peer review #2
Peer review of reganmet.com – Food + Health + Lifestyle
First Impression – Theme/ Layout/ Typography
Once I clicked on the link to Regan M’s blog, I first noticed the earthy theme and simple aesthetic that automatically told me this was a lifestyle blog without having to read anything. Regan’s theme is great to look at and her typography is easy on the eyes. Although, for me the brown background colour in the banner with the pink above it doesn’t seem balanced. I would suggest either taking out the pink section at the top or try to add the small pink section below the brown to make the colours blocks balanced. Overall, I like the layout and how filled the home page is with colours, pictures, and widgets to prevent “everything from looking the same… to stand out from copy cat culture” (Gertz, 2015).
Personality – Get to Know Her Personal Interests
This Goodreads sidebar widget is a perfect addition to her blog as it shows personality and allows her audience to get to know her. Also, this widget sets her blog apart from most blogs as she includes this at the top of her sidebar list for a more unique layout. For the future, I would try to see if there is a Goodreads plug-in that would allow you to format your favourite cookbooks in a more organized and easy to follow way. Although, I know that sometimes formatting the widgets can be hard especially if your technology challenged like me.
Social Media Integration – Displays ‘True Self’
Link to her personal Instagram shows true self and takes away the online disconnect. This simple widget is a great addition to her lifestyle blog because it takes way any “dissociative anonymity and asynchronicity” (Suler, 2004). Her instagram is a great way to allow her blog followers to keep up with her daily life by checking out her stories. In addition, her social media aesthetic appears to coordinate with her blog to create an overall cohesive image of her brand. To increase her interactions with blog followers and those who visit her Instagram, I think it would be great to see more highlights, such as, a short highlight showcasing facts about herself. Moreover, add a Pinterest widget on the side bar to help blog visitors learn about her aesthetic and things that interest her since this is a lifestyle blog. My suggestions are just minor ones as I think she did a great job at integrating her social media to present the truest version of her online self.
Navigation – Site Structure/ Usability Easy to Follow
Regan’s site structure is a great and follows the general rules for how to organize pages. It is easy to navigate and follows the ideal site structure: homepage, categories, subcategories, and individual page. However, when I was on the home page I thought that the pictures would be clickable. To make the pictures on the home screen more useful and purposeful, I would add some linking or tags to posts on the pictures shown below. This will allow the audience to easily find posts that you want to highlight without having to go to the menu.
Categories- Organize the Blog
Categorize the recipes and lifestyle posts into their own subcategories. As mentioned in Yoast, “adding this hierarchy and categorizing to your pages help your users and Google make sense of every single page you write” (Rakt, 2020). Moreover, this will help Regan’s blog to look more organized and easy to navigate without having to sift through so much text at once.
Add Some Pictures
After exploring Regan’s blog, I was impressed by the use of cohesive pictures and well-written posts; however, I noticed that her pages were a bit bland as seen in the screenshot below. As mentioned in Contents May Have Shifted, readers want “content that can flow into many containers… making semantically structured chunks” (Kissane). By following Kissane’s recommendations to create a page that flows, I think Regan could add a featured image to each post for the audience to gain insight on what she is going to talk about and to add some colour to the seemingly white pages. Also, I would try to take away the lines separating the posts to keep the text flow going so that each post looks less chunky. Although, her attention to detail by keeping all the text cohesive is great!
Great blog created by Regan! I enjoyed looking into her lifestyle blog and reading her easy to follow posts. Many of the critiques I made are very minimal as overall she has created a blog that will catch the eyes of many!