moderately useful. I would think the vast bulk of the time that this section would mirror the recently downloaded (and if you haven't purchased anything recently it's redundant).
- Unread - Extremely useful. This is the single most important section as far as I'm concerned.
- Recommended for You - I don't typically have luck with these type of services, but I know some people do. Moderately useful.
- Re-Order Smart Lists: All of the lists begin to seem redundant. By re-ordering them, the user can pick what's the most important. Take a look at this screen shot to see what I mean by redundant.
- Marking Read/Unread: I absolutely love that issues can now be marked unread. The only way I knew before to mark something unread was to wipe the entire iPad and then restoring it. That would cause the app to see it as a new device. That's hardly an elegant solution. That said, it was easier to tell which issues were new in the old app. Below is a screen shot of The current Marvel App and the current Image App (it hasn't been updated yet). One of these is far easier to see what's new and what isn't. Personally I would prefer a combination of the two.