Peer Reviews,  Pub 101

Peer Review #2: Grace in Adulting: True Tales of a Clueless Adult

Grace in Adulting follows Grace Mavko, the blog’s creator as she stumbles through the beginning of adulthood.

In Tara Chittenden’s Digital Dressing Up: Modelling Female Teen Identity in the Discursive Spaces of the Fashion Blogosphere, she refers to blogs as, “online diaries.” From looking through and reading Grace’s blog it reads like I am receiving insight into what she would write in a diary. I love the persona she has built, how she is open about her struggles, and who she is on such a public platform. This second peer review is geared toward design choices though, so I will depart from talking about content.

In terms of Grace’s themes and customization, I really like her theme choice. The theme is clean and simple, it allows for Grace’s content to shine. With the content being so personal and engagingly written it really benefits from having the space to shine. Looking at the original uncustomized version of Grace’s theme I really see that she has made some changes to it, and her theme feels distinct from the original. The colour (the bold red), the font, and the designs on the right side all enhance the blog making it more personal, more Grace. In Travis Gertz’s Design Machines he discusses “copycat culture,” which is something Grace avoids through customization, the bold colour is her, the text choice is her, the Instagram feed is her. The way in which she writes screams this bold red she has used, the colour and her content complement each other so much.

When it comes to Grace’s typography choices, I am unsure about the mixing of serif and sans-serif fonts. I really like the typeface of the blog title and the shadow on the letters, but I am unsure if it complements the typeface of the body text. I would recommend previewing some different fonts to see if there is a better complimentary pair.

Grace’s layout resembles that of a standard blog. The menu bar placement is great, my concern about it lies in the fact that when you hover over the category, you see all the posts in that category. This will just get cluttered as the weeks go by. This could be amended by having sub-categories, check out this example:

When you hover over Pub 101 for example, you see Process Posts, Assignments, and Peer Reviews as sub-categories. This can be done in the menu bar customization, it should look something like this:

 

Grace has integrated social media into her blog. I love the Instagram feed in the sidebar as the blog is so personal, and the content benefits from Grace’s personal images. The pictures really complement the mood and feel of her blog. The Twitter widget is not sized correctly, I recommend fixing that.

Now to look at Grace’s site structure. In the footer, there are icons that appear to be links, but they bring you to parts of the blog that can be accessed in the menu bar. I think it would be more constructive to have them as social media links, or maybe a link to subscribe. The about section does not need rewording, but it needs reworking. Similar to how #posiel in the menu bar drops down to many posts, the about section does not need to have a drop down element to it. Either about should be clickable and bring the reader to the words and images Grace has curated or the about can go in a sidebar, to eliminate having to click on a button.

To end with the usability of the site. As Mauvé Page stressed in her lecture, one has to examine their loading time and make adjustments to ensure things are not taking forever to load. The loading time was great, it was efficient and even. Grace has not cluttered the blog with too many images or graphics so she avoids an uneven loading time of text and images.

Grace has already moulded an online persona and is doing a great job on putting out content regularly. To make her blog even better, she needs to address some technical problems, especially in the main menu bar feature. I am looking forward to reading about what happens next to Grace, and I wish her a speedy recovery from Shingles (oh gosh, I feel so bad for you. I did not even realize you could get them at nineteen).

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