Monthly Archives: November 2018

INTERVIEW: Ten — Julia Engström, Junior Graphic Designer

Julia Engström

Junior Graphic Designer

  • Age: 24 years old
  • Job situation: Student
  • Best memory with design: Making power points presentations in high school, which is what got me interested in graphic design in the first place. 
  • Favourite font/typeface: Berthold grotesk or other big bold fonts

You do a lot of different designs. What would you say is the best/funniest thing to create (logos, applications, etc.)? My favourite things to create are brand books. Instead of working with someone else’s design you get to build a brand’s design up from scratch. You decide the rules a future designer has to abide to.

What is your first priority when taking jobs? What is your favourite job to do? Since I’m a student I haven’t got the chance to choose certain types of jobs so this is a hard question for me to answer. What I do know is for future work application I will be looking for agency work were the jobs are varied and were you work in teams, which I have experienced during my internship and enjoy very much. If on top of that I got to work with up-and-coming businesses, helping them build their brand, that would really be a dream job situation!

Would you say that the design branch is man dominated or neutral? Why do you think that? My impression of the gender equality in the design industry is that it used to be dominated by men but in the past years it has shifted to a more neutral state. I do believe though that the higher positions in the design industry (such as art director and CEO) are still primarily men, which unfortunately is the case in most industries.

Want to connect with Julia? Write a comment and I will make that happen!

Sagittarius: Seeking Freedom?

“Truth seekers, adventurers, lovers of travel (and their own selves), Sagittarius individuals are fun loving and a good company.” This brief introduction about Sagittarius simply explains how I feel about Sagittarius people around me.

Speaking of Sagittarius, the first term came up into my head is “positivity”.  Sagittarius are often considered optimistic people who always look at the brighter side of things.  They like adventures and experiencing new things, travelling and extreme sports seem like things they may love to do.

As I grow up, I’ve met several Sagittarius friends.  Like the other two fire signs, Leo and Aries, they are outgoing and sociable.  While compared to Leo friends, they are not the leader type of people among friends.  They are not as straightforward as Aries friends sometimes.  Sagittarius love gathering, parties and being surrounded by people, but they like to run away when they feel restricted or losing freedom.

What does freedom mean to Sagittarius? For Sagittarius, their interest in things can be short-lived and keeps fluctuating, and if they are forced to do things they lose interest, they will feel restricted.  So many people have found them difficult to deliver consistent performance.

My Sagittarius friend, Hailey always books her flight tickets two nights before she leaves for travelling.  Hailey likes to explore new things but she sometimes can’t find the purpose for it.  As she said, “I like new things but I need the spark to push me to take actions”.  Therefore, she is likely to make plans but unlikely to follow what she sets as her plans.

Sagittarius people usually have traits that they make feel relaxed and happy.  Especially Sagittarius girls, you will feel like they are like the breeze in the spring that make you feel super comfortable and chill when you get along with them.  They won’t be too outgoing or possessive that make you feel being pushed, and they can be very caring when you need them but not showing too much sympathy.

Something I admire of Sagittarius is that they don’t suppress themselves when they go crazy for things.  If a Sagittarius person gets interested in photography, he will spend every penny to get a fancy camera. When Sagittarius is in love with someone, they show their affections and admiration to the person without shyness.

No matter which type of relationship you have with Sagittarius, (as a friend, lover, or family), you are lucky to have a such a optimistic and positive one besides you.

Tell the Sagittarius (Nov 23rd- Dec 21) around you how you feel about them!

 

 

Mini Assignment 6: Make a Gif

There’s been a lot going on with my family lately, so we decided to take a little mini vacation over the long weekend. I’ve never gone on vacation in the middle of a semester, but I managed to do so without missing classes or falling behind!

Yes… that’s my mom eating a salad on Big Thunder Mountain. I love my crazy family.

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (2018): Just Another Useless Remake (40%)

The 2018 reboot of The Grinch felt like nothing more than another thoughtless Hollywood remake created with the intentions of capitalizing on an already popular story. The original adaptation, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, was an animated TV special released in 1966. Since it was a TV special, the runtime was approximately 20 minutes and the film was basically just an animated version of the book. It’s a great 20minute episode (my family still watches it almost every year). The live-action version starring Jim Carrey was released in 2000, and it has got to be one of the best Christmas movies to this day! The jokes are hysterical, the costumes are amazing, and the sets and props are surreal! I was super excited about the new film because I love both of the other adaptations, but it was incredibly disappointing.

Unfortunately, the new animated adaptation of The Grinch had very little to offer. It felt like they simply took the extended storyline of the live-action version and stripped out most of the jokes. One of the slight alterations made to the plot was that Cindy Lou wanted to deliver a letter to Santa asking for help for her mother. Her mother is depicted as an overworked and exhausted single parent trying to take care of three children while also working night shifts. In the end, the mother’s struggles feel unresolved and the focus remains on the Grinch and his feeling of belonging.

The new movie had several well-known actors, yet the voice actors didn’t add anything special to the film. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the Grinch, but the film may have been more entertaining if they had cast a comedian for the role. Steve Carell, for example, would’ve been a great pick. Carell actually alters his voice dramatically to make exciting characters (example: Gru from Despicable Me).

There were a couple of laughs throughout the movie, but on the whole there just wasn’t anything special or new. Children might enjoy The Grinch, but I don’t think it’s worth the admission rate. Save your money for better holiday movies coming soon to theatres.

“Hate, hate, hate. Hate, hate, hate. Double hate. LOATHE ENTIRELY!” -How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

 

 

Process Post #7 Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the plugin that I installed in order to understand the aspect of the visitors who visit my website. I was quite impressed with the statistics by Google Analytics. I easily observed the number of visitors every day on the dashboard of the WordPress. 

I found the interesting fact that the most top visitor number was on November 1st when I published my website address on the Instagram account. I realized that displaying the website address on my social network actually increased the number of visitors.

Although I have such a small number of followers, it definitely affected on my website by simply displaying the website address.

The Google Analytic web provides more detail information on my website.

The most audience is from Canada, but I was surprised that I even had audiences from Germany and Ukraine.

Almost 70% of visitors have accessed my website from a desktop, and the percentage of mobile visitors are 30% which is higher than my expectation. The busiest time is from 10 am to 6 pm.

I really impressed with the page views, and it was funny that I made page value which is $0.20.

Google Analytics is so detail which it tells me where the audiences are accessing my website from.

The most audiences are directly from the website address, and rest of audiences are from Instagram, posiel, and even other student’s websites who were my peer review partners.

Generally, I found that Google Analytics is extremely useful especially if I would like to know about my audience. According to the audience’s favor, I might need to fix some components on my website.

 

ANTOINETTE 2018 PART 2: CONCEPTUAL PORTRAIT

While I was painting the traditional portrait of Antoinette, I also painted three conceptual portraits of Antoinette. It was also parts of the summer Antoinette project which I spent three months to finish. The reference of portrait images are the portrait sculptures of Antoinette. I chose three plaster sculptures of Antoinette.

The surface of the plaster gives a feeling of coldness because of the absence of color. It naturally provides a monochromic sense without any photoshop effect, and it is different from a black and white photograph.

Here are the conceptual images of the painting before I start.

I used oil painting in this work, but I also added one more material, sand. I chose sand because it creates a relationship with a plaster. Although plaster and sand are different materials, I found common sense from two material, and I decided to use sand.  I painted the background with sand. To create a sandy painting, I mixed sand with gel medium. The gel medium is a clear acrylic substance that is sometimes mixed with acrylic paint to express a thickness or a different texture. The half of the canvas is painted with a red oil painting, and it provides a modernistic expression.

Unlike the traditional portrait that I painted, I covered the eyes with colors. Antoinette, a French Queen, is a symbol of extravagance who is famous for saying “If the people have no bread, let them eat cake”. The covered eyes symbolized a different perspective of the Queen. The queen looks through colored glasses. The painting talks about prejudice.

I carefully chose which color has a better harmony with the painting in terms of a color balance

.

The summer Antoinette project was definitely pleasing, and I thanksfully enjoyed 3 months project period. The beautiful memories remained along with the paintings.

 

 

Weel # 11 Process Post: Multiple Channels, Multiple Media

How do people read online? How do different channels reinforce each other? A key strategy for reaching audiences today is to “be in all places.” But is this effective? You’ll be introduced to the ideas of transmedia, intermediality, intertextuality, and the relationship between your web presence and the broader world of participatory media.

When we were talking about how “be in all places” has become one of key strategy for reaching audiences today, the social media posts all over the internet of fashion bloggers jumped into my head.  Speaking of “all places”, I define myself as a user who dives in some of the most common social media sites but rarely use social media as a tool to reach audiences.  Though as a user, I do feel bombarded with same contents over different places online.

I think to myself, is it because the social media sites give me some contents based on my preference or the contents’ creators try to reinforce their presence with same contents? My answer to the question is both.  I looked back to people I followed on social media platforms, what I found was users who I know in person liked to use different platforms to distribute different categories of contents.  To be more specific, I found most of my friends usually like to use Instagram for travelling pictures and use  Twitter to express their opinions on current news.  At the same time, I found bloggers- especially fashion bloggers, tend to use various platforms for same contents. For example, they like to use YouTube to record and show a clip of Fashion shows they attend; and post several pictures of the fashion show and tag the brands, and upload their fashion week’s stories on blogs later.

For most users, transmedia seems to be used for different functionality with different types of contents.  For major content generators, like the bloggers, transmedia is used for the same purpose.  As mentioned in the reading “Pokémon as Transmedia Storytelling“, “elements of a fiction get dispersed across multiple media for the purpose of creating a coordinated entertainment experience”, fashion bloggers distribute elements of one fashion event across multiple media to include all the audiences a coordinated experience.  Fashion bloggers like to communicate with their followers by asking them to click on options “red” or “pink” shirt on Instagram feeds, pick a few comments below YouTube videos to answer.  More than that, these fashion bloggers will get in touch with their audiences in real life by attending store opening events.

When I look back to my blog, it is not connected to most platforms in the broader world of participatory media. I think it is difficult to distribute contents of horoscope via platforms like Instagram unless I connect with aesthetic elements.  To build up the web presence of my blog, I think the best way to make it more participatory  is to connect my blog to other blogs.  For example, I can do interviews of other bloggers and write about their stories with horoscope.  Then I can invite them to link my blog in their post and I can do the same thing so that different groups of audiences are connected by bloggers’ interactions with each other.

Do you think I should do a guest interview of bloggers I know?  Comment below to let me know and feel free to give me suggestions!

 

 

 

Peer Review #3: Karl’s blog – Japanese Anime Reviews

Continuing from the second peer review, my review partner blog is Karl’s blog.

Wow. I immediately realized a critical change in the front page of the website. The header image is changed, and it is absolutely stunning.

It was a colorful and bright header image before, and as I mentioned, it was a little hard to read the name of the homepage. The changed image is a monochromic image in which the title of the website distinguishable from the header image. I definitely love the choice that he made. The header image almost inspires me to try an anime. However, one thing that I think the website needs to be fixed is the front page contents. It is an anime review website, but it shows the posiel contents on the front page in which the expected audience would not want to see. It could probably be fixed by a plugin call WP HIDE POST. Install the plugin and activate it. Then you will see Post Visibility on the bottom when you upload the post

.

By simply check “Hide on the front page”, it will be disappeared from the front page. In terms of the marketability, it will be much attractive anime review blog if those posiel contents disappear from the front page.

The intended audience is people who are interested in Japanese anime or people who would like to know about Japanese anime. However, just like my website, Karl’s blog is not interested in marketing. The blog does not include any advertisement and marketing sources. When I googled Japanese anime review, Karl’s blog is not showing up, and I had to type “Karl’s blog Japanese anime reviews”.

How could this website possibly do the marketing? I was thinking about to add an advertisement for an enterprise such as Amazon. I see many other websites include Amazon advertisement, and I think this website could possibly put Japanese anime product from Amazon.

Yes, Amazon has tons of Japanese anime products, so it is reasonably beneficial for both Karl’s blog and Amazon if the website includes an advertisement.

The second marketing is youtube. I researched a YouTuber who does Japanese Anime contents. One of the famous youtuber is The Anime man who has over 150k subscribers.

Since Japanese anime is extremely popular, and the anime culture is well developed, this blog has positive potential in terms of the marketability. I really enjoyed Karl’s blog how it is changing better and better, and I am excited to see more.

Reference

Karl’s blog http://kaleukl.com/

Suzanne Norman. 2015 “Trying not to drop breadcrumbs in Amazon’s store.” http://publishing.sfu.ca/2016/03/breadcrumbs-of-data/

Youtuber, The Anime man. https://www.youtube.com/user/TheAn1meMan

Amazon. www.amazon.ca

 

PROCESS POST: Week Eleven — Transmedia

The Nordic Graphic Design have now been active around ten weeks, and in those weeks the blog have evolved to a kind of network. My intentions with the blog when creating it was to spread the word about the amazing female graphic designers in Sweden, and for my own sake, to learn more about the branch itself. According to this, I have tried to accomplish a some what platform for the designers to be recognised, a chance for them to been seen and heard by others. regarding that intention, my transmedia will follow this intention: to give people a chance to be seen.

I like the forum where people have a shot to be heard, therefor Twitter makes sense to use. But the problem with Twitter is the lack of focus on images and, of course, the limitation of how many words you can use. The designers need pictures to show their work, portfolio, and words to describe their choices: Twitter will not work for my cause. My focus will be on Instagram just as many of my fellow interviewed designers have chosen to use.

Something else that would be a great thong for my blog would be the use of an email subscribe list. To get people to sign up for the subscription, I will use give aways as an attraction. I will also spread the word on linkedIn, where future employers for the partaking designers can sign up for a weekly suggestion for a new designer to hire.

PLAN: INSTAGRAM

1. Use the platform as a gallery instead of post-to-post updates.

2. Let one designer use the account once every week to spread their design.

3. Three posts per day, all connected.

4. The images for each day/designer will be color coloured.

Peer Review 3: Taking Life by the Love Handles

For my peer review, I am reviewing Jenella’s blog titled Taking Life by the Love Handles.

A quick glance of her homepage, I know why she chooses this theme. The pink tones and colorful photos of food are welcoming. The white is a nice contrast to highlight her blog content and it helps accentuate the colors of her photos. It’s appealing and easy on the eyes. It compels me to read more!

As you scroll down her homepage, her social media pages are easily available. To me, this is showing that she markets her personality with her blog. They go hand in hand and I believe she includes her own ‘self’ into her content. Where she eats tells something a little bit more about herself.

Food is the center of her brand, and she makes it clear. On her About page, she explains why she loves food and why it’s important to her. This idea and how she presents it is creating a space where she expresses herself and why she writes about food. She even addresses this when she shares her personal experience on doing something other than food on her Food and Friends blog.

These ideas are present and explained danah boyd’s It’s Complicated where she writes about the feeling of togetherness and through networked publics, communities can be connected through technology. For Jenella, she is creating this blog of togetherness. Almost all her times eating out are with friends! She shares her physical experiences through this network and her other channels.

She does a great job showcasing this physical space too. With her social media presence and her appealing photos, she is spreading wide on multiple channels. The pictures serve as a tangible step to a purely networked space. As seen in the Youtube stars’ trend on publishing books,  it’s good to have a balance of online and offline content. Her blog posts have a balance of media and text. It’s a bonus that she takes great photos!

I do want to suggest a way to have these ideas better presented in her blog. I feel that she has a lot to say, and it doesn’t have to sacrifice the content she already writes.

Hot Ones on Youtube

Hot Ones is one of my favorite web series because it brings a fresh take on interviews; eating very spicy wings and talking. What I want to highlight for Jenella’s blog is the fact that some guests do a great job conversing about the wings and about their careers well that it becomes an interview for both. Alton Brown comes to mind. Each restaurant she goes to does not necessarily need a ‘deep’ or ‘introspective’ conversation with her friends, but I see her as being part of the content too. I’m curious to see why she chooses this restaurant or what is exciting or familiar about this restaurant? These elements would give more ‘food’ to the readers about who she is and exemplify the reasons she loves the food.

Monthly Goals – November

Wow long time no talk guys! So so much has changed in the last month or so and that is crazy to me. Just a blink of an eye and almost my whole routine has been switched up. Let’s start with a little recap of the last month. As I previously mentioned, I got a …

The post Monthly Goals – November appeared first on Lafleur Lifestyle.

You Can’t Touch My Hair and Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson

Phoebe Robinson’s You Can’t Touch My Hair and Other Things I Still Have to Explain is hilarious, well written and extremely apropos. Not only does she have the ability to encapsulate complex and complicated life experiences into a few concise paragraphs, Robinson has an apt simile or metaphor to go with every one. One of my favourites:

“… I can explain why sometimes a black lady may straighten her hair. If she is anything like me, her natural hair has special shape-shifting qualities of epic T-1000 proportions, which means it has a mind of its own. For instance, when I sport an Afro, I may want to relax by sitting on my bed and leading my head against the wall. When I get up from that spot, my hair has assumed the shape of said wall… Yep. What was once a light, airy and fluffy Afro has turned into a condensed mass of tightly coiled locks that resembles fiberglass insulation used on House Hunters Renovation. Forgive me for not having the exact wording down for this particular scientific phenomenon, but I believe it’s called: That’s Some Damn Bullshit… I reach the limit of my fierceness when, while relaxing in the comfort of my own home, my hair is twisting into itself until it’s knotted like a pile of tangled iPhone earphones.”

Jokes aside, Robinson goes on to illustrate so beautifully the often fraught relationship that black women have with their hair and the ways in which their “hair journeys” marked with frustration, patience and learning to love often mirrors their own journeys of self-love. Robinson identifies her “natural hair” as “the most controversial signifiers of [her] blackness” and thus summarizes the reason for this complicated relationship: a white supremacist society will react to signifiers of blackness (78). Robinson discusses, not only that she felt less beautiful because her hair did not fit into Eurocentric standards of beauty, but a common lived experience for people of colour is that in order to be eligible for a job, hairstyles that explicitly indicate blackness (natural hair or dreads, for example) are out of bounds.

If this text had a thesis it would be: representation matters. Robinson’s memoir is crowned with the penultimate chapter titled “Letters to Olivia”, in which she provides a list to her niece – who is biracial – of all of the powerful biracial people she admires. While Robinson makes a habit of calling out society’s oppressive structures, she also, with even more zeal, calls attention to the rich and exquisite identity women of colour continue to maintain. Not surprisingly, the comedy world is one in which Robinson routinely calls out for being explicitly sexist and, you know, sexist in that banal, everyday sort of way. Because she lives it, Robinson has a myriad of exemplar comments from male comedians at the ready: “Women need to be pretty when they perform” and “Why do some women wear makeup on stage? Comedy is not about looks” (512). Or, “This girl’s a prude because she doesn’t bang any of the comics” and “She has sex with all the comics” (513). While this constant reminder of how unwelcoming the entertainment industry is to funny women is tiresome, it also seems to at once light a fire under Robinson; she meets this resistance with the radical audacity to be herself. After all, if Louis CK can perform a five minute bit gyrating while talking about an experience he had masturbating once, she should be able to say the word vagina without the (male) audience having a fit. Robinson points again to representation as a powerful force that helps to form and reform sense of self: “So much of comedy is about us all realizing, Hey maybe I’m not such a weirdo after all/Oh my God! You do that thing, too?/ Holy crap you just said everything I ever wanted to say, but didn’t have the tools to do so. The joy of seeing yourself in another is pertinent not just to stand-up comedy but to being alive” (515-516). And this is why I read. And this is why I write.

Week 11 Process Post

Currently, my only source of social media integration for my blog is the Instagram account I made for it. On that account, I have a link to my blog in the description, and most of my posts encourage viewers to go back to my blog to read my recent posts. It is going well so far, as I have amassed a fair amount of followers and my blog has gained viewers from Instagram, but I could definitely do better. I do not post on my Instagram as often as I should, as I sometimes go a week or two without posting anything, and this causes people to unfollow me or diminishes their interest in the content I post. My goal is to post on my blog’s Instagram twice a week to gain followers and bring people to my blog, in addition to creating a place where my followers can get to know me and interact with me.

I have not received many comments yet, and most of the comments I receive are either encouragement from friends or promotion of other people’s Instagram accounts, so I am hoping to encourage active participation in the future. I would like to be able to pose questions to my audience and have discussions with them in the comments to create loyal fans and allow them to get to know me. I believe that I will need to build a bit of a bigger following to do this, as most of my Instagram followers are friends or people promoting their own accounts, not random people who are genuinely interested in my blog. I am hoping that I can keep posting content and promoting it on my Instagram to gain more fans and facilitate interaction in the comments of both my blog posts and my Instagram posts.

There are several reasons why I decided to focus primarily on Instagram. For one, Instagram is probably the most popular social media platform right now. Facebook is far less popular than it used to be, hardly anyone uses Twitter, and even Snapchat is not as popular as it once was. Logic follows that if I promote my blog on the most popular social media network, I will be able to acquire the most followers. Additionally, Instagram is my favourite social media platform, and the one that I use the most, so it is easiest for me to promote my blog there. Another reason why I am using Instagram is because I think it complements my blog well, as it is a personal blog that consists primarily of essays, so I like that I can add a visual aspect with my Instagram in addition to giving my followers the chance to get to know the person behind the blog. Based on research I have done, consisting of looking at the social media accounts of other bloggers, I noticed that many personal bloggers have Instagram accounts and it seems to work out well for them, so that encouraged me to create an Instagram for my blog as well.

I cannot see myself making a Facebook page for my blog unless it becomes extremely popular, as it feels a bit vain to make a Facebook page when I am not famous. I imagine that the only people who would like my page would be my friends, which beats the purpose. Twitter might work better for my blog, as it is short written content and could allow people to get to know me better. My only trepidations are that Twitter has fallen out of popularity and that I rarely ever use my personal Twitter account, so I would be worried about either forgetting to update my blog’s Twitter account or not receiving any attention or followers from it. For these reasons, I will likely stick to Instagram for now and focus my attention on promoting my blog and creating content that people want to see.

Process Post #7 Analytics

Yes. The Analytic such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is one of the most important valuable tools for building the audience. If I know where my audiences are coming from, I could develop the website based on the visitor’s taste. I think my website is especially dependent on the audience since it is an artist’s website. The audience has own artistic taste, and it would be beneficial to know what artistic color the audiences have.

I added my website address on my Instagram account a few weeks ago. It definitely increased the visitor numbers, and it gives me an idea that I could make some kind of connection between my website and the social network. I upload my artworks on Instagram, and I only provide small pieces of information such as the title and the date. Since most of my artworks are conceptual works, it is challenging to understand the idea behind the work. The audiences have to know an artist’s cultural background and personal interests.

The Instagram platform has a limitation on the explanation, and I think I could provide the full information through my website. Therefore, those Instagram audience who are willing to know my artwork is my expected audience.

I don’t worry about privacy. Although the website is connected to my personal social network, I do not post any personal information on my Instagram account. My Instagram account does not reflect my identity, but it only represents my artworks.

Understanding the audience, it is much clear to develop the direction of the website. It allows me to create much creative posts on my website, and the expected audience would be much pleased with the selected posts.

PEER REVIEW #3

For my final peer review, I will be reviewing my classmate Quentin’s blog. His blog is called Assiduous Aesthetic, and it showcases his graphic design skills in the form of soccer jerseys for international, professional teams. Assiduous Aesthetic has a very clear motivation in terms of design. Quentin has made good use of his chosen blog theme to show who he is and his purpose behind the blog.

Considering the content on Assiduous Aesthetic, the general audience for this blog would be jersey designers, graphic designers, and soccer fans. Quentin has done a great job at choosing a niche that is specific enough to generate a targeted audience, which allows for lots of potential for marketing. His series, “My World Cup Redesign”, offers two redesigned uniforms for each soccer team in the world cup. He outlines his reasoning and rationale behind his design choices, and offers pictures of both the current uniforms and his newly designed uniforms. This content could be marketed towards those who are interested in the design of soccer uniforms. In general, the marketability of the content on Assiduous Aesthetic is high, especially around the time of FIFA. Being one of the most watched sports events in the world, Assiduous Aesthetic has the potential to have a lot of traffic driven to it. Mary Meeker (2018) points out that as the digitized world strives towards more creation, the competition will breed commercialism. The jerseys that Quentin has created have the potential to be monetized and marketed not only to international teams, but also to local soccer teams looking to redesign their jerseys.

The design of Assiduous Aesthetics provides clear calls to action regarding its content. On the homepage, there are three buttons that each call for the website user to explore deeper into the content that the blog offers. The first one says “Explore what happens when I fuse together soccer and graphic design,” the second one says, “Find out more about me and why I’m taking this project on,” and the third one says, “Take a look at my other work for Publishing 101.” Each of these calls to action not only works as a helpful guide through Quentin’s site, but also gives a quick snapshot to what his site is really about. Below this, Quentin provides a few links to his work. This gives users an easy way to explore his content without having to go through the hassle of navigating the site. Josh Constine (2016) wrote about how Facebook Messenger climbed its way to obtaining one billion users. He wrote that people were drawn to Messenger as it became easier and more convenient to use (Constine, 2016). Because Facebook values improving the day to day lives of its users, it prioritizes making their app easy to use, therefore attracting crowds (Constine, 2016). Similarly, Quentin has prioritized making his blog extremely clear and easy to navigate, which will attract and retain readers of his content.

Pulling from advice given by Travis Gertz (2015), I think that it is important for Quentin to take risks in the design aspect of his site. Not letting metrics and a need for high traffic produce a desire for normalization is essential for presenting content in new and innovative ways (Gertz, 2015). Although Assiduous Aesthetics is easy to navigate, it remains simple. Simplicity is not necessarily a bad characteristic, however, I think there is opportunity for Quentin to incorporate his love for design into the fabric of his blog. A unique design will allow for marketing opportunities on social media that catch the eyes of his potential audience.

Altogether, Quentin’s blog seems to have a clear direction in terms of content, and a solid audience. Reaching past a simplistic design approach will really give Assiduous Aesthetics the ability to market his designs in a unique way.

Peer Review 3

For the last peer review, I have been given the opportunity to review Cherie Lau’s website. Cherie has a wide variety of content about women’s beauty. Ranging from makeup to skincare. When I open her website there is a large header with aesthetically pleasing cursive writing saying Cherie Lau. Underneath, there is a subheading “Share my small obsession with all things beauty”. From this I am quickly able to understand that this is a website about women’s beauty.

 

(Cherie’s menu bar and header)

Something that I find when scrolling through Cherie’s website, is the  wide variety of topics. This isn’t ideal when finding a focussed audience. One criticism I have about Cherie’s website is her menu bar. Currently there is: Makeup, Skincare, Travel and PUB 101. What I don’t understand is why there is a travel button. This confuses the audience because above she tells us her website is about beauty; however, travelling has no correlation with women’s beauty. Also, when I click on the travel menu I am directed to a blank page. I suggest scratching the travelling part from your website and focus on women’s beauty. Having a wide variety of topics to discuss does decrease the marketability of your website. Reading through Cherie’s articles I find that there is a very broad range in topics. For example, in her skincare menu some of the topics Cherie writes about are: Would I Repurchase, Is your skincare working and Skincare Products I’m enjoying. I believe it would be easier for the audience to navigate through her website and be able to find what they want to learn if she added menus like, product reviews, how to apply products and my routine.

As I read some of Cherie’s posts I see that she has built a strong online persona. She has done this by telling her audience her personal opinions and some of her personal stories. My impression of Cherie is the she is someone that is passionate about beauty and knows her stuff. If I was into makeup I would like to read her interesting blog posts. This is a very effective way in getting an audience to come back to her website. Cherie has also shared her Email, Youtube and Instagram accounts that appear on every page. This is a great way to connect with her audience even more. Both social medias allow Cherie to better market herself.

 

(Cherie connecting with her audience)

GOOGLE ANALYTICS – Process Post #10

Acquisition

I am encouraged by the fact that 33.3% of visitors are returning readers. That makes me think that it is becoming routine for some readers. In the location section of Google Analytics, I was informed that most of my users are in the US and Canada, which is not surprising – save for one user in Malaysia, which could be a bot.

 

Behaviour

Something that has become quite clear to me in looking further into analytics is that I need to be posting something more than once a week to keep my views up. Or, as an alternative, do a midweek post on my Instagram to call attention to the reviews for people who have the intention of reading, but haven’t. I have had a few interactions recently in which I have a face to face conversation with someone about my site and they say something along the lines of: “Oh, I keep forgetting to look at your site! I’ve been meaning to read the reviews.” So, a reminder in some form would be helpful. At this point, there is a spike of views on the day that I post and then a steady decline throughout the week when I am less active on the site.

Last week, I posted my review on Men Explain Things to Me on the November 5th, and page views were double what they became five days later.

Conversion

Regarding conversion, because I don’t have a product that I’m selling, I need to think of ways to get readers involved without necessarily buying anything. I am thinking that an email sign-up option would be a good way to facilitate conversion on my site. It is possible also that users will be more likely to revisit site content if it is in their inboxes, rather than having to revisit the site altogether. This week I will be exploring ways to do that.

PEER REVIEW #3 – Street Stories

Mariah Craig’s website Street Stories: Perspectives of the Vulnerable is an online storytelling space that seeks to shed light on the beauty and pain present in a marginalized neighbourhood in Surrey. Currently, Mariah is in the process of completing a series of three interviews with those employed by Nightshift Ministries, the context of her work.

There seems to be a disconnect for me between the site’s goal to tell the stories of the marginalized and displaced in Surrey and what it is currently doing. The organization, Nightshift itself, appears to be the main focus of the website at this moment in time. I imagine that as Mariah becomes more familiar with those in the community that the focus will shift to the site’s intended focus: the stories of those who are served by the organization.

Further, I am not certain who Mariah’s intended audience is. Possible future volunteers or donors for the organization? Friends who want to stay updated on her new experiences as a volunteer? In any case, making the exploration possibilities more obvious for users would benefit Mariah’s site. Victor Kaptelinin discusses the importance of affordances in design, explaining their purpose: “to denote action possibilities provided to the actor by the environment”. I found myself wanting to organize the information that was coming at me at first glance of Mariah’s site. The posts on Mariah’s home page are an assortment of interviews with Nightshift workers, a post about her first volunteer experience with Nightshift, and an essay about Humans of New York, a storytelling project that her site is largely inspired by. The overload of information on the first page did not make the “possible uses [of the site] immediately obvious” (Kaptelinin). Mariah’s site would benefit from separate pages to aid in categorizing the assortment of material on Mariah’s site. For example, explicitly informational pages that seek to foreground Mariah herself and Nightshift Ministries could be separate pages instead of one among many posts.

Mariah’s site might also benefit from a social media platform that is directly linked to her work at Nightshift. At the moment, her personal Instagram account is linked to her site and has no direct intersection with the theme of her site.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the interviews that Mariah conducted. I really got the sense that those being interviewed have a real heart for the people suffering from addiction and homelessness in Surrey. In this sense, Mariah is capturing moving stories for her readers. One thing I wondered about, however, is the format in which they are being represented. The typical interview style is not being deployed here, in which the interviewer asks a question and the reader is able to see verbatim the reply given by the person being interviewed. I find that approach much clearer and easier to follow. My recommendation would be to use that format as a foundation and then have Mariah write freely discussing the way that the interview affected her after the initial interview.