Peer Review #2

This week I get to review Samantha Tsui’s blog The Good Food Project. From a first glance, the homepage is clean, organized and simple. The size of the photos that lead to the blog posts are a good size, they allow the user to get an idea of what the post will be about without having to guess through the title if they’re unfamiliar with specific foods. There is a strong contrast between the text in the banner and the photo behind it, which supports the user experience of readability as well as usability since that is where you go to navigate throughout the blog. “We can’t design experiences,” (Gertz) but we can support efficient user flow by making things more user friendly. Although the combination of the font and photo go well, I’m not quite sure what the photo is of exactly but that’s a minor problem. Back to navigation within the website, the process of getting from one page to another is very simple since the menu is always at the top of the page with nicely labelled categories that show drop down menus leading to posts. The links that are used can be easily identified, because the hyperlinks all have underlines under them that lead to a new tab when you click on them.

However, I find that there is a slight issue with the hierarchy between the sizes of the blog title and the blog post titles. Hierarchy “expresses the organization of content, emphasizing some elements and subordinating others,” (Lupton, 132) but I find that the size of the blog titles are a bit too big, overpowering the blog title, which should be the first thing you look at when get a glimpse of the page. The contrasts between the typographic elements and their respective backgrounds are equally strong, which makes me question what the user will look at right away when you land onto the page. Another thing to mention about the home page is that I’m not overly fond of the ‘About’ page being the first post displayed under the banner because if I was a returning user, I could get the impression that the owner of the blog hasn’t posted anything new since the About page post is still the first thing on the list. However, I’m not exactly sure if that post is only first at the moment because Samantha recently just posted it or not.

At the footer of the page, it seems that there is too much negative space since the footer contents only occupy a small amount of space in the middle of the big grey box of the footer. A suggestion would be to either tighten up each line, like how it is in the banner above, or take advantage of the wide grey footer and use 2 columns for the ‘Recent Posts’ and ‘Categories’ to make the footer not as tall. I do like the design of the social media icons at the bottom because they’re very simple and monochrome, but some of them don’t lead to Samantha’s accounts so it seems kind of redundant.

After looking through a couple of posts on The Good Food Project, I see that there are consistently small photos. “It’s more important to design something that our target audience loves” (Zhuo) and I think that the target audience, which is most likely someone interested in food would like to see big photos of the food to get a real imagine of the food rather than just reading about it. Since the photos are all generally small, I think that increasing the size a bit more would make the posts look more appealing and would balance out the composition of typographic elements along with the images.

References:
Lupton, Ellen. Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students. 2nd ed. New York: Princeton Architectural, 2004. Print.
Gertz, Travis. 2015. “Design Machines. How to survive in the digital Apocalypse.” July 2015. Available from:https://louderthanten.com/articles/story/design-machines
Zhuo, Julie. 2014. “Facebook Design Director: The 5 Most Common Design Mistakes” Available from:  http://www.fastcodesign.com/3039362/facebook-design-director-the-5-most-common-design-mistakes

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