Entering Eliza’s blog felt different from the moment the page loaded, with a setup that did not feel at all standardized or like, “one of the popular yet mediocre (blogs)” that are commonplace on the internet (Gertz 7). Her blog felt uniquely of her and brought me as a visitor along on a unique path of “collections” as she presents her content in a gallery style with containers such as cars in her ‘dream garage’ and ‘nails’ that show some manicures she loves. The blog seemed very much like a fashion magazine in presentation but I appreciated that it was not limited to fashion but extended to other topics that she found personally interested and curated for her blog. The blog also features an accessibility toggle and a simple drop down menu in the top right corner of the page that guides you to a categorized distribution of her content, process, and assignment posts for the class.
When looking for a truly engaging website I tend to immediately notice the typography and visual elements that load as soon as I access the webpage and KeptCollexion exceeded my expectations in the sites ability to encompass personality within the unique distribution and typography.
As Mauve Pagé detailed in her lecture, sequencing and gradation of content plays a major role in the aestheticism of a website and Eliza uses such rules to organize her images on the landing page in a cohesive manner, including unique captions for personalization and to offset the amount of white space (Pagé 2023). This organization is also consistent with her content posts on the other sections of her page and the different mini-assignments that are included under the dropdown menu category.
KeptCollexion uses the same two fonts for the entire blog with the exception of the site logo, with a medium-thickness Serif as a standardized content font. Having just two fonts allows for ease in understanding what Eliza wishes for the title or focus of the reader to be and then the secondary details or content, which is especially helpful as much of her content has a visual focus and therefore distracting text would be an added difficulty. An improvement that could be made on the typography front would be to potentially change the logo text to match the general site topography for uniformity and to attempt to use, “highlighted keywords” or “bulleted lists” to add variance to her writing or content captions (Pagé 2023).
While exploring the page further I decided to attempt to click some headings that showcased recent posts on the website that can be found by scrolling down the landing page but was met with unlinked headings. This was a bit confusing as, “good designs are intuitive” and the rest of the site had headings that were ‘clickable’ which led me to assume those on the landing page should have been as well (Kaptelinin 2002). In addition to fixing this post carousel of sorts, I would advise Eliza to incorporate a search bar or a larger menu into the header of her page which would grant ease of access to visitors and those that wish to search for a more specific topic on the site.
I also had a bit of a struggle discovering who exactly Eliza was despite the focus of her blog being very personal and ‘collexion’ based. The About Me page on her website was not under the drop down where I would have expected to find it but rather incorporated within the content section of her blog. This was a bit inconsistent with how well other items were categorized and I wondered if this was intentional. Some typical questions that those coming onto any website generally ask include, “who runs this page? (and) what is their expertise?” and both of those questions I found took a little while to answer and were not completely addressed even when I found the About Me page (Caulfield 2016). I still have a few remaining questions regarding what the motivation behind the specific categories like ‘garage’ and ‘nails’ are as the About page leans toward the content being random while the posts seem well-categorized.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience of viewing some more visually focused content and reading through Eliza’s work as she has displayed it in a curated Collexion. I find her personal vision in line with Tanya Basu’s description of digital gardens, “individualized, creative sites that eschew the one-size-fits-all” as seen through the unique imagery and captions that KeptCollexion provides (2020). I wish all the best to Eliza in fulfilling her creative vision and can’t wait to see what more she ‘collexts.’
If you would like to check out Eliza’s content yourself feel free to check it out here.
Basu, Tanya. “Digital Gardens Let You Cultivate Your Own Little Bit of the Internet.” MIT Technology Review, MIT Technology Review, 3 Sept. 2020, https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/09/03/1007716/digital-gardens-let-you-cultivate-your-own-little-bit-of-the-internet/.
Caulfield, Mike. “Yes, Digital Literacy. but Which One?” Hapgood, 22 Dec. 2016, https://hapgood.us/2016/12/19/yes-digital-literacy-but-which-one/.
Gertz, Travis. “How to Survive the Digital Apocalypse.” Louder Than Ten, 10 July 2015, https://louderthanten.com/coax/design-machines.
Kaptelinin, Victor. “Affordances.” The Interaction Design Foundation, https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/book/the-encyclopedia-of-human-computer-interaction-2nd-ed/affordances.
Pagé, Mauve. “PUB101 Webby Type.” Mauve Pagé, Feb. 2023.
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