As Gertz (2015) suggests, “the cover gives us a hint about what’s inside, and teases out our emotion, begging us to read the rest”. Based on the landing page, our eyes wander to the visual that takes up almost the entire page with the subheading “The place where healing pieces are found”. From the visual colour schemes and bolded font, Sammyuniverse provides a comforting and calm blog. The ties to the universe create an intimate space for her and her readers to exist together. Based on the homepage and her headings, Sammyuniverse is a site for her personal thoughts, introspection, and interests in film and music. Upon further inspection, the mini text on the home page says: “I hope this become[s] your healing space as well – although it is not very healing. Just me, you and the universe”. I find that this sentence contradicts each other by saying she hopes it becomes a healing space and stating it is not a healing space.
Another thing that caught my eye was the heading “WELCOME TO MY UNIVERSE!”. Since Sammy’s blog is called Sammyuniverse, retitling it to “Welcome to Sammyuniverse” could be better. Further, the capitalization of “WELCOME TO MY UNIVERSE!” draws your attention and can be distracting as the other text is written in lowercase. However, I think Sammy does a good job creating proportion to her homepage as she emphasizes visual imagery with her bolded heading.
Friendly Suggestion: The contradiction between her blog being a healing place can create a confusing message to readers. I would suggest that Sammy either claims it is a healing place and leave out the “although it is not very healing” to better hone in on her audience. Rewording her message statement will help her refine who her target audience is and how she wants her audience to engage with her blog.
Upon scrolling down, it seems like Sammy’s blog is half completed. She has left the general format on her homepage unfinished/not deleted. Some blocks are filled in with her blog topics, so it would be beneficial for her to figure out how clustered/decluttered. As Gertz (2015) suggests, “We can’t design experiences. Experiences are reactions to the things we design”. It may also be beneficial for Sammy to choose a colour scheme to follow, creating a specific mood/emotion, as she has chosen more pastel/ soft colours that create a sense of comfort and calm.
Sammy utilizes the astrological banner throughout all her pages, which creates a sense of rhythm and predictability in her blog. Her about section is brief, and she discusses her motif for creating Sammyuniverse at the bottom of the page, sandwiched between a meme that she finds describes her. On the side of the page, we have mini clickable surprises that Norman (1988) called “strong visual clues to the operation of things”. As Kaptelinin (n.d.) explains, “user interface elements provide this kind of strong clues, are clickable buttons and tabs, draggable sliders, and spinnable controls, as well as other elements that more or less directly suggest suitable user actions”. Sammy adds a playful user action that lets her audience be pleasantly surprised with calming quotes that add to her aesthetic. The subtle moon icon also ties back to her astrological theme. The about page would also be a great way to add your social media links for readers to get into touch!
Friendly Suggestion: Since Sammy has created cohesion with her site using the same banner, I suggest using those colour schemes throughout her website instead of the coral orange to create unity.
Diving into Content: Kpop World
Sammy has created proportion and rhythm on this page using three square repetitive images. I like how she has added an embedded Spotify player for easy accessibility to users. Further, the mini descriptions of her favourite k-pop bands are interesting.
Friendly Suggestion:I would love to read more about why Sammy likes those bands listed and see her relate to them personally. Likewise, Sammy can also talk or link a few of her favourite songs by each band so audiences can have a better introduction to these bands.
Overall Takes: Sammy has made a great start to her blog, and I love her creative visual choices. Sammy can consider her colour palette and whether she wants them to match her astrological theme. Additionally, Sammy does have very cool, solid visual clues to the operation of things and smooth transitions to her content, such as the movie review page. Something to think about is creating uniformity of layout throughout the content, and images and texts are different throughout the blog. Additional things to think about is figuring out what type of font you want to use or whether you want to create a mix of them such as heading and subheading difference. I have noticed a mix match of fonts being used and sticking to one or a few would create better unity. Likewise, adding an accessibility button should be a top priority as it enables everyone to have the ability to access to your site and their ability to read your content.
*However, please take my suggestions with a grain of salt, as you have personal agency and creativity over your blog.
Gertz, T. (2015, July 10). How to survive the digital apocalypse. Louder Than Ten. https://louderthanten.com/coax/design-machines
Kaptelinin. V. (n.d.). Affordances. The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 44. Interaction Design Foundation.