Tag Archives: peer reviews

Peer Review 2

I really like the layout of Grace’s blog ‘Sentiments and the Like’. The front page has a cheerful photo of her and an image of a beach with the blog title in it. For she is using uppercase letters, the tracking between the letter is wider than normal. I think it is a proper tracking and is easy to read.

The tone of the page is clear and warm which echoes to her heartwarming and personal character portraited in her About section, hoping to connect and inspire readers chasing for their dream. Just as what she said in her posts, she wants these colours remind her reader of a pleasant summer day. It works, sunshine taster! Using beige, brown, blue and black as her color palette when combines together make a warm and welcoming front page.

For the Menu, Grace used slashes to separate each page. The wide tracking between each heading makes the menu easy to read.  She may try writing a tagline for herself to showcase her personality. She explains her use of fonts in her process post and I agree with her that the typography of her blog is easy to read and clean. It may be better if she enlarge the font size of the body paragraphs a bit. The tracking could for the paragraphs can be wider as well.

One thing that I appreciate is the blog’s concept. It is not commercial, materialistic but personal. In her post ‘Dare to Dream Again’, Grace shares  songs that she grew up with, and through these songs, she links to her thoughts on childhood, school, marriage, faith, dream and LIFE. I like how she can see something bigger out of the small pieces of her life.

Under Posiel, a lot is happening. When sliding on the Posiel menu and the process posts, the title of her process posts appear. As more and more posts will be written, I am afraid the bar will be long afterwards, which maybe visually clumsy and problematic. It may be better to open a page with all categorized posts and take away the titles. When readers click inside, they will be directed to all the posts under certain a category.

With the archives and categories, different content is sorted orderly. Under Travels and Lifestyle, there is no post yet. As I realized she has categorized ‘Dare to Dream Again’ under lifestyle, I guess she can easily place the article under lifestyle through making the page as category. I look forward to her new posts and I am sure they would be inspiring.

All in all, I enjoy her blog and I look foward to her posts! Like what Grace says in her post, nothing is ever definite since anything can always be improved. She will definitely bring her audience a pleasant blog in the near future.

Peer Review #2

Oh I am truly left with great joy after reviewing Austin Lee’s website. Oh my heart. People you have to take some time one day and check out he’s website. He’s blog is about tea ventures of his one year puppy, Koby. This is his site , http://austinl33.ca/

The website design for his website is very clear, simple and well laid out. Your first view of his website is of his beautiful puppy, Koby right in the centre and has the heading and theme of his blog at the top centre of his cover page.  As you scroll down the main page, you’ll be able to see the current posts that he would have uploaded. He has also linked his Instagram where you find more on Koby’s adventures. The choice of font for both the heading and for the body of text works very well and looks good. The background of white and the borders with the colour maroon work really well together.His menu works very well especially how he has grouped everything.

I was checking out his blog posts on the journey that Koby has been experiencing ,but sadly I can only read 3-4 sentences and click to see the feature image along with the post. So hopefully I can read more of the posts of his blog in the future. Other than that, theres not much more to criticize. Hoping to read more of Koby’s adventures for the rest of the semester.

Review: Life’s A Journey

For this week, I am looking at Sana’s blog, “Life’s A Journey”.

I really like how I am greeted with a large header image that seems to be a slideshow of her blog posts. Each slide gives a sneak peek caption of what the post is about which makes it really intriguing because I can just simply click on it if I decide I want to read more about it. I believe the background colour is a dull grey which is a great choice to let the blue accents from the font to stand out. I personally would even go for a more vibrant shade of blue or a more solid blue so it does not seem like it’s faded. For the title, the font gives off a very academic vibe and seems very formal. Since the blog is about her travels and adventures, I would recommend a more bubbly or cursive style font to reflect a more positive and outgoing impression for readers.

Since there is a lot of “real-estate” on the top right-hand corner of her site, I think centering the title and the tagline would balance out the emptiness. On another note, I really appreciate the simple tag options she gives to her readers: Home, About, Blog. It’s very straightforward and easy for users to navigate around her website. Moving further down, it’s refreshing to see that Sana has inputted a profile picture and a short biography on her front page. I think this cuts the mystery for readers (which is great) and makes me think that she has a lot of personality! The bottom half of the site is organized into three columns and each one gets progressively shorter in structure. I would recommend making them the same length or at least similar in length so it doesn’t seem off balanced.

I like how Sana incorporated many ways for her readers to connect with her. Her social media widgets are nicely aligned under the search bar with two of the icons in different colour from the rest. I think the different colour scheme adds a nice touch as it provides a pop of colour. After reading one of her posts, “Travel Diaries: Dubai”, I really like how Sana connects with her readers. She gives enough context to prepare and educate her readers, like explaining how Dubai is a city and one of the seven emirates of the UAE. Knowing that not everyone knows about Dubai, Sana is very considerate of her readers by doing this. In relation to this, this reminds me of Warner’s article on publics and counterpublics. In a way, when we write to a public, we consider what kind of audience we are targeting, how the audience would react to it, and how would they navigate around the site. Through these thoughts, we kind of elaborate on the affordances of a website, and this ranges from physical, functional, or sensory affordances. By thinking of what a website has to offer, we think of the receiver deliberately. And by thinking of the receiver, we are creating this relationship with these unknown users. Through use of text or other forms, we are always reaching strangers and ultimately, they have become a common social feature (Warner, 2002).

Check out Sana’s blog here!

Peer Review #2

This is a review of Rory Chi Kin Wan’s website, Mind Flow Blog.  This review will mainly be focused on design elements.  The first thing I notice when I visit Rory’s site are the colours.  I love how they have chosen to incorporate the colour blue in to every element of the page.  For example, blue is seen in the main title, the search bar, and the menu bar.  I think it really ties the website together.  I also like the size of the header, as it leaves enough info ‘above the fold’ to encourage readers to keep scrolling.

Although I mentioned liking the colours, I think making the text a little bit darker in the sidebar would be helpful.  This is because right now, I feel it is a bit difficult to distinguish the words from the background.

Another thing that I think is important to note is the instagram slider on the sidebar.  As mentioned in the lecture, photo carousels are sometimes ineffective because readers must click through them.  A suggestion I have to Rory is to use a different plugin that shows more photos at once.  However, I do like the current photo Rory has displayed (vision board) because it not only matches the colour of the site, but also lets the audience know what the site will be about.

 

In the design lecture, we also discussed balance.  In terms of Rory’s posts, the site is very balanced because the posts are on one side, while the sidebar is on the other.  However, the balance of the header/menu bar could be improved upon.  I know that this is something that I definitely have to work on as well.  Rory’s title, and menu items are all shifted towards the left, while the right side is left empty.  To fix, this, Rory could either spread out the items on the menu to create a more balanced look, or center the title/header.

 

Font wise, Rory definitely picked a good font for the title.
The font gives a calming, relaxed vibe, which is what the site is about.  I also think that they used a good amount of line spacing in the header.  It is clear tha ‘Mind Flow Blog’ and the tagline are two separate items, but they are not too far apart.  This is good, because the reader knows the are connected.

 

The font Rory chose is a very readable one, which is beneficial because the website
is text based.  I also appreciate the amount of line spacing, because it makes
it a little easier to read.  Something minor that could be improved upon on this
page, is the centring of the text.  Having the words in the middle creates
spaces that make it hard to follow along.

 

 

Overall, Rory has clearly put a lot of effort in to designing this website.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading Rory’s blog, and reading the review of my blog!  I will definitely take Rory’s critiques in to consideration!

 

 

On the Faithful Journey: Review

This week I’m reviewing the design of Enoch Cheung’s website. The first thing that I notice upon visiting Enoch’s website is that it is super clean and minimal. It doesn’t feel like there are any elements that are excessive; every element is there because it needs to be and is placed with intention. I think this […]

Peer Review 2

Peer Review #2

Hello all! Last week is was the Dog blog, this time my review is for the FOB (?) blog.

First Impressions:

I liked how the photo was the first thing I saw. Even better, it was a photo including yourself (or at least I think it is). I think this definitely personalizes your blog – like hey, this is a blog about me, not something or anyone else. I also think the photo goes along well with your title. The mountains make me think you’re on a trip/taking a journey. The title also suggests that your blog is about your journey through Vancouver culture. The white text on the dark blue background of the header photo is also very clear because of the contrast and it is well bolded and easy to read. Well done.

Theme:

I think your sidebar is perfectly customized to give little glimpses of what you like, especially since this is a personal blog. You have your instagram, your “song pick of the week”, and a short video clip of a game you’re looking forward to. I really like this, it helps fill out some of the white space on the side with some interesting things about you.

The color scheme of your theme is dark, which I think reminds of gamers/gaming? No idea why, maybe it was all our critiquing on Tim’s site (the GM) or in general game sites like to choose black backgrounds. Nothing is wrong with it being dark, it just adds a different quality than white (I think of minimalist and crisp) background sites. Also the colours were all very neutral so it was pretty easy to view.

The only downside to your theme is how much scrolling is involved, see my comments on the menu below.

The Menu

This might just be personally me, but I thought the menu had too many options. When I hovered over all of them, none of them also had a drop down submenu. I remember from Page’s lecture she said you want to minimize the amount of clicking as possible or else the reader thinks the site is too much effort. I personally felt lost with all the headings. I didn’t know where to click first or where to start. For example, without clicking, I wasn’t sure what the difference was between “Daily Life” and “See What I See”. I would have to click both to find out. It would be nice if there were submenus under each so I could get an idea. Maybe you could combine them both under Daily Life. I personally think the menu is super important because, as Page mentioned in her lecture, you want to minimize the amount of scrolling or else the reader will lose interest if they have to scroll a marathon to find a post they want. I always use the menu to get around and find what is interesting but I couldn’t get a sense of your blog from the menu.

See what I See” Tab

Speaking of the “See What I See”, I mentioned in my last peer review that there was too much scrolling in his photo section and that he should make them smaller so he can fit more and enlarge them as needed. That is exactly what you did! I like it a lot better, it definitely organizes the page and minimizes the scrolling.

“Daily Life” Tab

When I clicked on Daily life, I kind of wish there was a way that I could easily filter through posts so I could see them all instead of having to scroll a marathon through each one. Are you able to put multiple posts with a short preview so you don’t have to scroll through each one to see the next one?

“Canton Pop Music” Tab

I don’t really get this tab – I’m sure you’re sharing the music you like to listen to with us, but it would be kind of nice if you introduced the tab with a brief description of why you have all this here. Maybe a history of how you discovered this music or if you listened to these songs back in Hong Kong, etc. Also I am terrible with coding and fully rely on my templates so I don’t want to criticize too much but since there is a lot of scrolling and content the layout is so right justified it is sort of bothersome. Is there anyway to fix this so it is more centered? Or does this have to be a tab in itself? Can it be just a post? Or can it be a page that just has, say, one song and then links to your soundcloud/spotify playlist or whatnot if people are interested in more?

Font

“Choosing readable or expressive typefaces and proper use of white space is just as important as user flow. In fact, it’s a vital part of it.” (Gertz, 2015)

Considering the background of your blog is black, white was the smartest choice of picking your font colour. It is the most contrasted and easiest to read. I personally did not have trouble reading it. The font size is also big enough to read without me struggling. I have no comment on the font style either. It is simple and easy to read to me. It might not be super unique, but honestly, neither is my font on my blog. I personally never felt inspired of by fonts except titles generally. This is coming from the person who always writes their reports in Calibri… or Times New Roman (better safe than sorry right…) for an academic paper. Remember that picture Page showed us in lecture that described each person based off their font use? I remember Calibri was “too lazy to change the default font”. That was actually 100% accurate for me.

Posts

When I clicked on one of your posts I noticed at the top it said the date and that the post was by “admin”. I also made this mistake so now I can’t help but notice it on other blogs as well. The person that reviewed my blog suggested I changed “admin” to Kimberly to make it more personal and less awkward. I didn’t even know that was an option! So I think you should give it a shot too! I can’t remember off the top of my head exactly how I did it but I’m pretty sure click “users” in your sidebar and it’s pretty straightforward from there.

I clicked on several of your posts (to make sure that the formatting was consistent before I said anything) and I think you did a good job of formatting your posts. You break up paragraphs with either images, subheaders, or just topic changes so there isn’t a giant mass of text to read. I also like how you made smaller italic text underneath photos as captions – I need to figure out how to do this myself. Additionally, for your process posts I like how you thoroughly linked things and also made it in italics – your posts in general just look very professional.

About Me

I like how you kept it short. I also like how you changed up the formatting a bit, such as the caption of the photo being on the right hand side of the photo instead of underneath. The font is nice and big since its such a small section to read. It is short and to the point and I think it sums up who you are!

I think your blog is very well developed compared to our last peer reviews where we all did not have a lot of content. I can see you have put a lot of thought into adding extras about yourself and I’m looking forward to seeing how all of our blogs develop by the end of the semester! Well done!

A Peer Review: By Rachel F

I didn’t have to read it on her about page to know that Emily is a visual+interaction designer. Her website speaks for itself and oh my is it telling a story. In the subtlest and minimalist way possible, her website his screaming “I’M BEAUTIFUL”. Actually though, I could stare at your home page all day, it’s that aesthetically pleasing. Although there is an abundance of whitespace, I believe it helps draw the attention of the viewer to your photos. I noticed as well that your Instagram account that is linked in the sidebar contains photos of a similar theme and appearance to that of your website. Continuity! Nice touch.

In terms of proportion, I think your titles could be a bit larger in size as they seem to get a little bit lost in the shuffle while scrolling through your page. Or perhaps even a slightly thicker font will help create an emphasis and guide the viewer.

A couple of other concerns I have are about the customization of your website. Keep in mind, I’m not the best person to critique this aspect because, personally speaking, I am terrible at changing code to make computers do what I want, so please take this next part with a grain of salt!

The Olsen WordPress Theme you have chosen is absolutely stunning, but that still leaves room for you to personalize and tailor it. I’ve noticed several other websites with this theme and they tend to look very similar to one another. And as Travis Gertz brings up in his article, How To Survive The Digital Apocalypse, there is a lot of pressure to apply what has been successful with other organizations to our own. I am definitely guilty of looking at other websites using my same theme for ideas. I do appreciate the customizations you have done with your colour scheme to set yours apart though and I’ve noticed that the font you have picked is much heavier than the default one (seriously what were the designers thinking with their original, no one can read that!).

Speaking of my own experiences, it’s easy to see a theme laid out for you, take it at face value and just layer in your own content without any modifications. But even the design aspects, that have been tried and tested and made it to the final stage of these WordPress themes, shouldn’t be blindly accepted as the ultimate perfect design.

We can’t trust the data. And those who do will always be stuck chasing a robotic approach to human connection – Gertz

Journey Through The Lens

Dear Israrul, Let me begin with saying I FEEL YOUR PAIN (regarding the SFU tuition fees). It was nice to know about you from your ‘About’ page and thank our for sharing your photography passion with all of us! Let’s dive in… THEME AND CUSTOMIZATION […]

Dickwitz Does Canada

Dickwitz Does Canada

First Impressions
When I first opened your website, I noticed that your description under your title said “Indigenous perspective…” and I IMMEDIATELY knew who you were from the speed dating challenge during second week of classes. I think that the topic of your blog is so fresh and different from other students, so you already have an edge. I do think that at the moment, you do not have a lot of visuals besides the one picture that is attached to the “Heart of a Wanderlust” post. It is not the picture itself that puts me off, it’s the black font on white background, with contrasting typefaces for the menu, the blog titles, and the author. I would consider adding pictures to all or most of your posts because your blog is so unique and you are essentially exploring your social environment so it would be nice to have some form of visual to go along with each.

Theme and Customizations
I don’t think it’s your theme that is off-putting, I feel like its the customizations that have made it a little awkward and not as eye-catching as it deserves. You have such amazing content that should be read because you’re speaking about the harsh realities of indigenous people like in your recent post, “Heart of a Wanderlust” where you speak about the pain that your parents suffered as children going through the residential schools and the good life you had as a child. If I was you, I would consider customizing the theme differently or changing the entire theme in general because I don’t feel like I as the audience am getting much from your website design. I like how you have a clear visual equilibrium in which your content is symmetrically aligned, like we discussed in the Mauve Page guest speaker lecture. There is a lot of white space, which I would absolutely recommend coming up with a solution for. Don’t fret too much because this is a major issue for many people in the class and in some cases, like my own, coding is the only solution. Either try to add a bold background to amplify your text or add more pictures to your blog posts. I would also like to add that with your theme or customization, the picture attached to “Heart of a Wanderlust” looks like it is the site wide main background picture when it isn’t. I would consider having a design process set in mind. Try to map out how you want your blog posts to appear because right now, it seems a little unorganized.

Typography
I would suggest deciding two or three fonts that are related to one another or mesh well and stick with them for the remainder of your website because from what I see right now, each element of your blog has a differing typeface. You have a different typeface for the title, the menu, the blog titles, and the blog authors. If you were able to minimize the amount of typefaces you use, I think that your blog would be so effective and more cohesive as a whole. There isn’t really a typeface that I think is better than the other, I think they’re all great, it just comes down to picking the ones that you like best. Having too many can be confusing and definitely sticks out, I was able to see the difference almost immediately. Also, I would change the way that your website description, “Indigenous perspective of media and social encounters” appears on the page because at the moment, it is very awkward. Dickwitz Does Canada looks fine but when the description comes underneath it, it just does not look polished for some reason. I would either center it or make it so that the title and description appear on one line each because I feel like if you made the description appear on one full line while the title DDC appears on three, it would not make as much sense.

Layout
I think that inserting the “read more” break into your text definitely minimized the amount of reading and space that the blogs take up on the front page. However, I would recommend inserting them at better places throughout the posts because at the moment, the text breaks off mid-sentence and it doesn’t quite make sense. I think that doing that once or twice is okay because it adds a sense of mystery but doing it more can be a bit overwhelming and confusing at times. I will give you credit for having your titular picture be aligned properly to your blog post, this goes back to your symmetrical layout according to the visual equilibrium.

 

The spacing between each blog post is a little awkward, which makes it hard to understand where one post ends, there is too much space in between the date of the post and the content of the post.

Social Media Integration
At the moment, I don’t see any social media being integrated into your website. If you don’t know how to add them, head over to plugins and install one. I would recommend Instagram if you were looking to emphasize the visual aspect of your blog but since all I see is mainly text, I think maybe Twitter might be a good choice. You have a great way of writing, as I saw with your “Heart of Wanderlust” post and I think that if you can be concise with your words, you should aim for a Twitter plugin.

Site Structure
I noticed that under each blog post title, it says your name which I don’t think is necessary considering the entire blog and content is being written by you. It’s repetitive and makes me, the audience, think that you’re not responsible for every post on the blog. Below the author name, it has the date and number of comments on top of the actual blog content, which I think is also unnecessary, although if you choose to keep this, I would put it under the content so it blends better together. I feel like when it is over top of the content of the post, it takes away from it.


In regard to your menu, I think that it might be a little minimal at this point in time. I would consider adding one or two more categories to give your readers a feel of the content because right now, you have your About, Home (which does not necessarily constitute a page), and #POSIEL which is the course posts. You should have a place for your blog posts that are separate from the course content so that readers can navigate quick and easy to the stuff they want to read about. I don’t know if you are aware that when you hover over #POSIEL, the Process Blog title heads too far right and gets into the picture which is a tad off-putting. I would figure out a way to reel it in more because there definitely is space for it.


I think that maybe the About page should be at the top of bottom, but I would suggest not putting it in the middle because its different from your content as it introduces you to the author. It should be very easy to spot for the reader when they are accessing your blog. Also, I do not know whether Ariel spoke to your tutorial about adding a picture to the About page to make it more relatable but Suzanne definitely spoke to us about that. I would recommend adding one to your page so that you can add a face to the beautiful writing.

Usability/Mobility
For the most part, your website is very accessible and similar across all platforms. Once again, I think that you should consider adjusting how your posts pop up because the date and author are taking up too much space and then there is also the problem of too much space between the post title and the content. I think the white background with black text and different typeface doesn’t work well when considering the mobility of the website because it just doesn’t separate the titles from the content that well. It’s the font sizes that save the audience from knowing what is what. I would suggest continually looking at mobile viewing websites like Screenlfly (www.quirktools.com/screenfly/) so that you are up to date with how your website is appearing across different platforms.

Final Thoughts
I have nothing bad to say about the content, it’s absolutely amazing and different from anything I have read so far. I think the only problems with your blog are related to design. By fine-tuning the design issues, I think that you can get a much bigger audience because at the moment, your blog looks very unfinished. I think that this has somewhat to do with the black text on the white background, it comes off too plain.

My Hobo Life — A Review

A review of Ran Bi’s wonderful blog, My Hobo Life, found at http://raebbb.com/.

A first look at this simplistic blog has already gotten me interested via the title. It’s already relatable; I too, feel like a hobo most days out of my Uni life. The title is a wonderful font, and I definitely dig it. There are a couple things Mauve mentioned in class I would edit though; for example, a simple code to fix the text in all of the posts to make it black instead of grey might help with reading the posts and the overall contrast. As well with the colour, it might be better to use a different colour than the yellow/gold. Even though it’s more of a gold, it is still a little faded or difficult to contrast with the rest of the page as it is white. When I scroll down to the Vision board and process piece, the only post I see so far with a picture, the colouring makes sense. If you had this at the top of the page as a featured picture, it would make more sense to have the colour theme that you do! Or even if you used the green or brown in the picture instead of the gold. That is just my opinion though, based off of what we learned in class about design.

When you scroll to the bottom of the page, there is an uncategorized post that WordPress automatically posts for us; “Hello world!”. I would delete it, as it kind of clutters your page. Same with the “Uncategorized” category — just delete it and have the “Posiel” one. Regarding categories, I’d put your “Recent Posts” at the top just because that’s the first thing I’ll look for when I’m first on the website.

I like the Instagram and messenger icons on your main screen, however there’s another Instagram icon in the top right of the website. I’d actually put your search bar up where the smaller Instagram icon is!

I would suggest adding more pictures and try out some more interactive ways to promote your social media and posts; include links and maybe previews of the pictures. Honestly, these little things just come with spending time with it and messing around with all the code. It’s been confusing I know! But these are all suggestions and I am sure you have more planned for this.

A public is the social space created by the reflexive circulation of discourse

— Warner, 2002, p. 120

I think this blog has a lot of potential, particularly in humour. What does it mean to be a “hobo”? Is it the clothing I wear, or perhaps is there a new term for uni students who dress/act like hobos? Many students, especially those who live in res, have felt that they are basically hobos. I’ve literally walked around in my onesie. Am I your “public”, as Michael Warner defined in Publics and Counterpublics (2002) (http://knowledgepublic.pbworks.com/f/warnerPubCounterP.pdf)? Do we veer away from modern capitalism? I would think so, with the term ‘hobo’. We are always prioritizing food and sleep. Either way, I am excited to see where this goes. As you post more, you’ll create your own voice and your own public. Keep it up!

Review: Daily Hive Vancouver + This Week

Without a doubt, Daily hive is one of the most relevant outlets to find trending content of Canada’s largest cities. Thanks to Facebook, I get to see at least one Daily Hive’s post on my feed every day. For such a mainstream and developed news/entertainment outlet, I was curious about what their actual website looked like. I then went ahead and visited their Vancouver-based website. My first impression of the site was that they’ve integrated a very minimalistic design for the navigation aspect which made their posts more outstanding. Each post features a high quality photograph as the thumbnail and it is relevant to the post content. The header is very clean and sharp as it features Daily Hive’s logo, a dropdown menu, a separate logo that leads to a link of Daily Hive’s food related posts and a search bar on the right-hand corner. I would say the header still has a lot of “real-estate” or white space that makes it look “naked”. However, Daily Hive may be planning to add on more of their own domains on the top, just like the “dished Vancouver”. To look for specific categories, you would have to click on the dropdown menu and while that does not clog up the front page, I think putting some categories along the header will be more accessible for readers and it can also fill up some white space as well. The dropdown menu is also represented by a faint gray three-lined icon which does not stick out to me and it may not be recognized as a menu for some people.

I like how the thumbnails are organized in an asymmetrical format but it still looks balanced since there is an equal amount of white space framing the website. I really appreciate that you can see the trending content right away because being a news/entertainment outlet, people look for the most up to date and relevant news. Since Daily Hive relies heavily on their social media platforms, I think bumping their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram widgets more to the top would be better. I like how the website has an end and it is not an infinite scrolling site because that would be too overwhelming. Overall, Daily Hive’s website looks professional, clean, sharp, and simple.

This Week:

After week 4’s lecture, I realized that there are many aspects to a website that allows you to personalize it to fit your identity and customize for an appropriate audience. I always thought the thing with WordPress is that it’s limited to its templates and default settings but I was wrong. Working with a template is a good starting point but I’ve come to realize that there are so many things on the website that can be changed and shaped into my liking, with the right codes of course. This week, I’ve been experimenting with adding custom CSS to my theme. I was able to change the font for my header, from a cursive style to a more bubbly and rounded font. I thought it fit my overall theme better and it was easier to read. At the same time, I thought it would be appropriate to change the tagline font as well, and I did. I also found a working code that spaced out the characters, and I specifically remember from lecture that it was a highly suggested method. After spacing the letters of the header, it occupied more “real-estate” and it made the website more balanced. It might be only a few changes, but it took me quite some time to experiment with different codes. One down side of the change is that it shifted the words on the mobile viewing and now the header and headline are overlapping. Until I figure out how to fix that, the overlapping is going to have to stay.

Life Itself — Peer Review 1

Austin Lee Blog Review (http://austinl33.ca/)

I immediately see a gorgeous Beagle doggo. I am already starting to smile and get super excited for dog pictures. I guess all of us dog-lovers are the same. I love how the description under the title is a different font than the rest of the page. The tabs are nicely spaced, and the search bar is discreet. The colour theme so far is eye-pleasing and natural. I almost feel at home. All before I even scroll down!

As I scroll down past the fold, however, the pictures of macaroons and food in a pan seem a little contrary to what the blog is supposed to be about. The search bar widget also seems a little repetitive and unnecessary, as there is already one at the top. Further scrolling leads to another picture of a backpack. I think if you changed up the pictures to something a little more relevant to the specific post Austin, I would get that same homey, excited feeling like I did at the top of the page! The rest of the widgets look fine and organized. I find they are very similar to the setup of mine.

I click on the first post, PBP#2 – Lecture: Chris Kluew. I have to say, I was really looking forward to pictures! I have already mentioned this, and we are still developing our blogs so I’m sure the pictures will come (especially the doggo ones…) I think it would help with the white space a lot with each post I’m seeing and make it aesthetically pleasing to see. Also, I know these posts are filed under PUB 101, but as an outside reader, they might not know what your title for the post means.

Ah, more beagle pictures. I am so happy! I think as her owner, you are the best person to even imitate what she’s seeing, or thinking, if you ever think of doing something more along a first-person (as the dog) point of view. I’m so excited to see how this page, “nature walks with Koby” develops a little more. Would you ever attach a GoPro to her and post the video? Maybe do some narration as her? Just an idea. Also, definitely just followed your beagle’s Instagram page. And you have her point of view in the description too. Love it! This gives her such a cool online identity and I feel like I know her.

So now, in summary, I should say I am very excited to keep up with your blog and Instagram. I think using the two sites can really enhance your online presence, and the use of pictures, video, or whatever other media you end up using will enhance the reader’s online attendance to your site. Like Matthew Stadler (2010) said, you are creating and writing on something you are a fan of, and I can feel that already in your posts and pictures (http://vimeo.com/14888791). I aspire to have my blog and Instagram interact the way yours does!

Unlike how Craig Mod (https://www.wired.com/2017/01/how-i-got-my-attention-back/#.djqfcpajo) wants his attention back from the digital world, I don’t mind giving mine to your blog. I feel like I am experiencing the good ol’ dog life, not just consuming it. Keep it up!

Peer Review

Rachel’s 12TO12 centers around her language learning experience. First of all, the blog’s name is catchy. I like how Rachel’s name the blog in a way that reflects her characters.

Rachel decides to hides the menu with the stoke sign at the top of the page. I would prefer the menu shown rather than hidden as It took me some time to look for the menu. She has created four menus — About, PUB 101, Korean Language Learning and K-POP.

In ‘About, Rachel greets her readers with a clear at the same time thoughtful introduction by including a fun fact about Korean culture. It would be better if she had rearranged the paragraphs, placing the ‘fun fact ‘as the last paragraph so the introduction of your blog title, which is more important, will come before the sidekick, the fun fact.

In ‘PUB 101‘, Rachel sets up a page for PUB 101 with a short paragraph explaining the reasons she takes the course. I think it is a good attempt as it gives readers an idea why this column is set up. There is a link for ‘process posts’ which links to all of her process posts. It would be better if she had renamed the process posts according to the subject that she is discussing, rather ‘Process post + the date’. The date of the process post is a bit redundant as the date of posting is shown automatically under the title.

In Korean Language Learning, Rachel shares with us her Korean Language Learning Journey, which I think is a good attempt. I especially agree on the point that they are handsome actors in Korean drama. It would be nice if she had included the pictures of her handsome actors in the article and translate the Korean greeting into English so that readers could understand the phrase. Adding an image of the 50+ characters would make the passage easier to follow. These will make the article more entertaining and eye-catching.

As for the header image, I think the size of the image is appropriate. It would be better she chose dark blue rather than sky blue for the words so that they stand out more. I like the two fonts that she used and how she has capitalized the words to indicate their importance.

I like how she has sorted articles clearly and orderly using categories. The posts are easy to follow with those categories. There is no article under the column K-POP yet. I look forward to the page about K-POP.

All in all, Rachel’s has a clear vision of what she wants to share with the readers. She has paragraphs introducing herself and PUB 101 which let readers familiar with her and the course. She may consider showing the menus, adding more images and changing the colors of her words.

 

 

Review: The Armageddon and Me

I will be reviewing my fellow classmate’s blog: The Armageddon and Me. Zoe’s blog features a simplistic design with black texts on a white background. I personally think that for a topic like the apocalypse, a darker or warmer colour scheme would be more fitting. I think it will create a more mysterious mood for the audience when reading your content. The tagline, “cults, cusine, and the dating scene of the apocalypse” gives me a general idea of what the site is about and I truly appreciate that because I was quite startled at first. But in a good way, because the topic and content is so different and quite refreshing. On a quick note, I believe it is supposed to be “cuisine” instead of “cusine”, but please correct me if I am wrong. The site is pretty developed and I like how it is easy to navigate around the site. I really appreciate the minimal tabs established: Apocalypse Daily, About, and Process Posts.  Centering the About tab is a nice touch because I think that is the first place people would go to for a taste of what to expect of the site, so I would say it is pretty central.

I am suggesting to make a PUB101 tab and the Process Posts tab can then be placed under that so that school assignments or any lecture related posts can be more organized. On top of that, a Peer Review tab would be nice or a Reflection tab, which would all go under PUB101. After reading the About page and some posts, I can already sense that Zoe is very creative in terms of her imagination and words. Obviously, her blog is dedicated to an imagined life after an apocalypse but reading her work makes you feel like you’ve got nothing left and joining a cult is your only hope to enjoy time.

I am not sure if it defeats the purpose, but I would like to know more about the genius mind behind the posts. I am thinking that adding a short biography can be useful but there may be reasons why it is not up there in the first place. Perhaps this may be Zoe’s anonymity behaviour in cyberspace and this concealment of identify allows her to share what she is most passionate about to her readers. This behaviour is the most common because people don’t have to own their behaviour and I can personally relate to this as well. Moreover, I like how the “Featured Posts” section is kept because I think for a topic like this, people need as much guidance as possible and this will give them a chance to read the author’s best picks first. As I scroll towards the bottom, there is a final section titled, “My Diary”, which features Zoe’s vision board post and I am not entirely sure if it is necessary since it is categorized under the Process Posts tab anyway.

Just small details here and there but I’m totally hooked!

Check out Zoe’s blog here!

Dog Blog: A Review

Hello all! I’ll be reviewing the dog blog, The Life of Pip in this post.

I waited until last minute to review this blog, since (if the blog owner was anything like me, a mess in trying to work out my blog) it seemed appropriate, so I got the chance to read the feedback I got on my blog from the same user and I’m glad I got some valuable suggestions (like, I didn’t even know I could change my name from admin?? WHAT IS THIS? LEARNING IS GREAT) – even though he most likely viewed my blog in the state of an unfinished mess. So let’s move on with the review!

First Impression:

My first impression of the blog is that there was a lot of white space. There was nothing that specifically caught my attention unfortunately. Suzanne mentioned in class that the front page should hook the reader in, but there wasn’t a lot for me to look at. However I love the idea of having Pip’s profile picture next to the blog title. Also: dog blog? Super catchy, I’m all for it. Piptures?? PiPosts? TOO CUTE.

Exploring the site:

I’m not 100% sure how the blog layout works, since there aren’t a lot of posts (it’s ok, same though, blog posting is hard!!). One thing that kind of disrupted my experience exploring the blog was that there was WAY too much scrolling involved. I’m not sure if there is the option once you get more posts to have a bunch of posts lined up and a short preview of them so a person can navigate more easily to find a post they might want. Additionally – I’m unsure of this, but is the “PiPost” subsection going to list all of Pip’s individual posts? If so, I feel like that would get super long at some point – but like I said I am totally unsure of how the blog’s layout is going to be like since, like mine and probably most of the class, it is lacking posts and sort of unfinished. Most of us are new to blogging so I totally understand lack of content. I just wish I had some idea of how Pip’s blog posts would be organized or laid out then maybe I could give better feedback or not misunderstand the layout? Sorry.

I love the photo gallery for Pip, I feel like it is essential for any dog lover!! (Like me). However, this is just a suggestion, but maybe – as more pictures are added – the size of the picture can be shrunken since they are all hyperlinked to a bigger(?) picture. So therefore, more photos can be viewed from the subcategory “Piptures”, and then if a person wanted to look at a photo in more detail, they wouldn’t have to scroll through a bunch of photos, instead they could just click on a photo of interest to get a more blown up version.

I also liked the format of your posts how you would add a picture at the end of every posiel post, it was a really nice addition to a lot of text and it kind of just -completes- everything.

Having Pip’s instagram in the sidebar is SUPER clever – it’s a nice way to link interested people to your alternate social media platforms if they want to know more.

For your About page, honestly I am super horrible at HTML and CSS coding but I’m not sure if theres any way you could fix the fact that there’s “about” on the left side, then a huge description of everything on the right side, leaving a huge white space on the left? It’s sort of distracting to me, I know sometimes blog layouts are difficult and it’s annoying but my friend straight up calls me an art ruiner because I like everything to be symmetrical. However, when actually reading your about page, the first paragraph TOTALLY captured me, I love your use of humor right off the bat to loop the reader in! The rest of it was also really touching and I liked the thorough history you gave about Pip!

To sum it all up:

Some layout issues, but amazing content! Keep it up, and hopefully we can see more of Pip soon!

Peer Review – Music Without Genre

Hi Dio, Let me begin by saying that I really liked the idea of your blog. I myself am a big admirer of music, no matter the genre or the artist’s popularity. Your insights into the topic are short but thoughtful, while the supporting media, […]

Everyone Sweats

The era of social media has created a generation obsessed with posting their best selves for the world to see. In many cases, these “best selves” are far reaches to what their actual lives resemble. During such times, it is a rarity to uncover someone willing to be honest with their audience about the less than picturesque moments. Ivan So Sweaty throws social normality out the window and reveals an attempt at a genuine connection with his audience through honest communication about problems everyone faces. Let be real, everyone sweats, we’ve all had self-conscious moments with clammy hands and sweaty pit stains.

Website Review

Upon first glance, the aesthetics of the Ivan So Sweaty are pleasing to the eye. The header collage of pictures are organized in a geometrically sound way and the blinking arrow intrigues the reader, pulling them down towards the content of the website. The empty white space at the very top of the page is prime real estate, I can appreciate the minimalist design of the website as that what I am aiming for with mine as well, however, it seems like a bit of a waste leaving it entirely blank. Although the images on the home page speak for themselves and are far more powerful than any words can be, a title letting the viewers know what website they are viewing could be helpful and still fall in line with a minimal approach.

Your True Self

After reading your About page, I had a pretty clear idea as to why you chose this subject to focus your website on. Ivan makes a point to say that although it may appear he is presenting a genuine and honest version of himself, it is only one part of him and he is not presenting his entire self. In John Sutler’s article, he poses the question of the true self being constructed and buried upon layers of personality, if this is the case then does the disinhibition effect release that true self? Regarding this website, I would instead argue that the true self is made up of different parts, Ivan is putting forward a personal part of his true self yet at the same time, hiding other parts of his true self. In addition, Sutler also talks about dissociative anonymity and how that gives you power. Ivan, you have revealed a personal and ongoing struggle that you face in your daily life but you have used your last name in a way that can be overlooked by the majority of your audience. The pictures on your home page also depict a man looking to be in his 20’s but again have all identifying features hidden. Being able to separate your website from your real world identity can perhaps allow you to be more open with your blog posts but it also can create a sense of distrust between you and your audience.

 

Overall, I really like your concept for your website because at the end of the day there are 2 kinds of people in the world, those who sweat and filthy liars.

Peer Review #3

For this peer review I will be looking and my classmate Sharlyn’s blog. Sharlyn’s ‘About’ page fully describes to what she intends to write about, and therefore describes what type of audience she intends to write for. I believe that her primary audience, at least at the beginning, would be people that are already a part her life and wanting to keep up with how she is doing. And seeing she does have friends and family from all over (i.e Brunei and Malaysia), I think that her blog is successful in marketing towards that audience. On the other hand, I also think that as new people begin to stumble upon her site, they will start to learn more about her and what she’s about and want to continue following her life. This audience would likely be within the age range of 18 to 28, who have similar interests as she does.

Content

Sharlyn’s content is clearly meant for people who are interested in following her life and adventures. It is also great for people who may want to escape their own lives for the moment and step into her shoes to see what she’s been up to lately – which is made easy with plenty of images that she includes in her posts. In fact, she posts more images than text in most of her personal posts.  It is also great that she posts images of herself doing the activities that she posts about, as it adds even more of a personal touch to her blog.

One aspect of her blog that I think would attract new traffic and have her audience keep coming back is her “My First Apartment!” segment. I believe that many people who will be or are currently going through the same life change as she is would have great interests in keep up with her current transition. As well, the topic of moving homes is an easy one for monetization if she does intend to make money through her blog.

Scrolling through Sharlyn’s blog, I noticed that she has a mix of both her personal and academic (PUB 101) posts. Seeing that she has decided not to hide her process posts from her main page, her audience would also have to be interested in seeing the process of her building the blog as well as other aspects of her academics (i.e. peer reviews and essays). I also noticed that she has many posts and has been posting regularly, which is important as consistently posting is the best way for Sharlyn to learn how her audiences respond to her content and be able to adjust accordingly (Jesse Thorn,  2012).

Design

Sharlyn’s blog has a great minimalist design, with simple and concise widgets on the left side, which I like because it allows the readers to focus on her content as they scroll down the page. She also has an image that takes up the full screen upon landing on her home page, along with the name of her blog and a tagline. Although it is a beautiful picture, it does not really illustrate what her blog is really about. The tagline ‘At times, I wish I was Lara Croft’ also doesn’t tell me much about her content.  A change of image and tagline to something that reflects more on what the blog is actually about may be helpful as that is the first thing that audiences see when they land on the page and the image will be what helps them determine whether or not they would like to stay.

On the other hand, I love that Sharlyn has made her own logo. As she has mentioned in her “Remix” process post, she wanted it to have a “report” feel, which seems fitting as the name of her blog is ‘The Sharlyn Report’. It is also nice that she has something that makes her blog stand out from others, especially in the “copycat culture” that Travis Gertz talks about. In the current culture where everybody uses the same themes or designs because it’s what works, it is nice that Sharlyn was able to customize in order to stand out from other sites that may be similar.

Overall, it looks like Sharlyn has a great idea of who is writing for and what she would like to write about. Her personality and authenticity shines through in her posts, making it very easy to be interested in her and her life – I feel as if she I actually know her and am her friend. I look forward to seeing more from her in the (near) future!

 

Gertz, Travis. 2015. “Design Machines. How to survive in the digital Apocalypse.” July 2015. Available from: https://louderthanten.com/articles/story/design-machines

Thorn, Jesse. 2012. “Make Your Thing.” http://transom.org/2012/jesse-thorn-make-your-thing/

Peer Review #3

For this Peer Review, I got Maddi Wilson’s:
http://maddiwilson.com/ 

Maddi’s website sets the stage for many viewers to enjoy the simplicity of life, in an attempt to discover the writing in an open landscape, free flowing and direct, straight to the user. From an unbiased perspective, I really love the layout of Maddi’s website as it clearly depicts and directs the audience to a clean atmosphere for an ease of reading. I really also enjoy viewing the large “notes and such” title that displays a large, yet subtle way to convey an open and creative atmosphere for the viewer. Maddi’s website is a place for anyone to see a glimpse of her life and what she likes to read, her opinions through reviews, and just really anything she is up to lately.

Looking at this in terms of advertisements, I feel that Maddi’s website can gain a lot of traction through the use of affiliations to the types of books, films, or articles she chooses to review. A lot of companies are looking for people to create an in depth review of their content, so I feel that this website could be that perfect platform for the audience to follow her content on a regular basis, also creating an environment for marketing to a certain niche. Furthermore, her content can also have banners along the side of the website, as the layout is more open than other websites, which can be an advantage to market that way as well. Links to Amazon, Kindle, or any of the book sharing websites may be something that she can do in the future as a following starts to grow on her website!

However, I noticed that Maddi’s beautiful and open layout caters to a relaxed atmosphere, I feel that she can improve by adding more visuals to appeal to a larger audience, especially those who are drawn to images and large letters. With this, I her title and her “moon and sun” post draws me in immediately, I would also love to see more of those visuals present in her other posts to gain even more traction in the marketing aspect of things.

All in all, Maddi’s use of her open layout create an atmosphere that is visually appealing, marketable, and is adaptable for a future for advertisements and potential revenue gaining tactics that will grow her audience base into a much larger one.

 

Peer review #3

Peer review: http://whatswongwiththeworld.ca

 

Intended Audience group:

I think that the blog’s intended audience group is people who are interested in Canadain and American politics.

Content

The website is about politics in daily life specifically in the United States and Canada. The blog owner discusses their personal viewpoint on the state of politics and is extremely passionate about the topic. The goal of the blog is to teach others about the importance of politics. I personally think the sites name and content is extremely interesting. The name “What is Wong With the World” is unique and an intriguing name. I was instantly curious about the topic of the website. The content itself is well written and informative that also remains objective. Wong certainly links well and engages with the audience through critical analysis. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the blog posts especially the post about fake news called ‘The Alternative Facts of the World’. According to the journal article by Nancy Fraser, the blog acts as a public sphere that “conflates at least three analytically distance things: the state, the official-economy of paid employment and areas of public discourse” (pg.57). According to Habermas, the idea of a public sphere is that of a body of “private persons” assembled to discuss matters of “public concern” or “common interest” (Fraser, 1990, pg. 58). Hence, the blogger chooses to share their opinion about the topic of politics by citing different resources that support the opinion of the writer.

However, every process post is not accessible since they are password protected. I would highly recommend that Wong unlocks the process post to allow the audience to read the process posts. The peer reviews are also locked with hinders users from reading Wong’s critique on other people’s blogs. Furthermore, the Canada tab does not have any content. I would recommend that Wong’s locks the Canada section and provide a preview of what type of content will be posted under the category.

Design

The design of the blog is very minimalistic. I actually like how the minimalism contrasts with the flamboyant topic of politics. The site is extremely easy to navigate which has both the main menu and a sidebar. The posts are categorized according to the topics. The categories are separate from the main menu items, I would recommend that you should change the categories into menu items to increase more functionality. The blog uses very few pictures, one being the main image on the homepage that is made of text. I like the design and I think it suits the topic of politics well. I will keep up with the blog!

The post Peer review #3 appeared first on Prab Bassi.

Peer Review #3

PEER REVIEW #3 Audience and Channels: kimlaughasmuchasyoubreathe.com

JUST LAUGH AS MUCH AS YOU BREATHE

Kim is a second year university student who spent the first 14 years of her life living in Hong Kong. Her website ‘www.kimlaughasmuchasyoubreathe.com‘ details her adventures and experiences as she explores the foreign country of Canada. Her posts are written in first person and display a personal account of her travels both around Vancouver and the surrounding cities. The website is aimed at study abroad students living in Vancouver aged between 18 and 26. Assessing the marketability of the site for that target audience depends on two main factors; the content and the design.

CONTENT

The content of Kim’s blog posts are very well suited to her target audience. Detailed recounts of her trips to Seattle and Harrison Hot Springs paired with stories of local activities like laser tagging in New Westminster provide readers with ideas and inspiration, particularly useful for someone who is also new to the city. I believe that adding some posts about the differences between her new lifestyle in Vancouver compared against the lifestyle she grew up with for 14 years in Hong Kong would be very interesting. This would also be beneficial to giving some more relevance to the ‘exciting yet challenging’ aspects of exploring a foreign country that she references in her About Me section. There is an also an opportunity for Kim to monetize her posts by partnering up with some of the local businesses she is visiting (e.g. laser tagging) to do some sponsored content.

DESIGN

The design of the site is very simple and aesthetically pleasing. The bright green and yellow header image supports the theme colours chosen and also the positive, happy tone of the site’s content. Functionality wise, there are a few improvements that could be made to enhance site navigation. Firstly, the main menu has 6 tabs; Home, About, theREALfun, Musings, Blogs and Process Posts. From there however, there are no sub-menus. I believe it would be beneficial to add sub-menu’s under these sections (e.g. PUB101 > Peer Reviews, Essays, Process Posts | Blogs > March > Longer Days, America’s Rugby Championship, Seattle). This would allow users to open a specific blog post in one click. Secondly, the home page displays the entire posts rather than just a small excerpt from each post. This makes scrolling down the home page quite difficult – especially when some of the posts are quite long (e.g. the Seattle post). To fix this issue, it would simply be a matter of checking the ‘show excerpt’ checkbox in settings rather than ‘show full post’. Another design aspect that may benefit the marketability of Kim’s site is adding a ‘Contact Me’ tab to the primary menu bar so that viewers and potential sponsors can easily and efficiently get in contact with Kim.

Kim has successfully produced a website that is interesting, functional and engaging. The content is consistent and clear and the site as a whole is very marketable. Kim has a very clear target audience and her content and design works to support that interaction.

Peer Review #3

For my third peer review, I am reviewing Zhifeng’s (Neo’s) blog, www.neo100.com

In order to assess his blog’s marketability to his intended audience, I first had to determine who his intended audience might be. So I went to his About section. There, I learned that his blog is a space to discuss Chinese movies, primarily looking at the Chinese culture in the movies. From this, I can deduce that his intended audience is people who are interested in Chinese movies (or maybe even just movies or Chinese culture in general). Now I can turn to assessing his blog’s content and design from the perspective of one of his audience members.

Content

Neo has two posts that relate to his blog’s content. The first one reviews the movie Buddies in India. From his post, I learned the synopsis of the film and learned that the movie is in fact based on a famous novel about journeying to the West. Relating to this, Neo also discusses Chinese New Year and the New Year movie season. As a reader, I find his post informative and engaging. He discusses many different aspects relating to the movie as well as movie culture in general, which I found very interesting. In his second blog post, Neo reviews the movie Journey to the West: Demon Chapter. He talks about how this follows the current trend of reconstructing classic tales to create new content that might appeal to movie audiences. He also provides a useful explanation of a type of character seen in the movie.

Overall, I find Neo’s content interesting, informative, and ultimately, related to his blog’s theme. He also links well to external sites in which he finds his information. However, one suggestion I would make is to make more posts. Neo only has two and thus, more movie reviews would appeal to returning readers! Another suggestion I have regarding content is to make the posts a bit longer and analyze more aspects of the movies and their cultural content. Finally, Neo may want to consider advertising. As we have learned through class and the readings, ads can really help to attract readers as well as be a source of potential revenue. And considering the blog’s theme, I would assume that movie-related ads may appear on his website, which might be attractive to readers.

Design

When I follow the URL of Neo’s blog, this is what I am greeted with:

The title at the top makes it very clear what the blog is about, which is an important first feature to have. I enjoy the header picture and think the blog has a simple, clean look to it. However, there is a limitation to Neo’s blog with the Menu bar. The menu bar has only two sections: Home and About. And in fact, on the home page, there is only his two movie posts. In order to access Neo’s Posiel content, you have to find his categories, which are here on the side:

This layout is not very intuitive and as a reader, confuses me. Additionally, the fact that he has ‘Recent’ as a category seems even more confusing. If you click on Recent, the posts that are labelled with this category are the same two posts that are on his home page. I do not understand the reasoning nor logic behind this. As we have discussed in class numerous times, intuitive design is very important in guiding readers logically through a blog and in helping them to engage with the content.

Finally, Neo does not have any links to social media or ways in which to contact him directly. He might want to consider adding links to different platforms so that readers can engage with him more. However, this would be a personal marketing/branding choice and thus he may not want to do that for personal reasons which is completely okay!

Overall, I enjoyed reviewing Neo’s blog and I think its strengths lie in its straightforward and informative content. However, his design may need tampering with in order to make his blog more accessible and really unlock its full potential!