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Published Oct 5, 2016

The tutorial on September 30th really made my website feel inadequate. Seeing custom fonts and deliberate design choices to match affordances, I had to take a good look at my site. With the tutorial and the help of Alex Barker’s critique of my site, I was able to make some changes to match the vision I wanted even further.

I initially started off with trying many options in the “customize menu”, not thinking too much of the importance. However, as I learnt in the readings and the tutorial, a site needs to serve a specific purpose, and not fall into a generic template. Therefore, I removed the Pages and Menu option on the sidebar. They led to pages with no text and made my site confusing. Removing these two also made the sidebar more presentable, and allowed the “search”, “calendar”, and “archives” widgets to be viewable without any scrolling. I hope this makes content more subconsciously available to the reader.

Pages and Menus. I spent way too long trying to discern a page from a menu. What I decided to do for now, since there aren’t many posts on my site in total, is to abolish pages and stick with a menu for my content. Plus – I didn’t notice this at first until Alex pointed it out – the menu at the top scrolls along with the user, so as they read posts, they don’t need to waste precious seconds scrolling back up to click on a menu to read more. The top menu bar is an affordance for the user. However, Once the posts for PUB 101 pile up, I’ll make a page specifically for them. But for now, I want a sleeker design.

Another critique provided by Alex was the giant post message on my website’s front page. At first, I thought it was ugly, as it was just a rectangle of colour and text. However, when I made my post about Newer Pokemon, the image became the featured image for that post. It became a much more pleasant and professional looking design. Another benefit I found from playing with the “rows” feature, is that I can have many posts on these rows as I want. They can even link to pages, so when my content starts to pile up, I can present articles I’m most proud of, or I can link to a page with many articles, so the reader does not have to scroll through my front page. Although Alex suggested I remove the rows, I decided to keep it, because it stayed in tandem with my appealing and colourful look.

front-page
Front page with the post

In trying to mold my own affordances for my site, I was concerned with the visibility of my Website’s title. It is at the bottom right corner. I thought it was slightly hidden, but I came to three reasons to leave it as it is. Firstly, the website’s title is “Nerdy Knowledge” and the URL is nerdyknowledge.com. Therefore, the user already sees the URL and tab and understands it. Secondly, I can choose which post to feature with “rows”. By featuring posts that I wish my website to center around, the large image provides immediate understanding of my content. I keep the featured images presentable while trying to avoid stock photos, in an attempt to strike a balance between presentability and originality. The large featured post also immediately takes the reader to the completed version, meaning they can view Nerdy Knowledge at the top left there. In addition, the title of the site and its subheading are with the always present menu as well, so the reader is subconsciously presented with it no matter what. My brand is always there, and I always leave my permanent mark.

My final revision was altering the About page. I decided to cut out a lot of pages on my website for now. I cut the “essays” section, because I really don’t want to constrict myself to a specific format. There’s enough of that in University. I also got rid of the “podcast” option because none of my friends wanted to do it with me…that’s the actual reason and it’s really sad, I know. I kept “articles” and “Opinion pieces” because they are short and snappy. They allow for expression of my thoughts, and they are not limiting whatsoever. They allow me to personalize my space and create the welcoming, analytical persona. Plus, they’re easy to make videos for as well, so it’s two birds with one stone!

I cleaned my site’s look up a lot, and learned many features provided by WordPress. I will likely start my own customizing through coding, to truly create a work that is my own. However, for now, I am happy with the sleek, presentable style that Lesse Lite allows for!

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