Peer Review #2

Tobi Cheung

Tobi’s routine is a skincare blog where the creator, Tobi, provides her viewers with tips and tricks involving skincare, as well as her opinions on the best skincare products to use. Her blog features a clean and simple theme which are features people typically associate with good skincare products. Her simplistic design reminded me of other skincare brands’ websites such as Kiehl’s, The Body Shop, and L’Occitane. This ‘clean’ look seems to be a trend across the skincare world.

I will be reviewing Tobi’s blog based on the design elements that our guest speaker, Mauvé Page, discussed in class.

Tobi’s blog demonstrates a great deal of symmetry. Using the above image for reference, each side of her blog is balanced out by the other. For example, her featured post, “Back to the Basics,” is balanced by the information bar on the opposite side. Her title, mini bio, and categories are all centred as well, making the page appear to be well balanced. Tobi also included a considerable amount of white space in her blog. As Mauvé discussed, this element can be used as a way to provide the viewer with a visual break from the busyness and stimulation that can accumulate from looking at a website. Not only does Tobi provide this with her use of white space, but it also adds to the ‘clean’ look of her blog associated with skincare.

Tobi’s blog contains a significant amount of rhythm with the repetition of certain elements. This makes her blog predictable and easygoing for her viewers to look at. Throughout her blog, she stays consistent with her typeface; all of her titles being one while her content being another complimentary one. The natural rhythm of her blog moves from top to bottom and left to right. This design makes it feel as though you’re being gently guided through the page as a viewer.

The proportions in Tobi’s blog seem to be consistent throughout each page. The titles and images of her posts are one of the largest features on the page which catches the eye of the viewer immediately. Using the above image for reference, right away the viewer is drawn to her featured blog post due to its size compared to the rest of the content on the page. While her blog has fantastic predictability, it would be interesting to see Tobi experiment more with proportions to make certain content stand out in unique ways. This technique can be used as a way to subtly surprise her audience while browsing her blog.

Contrast is one of the blog’s strongest design features. Her black and white colour theme makes the content easy to read. Using the above screenshot for reference again, there is no more than three areas of focus; this includes her blog title, featured article, and the side bar. This is consistent throughout her whole blog. The pop of colour which she includes in her featured photographs makes for a subtle yet tasteful contrast to the black and white. This kind of subtle colour contrast with black and white themes is also featured on the previously mentioned skincare brands’ websites as well.

All of these design features are in harmony together creating an aesthetically pleasing blog. I believe the design of Tobi’s blog aligns with her content beautifully. Like Travis Gertz discusses in his article, Design Machines. How to Survive the Digital Apocalypse, patterns and themes can oftentimes convey a company’s trademark, even without the name being explicitly on the site. I believe Tobi has done a great job of conveying her ‘trademark’ as a skincare blog strictly based on her design.

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