Peer Review 3

featured image for peer review 3

Peer Review 3

The website I will be reviewing today is Blogging the Blue by Andrew Sison Cabuniag. Without even reading the posts yet, I found the design and user experience very nice and there were many visuals and vibrant colours used. My first thoughts when exploring the website are how well the contrast is between the text colours and the background, the good use of images, the good use of widgets, and a well-used font.

Developing Online Self (from readings)

Some traits I see on this website and the author are- Dissociative Anonymity and Invisibility. I say dissociative anonymity as Andrew has not used their name even once in the content posts which the world sees what the website is about. They have used their online self name as Otto the Octo. This is an octopus who shares stories about aquascaping and of course is a made up, fictional name.

Invisibility goes hand in hand with anonymity as the author is posting anonymously as Otto the Octo rather than using their own name, Andrew Cabuniag. I find this a rather smart move as it protects their identity as well as lets a fictional character help the user navigate the website.

Use of images

There was a good use of images which all followed a consistent comical, animated theme. I like how most of them had alt text attached to them. This definitely increases accessibility and boosts the site’s SEO. The choice of images in content and process posts are of high quality and well-explained.

Menus and Header

All required POSIEL menus are present in the header of the website. They are easy to navigate and quite well done. I like how they get highlighted when the cursor runs over it. The only problem I found is that a lot of the links do not work and show an error message. This seems like an easy fix and something to get sorted out ASAP. Please see the screen recording below to get a better idea of this. Other than this, I found this part to be very well done.

Other Links

I noticed the Instagram account handle at the bottom of the website. This is a good way to define and increase one’s social media presence and SEO. Having a social media account helps reach more audiences and market your website on more platforms. Something I would suggest is to have a good bio on the Instagram account and use tags and captions for posts there. It’s good to see the “sign up the newsletter” link on there too. This will definitely help the author keep their audience up to date on new posts and releases. Good job!

I also see the accessibility widget floating on the left side of the screen and the “scroll to the top” button on the bottom right of the page. Along with the alt text, these accessibility features are very handy and I am happy to see these! Having these features creates a more inclusive website that can be accessed by everyone and also helps users perceive, understand, navigate, and interact better with the website.

Content and Body

I found this website to be very informative and I learned about different expensive fishes. It’s also nice to see someone talking about marine life and having such an immersive website about it. I am an environmentalist myself, so I fully support this website and the emotions behind it. I did not know what aquascaping meant, so that’s another new thing I learned! Very aesthetic website, indeed! A couple of suggestions I have are to replace the lorem ipsum text with actual content and maybe have longer process posts(?).

lorem ipsum text on the landing page of the website
Example of lorem ipsum text which can be substituted with actual content

I also found some big chunks of whitespaces on the posts which can be condensed or filled with screenshots. I see a lot of effort put in this website, so I’m sure there’s a lot that could be written on the processes!

screenshot of process post 1 from the website showing lots of unsed whitespace between paragraphs
Unused whitespace which can be filled with images or text

Final Thoughts

Overall, I enjoyed learning and reading about Andrew’s interests. With all these added little details, they created a lovely website which is aesthetically pleasing as well as informative. I can imagine the art of aquascaping being very trendy so there is a lot of potential to even monetize this website into something more! I see that this website has adapted a lot of concepts we learned about in class and it was fun to read the process posts and notice progress since the last few months. With some grammatical and linking fixes, this website is one of the best ones I have seen so far in the class. I am very excited to see the final product and wish them the best for the future!

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