Hey Richard, I haven’t met you in real life, I have never played video games with you, but I am about to give you my opinion on your website Insert Coins(s) to Continue….

Quick Introduction

The website is a blog about video game development. Obviously Richard is passionate about video games as he writes posts reflecting on games and their design. He is an aspiring game designer himself who is working on designing his very own game. I will show you a screenshot of what you see when you first land on the home page.

First Impressions

Initially when I landed on the site I was confused. The white, purple, and brown aesthetic didn’t exactly scream game design website, if it wasn’t for the large site title at the top of the screen I would think I made a typo in the web address. I did like in your title how you used the parenthesis’ around the ‘s’. It made me think video games and gave me nostalgia reflecting on arcade machines and dusty old arcades. Moving on, I wasn’t feeling the colour scheme. I think a different background image would help people connect quicker to the game design idea. Also the two search bars and the title being off centre should be fixed (just disable both search bars).

Design Decisions

In the post from Travis Gertz titled: “Design Machines. How to survive in the digital Apocalypse,” he says:

“Whether it’s a lack of our own critical thinking or external pressure clamping down, we shy away from carving our own path. Originality is risky. It’s difficult to quantify and defend. Why try something new when someone else has already tested it for us?”

Concerning the website, I feel like you have been playing it safe, colouring within the lines, and not challenging what is ‘supposed to’ be there. It seems like you haven’t customized much from how the theme comes stock. Elements in the sidebar such as archives or the search bar are not helpful and should be taken away. Replace them with something different or even more negative space. There is also a lack of engaging imagery on the home page, a really cool game related banner across or behind the site title could grab someones attention quicker and keep their eyes scrolling down. The sites usability is functional, which I like. The lack of annoying and unimportant bells and whistles is good, although you need to add a link to your game development category from the menu on the home page.

Victor Kaptelinin talks about how it is important to make sure concepts that you implement are relevant and useful. This speaks to some of the general concepts you have applied to your blog. For example, is designing your website like pages in a notebook a relevant concept when your subject is video game design? I think you could borrow from video games a bit more when thinking about elements like buttons or transitions between pages.

Overall

It seems like you put a lot of effort into your blog posts, the content and your writing style are great! I enjoy your style because it comes across as this cynical authenticity that I can connect with. It is obvious that you are passionate about design and video games. On the other hand, the overall design and aesthetic of the site doesn’t seem to reflect that. If you added some engaging and relevant imagery to the site, updated the colours, and added some cool video game inspired functionality your website would be so much more enticing. Great work, I understand that the site is continually under construction and I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

¯\_()_/¯

@jessefinkle


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