For this peer review, I was assigned Kai von Dehn’s personal portfolio website. In Victor Kaptelinin’s work about ‘Affordances’ in design, he argues that “good designs are intuitive”, meaning that you should not be told how to use something or what to do with it, rather the design should be able to guide the user through its purpose. I liked that Kai von Dehn’s customization of the theme made it very easy to distinguish the purpose of this blog. The layout is quite minimalistic which provides a modern and futuristic look. Regarding the typography, some of the subtexts have a typewriter-like font that contradicts the modern layout, but also facilitates a high-tech, industrial feel. I find these design choices to be very useful given that the blog is about UX/UI design and photography. In his work about ‘How to Survive the Digital Apocalypse’, Travis Gertz gives a few examples of good design choices and claims that “every single photo and illustration intertwines with the writing. There are no unmodified stock photos and no generic shots that could be casually slipped into other stories. Every element has a purpose and a place” (Gertz, 2015). I find that Kai von Dehn’s website does follow this as the photo choices, typography and placement all have a purpose and as a user I can tell that these choices were made for a reason to enhance the content of the blog.
I found that the simplicity of the blog made it very manageable and easy to navigate. The only criticism I have regarding the usability would be that the case study content was not found on the Case Studies page, but I was still able to find it as a feature on the home page. I also noticed that social media was integrated very well within the website on the home and about page, making it very easy to access related content on relevant social media platforms. Overall, I found the design of this website to be very useful to the enhancement of the content, especially for those who have the same interests. As Gertz also states, “the content should speak to the few people who can identify with this personality because this is the only audience that matters” (Gertz, 2015). I personally do not know much about UX design and photography, yet this blog still intrigues me as I learn more about it. Therefore, I could imagine that the intended audience would appreciate these design choices even more than I have. Great work so far!
Affordances. The Interaction Design Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved March 3, 2023, from https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/book/the-encyclopedia-of-human-computer-interaction-2nd-ed/affordances
10, T. G. J. (2015, July 10). How to survive the Digital apocalypse. Louder Than Ten. Retrieved March 3, 2023, from https://louderthanten.com/coax/design-machines