1) isitusable.ca

            This week, I visited Maggie’s blog on usability. The topic, although being one that I am rather unfamiliar with, piqued my interest because even though I had an idea of what usability was, I was interested to see how this would translate into a blog. Upon entering the site, the theme was rather simplistic and modern, which I feel tailors to the theme on usability because she isn’t trying expense too much. Her headline, “is it usable?” is a good hook as it entices a conversation between her and the audience.

            Her “about” page is simplistic and straight to the point. She does a good job of keeping it concise and after visiting this page, I was able to have a better grasp of what this blog will be about. It turns out that this blog was stemmed by her love of “observing and learning about how people interact with objects and spaces around them” and that the blog will explore “the usability of products… whether good or bad”. A minor detail I would suggest is adding a picture of herself or an image themed towards her blog because it’ll add some more character. Additionally, she could add a contact section that has her email and whatever other social media she feels comfortable sharing.

            After visiting the about page, I went to her blog section. The first blog post was “Minimalism in Web Design”, in which she discussed how minimalistic web designs are better than those of cluttered websites. I liked and agreed very much with her comparison of a Burnaby family dental clinic to the Apple website. Although minimal, it did get the point across that one website was clearly superior in terms of connecting with its audience.  Personally, would have liked if there was a bit more of an analysis on other aspects of the website other than just the home page, however. Her second blog post was “Dyson Air blade Tap Hand Dryers” where she discusses the issue of how conventional paper towel dispensers and hot air blowers in bathrooms contributed to separate issues. The solution? The Dyson Air Blade Tap Hand Dryers, which implements the blower into the tap faucet itself and can be used after washing your hands. Maggie then goes ahead and shares her experience with using one of these to illustrate its practicality. Although I genuinely learned quite a bit from this article, I would have liked to learn more about how well this has been integrated into other parts of society and some general market research that had been done on this product.

            As a reader, I very much enjoyed visiting this website because in my short visit, I was able to learn something new, that being the Dyson Air blade Tap Hand Dryers. Even though I do feel that there can be many topics to be discussed for “usability”, I feel that Maggie can optimize her website if she narrows down an area of focus. For example, she could focus on usability for the internet, or usability for household items, and so forth. I think this would make it easier to follow for the audience. Nonetheless, I’m impressed with what I’ve seen so far and will definitely be visiting this website again!

Website url: http://Isitusable.ca

2) loreoftheworld.com

This week, I was tasked with reviewing Marissa’s website: loreoftheworld.com. Upon visiting the site, I was shocked to see the dark, eerie theme. Still, it was very intriguing. Keeping the factors that Mauve Page mentioned last class, being balance, rhythm, proportion, contrast and unity, I took a closer look at the website.

            Upon visiting the home page, I immediately noticed the contrast between the background picture and the text itself. The text was white, whereas the background picture was a dark forest. This was a good choice in colours because not only did it make the text visible, it allowed the contrast of the background picture to highlight the entire website’s dark theme. Here, I would say the main point of focus is the background picture since it is used to highlight the overall theme. As for the proportions between the different text, I would say that it works. The regular text seems to be of a size 12 font, whereas the headers and titles are slightly bigger, implying some form of importance as it makes it clear where and how to navigate throughout the website. For the rhythm of the website, I would say there is in fact a regular, progressive and flowing rhythm from page to page. The overall theme is clearly the same, and not much changes between the pages. It certainly helped with creating predictability and order in the design of the website. With regards to the balance of the website, I would say that the website is not balanced here because it seems that the way the blocks of text are laid out, are sort of all over the place. For example, the home page has all the text to the left side of the page, minus the menus, with nothing on the right hand of the page. Since this is the home page, this may be a bit unfair, so let’s go to the introduction page. Here, although there is now text on both the left-hand side and right-hand side of the screen, the right-hand side of the screen has drooped down further than the left-hand side because these paragraphs contain more text than the blocks of text on the left-hand side. So, for the unity aspect, I can’t truly say fully that every design factor is work together in harmony, just yet, despite the other factors being fulfilled.

            Page also mentioned the idea behind UX and UI last time, UX being that it encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products. Whereas UI generally refers to the visual elements of a product or experience, the look and feel, the presentation and interactivity of the product. I would say that for Marissa’s website, the UI for now is superior to the UX just because of the fact that the visual aspect of the site is very profound, but the actual usability of the website, specifically with regards to the layout of the text, could be improved upon.

3) pubg101erichann.com

This week, I reviewed Eric’s website: http://pubg101erichann.com/. First off, I will say that the website is a bit clever and cheeky, a nice reference to 4chan and maybe even 8chan at that if Eric uses that website too. Upon visiting the site, I was greeted with a simple grey, black and white theme. I’m unsure what Eric’s true intentions were with this theme, but my best guess is that he wanted to use the colours of film for his website. I thought it was enough, but it definitely could be improved upon to make the website stand out a bit more.

            I tried to find a list of movies that were reviewed by Eric on a single page, but was unable to do so, which I found to be rather weird. You have to keep scrolling down from the home page in order to find what you want. Finally, I landed upon a review on the one time great movies, “The Dark Knight”. Upon reading Eric’s review on the movie, I felt confused right from the get-go, almost more so than when I initially watched this movie. He starts off the review by giving a synopsis of some of the important events of the movie, but not all. I’m unsure what Eric was trying to accomplish here in all honesty. Then, he delves into his actual review where we get a deeper look at the overall story. What’s sad is that Eric actually brings up some good points in his actual review which cleared the confusion from earlier on and even got me to notice things in the movie that I didn’t even notice, but it’s clear to me that English probably isn’t his first language, and so because the review was long, it gradually became harder and harder to read. An example of a sentence I found particularly confusing was “The scene which tries to show us that make us confuse who is Joker and who is Batman, continues to about Joker’s scar, that we never could know hos it happens.” However, I’d like to also to highlight a really neat point he brought up in his review where he said that Joker could be considered the good guy in this movie too, because he had eliminated the mafia that was controlling Gotham City, a minor detail I didn’t consider during my initial watch of the movie.

            As for the audience that Eric appeals to through his website, I feel it would be geared towards movie fanatics of any age. The idea of reviewing movies isn’t so niche that only a small group of people would enjoy it. For channels, I think Eric would benefit greatly in doing YouTube videos for his reviews. I’ve seen and even follow a couple movie reviewers on YouTube, and it’s a great way for me to get a review of a movie I didn’t want to pay $10 to go watch at the Theatres. So, an idea for Eric would be to tackle some of the small to medium sized titles that people would rather just watch a 10-minute review on instead of paying money at the theatres. He can still maintain his website, but I think doing both would make the most sense.