Tag Archives: school

Design Elements & Mauve Pagé

Process Post #4.

This week we were asked to think of a website that we frequently visit and analyze it, looking at the design elements. From this week’s readings and hearing the ‘best practices’ by our guest speaker, Mauve Pagé, we are to see ‘what works’ and what… doesn’t.

Well, YouTube seems to be the easy choice. BUT, nothing good in life comes easy, so let’s say… Pinterest.

Pinterest is an interesting one: it gives the feel of a personal blog, but still operates as its own site. Users are able to, within reason, customize what they see by creating their own ‘boards,’ and ‘pinning’ the posts. It is meant to be modelled after a bulletin board – you pin ‘notes’ or posts that you want to see, as inspiration of thinks you like. Essentially.

Mauve Pagé went over basic design elements, like fluidity, of the overall design of sites with particular respect to blogs. One of the concepts she outlined was usability – how easy is it to use? To find what you’re looking for? And how long are you likely to spend on each page (potentially generating popularity and.or ad revenue)?

Well, upon signing on you are blessed with your own personal ‘feed’. This feed is a combination of posts you have already ‘pinned’ to your board as well as ‘suggested’ posts based on your searches, and the occasional sponsored post. As you an see from the image above, I have been looking at re-doing my room… Pinterest knows this. I have a white and blue theme I’m going with, Pinterest knows this too. Usually I don’t love the idea of information mining, but considering it’s helping me find posts that I was already looking for on their site, I’ll let it slide. The usability of this site is pretty basic – it displays posts and photos, you pin them if you like them which ‘saves them for later’, and you can access the websites that will lead you to other blogs, links, or websites to shop. Pretty sweet!


Often I find that users have the ability to import static images… which is great if I want to just stare at the picture, but I don’t. I want to be redirected to where to buy! This is a major downfall, and I can imagine it may cause some users to switch to Wanelo, a similar site, but it strictly links to websites for ‘where to buy.’

Wanelo screengrab.

So, this is a downfall.

While on the topic of Pinterest usability, I would appreciate a sidebar. Pinterest allows for a link to your profile which includes all of your ‘boards’, ad a search bar. I think a sidebar perhaps displaying categories of different posts would be awesome and get the creative juices flowing!

One of the elements that Mauve mentioned that intrigued me were colour schemes. Pinterest just has a white background, and the posts and feed that you search kind of make up the colour scheme (if there is one at all). Considering I was looking at white and blue furniture and paint, my feed actually looks quite nice and fluid. However, all it takes is one pesky sponsored post to mess that up. As far as what other users see of my page, they see what I chose to pin. So, to make it ‘pretty’, I could make my boards colour schemed.. which may diminish the whole point of Pinterest, being that it gives you a variety of inspirations – if I were to only post certain colours, I might miss out on posts and links I love!
The background of the Pinterest site is white – I feel like this is probably a good design choice, considering everyone’s feeds will likely be a variety of different colours. Maybe an option to customize it, like a desktop wallpaper, would make it a bit more ‘fun’.

Back to my site.

I decided to apply a few of the elements of Mauve’s talk to my site, namely colour scheme!

Initially, I took the greenery that was in my About Me photo that appears in the side bar  and apply it throughout. I took a green and white plant photo from google image and applied it to the background. It tiled awkwardly and wasn’t perfect, but I kept it for a bit. It wasn’t until Peer Review #2 that I finally decided to ditch it for something that I felt looked less “piece-y.”

I also have change the hyperlinks throughout my site to a green colour that subtle-y matches.

I created a logo for my site with gold lettering that I don’t want to make green, so I have now changed the background to gold forks, similar to the logo. Hopefully bettering the colour scheme!


Learn to Lie #6: Stay invisible

Have you ever wanted to crawl into a hole when you’re in class and your professor is waiting in silence for someone to answer the impossibly complicated question she just asked and you’re praying to all the gods that she doesn’t start calling on people to answer?


It’s like a battlefield in your chest when their eyes scan the room and she makes eye contact with you for a split second.

There are many tips and tricks to avoid this.

  1. Wear dark clothing – Dark clothing is the key to blending in. If you wear bright colours in class, you are more visible. You will catch people’s eyes and you will attract attention. This is a mistake. Dark clothing will make you invisible.
  2. Pretend to be occupied – If you pretend you’re busy writing notes or copying down the lecture slides the professor will believe you’re engaged with the content of the class and will avoid calling on you. They’re looking for people who are clearly avoiding getting called on.
  3. Look confused – But not too confused. You don’t want to come across as wanting to get clarification as to prompt the professor to call on you. You want to look the right amount of confused to make the professor believe you’re still trying to work out the question in your head, but that you will get there eventually.

These short tips will help you avoid getting called on in class and will hopefully calm your anxieties about school. I know it has worked for me!

Happy avoiding your scary prof!