This peer review will feature the website called “Two A.M. Thoughts.”
The How to survive the digital apocalypse reading brings up a point that design is typically viewed in two parts. There is the “how it works” design and the “how it looks” design. Gertz criticizes this classification for being too simplistic, suggesting that these two categories tend to overlap each other (Gertz, 2015). Although the article opposes certain aspects of these classifications, I believe that this is a good place to start when analyzing design. In this review, I will be analyze the website design of my peer and relating it to the two categories of design that this reading pointed out.
"How It Works"
This portion of design concerns aspects such as the layout, interaction, and information architecture (Gertz, 2015).
The writer of 2 A.M. thoughts did a good job at making the website easy to navigate.
The home page organizes the recent blog posts in columns of three. I like how the title of each post is in a larger font, and there is a short preview of the post’s contents. I also like how it is in chronological order and the dates each post was published is visible. This makes it easy to navigate and to find a post that interests you.
The menu at the top of the page is organized in a clear way. I like that the content posts are categorized as “My 2 A.M.s” rather than a general blog post name. This makes the site feel more intimate as it makes the reader feel like they are getting a glimpse into the thoughts of the writer.
One design choice I would suggest changing is the order of the items in the menu. Since the main premise of this blog is to document the writer’s 2 A.M. thoughts, I believe it would make sense to put this category first in the menu.
"How It Looks"
This portion of designs concerns aspects such as typography, colour, form, and photography (Gertz, 2015). My first thoughts while viewing this website is its minimalistic and clean feel. I like that the background contrasts the writing and the font choice corresponds well with the simplicity of the website.
Typically, I prefer websites with pops of colours and images. Although the website has very little of either, I think that it works with the overall theme of the blog. When I think of someone sharing their thoughts in the middle of the night, I do not expect bright and flashy blog posts. The simple black and white posts make me think of someone jotting down their notes in a journal. Therefore, the simple typography a and the lack of colours and images embody the concept of the blog well.
Although the website’s simplicity corresponds well with its theme, I did appreciate the inclusion of images in the post titled “Setting my priorities straight… but not right now.” This blog post includes screenshots of various online activities that the writer does in the middle of the night. The screenshots include the writer’s Pinterest feed, Spotify account, camera roll, and to-do list. Including these images can put the viewer in the eyes of the writer. I believe that this design decision elevated the post.
Overall, the writer did an excellent job at making the website easy to navigate and read. The “how it works” design choices create a seamless experience for the viewer, while the “how it looks” design choices create a space that complement the website’s themes. I look forward to reading more of the author’s 2 A.M. thoughts!
Gertz, T. (2015, July 10). How to survive the digital apocalypse. Louder Than Ten. https://louderthanten.com/coax/design-machines