Peer Review: Dressing Sustainably

website reviewed: http://dressingsustainably.ca/ (Dressing Sustainably)

First Impressions:

Upon first opening Dressing Sustainably, I was intrigued by the concept and content of the blog. One of my interests is in fashion and learning how to navigate this creative field while avoiding fast fashion as much as possible. As someone who thrifts a majority of my clothing, the content of this website is something that I would fall into the target audience of and be interested in looking at in my own time.

Website Design:

One thing immediately noticeable to me from the homepage alone is the use of minimalist design. This use of minimal design helps to create a clear sense of hierarchy amongst the text of the homepage. There is a clear distinction of heading text through bolding and use of serif fonts, in comparison to body or paragraph text that is a thin sans serif font. One of the cons of using such a minimalist aesthetic is the lack of brand personality or memorable aesthetic of the website. For instance the website name, Dressing Sustainably, is not associated with any logo or specific font, making it a little less memorable. Although it is a trend for fashion content-based websites to go for a more minimalist aesthetic, I do think it would be more beneficial to utilize some other aspect of design such as colour, font weight, or typography choice. I ultimately feel that this would make the name of the website more memorable to the user.

The navigation of the website is clear and well thought out. The location of the navigation bar makes sense and is located on the top right-hand side, a place familiar to most users. The naming of pages and their respective categories is clear, making navigation between similar types of content easy. The only element that might cause some confusion for more inexperienced web users is navigating back to the home page. Since the website name in the top left corner resembles all other titles, it is not inherently clear to the user that this is how to navigate back to the homepage. This element of flat design relies on the user’s previous knowledge in order for them to effectively navigate back to the home page and is ultimately not a clear affordance as it is not inherently intuitive. This is something that is small, easily solvable, and really does not affect any other aspects of navigation within the website.

Once posts are clicked on they each have at least one image, but these images are hidden from the Blog page. Integrating images more into the Blog page would help users that are just browsing through content and help grab their attention to different posts, rather than just sifting through a wall of text. The individual blog posts do a really good job of being engaging and keeping the reader’s attention by summarizing key points as section headers within a post. This use of section headers really helps readers look for information on a specific topic and overall makes blog post navigation a lot easier.

Overall, Dressing Sustainably has some great content and an objective that I really resonate with. Other than a few small things, the website uses minimalist design intentionally to create a clear hierarchy and navigation. Excited to see what else will be implemented to the website going forward!

Referenced Readings

Affordances by Victor Kaptelinin

How to survive the digital apocalypse by Travis Gertz

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