Critiquing sites…again

With all this “talk” in class about layout and color, my perceptions of these sites we’re visiting are changing.  It seems I am no longer going with a strictly gut reaction of “I like this” or “I don’t like that”, but I am now seeing how the layout appears and appeals along with color combinations.  I am glad I worked in the paint department at Home Depot for a while and, unlike some of my fellow students, am far from color-blind.  Still, it’s interesting that the readings are bringing all that color awareness out again.  So, here is what I know:  I don’t really like blue – unless mother nature put it there.  I like warm colors and some of cool colors, especially greens and purples, but I’m not a fan of blue.  That helps me to understand part of the reason this site: me off.  Outside of the fact that it looks crowded with very little redeeming white space, the abundant blue just gives me a headache.  I mean, three columns of click-here blue – give me a break!  I don’t even care what they do – ugly site, and I’m done looking at it.

Now this one: is a horse of a different color – literally.  OK, so there is a little blue, but the site doesn’t overwhelm and drive me away with the blue of it.  Besides, the blue is soft and leaning towards grey with a Wedgwood blue tonality – it’s OK.  There are enough of the warmer shades and other cool colors to make me want to look at it.  The Pew Research site is actually interesting to me personally because of the Research class I am taking.  Love the cross-over!  The three column layout seems right for the news tone of the site.  Plus the site, unlike many news sites, like MSN or CNN doesn’t seem to be biased or opinionated (just the facts, ma’am, just the facts), at least as far as I am seeing with this exploration.  Like it.

The next site is   This site looks very nice – some of my not favorite blue but lots of while space and other colors to balance it out.  There is a rolling marquee that is not at all offensive on the front page.  The top row of links is pretty standard but that also makes it user-friendly.  By rolling over the links a visitor can easily see where they might go if they chose to click.  I like that.  It’s good use of layout and color in a site that appears to welcome the visitor to stay and look around.  Nice!

As mentioned earlier, I like green.  After all, when I chose colors for my own home, greens, inside and out, became the base colors.  Because I like greens, all the USF spaces appeal to me personally.  We’re looking at the USF communications guidelines, and the green puts me in an open frame of mind.  I also like that the green is balanced with some tan/white/black.  This keeps the green from becoming annoying.  I find this layout interesting because there are three columns and there are not three columns.  The vertical and horizontal line breaks make me think two, then the right hand line up of the links makes me think three…interesting.  There are some broken image link icons at the bottom which makes me think the IT department at USF better wake up and take care of that – not so good.

More to come, but enough for now!


About Barbara Gaddy

I'm an Income Property Acquistion Specialist. I guide and train new and inexperienced investors in acquiring and managing income property in order to create long-term, passive income. I also hold a Master's Degree in Library and Information Science and an Honors BA in English and American Literature. I have a business blog here: This is my personal blog. I hope you enjoy it.
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