This week, I will be doing my second peer review, this time on the blog “A Blog For Life Livers.” I will be writing this post directed to Hope who is the owner of this blog!
I think the idea behind your blog is very cool. At first, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I came across the title, but as I explored through your blog and your posts I got a better idea. I read a few of your blog posts and really enjoyed your writing! On your home page, it is mentioned that readers will be able to recharge their mind and this really stuck out to me as I was reading the blog post “Magic: Sometimes Lost But Always Found”. It was a very calming and magical piece that is able to transport readers into a different world and allow them a moment to restore. I also really liked how you used this narrative voice at times in your process posts like in “Trail Tales”. It really transforms your posts into a story and I found it to be one I could vividly imagine, which made it more fun to read.
When it comes to the design of your Home page, I was a little confused at first by the blank page. “A Blog For Life Livers” appears when you hover over the top left corner, but otherwise I was unable to know that your blog had loaded. Besides that, I really enjoy the minimalistic and soft aesthetic you use in your design. It definitely creates a clean and calming effect which goes well with what your blog is about! Instead of having this bullet point menu under “We hope you find what you’re looking for” I think it would be more accessible to have the same kind of menu that you have on the blog on your home/main page. I thought this menu was laid out nicely and would make more sense for the flow of things to have it on your home/main page as well.
A suggestion would also be to add categories under your “Blog Post” section like “writing” or “poetry & short stories” if you are interested in doing that and plan to write more in these categories! Another way to stoke things up might be to add featured photos with your blog posts so there is a visual capturing the reader’s attention, making them want to open the post and read more. It will also help to differentiate your posts when they are all on one page.
As mentioned by Travis Gertz in “Design Machines: How to survive the digital apocalypse”: “The cover gives us a hint about what’s inside, and teases out our emotion, begging us to read the rest.”
Gertz also mentions “…layouts [which] show engaging, powerful messages that internalize without even reading the piece.” I thought your use of photos in the blog posts was really great, so using some as covers could be a way to feature them more prominently! Since this review is focused on design, I did not pay too close attention to editing details but one thing that stood out to me at times was capitalization. For example, in your blog post “Boarder X”, Indigenous should be capitalized. Also at times, you switched between having social media platforms like Instagram or Snapchat capitalized and having them uncapitalized. This is just a small thing to look out for so you can stay consistent! Perhaps at the start of your posts, you could also capitalize “Blog Posts” so it appears like a heading, but it is up to you. I think your typography is very clear and works well with the minimalistic aesthetic. The way you format the text in your blog posts is nice and makes it easy to read. I love how you do different formats in your posts like in “Sunshine.” This makes it very unique looking and inviting to read as it provides movement to the text.
Overall, I thought your site was a breath of fresh air and I was really inspired by some of your posts (like the 3am thoughts!). I think with some small improvements, your site will be even more accessible, inviting, and be a great space to showcase your hard work. I can’t wait to see how your blog evolves and what more content you create!