Train, Eat, Sleep, Repeat: An Exploration of the Fitness Lifestyle follows Chris Pham and his fitness goals and journey.
Chris mentions that he is not an expert specifically saying that he is not “a personal trainer or gym expert.” Due to the effect of minimizing authority that John Suler explains in his piece The Online Disinhibition Effect, it does not matter that Chris is not an expert as the internet minimizes the authority of an expert and further validates the personal accounts Chris provides. The content Chris produces is well informed, his use of hyperlinks is superb. Looking at the posts from a reader’s perspective, someone who does not frequent a gym, but rather a yoga studio, Chris writes in such an easy to comprehend way no matter the level fitness enthusiast you are. The posts do seem a bit long, but I do like the use of photos to help break up large chunks of text.
Chris has built an online persona, as someone who prioritizes their fitness and health. This prioritization is essential for the goals Chris has in his life. I think the blog would benefit from Chris’ about section being on the homepage rather than on page that must be clicked on. I would suggest placing it in the sidebar. It would allow for Chris to be upfront about not being expert and would complement the progress and journey nature that so many of Chris’ posts appear to be about. I thought the about was so well written, why hide it and make it harder to access.
The design of Chris’ blog is clean and simple. This stylistic choice lends itself nicely as it allows for the content to shine. Now I will evaluate the blog based on points from our classes design lecture with Mauve Page:
- Balance: The blog is slightly asymmetrical which is a nice touch as the blog posts are bigger, cementing their importance on the site.
- Rhythm: The colours and typefaces are consistent throughout the blog. I like the use of colour in the body texts of posts to help emphasize certain things, such a nice touch.
- Contrast: The large pictures that accompany each new post are eye-catching and are the point of focus in my opinion. The next thing that my eye is drawn to is Chris’ recent post widget in the right sidebar. It is a nice touch, but right now it is full of Pub 101 work including Process posts, I think a reader who came just for fitness content would benefit from having fitness-themed posts easily accessible in the sidebar.
- Unity: The blog has an overall organized feel and all design elements are consistent throughout.
- UX/UI: I found at least with my wifi that the blog loaded efficiently despite large images. I looked at the blog on a mobile device and I loved how easily traversable it is in that form, I love the drop-down menu. One thing though is the Facebook button leads to Chris’ personal account rather than a page centered on the blog. You might want to not have your readership bombard you with friends requests, but rather have them like a page.
Overall the design for the blog suits the content and is great from a user usability aspect. The blog is very clear, has good navigation and great a great loading speed.
The blog’s content and design work in unity to display Chris’ fitness journey, and lend itself to inspiring others to try the same. Good luck with all your goals Chris, great blog!