SPECIAL EDITION OFFICE HOURS: Live Q&A with DC Universe Product Manager, Aric! Wednesday, April 15th at 12pm PT/3pm ET!

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Live Q&A w/ DC Universe Project Manager/Dev, Aric, Wednesday, 4/15 @12pm PT/3pm ET!

Ever wonder how we decide what wonderful toys to implement on the DC Universe platform? Curious about what’s next for the technical upgrades to our lovely little service? You’ve come to the right place!

Next Wednesday, 4/15 at 12pm PT/3pm ET, we’ll be welcoming to the Community a very special guest- seasoned veteran of the software development world, Aric! :hammer_and_wrench:

Aric works tirelessly with our Comic Book team to optimize and perfect our search and sort functionality. He is the brains behind all of the new filters, the ongoing improvements you see to your results, and turns many other gears of our service day in and day out.

Add your questions in the comments below, and come back Wednesday, April 15th to read Aric’s answers LIVE!

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Aric, thank you so much for all you do to make our comics readable and available! I do have a couple of questions. First, do you know about the issue where you’re reading a comic and it suddenly blacks out, then re-initializes after several seconds of black screen? Second, are lists shareable between users yet?

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Hi Aric,

Thanks for taking the time to do this Q&A. This isn’t so much a question for you as it is a plea for improvement of DC Universe’s list-making feature for comic issues, on both the website and the mobile app. I consider myself a “power user” of the lists. I currently have 80 lists, and I will add every issue of a comic series (or multiple series) to a list, in order to have them all in one convenient place. That way, I can easily go down the list and download each issue to my phone in the order that I want them when I’m ready to read them. It’s great that DC Universe provides a list feature like this, but as it stands, it is very difficult and inconvenient to use, on both the website and the mobile app. If you’ll indulge me, please allow to me to outline the steps that we have to go through to add issues to lists:

This is the current process for adding issues to a list on the website:

  1. Search for series and click on series to get to series page.
  2. On series page, open each and every individual issue in a new tab/window.
  3. On each individual issue page, click “Add to list” button, and then scroll to the very bottom of the list of lists that pops up, to get to the most recently updated list.
  4. Click on list name to add issue to list.
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 for every single issue in the series, then repeat again for every single issue in the next series, etc., etc.

(Side note: Currently, this is one of only two ways to add issues to a list on the website. The other way is to search for issues, and only on the search results page are you provided with a button on the issue itself that allows you to save it to a list, without having to open the issue page. However, the problem here is that comic issue search results are unsorted, with no way to sort them. The results are out of order by issue number, series date, etc. You’d have to hunt around the search results page to find the issues that you want to put on your list to get them on the list in the order that you want them. It would be nice if there were a way to sort comic issue search results, by name and publication date, at the very least.)

Trying to make a list on the mobile app is even more difficult:

  1. Search for series and tap on series to get to series page.
  2. Tap on issue #1.
  3. On issue page, tap on “Add to list” button, and then swipe around looking for which list you want to add it to, since the lists only appear in the order that you created them, not by which has been most recently updated.
  4. Add issue to list.
  5. Swipe to the bottom of issue #1’s page to go to issue #2.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 for each issue you want to add.
  7. Eventually reach 20th issue and hit the limit of issues you can access from an individual issue page.
  8. Tap “In This Series” to go back to series page and swipe all the way down to continue with issue #21.
  9. Repeat steps 3-8.
  10. Eventually get to end of series. But to get back to search page to continue on to next series you want to add (or just to get to the list to start reading the issues), hit back button X number of times, back through each individual issue you just added and series page visit you just made, just to get back to the search screen. Hope there weren’t 200 issues in the series you just added! (Or, alternately, close DC Universe app entirely to get back to the home page and start from square one. Yeah, I’d go with that one. :laughing: )

(Note: If you’re trying to add issues from multiple different series at once to a list on the mobile app [because they’re crossovers or what have you], this gets even more confusing and difficult to accomplish.)

As an example, the other day I created a Justice Society of America reading list for myself containing all of the issues that the JSA has ever appeared in that are available on DC Universe, in chronological order. Currently, the list stands at 850+ issues. I used the website to accomplish this, since using the mobile app would’ve been impossible (or at least excruciatingly difficult). All-in-all, it took me 4 hours to accomplish using the website process outlined above, opening each individual issue in a new tab and adding them to the list one by one.

There is also another problem that I encountered when making lists: There is a disconnect between the lists on the website and the lists on the mobile app. On another one of my lists, I realized that I had some issues out of order, so I rearranged them on the website by dragging and dropping them. Then, when I returned to the list on the mobile app, the issues were still in the original incorrect order. Rearranging the issues on the website did not change their order on the mobile app. I had to delete the issues from the list entirely and re-add them in the order that I wanted them to get them in the correct order on the mobile app.

Finally, I realized just today that there were three issues that I left off of my massive JSA list that I wanted to add. I could’ve added these to the existing list, but they’d be at the very bottom, and their correct order is near the top of the list. There’s no way to re-arrange them other than dragging them on the website, and dragging them through hundreds of issues to get them where they need to be would be less than ideal, and would also not put them in the correct place on the mobile list. So, my only options were to delete hundreds of issues from my list and basically start over, or else create a separate off-shoot list that I’ll have to refer to (and remember exists) when it comes time to read those issues (which is what I ultimately did).

So, with all of these problems enumerated, here are my suggestions for improvement for the list feature. Ideally, this is the process that I’d like to be able to use in the future to add comics to lists, on both the website and the mobile app:

  1. Search for series and click on series to get to series page.
  2. On series page, see button that says “Add all issues to list”. Click button to immediately add all issues in the series to list. (Note: There is currently a button that adds series to lists, but all it does is add a link to the series page to your list, not the individual issues themselves.) AND/OR: Each issue on the series page has a checkbox or an “Add to Cart” button next to it, so I can select them individually to add to my “basket” of issues that I’d like to put on a list, with an option to “Select All”. AND/OR: Each issue on the series page has a button right on it that allows you to add that issue to a list without having to open up the issue page itself, similar to what’s currently available on the search results page. On the mobile app, this can be placed in a triple dot drop-down menu next to the title of each issue.

(Side note: This drop-down menu on the mobile app could also contain an option to download the issue, so I could download multiple issues right on the series page without having to visit each individual issue page, or even add those issues to a list. I could just download them all right there and enjoy. The checkbox/add to cart/select all suggestion above could also be extended to downloading issues, so we could download multiple issues at once, as well as add them to lists. Downloading the issues one-by-one as we currently do is also more than a little tedious.)

  1. The “Add to” list pops up. My most recently updated list is at the top of the list, so I don’t have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the list (or anywhere else) to find it. AND/OR: There is a button on this list of lists that allows me to change the sort order myself, so I can rearrange them alphabetically or in ascending or descending update date order, to my liking.
  2. All of the issues that I wanted are added to my list all at once. Move on to next series and repeat.
  3. Finish making list and realize I forgot a few issues I wanted to add.
  4. Add those issues and go to list.
  5. Each issue on the list has a number assigned to it, so they can be placed in custom numerical order and be re-ordered by entering a new number, easily moving the issues to exactly where I want them. Enter new numbers for the forgotten issues so they are placed in the correct order that I want. AND/OR: Quickly and easily re-sort all of the issues on my list all at once by publication date, alphabetically, date added to list, or whatever I want, without having to drag and drop them. Either way, these changes are immediately reflected in the mobile app. On the mobile app, I can also drag and drop issues up and down a list so I can rearrange them there that way.
  6. Start downloading comics and enjoy reading them, with no headaches caused by the creation of the list of comics that I wanted to read! :smiley:

Using my ideal process, my JSA list likely would’ve taken me 15-20 minutes to make, rather than 4 hours.

Hopefully, my frustrating experience as an “end user” and my suggestions for improvement will be helpful to you and your team in making the list feature better and more user-friendly. If nothing else, thanks for taking the time to listen!

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Thanks for taking the time! Just a quick question, wondering if it’s possible to add a next issue/previous issue buttons when looking at a issue. I mean like say Action Comics #1000. When you open up the page for the issue, you see the issue itself obviously, but below it has the row of the rest of the series, but it’s always from the start of the series. If you’re looking at issue #1000, it would be nice if there was a quick button to progress back and forth to #999 and $1001, because otherwise you need to go into the series below and scroll until you find it, and that can be a while if it’s a long series.

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Just want to say I second this completely. This is a feature Marvel Unlimited has, and it would be SO helpful if DCU had the same thing.

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Aric, many thanks for taking the time to do this Q&A. Now on to the questions.

In the comics section, if I search by a character, I can’t then search by era. Say I wanted Sinestro stories, but only from the Silver Age. I can’t seem to filter both.

If I search Sinestro, Green Lantern (1960) issue 7 is listed and if I go "Sort by era/Silver Age/ Green Lantern (1960), issue 7 pops up.

So it would seem that the meta data for the book “knows” it is both Sinestro and Silver Age.

Is this a known “feature to add”, since if I search a charactere, there is no pull down menu for by era, writer/artist, etc. So I’m thinking this isn’t a bug.

There is a flag, at least with some of the video, of a blue bar noting that the episode has been watched before.

Is there a chance this “Have read” notation/flag/marker will make it to comics?

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Hello Aric, when I use search by filter to look at Tom King’s comic, anytime I look at one of his comic and back out to look at another of his comic I ended up by starting all over again, same with looking at thousands of comics, and I have to keep scrolling down where I left off to see a comic book I wanted to see like Teen Titans for example, what should I do? Thankyou.

Howdy, Aric!

There’s been a “want” that I’ve seen mentioned around the community from time to time & I was wondering if there’s been any thought to implementing something like this:

Currently, at least when using the app on my Fire tablet, there’s no easy way back to the home page when you’re in a comic. So if you binge read 8 issues using the next issue option at the end of each, when you’re done you have to hit the back arrow on each and every issue to get back home.

Any thoughts to adding a Home button available when you’re inside a comic?

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I notice when reading comics on an iOS app, I can easily get to the “pop up” selection bar to be “Done” go to Panel view, go to Select a Page, and Options. Tap in the top of the display.

This is an entirely different experience when using a browser (MacOS & Firefox). The “pop up” selection bar appears at the bottom and there doesn’t seem to be a consistent way to bring it up. Using “esc” just takes me back up one level to the comic selection. Is their some keyboard “shortcut” I’m missing that brings up the “pop up bar” in the browser? And why is the bar at the top on iOS and at the bottom on a browser? These seem like big UI inconsistencies.

I’ll stop with the questions now. Thanks again for taking the time to do this Q&A. It is much appreciated.

Sorry, one more question/note! Has there been any potential work done on adding options similar to the Comixology reader (maybe it’s proprietary stuff, I dunno) where you can have an option to view a full page when you enter and/or leave it in panel mode? Because while I absolutely love reading comics in panel mode on my beautiful 12-inch iPad Pro, a lot of the impact of the full page and the panelling used by the artist can be lost. I’ve learned to just double-tap to get out of panel mode to see the page when I feel like I’ve gotten to the last panel, but if there was an option to do this automatically that would be so wonderful!

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Hello Aric! Would it be possible that when you finish a comic it doesn’t show up on deck? You and your team have made a fantastic platform for reading comics, and I look forward to seeing it get even better. Thank you!
-M

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Hi Aric,

It’s a pleasure for you to join us today! Thank you for all of the amazing updates - the app has grown so much since we joined 6 months ago!

My Question: I use the Lists feature for “Comics Read” (and the list keeps growing). Is it possible to have an export function of that data? I personally added all of the titles read, authors, and publish dates to an Excel spreadsheet manually, line-by-line the other day and it was painful.

There are options to “Download All” of our Activity (screenshot below). Perhaps the export could be an emailed list (not sure what format is currently used for the download) to the user’s account?

Why it’s Important: These details are key when picking up comics at the local shops and preserve the reading logs in the case that data is ever lost in the app.

Thank you!

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Hello Aric,
Is there a easier way to restart a comic book if I wanted to read it again after I finished reading it? Thankyou.:slightly_smiling_face:

Thank you for taking the time today.

I’m sure that this is repeat request from previous live chats. Are there plans for a “By Publication Date” filter?

As it the current update stands there are serious difficulties in trying to read by time. The only option now is filter by era and then sort by “oldest”; however, there are issues with the curation of the comics by date.

For instance, if I filter by Bronze Era and sort by Oldest, then select Action Comics, the filter shows me the following issues numbers in this order:

599
659
818
821
819
815
16
700
719
808
807
806
and so on…

This makes starting at 1971 and reading through 1986 pretty impossible.

Hi all! We’re going to get started here in just a bit. Thank you all so much for your thoughtful questions, and the details and screenshots you’ve provided- they’re truly invaluable!

Aric will be joining us in a few minutes, stay tuned :hammer_and_wrench:

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Party People!

I want to first thank all of you for being such an important part of our community. It’s a wild time out here so its great to see such positive engagement. Feel free to ask anything about the app or how my role operates and I’ll do my best to get you the answers you deserve!

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We’re aware of this bad boy, thanks for asking! To help clarify your issue, what platform are you experiencing this on?

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Wow! Thank you for providing so much extra context around your use case. We are aware of some needed usability features with list creation and will definitely use your position to help craft a better list experience overall.

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Yes! I love this concept and something we’ve been exploring through our own internal Book Club. I know I like to read backwards a bit to get me up to speed with the issue I’m about to dive into.

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