Site Advice: BitStrips

I believe BitStrips.com will be acquired quickly, if another site doesn’t come along and provide a better (cleaner) user experience first. Out of the gate, they grabbed my attention – it’s easy enough to use, but it could do more.

  • I understand the social experience, but it’d be nice to easily export my creations to Flickr, Picasa, etc.
  • Once you create a character, and a person claims it – that character’s identity should be transfered to the new owner, not remain in your control. As it stands, I now have two Ponzi’s – and a few abandoned characters.
  • I need a random character generator. There are times when I need to choose “someone” for a gag, but don’t want it to be tied (necessarily) to someone’s social profile on-site.
  • If you didn’t already realize it, usability is somewhat of a mess. Controls are a bit clunky, and not always accurate. This is acceptable for now, since you’re one of the first sites to do something so… amazing. Watch out if a design-centric team comes along and trumps your toolset!
  • If you don’t want me to export images, and since you’re already based in Flash, why not animate through the gags and export video to YouTube? Let the artist define stop / focus points, then output the sequence to an MP4 that looks as though one created an entire Flash animation.
  • Send much more descriptive emails – why do I have to come to the site to see where I’ve been featured? Embed the strip within the email itself – you’re sending HTML email for other things. It’s a small pet peeve, especially when most of the comics my avatar is featured in aren’t all that creative or funny.
  • Have you considered private labeling your comic generating platform? I’m guessing quite a few big names would be interested in what you’ve got – but only for their own marketing needs.

The toughest part of using BitStrips is… being witty enough (the onus is most certainly on the writer, not the software). I’ve been waiting for what seems like 34 years for a tool like this.

14 thoughts on “Site Advice: BitStrips”

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  2. Chris I do agree with most of what you say in this blog however the part about once a person creates a character of someone and it’s claimed by the person it should be transfered to the new owner, I disagree. This was made in order to use in a strip. If approved maybe the strip could be approved by the character rendered but still should be kept by the creator.
    I would like to see the ability to render animals as in dog,cats,ect. I would also like to see more accessories and furniture. This would give better strips and story-boards.

  3. I think the site needs to allow people to submit new props. The ones they have now are limited, but I also don’t think it would be good to allow people to upload images without someone approving them. This idea would make it easier for the people maintaining the site,; they wouldn’t have to worry about creating all of the new content, yet they would still have control over what appears in the comics.

  4. I’m not too worried about it right now, it’s still in beta. I will have my own opinion if the site was in the final state.

  5. A site redesign is definitely a must. It lacks a Web 2.0 style which, in my opinion, is a must for a service like this. As a designer, I know the importance of having a user friendly and attractive website these days. It’s a must for attracting and keeping an audience.

  6. Yes. I agree with it. I think that you have missed one major thing though. I cant SEARCH for strips! That is a big downer… If I have just missed this, Please show me were to search for them.

  7. Having fooled around with BitStrips for a couple hours, its shortcomings (mentioned in the above article) soon became apparent. While controls for character movement and gestures where more than adequate, I too found the zoom and pan controls to be cumbersome to say the least. I also would like to see an export to *.jpg/gif tool for easier placement of the strip wherever you might want it. However for copy protection reasons I can see why that might not be an option.
    All in all, BitStrips is a great idea and I think we will be hearing alot more about this site (or at least the concept) in the near future. In the mean time “beggars can’t be choosy”. This is a unique site with a great idea that is clearly marked “BETA” and theres a reason for that. I’m exited to see what the future holds for BitStrips.
    Thank you for introducing BitStrips to the community Chris. Keep up the good work.

  8. Another thing that really bothers me about bitsrips is how if you save your comic then you go back and edit it it makes to copys this really annoys me. Beacause i would like to keep my comments if there is a bug i have to fix

  9. I’ve been having alot of fun with bitstrips. My siblings and I have been going back an d forth bringing our inside jokes to life with our digital avatars, It’s quite hilarious at times!

    I agree that there are kinks in the user interface. At times I have come across a bug where the character’s arms get missplaced when inserting said character into the scene. Bitstrips is still in Beta so I have no doubt that the kinks will be ironed out in the future. Thanks for pointing this website out, it is really fun to play with!

  10. I think for the time being this site will stick around. Lots of sites and creators were clunky for 1.0, and BitStrips will likely evolve like YouTube and become a large site by the end of 2008. The creators came up with a great idea, and unless someone else pops up soon, BitStrips will have a long run.

  11. You might also want to swing by toonlet.com.

    While toonlet presently lacks some of the bells and whistles you can find at bitstrips, we’ve taken a different tack to our character creation process, placing an emphasis on a character creation process that results in characters that look hand-drawn. You can also create an infinite number of moods and poses for your characters.

    But more importantly, anyone can create their own art elements to use on the site. We have a link on our footer that’ll let you download everything you need. The process was designed to be low-tech and accessible. In fact, our very first fan-made pack (Aodan8’s Ninja Pack) was created by an eleven year old!

    Swing on by the site and check us out, or just take the toonlet tour:
    http://toonlet.com/tour

    Thanks!
    -craig (from toonlet)

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