Tag Archives: #peerreview

Peer Review #2

Today I am reviewing Lucas’s art blog Krowmeat Does Art. I have previously been to his site before and find his aesthetic somewhat amusing. It is a mixture of creepy meets purposely gaudy. The colour story of his blog consists of a saturated dark blue and a very bright yellow. This coincides with his general art style which is also primarily made with glowing primary colours, heavy line art, and graphic novel inspired as illustrated below:

Along with the artwork he has currently posted in his blog, he also has linked an instagram which showcases other artwork as well as a twitter account. He has an About page which gives further insight about who he is as a creator and what his online persona is like. In some of his posts, Lucas muses about his art process and other artists he gains inspiration from.

Lucas’s blog is fairly easy to navigate. It has different categories that separate class posts from general posts and art posts, and also includes a nice menu tab on the upper left corner. There are some grammatical errors present in posts, however, said posts are exceedingly casual in tone. Thus, I find no issue with that. Again addressing the blog’s aesthetic, but it is possible he may alienate potential viewers. It is definitely an aesthetic chosen for the author rather than his audience, however, I understand it and I do not feel he needs to change it considering his blog is aimed at a more casual rather than professional crowd. Content wise there is not much to add. Lucas is clearly updating regularly, and has a decent amount of artwork and posts on his blog in addition to his social media pages.

As a former art student myself, it is nice to take a slightly deeper dive into another’s process and aesthetic. If I was to add a bit of wisdom I received from my own art professors, I would recommend also having a more business professional website or social media contact if Lucas wishes to monetize or sell his skills in the future. It is a very difficult thing as an artist to accept that sometimes you have to sacrifice your own tastes a bit and make a compromise in order to get your foot in the door so to speak. That said, I am certainly not saying he should or has to follow this advice. I am merely pointing out that the art world is a fickle mistress. Overall, it is a good blog and I look forward to more posts from him.

Peer Review #1

For this Peer Review assignment, I will be reviewing Mehtab’s blog, Vancity Exotics. It aims to “create a clean, minimalist, and futuristic website” about cars and car culture. As of right now, there appears to be little implementation regarding this specific topic. In “Process Post #2”, Mehtab expresses that this is, in part, due to his busy schedule. He also feels frustrated regarding the aesthetics of his website. Personally, I feel he has accomplished a fairly nice and clean looking website. Granted, I completely understand his frustration. The only aesthetic issues I see involve the inconsistency with the banner text-type as illustrated below:

I do not feel this is more than a nit-pick, however, I felt it should be noted. The simpler text type on the bottom image I feel is a better fit in comparison to the fancier one above. Particularly due to Mehtab’s statement that he wants something that feels “minimalist” and “futuristic” is accomplished on a rudimentary level. The black, white, and grey colour story is nice and easy to read. As for user interface improvements, either having a tab bar or set categories would be useful. Currently, most posts appears to be listed under the sole category “uncategorized”. This makes it a bit difficult to navigate between posts related to the website’s topic versus process posts or assignments from class. Not all of his posts are under this category as well, which makes navigation a tad more cumbersome. Content wise, as stated before, is somewhat bare and I would suggest adding an introduction page to really emphasize what he enjoys and knows about cars and car culture. As of right now, the only thing that shows his audience what his website is about are the header and “Process Post #5”. In terms of an “online self” being created on this blog, there is not much. I believe Mehtab wants to keep his identity somewhat anonymous for the time being. Overall, taking a look at a peer’s blog was a great way to see how students express themselves in different ways with the same tool set. I think it is an inspiring thing to see, even with personal struggles.

Peer Review_3

For the final peer review, I was assigned to review Emma’s personal blog. When I first open up Emma’s blog, I am impressed by her design. I really like what Emma do with her website. For example, in my opinion, the grey background color mixes well with the black texts- a smart choice to present her blog. Even though it seems quite simple to go with this combination of color, I can easily and comfortably enjoy reading Emma’s literatures. In this circumstance, compare to blogs that have color contrast that is uncomfortable to human eyes, Emma has made the great color design choice for her audiences. In addition, the other good design that I adore from Emma’s blog is the well organized and structured categories. Throughout Emma’s blog, I can easily navigate through the main menus- assignments, writing and poems that Emma wish to present to her readers. With these well organized menus, surely I can tell that Emma’s intended audiences will be people who love to read and write different types of literatures. Similarly to the colour theme of Emma’s blog, the majority of the titles Emma sets are simple BUT strong and meaningful. From these simple BUT strong themes, they reflect the personalities of Emma. Just like Emma states in her “about me” page, she wishes that her readers can understand the person behind the posts. From my point of view, the short introduction tells me that the contents are created solely by Emma and represented Emma herself- “Simple but Strong and Meaningful.” At this point, as Emma’s reader I would really like to read more about her posts once I see these “simple BUT strong” titles. For instance, the poem “confidence is key” have my attention right away when I see it. As expected, I am touched by Emma’s poem that “I wish I had as much confidence as the men who know they won’t be held accountable for their actions.” Through looking at Emma’s posts, personally, I definitely believe that Emma has the potential to attract more readers in the future. To emphasize, myself unfortunately is not a big fan of reading, especially not the literatures that are written in English. Nonetheless, Emma’s posts have the charm can draw my attention to go on reading her writings. In the circumstance, I think that Emma’s blog also has the personality to fascinate people who are not interested in reading. Ultimately, I would say that it is my pleasure to review Emma’s blog this week. I really enjoy reading her literatures and I will definitely keep following her writings in the future! Lastly, I would like to thank Emma for her review of my blog as well, really appreciate it!

Thank you for reading, if you are a big fan of reading different literatures, check out Emma’s blog, here!

Peer Review 3: Taking Life by the Love Handles

For my peer review, I am reviewing Jenella’s blog titled Taking Life by the Love Handles.

A quick glance of her homepage, I know why she chooses this theme. The pink tones and colorful photos of food are welcoming. The white is a nice contrast to highlight her blog content and it helps accentuate the colors of her photos. It’s appealing and easy on the eyes. It compels me to read more!

As you scroll down her homepage, her social media pages are easily available. To me, this is showing that she markets her personality with her blog. They go hand in hand and I believe she includes her own ‘self’ into her content. Where she eats tells something a little bit more about herself.

Food is the center of her brand, and she makes it clear. On her About page, she explains why she loves food and why it’s important to her. This idea and how she presents it is creating a space where she expresses herself and why she writes about food. She even addresses this when she shares her personal experience on doing something other than food on her Food and Friends blog.

These ideas are present and explained danah boyd’s It’s Complicated where she writes about the feeling of togetherness and through networked publics, communities can be connected through technology. For Jenella, she is creating this blog of togetherness. Almost all her times eating out are with friends! She shares her physical experiences through this network and her other channels.

She does a great job showcasing this physical space too. With her social media presence and her appealing photos, she is spreading wide on multiple channels. The pictures serve as a tangible step to a purely networked space. As seen in the Youtube stars’ trend on publishing books,  it’s good to have a balance of online and offline content. Her blog posts have a balance of media and text. It’s a bonus that she takes great photos!

I do want to suggest a way to have these ideas better presented in her blog. I feel that she has a lot to say, and it doesn’t have to sacrifice the content she already writes.

Hot Ones on Youtube

Hot Ones is one of my favorite web series because it brings a fresh take on interviews; eating very spicy wings and talking. What I want to highlight for Jenella’s blog is the fact that some guests do a great job conversing about the wings and about their careers well that it becomes an interview for both. Alton Brown comes to mind. Each restaurant she goes to does not necessarily need a ‘deep’ or ‘introspective’ conversation with her friends, but I see her as being part of the content too. I’m curious to see why she chooses this restaurant or what is exciting or familiar about this restaurant? These elements would give more ‘food’ to the readers about who she is and exemplify the reasons she loves the food.

Peer Review #3 – Piece of Cake

I had the opportunity to review Anissa’s blog, Piece of Cake. The name of the blog is very clever as it fits well with the content. I applaud her on taking this commonly used phrase and making it meaningful by creating relevant content.

I would suggest adjusting the tagline so that it states “tips and tricks for event planning on a budget” instead of “tips and tricks to party planning on a budget” since the content encompasses more than just parties as it includes birthdays, weddings and holidays. With the adjusted the tagline, it would create a transitional flow with the about me section as the tagline and the first paragraph of this section would be more connected. The remainder of the about me section provides a personal perspective as to why she has chosen this topic for her blog. It is evident that she is passionate about and has a strong interest for event planning. This passion is essential in marketing her blog to her intended audience since this is what separates her blog from others. Unlike Toast which did not have a clear mission statement, Anissa’s tagline acts as a mission statement as it lets readers know what the objective of her blog is (Carpenter, 2016).

Moreover, consider removing the home category since clicking on the name of the blog, Piece of Cake, directs readers back to the homepage. Also, the usage of three different shades of grey on the homepage makes the page seem busy. I would suggest using two consistent shades, a light, and dark grey so that this ensures what Mauve Pagé called unity through colour consistency (Pagé, 2018). Furthermore, the aqua on the homepage seems out of place since it was only used once. I would suggest incorporating more of this colour so that it creates what Mauve Pagé called rhythm (Pagé, 2018). Changing the colour of the “subscribe to newsletter” button from grey to aqua when a viewer is hovering over it would be a subtle yet effective way to accomplish this.

The ability to let readers subscribe to a newsletter is great. I would suggest adding a brief description of what the newsletter will entail so that potential subscribers know what they are signing up for. I applaud Anissa on setting this up as it is a great way to establish readership of her blog. Additionally, it will strengthen her relationship with her audience (Nederkoorn, n.d.). Although it is a rare commodity to see someone actually read a privacy policy, I did not see a way to access it on Anissa’s blog; this may deter readers from subscribing.

A social media presence is a great way for people to discover and share Anissa’s blog, however, since the accounts are not very active, they are taking up valuable real estate on her homepage. If she decides to keep these icons, I suggest moving them closer to the about me section so that after reading about her users are more inclined to visit and follow her on social media. Currently, the icons are situated in a spot where they seem out of place with a large amount of white space above and to the right of them.

Moreover, I enjoyed the content posted on Anissa’s blog as I found the post about Pumpkin Carving Stencils to be very useful as I had never considered poking small holes and using a stencil to carve my pumpkin. I wish that I had viewed her blog earlier so that I could have implemented this a few weeks ago for Halloween, but I will definitely keep this in mind for next year. Additionally, there was a post which seemed to be missing as I received a page not found error; this was the Toasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe. However, the Perfect Pumpkin Pie Recipe reminded me of an article which dealt with the legalities of copyright for a recipe book (Henein, 2015).

Overall, I found the content to be clear and concise; this is very helpful because when you are planning an event there are many things to do in preparation of it, so time is of the essence. I believe that it is very helpful to have the content structured in this manner so that readers know exactly what they need to do and still have ample time to prepare.

In Anissa’s process post from week six, she mentioned that her intended audience is young and middle-aged women. However, I think that her intended audience encompasses many more people especially since there is a variety in the content which she is publishing. I believe that her intended audience and entails anyone who is planning on celebrating a birthday, wedding or holiday and is looking for tips and tricks. Regardless, the content is relevant to her audience.

When it comes to the usability of the blog, I recalled Mauve Pagé’s presentation where she mentioned that a seamless experience across all platforms holds high importance for viewers (Pagé, 2018). With this in mind, I viewed Anissa’s blog on my phone and noted that her entire blog was well optimized for mobile devices. Additionally, it features quick loading times which also holds value for viewers. Lastly, I would suggest adding a site icon so that when viewers pin the blog to their browser it is easier for them to identify the blog.

Ultimately, Anissa’s blog has been designed in a way which makes the content appealing for her audience. If you are interested in reading more, click here!

 

References

Carpenter, S. (2016, May 13). The Toast Is Toast: Literary Humor Site Shuts Down Over Ad Revenue Woes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/shelbycarpenter/2016/05/13/the-toast-is-toast-and-its-devastating/#2845909a48f6

Henein, P. (2015, October 27). You Say “Tomaydo”, I Say No Copyright Infringement: Recipe Book Not An Original Compilation. Retrieved from https://www.casselsbrock.com/CBNewsletter/You_Say__Tomaydo___I_Say_No_Copyright_Infringement__Recipe_Book_Not_An_Original_Compilation

Pagé, M. (2018, October 2). Mauve Pagé. Presentation, Simon Fraser University Vancouver.

Nederkoorn, C. (n.d.). Should you write blog posts or email newsletters? Retrieved from https://customer.io/blog/blog-post-or-newsletter-content-marketing/

Between the Stripes — A Review

Jenny Chan’s blog, “Between the Stripes”, is a beautifully simplistic space to explore new worlds of music while being within the comforts of home. Especially at a time of the year where I would be sitting inside, by a window, while the weather can do whatever it pleases outside. The design reflects this, as if the sun or the natural light was peering through the window trying to see what I was doing.

 

Exploring the site itself, I first notice there is a strange “social media & sharing icons” link that brings me to a page for plugins with WordPress; I’m not sure if you can get rid of that or not, it’s at the bottom of the page, so it’s not the biggest deal if you can’t. However, it looks a little off just because it isn’t aligned right with the blurb above it that reads “BETWEEN THE STRIPES Powered by WordPress and FancyThemes”.

Like I mentioned before, I love the colors, not sure if you could add a bit more shadow around the title and play around with that a bit more? As for the menus and categories, I also think the Home About and Captures sections would benefit from and stand out a bit more if it was placed on the black stripe, but if that was the point to be in between the lines, I would add shadow to that as well.  As for the content, I love how you incorporated all the different senses in the “About” section. Keep up the Captures page!

Your “Recent Posts” section keeps repeating every time you post “song of the day” so maybe change that somehow, or number the title in each one? As well, as a reader who may want to comment, it was hard to understand that the“post comment” button was there because it is highlighted black, so it was a little confusing until I hovered over it to make a comment. I would change that so it’s not highlighted black. The mobile version of your website looks very nice as well.

I’m loving the social media outreach on the site; it makes it very interactive and builds more dimension to the simplicity of the site. My one suggestion would be to use specific social media pages as the blog, instead of your own personal Instagram, or your own personal Instagram. With a Between the Stripes Instagram, you could post your song of the day, maybe a blurb with it. You can also purchase InstaReport to keep statistics on that as well! I know some music-based social medias post parts of songs and perhaps you could do the same on behalf of the page. My confusion with Pinterest leads me to ask if there is a specific page on Pinterest you’d like us to look at that is relevant to your blog? Because there are many boards related to your Pinterest. Maybe make sure it just links to a specific board or perhaps a completely different Between the Stripes Pinterest account instead of your whole Pinterest profile. Otherwise, I have definitely been inspired by the social media interactivity and aspire to reflect that in my website as well!

If anyone is feeling adventurous and has a craving for new music, definitely check out Jenny’s blog here: http://triangularzebras.com