As said previously, I am not a very good judge of design, so if my review comes off as crass or unreadable, then please let me know. Today I am going to be reviewing Alexandra J. Barker’s site, which is fittingly named, alexandrajbarker.com.
Her website’s title is named #organizedchaos which already to me sounds appealing. The oxymoron of the statement says a lot about Alex’s personality, and what the site’s content is going to entail. Her sleek, simplistic design reflects the organized half, and her posts reflect the chaotic half. We discussed our website designs in Tutorial on September 22nd, and she claimed that #organizedchaos encapsulates her life in a way. The site is directly named after her, which also connotes the personal side of this site. Furthermore, although the colours are dominantly black and white, they provide enough contrast to highlight important information. For example, the background is completely white, yet the “Search” option, and the text for her posts are black. That causes these aspects to “pop out” and catch the reader’s eye, which is vital, as they are the meat and potatoes of this website’s content. I believe that the usage of a simplistic theme reflects Alex’s ultimate goal with this website, while also employing clever design decisions to subconsciously invite readers in. I also enjoy that her posts have a “continue reading” option, so they are not overwhelmed with a messy hodgepodge of text. Alex’s site is very easy to navigate, so it makes viewing lots of posts easy and accessible!
The menial decisions too, are one’s that I find appealing. For example, her categories are hyperlinks, and they are all ready to be clicked on the sidebar. Although posiel (holla) is the only category there, if she decides to expand the site onto more and more topics (an organized chaos, if you will), then they will be readily available. It is a folder system that can handle new content, and I believe it is a really smart choice from Alex. However, if I were to make an improvement, I would move that to the very top of the sidebar, along with the search option. This means that her content comes first. I also like the “Recent Comments” option, as that allows all readers to see what anybody is saying. That is beneficial in multiple ways. If somebody says something stupid or offensive, then they will be on the front page of the site for everybody to see. If Alex wishes, she could also move the “recent comments” option near the top as well, to foster a sense of community, and allow encourage others to comment as well. It would also gain traction for certain posts, as the comments would link to their respected post as well. I am always a fan of the “archives” option, as it allows for a snapshot of history. It is a track of a person’s journey and improvement as a blogger, and I think that for a personal blog such as Alex’s, it is a fitting choice.
Ultimately, I enjoy the sleek design that Alex chose, as it allows for more content to be readily available, while also allowing her to consistently express herself. I would call her site Organized Chaos.