Author Archives: Charlie’s Blog

Process Post – 5

This week, I’ve taken the advice of multiple peers in my class to change the theme of my blog. My previous theme “Koncurrent” had a default banner size that could not efficiently show most pictures I wanted, without it being personally customized as a banner, causing confusion with an incomplete picture as a banner. Furthermore, my blog’s navigation for categories were set on the banner, which I could not figure out how to customize the font so that there’d be highlights around the border of each character, making it hard to read the categories. This new theme that I’ve chosen, “Twenty Fifteen” has a side banner on the left, where my navigation is. There is a new size and orientation I can choose for my banner picture, and I’ve gone for a more minimalistic logo picture of my favorite game instead of an exuberant banner, so that the audience can navigate around the site clearly. That being said, the banner is still too distracting for my navigation menu for people to view, I must find a way to either make the font more bold, or reduce the opacity of the image of my banner. There are also other areas I’d like to improve on for the design of my blog next week, for instance, I’d like to more concisely display my blog posts on my homepage. My previous theme “Koncurrent” had a feature where the blog posts on my homepage are not completely displayed until it is clicked on, which in my opinion is a more robust method to display content.

Peer Review – 2 Sadie’s Blog

This week, I’ll be doing my peer review on Sadie’s blog (http://sadieschwenn.com/blog/). We learnt a lot about design of websites in recent lectures, so I will be focusing on these areas for this review. Furthermore, Mauvé Page’s presentation is also a key element for the design standards I’ll be basing my review on.

General Design:

My first impression of Sadie’s blog is that it is very aesthetically pleasing to me, though it is not flashy or particularly flamboyant, some element of the design simply clicks. This led me to think about the balance of the layout of the homepage, though it is not completely symmetrical, there is a sense of harmony between the whitespace and the content. The use of simple black borders around the content creates domains between each post and presents them in a neat and robust manner. The black borders also lead to a sensible contrast between each post, and spotlights each posts the user scrolls through. That being said, I do feel that there is inconsistency in the rhythm of the homepage (http://sadieschwenn.com/blog/). Though there is a black and white theme to this blog, I feel that the banner looks a little out of place in contrast with the rest of the rhythm. Also I feel that if Sadie were to reduce the size of the picture of the adorable bunny Butterscotch, the proportions of the page would work better with the post, because it would reveal the typography below.

User Experience:

The user experience (UX) of this blog – for me – stands out among other blogs that I’ve looked at. According to Page’s presentation, UX is divided into a few subcategories of experience; Discoverability, Learnability, Efficiency, System Performance, and Delight. The discoverability and learnability of the theme and customization decisions that Sadie’s made is perfect, there are clear categories (Home, Bunny Love, Bunny Tips, PUB101). This lets the user navigate the site intuitively, and not get lost in endless click to click pages having to hit “back” 20 times. The efficiency and system performance is not a topic to be judged on since everyone uses ReclaimHosting’s WordPress, so they are standard across all blogs. The Delight of Sadie’s blog is something to be admired at. The presentation defines “Delight” as the ability for the site/blog to form an emotional connection with the user, and this blog does just that. Although the pictures of Butterscotch and the topic about bunnies are emotionally captivating to most people in general, the site’s layout, and design makes the user (me) want to keep this blog on a tab on my browser, and not close it.

Social Media:

If there was one function/page that could adorn this blog’s already excellent design, it’s an “About” or “Contact” page. I’m aware of the “About Me” block on the right column on every page, however I feel that it does not help me connect with the creator of this blog. There is no social media links posted on this site or at least I’m unable to find it in which case there’d be a design flaw. As a fan of Butterscotch and Sadie’s blog, I would love to find social media accounts like Twitter, or Instagram so that I can see more pictures or updates of Butterscotch!

Check out Sadie’s blog for fluffiness!! http://sadieschwenn.com/blog/

 

Process Post – 4

After looking at some of the websites that I’ve visited the most, I’ve chosen to take a deeper look at Facebook. Being one of the leaders in social media, design of the site is definitely one of the more important aspects for the consumers, but do the elements truly work well with each other?

The homepage of Facebook is simple and clean with a light grey/white background, and minor blue tints with a blue banner at the top of the page. This is very aesthetically pleasing website because of the simplicity, and the contrast of the colours. There are no overwhelming patterns or designs that confuses the users, disorienting them at first sight. Simplicity means that it is easier for the users to navigate the website, to look for the content that they wanted. Contrast of the dark blue and light grey/ white background means that content where its meant to be highlighted, will pop to the users. For instance, clicking on your own name on the top right corner, will take you to your own Timeline, which is a page that you’ll probably visit a lot. 

That being said, in my opinion, the overall balance of the sight does not work. The navigation bars on the left side of the page reside simply on the canvas of the light grey background, while the other functionalities of the site like reminders, or trending topics on the right reside in a box with white background. This inconsistency, while not very significant to the human eye, makes me feel like something is missing on the left side navigation bars.

What I personally admire most about the site is the simplicity yet efficient content. I’d like to implement this onto my blog, because I’ve received some comments from my classmates that it’s difficult to read the navigation bar because the colour of the font does not contrast well with the background of the banner, and that the site might have too plain of a background. I still haven’t figured out how to create borders on the font of the navigation bar so that it’s easier to read (I’d have to take note of that and ask around in class), however I’ve managed to switch the background colour of the blog from white to grey.

Dying Light

Introduction

Ah, one of the few games that can be called the epitome of zombie gameplay – Dying Light. Dying Light is an action game that is open-world, meaning that players have access to the whole map of the game, and are free to explore these areas (as opposed to games like street fighter where you clear levels to get to another area). Developed by Techland, this first-person shooter game takes place in a city thats been infested with zombies. The player plays as main character, Crane, who is a government undercover thats taken on the misison to find the cure for the zombie disease; and infiltrate the quarantined city to find Rais, the main antagonist.

Gameplay

Although Dying Light is a first-person shooter, it’s certainly taken on some features from popular non first-person games like Fallout 4 and Assassin’s Creed. It takes from Fallout 4, the scrapping and crafting aspects – which I must admit though, is pretty popular with most apocalypse games. Players wander around the abandoned city, searching for materials like alcohol, and gauze to craft health packs; or metal parts to customize and increase damage of weapons. From Assassin’s Creed, parkour was inspired. Parkour – fastest way to get to point B from point A (usually by climbing and jumping off buildings) is a heavy aspect of the gameplay, due to the fact that this game is set in a city, players climb around buildings.

Thoughts

I highly recommend this game to anyone who’s enjoyed playing Assassin’s Creed, or Fallout 4. The mechanics that are inspired by these two legendary games were – in my opinion – perfectly implemented into this gameplay of Dying Light. 

Process Post – 3

This week I’ve been thinking of building a more personable relationship with my audience. I’ve realized that I may have been a little conservative with my blog posts, conservative in a sense that I have yet to create my own persona. I feel that a blogging persona is crucial to building relationships with your audience, while it is true that people follow you to view your content, but it is up to the author to present the content in his/her own style to create a micro culture on the blog. I’ve never realized how prominent it is to have an online persona in cyberspaces, until I read John Suler’s “The Online Disinhibition Effect”. Suler mentions in his article that the disinhibition effect is contributed by a few factors that innately comes with usage of cyberspaces; Dissociative Anonymity, Invisibility, Asynchronicity, and Minimizing Authority. These few sections illustrates that because of the anonymity, or the delayed responses (to name a few) of social media, people often have an altered personality online. After reading this I realized that, I haven’t been utilizing the disinhibition effect to my advantage. I haven’t developed a tone or atmosphere for my blog. Therefore, my next goal for this blog is to invent an interesting, captivating persona so that I can build relationships with my viewers.

 

 

Process Post – 2

This week, I’ve decided to change the theme for my blog. I’ve always wanted my audience to be more than, if not equally attracted to the content of my blog, rather than just the aesthetics. the pervious theme that I’ve used has a large banner of my favorite game’s fan art that takes up more than half of the home page. My original vision for my blog was a little too basic, and I didn’t take into account the actual functionality of it. I realized that visitors to my website might find it confusing or inconvenient to have to scroll down a whole page of an image, just to get to the actual content of the blog.

This is my previous vision for the home page of the blog:

As you can see, it isn’t very user friendly or efficient.

This is what I now plan for the home page of my blog to look like:

I feel that this is a more robust way to display both content and aesthetics of the blog.

World of Warcraft (WoW)

Introduction

World of Warcraft (WoW), a trailblazer in the field of  Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG) whose name is no unheard of in the 14 years of running. Developed by Blizzard Entertainment, WoW is an open world MMORPG where you create and customize your own character; you choose from two factions, Alliance or Horde. Each faction has their own exclusive race.

Gameplay

The objective of this game is essentially never ending, this is one of the benefits of an open world MMORPG, that is, you’ll never get bored of the game if you like this genre. The developers frequently come out with new patches to add minor tweaks to the game, like the statistics of the attacks of a Warrior. Furthermore, developers also come out with new expansions every year or so. Expansions contain all new content; new maximum level, new questing areas, gear, and lots of other good stuff! You start as a level one character, choosing a class from the 12 available classes (i.e. Warrior, Demon Hunter, Death Knight). Each race has a different starting zone and has their own unique storyline until around level 10. As you go through different zones in leveling up your character, you get new gear/armour. When you ultimately get to level 110 (which is the max level for the current expansion), you unlock the expansion exclusive dungeons, raids, and PvP content.

Dungeons and Raids

Dungeons and raids are essentially a type of instance you can get queued into with a group (of 5 for dungeons, 10+ for raids), and you battle monsters until you finish the final boss (generally 4-5 bosses). These types of instances can get you gear.

Comments

This is one of my all time favorite games. To dive into a fantasy world, taking on another character, fighting monsters and getting new armours and weapons is exhilarating. Explore the lore of the fantasy World of Warcraft, leveling up your hero to be a part of the end game of the storyline of an expansion story has made this game a part of my life for the past 5 years or so.

I highly encourage you guys to tryout the trial edition, where it lets you level up a character to 20lvl and you can decide if you’d like to pay $40 to continue playing.

Assignment – Peer Review #1

General Comments

My assigned partner Melissa’s blog – Vancity Food Trucks does reviews of food trucks around Vancouver. The first impression that this blog gives me (and I’m assuming most people) is that it’s very aesthetic, not just in a way that it looks pretty, but the minimalistic theme adorns the content (pictures and posts). The banner of the blog “Vancity Food Trucks” on top of every page is eye-catching and artsy, which I am a big fan of. The design feature that I am by far the most attracted to is the “Insta Feed” category (http://vancityfoodtrucks.com/insta-feed/). This category shows Instagram post updates for this blog, I feel that this is a great way to engage the audience for the blog, creating a relationship with the current audience and attracting new audiences too.

Disinhibition Effect

I feel that the Disinhibition Effect discussed in Suler’s “The Online Disinhibition Effect” does not completely apply with this blog. There is a personal connection, even though I don’t personally know Melissa, the author of this blog; her name is attached to the blog, the wall of anonymity does not exist here. Therefore, the posts that are written are more conservative in a sense that it wouldn’t stray too far from how normal functioning members of society would behave in real life. The enthusiasm and passion from Melissa for food is conveyed through her blog persona, but I do not believe that the medium of blogging (especially in this class) would create an “anonymous persona”. For example, to be an impartial food reviewer, it would be frowned upon for her to have extreme opinions, therefore the word choices “rich taste” and “creamy” from her “Reel Mac and Cheese” (http://vancityfoodtrucks.com/food/reel-macaroni-and-cheese/) post exemplifies the neutral persona she’s chosen to take on. This persona justifies her character where she doesn’t just make rude comments like “this is trash” that one might be inclined to make if there’s a anonymity factor.

“Invisibility” and “Minimizing Authority)

Blogging is not a medium that could create a significant enough “anonymity wall”, that being said I do agree with the “You can’t see me (invisibility)”, and “We’re Equals (minimizing authority)” sections written by Suler. In Melissa’s “SURPRISE” post (http://vancityfoodtrucks.com/posiel/102/), she takes on the personality of Deadpool for the mini assignment. Deadpool is an interesting, no-filter humour character from Marvel comics, and coming from personal experience (I also wrote my mini assignment post on Deadpool), it is quite hard to take on this character’s persona without being a little bit doubtful of how far you can go. However, Melissa portrayed this character perfectly, the choice of words like “eh” to pay homage to the fact that it’s a Canadian character; and nodding to the violent characterization of Deadpool with “that’s if I stopped getting attacked left and right”. This portrayal is well-done and entertaining, but I think its safe to say that anyone would have more of a problem if this was done in real life, having to play a character with such eccentricity. Furthermore, I find that minimizing the authority like it’s said in Suler’s article, Melissa freely displays her honest and impartial comments on the food that she’s eaten. No credentials for food reviewing is necessary, the authority in the field of her content is moot because it’s just her opinion.

Closing Comments

In conclusion I really loved all aspects of this blog, though a minor adjustment of lengthening the posts would be even more entertaining to me; otherwise, the aesthetics, content, photography, and functionality of this blog has been an inspiration to me for my own blog.

I invite any foodie that has a hunger on to check out Melissa’s blog! Links below!

http://vancityfoodtrucks.com/

Mini Assignment #2: Deadpool is here! – Spiderman

Introduction

What’s up everyone, this is your friendly neighborhood Spiderman! I’d like to introduce you to a game starring my annoying friend, Wade. the game is called Deadpool, its a third person shooter/action game where you play as – well Deadpool. Developed by Activision, the game can be played on Xbox, PS3, and PC!

Gameplay

As an action game, Wade gains new skills and combos for combat as you progress. Furthermore, because Wade is clinically insane, he speaks to you – the player – frequently throughout the game. However, I must admit that breaking the 4th wall is a fantastic way to engage the player, teaching you new skills with ease, with a comedic approach. Deadpool uses guns and katanas to slay enemies standing in his way (which I totally do not agree with!). Some of Wades, abilities are also applied in the game, where he uses his teleporting device to confuse enemies, and develop mechanically sound combos to finish off your enemies! As Deadpool literally cannot die because of his regenerative healing factor, the game makes it hard to progress by creating a bar where it measure how much damage you take, if you take damage too fast, you will pass out and fail to clear to level! I’d also like to clarify that Deadpool is NOT a hero! He is an antihero, which doesnt make him a villain, but also doesnt make him a hero! Therefore, the plot of this game is that he is set out to kill the head of a media company which happens to be corrupt (coincidence? i think not).

Conclusion

Although Deadpool only scored a 6/10 on the IGN website, I highly recommend this game IF and only if you are a responsible adult over 18! This game is rated R which means there is a lot of violence and or explicit material. The comedic approach to break the fourth wall makes this game extremely user-friendly, teaching you the mechanics of the game as it makes you laugh!

 

  • – Your friendly neighborhood Spiderman

 

Links!

https://www.ign.com/articles/2013/06/25/deadpool-review