For my second peer review, it was my pleasure to review Ashley’s website — www.theraincityfairy.com. Upon first glance, I was well aware that her website would include some aspect of fashion/style advice. I really appreciated the bold font at the top of the page and thought it was a nice way of including what Vancouver is popularly known for — rain. Her brand is exemplified simply on her website through the phrase stated as the top of the page that says, “the fashion diaries of a rainy day princess” (Figure 1). One thing I would suggest is increasing the opacity to make it more legible to the reader. Possibly sticking to one or two fonts throughout your site could also help with creating unity and a seamless experience.
THEMES AND CUSTOMIZATIONS
Overall, i enjoyed Ashley’s theme! The way she sectioned off her coursework to pages like about section was very effective for users visiting her page. Likewise, the right sidebar widgets held some great content like a cute image as well as a short description accompanied with recent posts, tweets, etc. However, I did notice quite a bit of white space on her home page that could be used to enhance the user’s experience (Figure 2). In Week 5’s lecture we were introduced to terms like balance and rhythm. Since the home page is responsible for creating the first impression to viewers, I believe it would be important for Ashley to balance out the white space (or negative space) on her website to create a better visual equilibrium. Some possible suggestions to fill up that space could include adding a featured section of your favourite blog posts or even moving some of the social media features into that space.
Another thing I noticed was that the two arrows underneath the main menu don’t really have a function to them. I tried to click them a couple times and was not able to figure out their purpose. I would suggest either taking them out or figuring out a way to use them effectively on your site. A key component of a user’s experience is usefulness and usability. If you could find a way to include a function to those buttons, I think it would help improve performance and accessibility throughout your blog.
SOCIAL MEDIA INTEGRATION
Ashley did a great job at integrating her social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. I particularly enjoyed the instagram widget at the bottom of the home page (Figure 3). It allows users the ability to engage and interact with content to “[encompass] all aspects of the end-user’s interactions with the company, its services, and its products” (Don Norman & Jakob Nielsen). In addition, the social media buttons placed at the top right of the site as well as the ‘contact’ page adds a great touch to your website.
Overall, I think Ashley’s website is developing great user experience and interface. Her aesthetic flows consistently all throughout her blog and extends the same way through her various social media platforms. After reading her blog post titled “skirts, skirts, skirts” I was made aware of her love and passion for fashion. If I were to describe her style in 3 words it would be: elegant, graceful and sweet. I am excited to see how her blog grows throughout the semester — incredible job Ashley!