Peer Review #3: Examining Abysmal Guides
This website was created for a class at Simon Fraser University titled Publication of Self in Everyday Life. In this class, we are developing our own digital identities and assisting our classmates in doing the same. This is the third and final of these reviews.
In this review, I will provide my evaluation of the site AbysmalGuides.com in regard to its intended target audience.
The Target Audience and Content Strategy of Abysmal Guides
The author of Absymal Guides provides a description of their target audience and content strategy in their post titled My Ideal Audience.
In this post, they describe their ideal audience and the content they are creating targeted at this audience. Their ideal audience is beginners or new players of the game Genshin Impact. They then go on to explain that they will be creating posts that help introduce players to the game, as well as some posts describing some deeper nuances which will require the basic information knowledge they provide in their other posts.
Abysmal Guides has developed a clear and concise target audience and an appropriate content strategy to approach this audience.
While this target audience is concise, I do believe that it would be worthwhile for the author to further empathize with their target audience. With this information, they could further explore the demographics, psychographics, and behaviours they believe this group has to better create content suited to this audience. It is worth noting, that this is an analysis they may have done but not published on their site.
Examining the Content of Abysmal Guides
Abysmal Guides’ Landing Page
When an individual arrives at Abysmal Guides, they are greeted by text explaining the site’s purpose and a background image from the game Genshin Impact.
The text that immediately grabs the audience’s attention is a large “Welcome to Abysmal Guides”, after viewing this text the audience likely then goes on to view a caption saying “Just another blog about Genshin Impact guides”. I love the large welcome as it does make me feel welcome, but am a bit thrown off by the caption as it does not assert that this site is the place I need to be. I believe that using stronger language and saying something like “The Genshin Impact Blog for Beginners”, would confirm for the audience that they are on the correct website would improve the site.
The landing page then goes on to explain the two purposes of the site, the fact that it exists as a guide for Genshin Impact beginners and that it was created for a class. This context is something I am sure the audience appreciates as it depicts transparency and lends credibility to the site’s information.
Following this, the audience can then see a few recent posts on the site with clear categories above titles ensuring the audience viewing the site can get to the posts they need to see.
In examining the content of AbysmalGuides.com, I began by viewing the post Things to Know Before Starting Genshin Impact. This post is well-structured and easy to read, very appropriate for this site’s target audience. Reading it gave me a good overview of the game and has enabled me to an understanding that I did not previously have.
Next, I wanted to view a character page as the author described these types of posts as ones that could be viewed and understood only after gaining a basic understanding of the game, so I viewed the post Venti Character Build. This post is again well structured, providing an overview of the character then diving in to specific attributes of the character.
Conclusion Regarding Content
Abysmal Guides is well written. The content fits the audience very well, and the author has accomplished what they set out to do in their initial post. I am greatly appreciative of this and enjoyed viewing the site.
Affordances on Abysmal Guides
Affordances are defined as action possibilities provided to the actor by the environment. They are critical to making the uses of an item immediately obvious (Kaptelinin, n.d.). In evaluating Abysmal Guides’ design I examined the site through the lens of affordances.
Affordances That Make Sense
- The menu bar on the top, provides an immediate easy way for users who know what they are looking for on the site to find what they are looking for.
- The sidebar on the side of the screen has many good elements which make navigation of the site much easier.
- The headers found on public posts make Abysmal Guides, guides easy to navigate. This is greatly appreciated and useful for the users as it minimizes the amount of time they need to spend on the page to find what they are looking for.
Affordances That Could Be Improved
- Author title – Currently, all the posts are authored by “Admin”, changing the name of this poster might be worth exploring, though the title Admin does lend the posts some credibility.
- Category colours – The categories above the post titles are coloured which makes the site much more visually intriguing, but these colours do not mean anything as they are randomly assigned which makes them confusing. If different colours went with different types of categories, it would be useful and intuitive.
Affordances That Could Be Added
- An easy way to access the post Things to Know Before Starting Genshin Impact, immediately after arriving on the site would be a nice touch and fitting for the site’s target audience.
- Headers could be added to the posts created for the course. They are currently on the posts for Genshin Impact which makes them easily navigable and it would be nice if the author carried these ideas over to their other posts.
Conclusion – Abysmal Guides Successfully Targets a Niche
Abysmal Guides does a fantastic job targeting their content at a niche. The site is functional and easy to use, providing users with a positive experience.
In the article Embracing the Power of Niches, Steve Pratt (2020) explains that targeting a niche can allow a content creator to reach audiences that others have not yet realized, and I believe that this site has done a fantastic job implementing this principle. This is evident in the fact that several of the posts on the site have comments from users thanking the author for the information they provide (for example, on the post Things to Know Before Starting Genshin Impact).
I greatly look forward to seeing what Abysmal Guide develops into in the future and thoroughly enjoyed evaluating the site.
Kaptelinin, V. (n.d.). Affordances. The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, Chapter 44. Interaction Design Foundation. https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/book/the-encyclopedia-of-human-computer-interaction-2nd-ed/affordances
Pratt, S. (2022). Embracing the power of niches. The Creativity Business. https://creativitybusiness.substack.com/p/embracing-the-power-of-niches