Author Archives: Kirsten

Messed up on my meal plan + Gym Update

So on my last blog post about my fitness update, I told you guys that I can eat rice again but alternating veggie only days and rice days…

Well, I’ve been doing that for the last few weeks but turns out I was only supposed to do that for a week—oops!

It was just funny because when I told my boyfriend (aka my personal trainer) about it, he said “I thought I was clear on this” but I misinterpreted what he said.

All good though! If you guys mess up like I did, just know what it’s okay because it’s all part of the process!

Gym Update

I should also note that I haven’t been to the gym the last few weeks either. I was so caught up with school stuff that I am always feeling so tired everyday and I just did not have the time to workout while having so much studying to do and having time to rest.

Now that things are kind of getting a little more chill, I am planning to go back this week!

Just a reminder—it’s okay to take time off from the gym to prioritize other things. We all get busy so it’s okay to rest, but be sure to not overwork yourself to the point our mental and physical health gets compromised!

Process Post: Busiest month

We are about 3 weeks out from the last day of school and I couldn’t be any more excited.

The last few weeks have been so busy—the busiest I probably have ever been in my entire academic career. I attend so many meetings for group projects and office hours.

But despite the fact of how busy things have gotten this term, I am confident that it is all worth it because all the hard work I put into my assignments, projects and overall studies will pay out.

Here’s to another successful semester!

Peer Review #5

Marilyn Brimacombe’s blog is a place where the author (Marilyn) aims to share tangible tips, tricks and hacks for beauty, wellness and lifestyle, as well as how to live your best balanced life. 

When I first got onto the site, I noticed that the site overall has a certain aesthetic and style to it—clean, cute and girly. The first thing I noticed was the carousel of images, which visually illustrates what the site is generally about. As a user of this site, I am particularly drawn to it. I also saw a few hints of pink in the images, which feels like it ties the entire aesthetic together. The font choice also fits the aesthetic well, making the entire site consistent, which makes me want to keep navigating through the site.

Another thing I like about this website is how easy it is to navigate through the different categories of the site. Not only are these categories shown in the top navigation bar, but they are also shown closer to the bottom of the homepage as clickable images with a text label of the respective category. In addition, I think that the categories are well chosen because it shows the type of content I would want to see as someone who is part of the intended audience.

One thing I think would make the homepage a bit stronger is to add a little bit more detail on what the site is about or what its goal is. Currently, the only pointers I saw that hinted what the site is about is the tagline under the site title, which reads “The ultimate guide to beauty and wellness,” as well as the categories. Adding another short blurb on what this site aims to do for its intended audience might be something that could incline more users to stay on the site and learn more about all the tips and tricks for beauty, wellness and lifestyle. 

Diving deeper into the site, I can see that the headings of each post are really big in the previews. This catches my attention and inclines me to read more about them. Moreover, titles and general content for each post is well related to the goal of the site, which is a good thing because as a user in the intended audience group, it would make me confused if the content did not relate to the goal of the site and would make me not want to continue using it.

Lastly, the about page is great in describing with detail who Marilyn is, what she does and why she does what she does. The goal of her site is very clear here, and she ties in her passions and interests, and what she does to the goal of her site in a cohesive way.

Process Post: Google analytics

It was interesting to play around with Google Analytics and seeing how many people are visiting my site.

However, I had trouble going through Google Analytics during the tutorial in lecture today. Not sure why but the interface I saw on my end was really different from what Suzanne was showing.

For example, in the screenshot below, I only have two columns (Suzanne’s has three) and I don’t have a UA code.

Screenshot of Google Analytics Admin Page

Even some of the other stuff like the left side bar is different as well.

Not sure why this is happening…maybe I didn’t connect my site correctly? Or is this a new version of Google Analytics? But then again everyone’s should be the same because its Google…

This wasn’t as intuitive as I had hoped but hopefully we get it figured out!

Process Post: Adjusting the Navigation Bar (Again) & New Favicon

Navigation Bar

Honestly not sure why the navigation bar of my site was the hardest thing to figure out and design. Another thing I had to fix was the text colour of the items in the dropdown under “posiel.”

Initially, the text was a light grey, and that obviously was hard to read. It wasn’t really intuitive to find where to change it so I left it for a long time.

Screenshot of site editor with original text colour for dropdown menu
Screenshot of site editor with the new text colour for dropdown menu

Today I finally got a chance to make changes. Looking through the customization options for my site, I found where you can change the colour of the text, so I made the text colour the main teal used for my site.

Favicon

One thing I forgot to do for my site was change the favicon to my logo icon so that the WordPress wouldn’t appear on the internet tabs. Once changed, it looks so much better, and you can see that the site really is mine. It looks soooo much better (:

Screenshot of new favicon of Kirsten Lifts logo on Google Chrome tab

Finally Got to Eat Rice Again!!!

For the past week I stopped eating rice or bread and mainly focused on eating vegetables for my carbs…which was really hard to do if I’m being completely honest. #RICEISLIFE. My food seemed a little sad without rice…or maybe that was me…

I did this to mostly see how my body changes and feels, and I did lose a significant amount of weight, and I’m definitely happy about that!

I honestly found myself feeling hungrier more often. I think its because my body isn’t really used to not consuming rice or bread.

However, today I finally got to eat rice again!! You bet I was so happy. My food all of a sudden didn’t seem so sad!

For this week, I will be alternating between days when I can eat rice and bread, and days when I only eat vegetables for my carbs. Can’t wait to see how my body progresses this week!

Peer Review #2

Perfume Log is a site that gives perfume reviews to help the intended audience find their own unique and perfect perfume.

When I first opened the website, the first thing I noticed on the homepage was the large amount of whitespace under the heading “Home.” Although whitespace is good, this one on the website currently feels like there should be some content there. Is it intentional? Why is there empty space in an area where content would normally be placed?

This empty space also appears on the About page. I think maybe it’s because there’s an about section on the right hand side underneath the image? 

This site doesn’t seem to offer much affordances at first glance. Donald Norman, as quoted in Victor Kaptelinin’s article “Affordances,” explains how affordances can be utilized in design: “Affordances provide strong clues to the operations of things…When affordances are taken advantage of, the user knows what to do just by looking: no picture, label, or instruction needed.” For Perfume Log, other than the navigation bar, there aren’t really much clues on where content is on the site—at least for the Home and About pages. 

The overall design however has a nice minimalist aesthetic to it. Even though the site consist of a white background and black text, the image on the right hand side adds a nice touch of colour and contrast, making it eye-catching.

The general layout of the site is different. Looking at example homepages at the beginning of Travis Gertz’s article “Design Machines. How to survive the digital apocalypse,” they were all relatively the same: a background image with an overlay, some text and a call to action button on top. This is something that I’m guilty of and never realized how common these layouts are—so props to the author of Perfume Log for choosing a different layout.

In addition, Gertz also says “when another company achieves success, there’s a lot of pressure to investigate what they did right and apply that to our own organizations.” I can see this happening with a lot of websites of major companies, but with Perfume Log, it is apparent that there was no pressure at all to “look like the rest” or “go with the trends” with regards to the design of the website.

Although I like the aesthetic and style the Perfume Log site has, I would suggest maybe adding some type of content to the empty space on the Home and About pages, just to give a clear idea on what the site/page is about. Even though there is an About section, people might not be able to see it right away and get confused as a result.

Process Post: Website Design Critique

This week after the design lecture from Mauve Pagé, I looked at the design composition of the Surrey Art Gallery Association (SAGA) website, particularly the Membership page.

Screenshot of the Membership page of the Surrey Art Gallery Association website

What’s Working

  • sense of branding in the top navigation bar
  • The Membership button in the navigation bar is highlighted to show that that’s the page we are on

What’s Not Working

  • the banner image under “Memberships” does not seem to fit the brand of SAGA
    • it’s also distracting from the body copy
  • the “Membership Rates” on the right → the top has more space than the text on the left
    • this misalignment feels awkward and not as clean
  • The grey body copy is hard to read well