For the first peer review, I am reviewing Karlo Kablar’s website, “Karlo Kablar Design”. Although I do not know much about gaming, or the design process of video games, I am very intrigued as I do enjoy playing Mario Kart and other simple video games. I am happy that Karlo now has this platform as Watters (2015) says “it is important to have one’s own space in order to develop one’s ideas and one’s craft (para 7). With that said, if you are a gamer, or are looking into making your own video game, give this website a gander!
Basics, Layout, and Design
I really like Karlo’s title to his blog; “The Design Document”. It is catchy as it includes an alliteration, just like mine! I also like the tagline as it is simple yet provides “clarity” to what I am in for (Bernstein, 1998, p. 21). Furthermore, I appreciate the addition of his own logo, in fact, it has given me the idea to look into making one for my own blog! I think this element is great as it personalises the blog, and allows room for growth, such as future marketing or merchandise. Lastly, I would like to touch on something I noticed in the tabs. Karlo’s logo appears in the tab beside the name of the site, which I think is an awesome touch, as it personalises the experience and differentiates the different tabs people have open, making his viewers browsing experience more efficient. As Bernstein (1998) says “concern with navigational efficiency often dominates discussion of Web design” (p. 21). It is making me want to figure out how to add that to my own website!
Aside from the top banner, one of the first things I noticed was the quote about halfway down the page, below the main photo. I must say I really liked how Karlo added this as it feels like the perfect overarching quote to capture Karlo’s purpose of his blog. It touches on the design aspect of gaming and incorporates a personal look into what Karlo connects to. In addition to the quote, I liked the “Featured” bookmark that Karlo has positioned on his latest post. I believe this is an effective way to steer your audience in the direction that you want, as it catches your eye, making you wonder what the post is all about. This is crucial because “the attention of the audience is a writer’s most precious possession” (Bernstein, 1998, p. 6). This feature encourages readers to remain on his page instead of “glanc[ing] around, and click[ing] elsewhere” (Bernstein, 1998, p. 6).
All in all, I think Karlo succeeded in his goal that he mentions in Process Post #2; “I don’t want my readers to get distracted with colours”. One thing I would say, however, is that when scrolling to the bottom of the opening page, the post My Sites Meme and the post Process Post #1, aren’t aligned with the rest. I am not sure if this because Karlo doesn’t have a featured image, or how if this is how he chose to design it, but I feel like it would be more pleasing to the eye if they were directly under the ones above. (It happens on the Process Post page and the Mini Assignments page as well). I would suggest that Karlo adds a featured image to try and correct this as well as make everything more cohesive. Furthermore, once again, I am not sure if it was intentional, but the Meme Mini Assignment doesn’t have a “Continue Reading” button. Lastly, I am sure Karlo is going to add this in the upcoming weeks, but he is missing a “Peer Review” category in his menu under “PUB101”. Content
After viewing the landing page, I wanted to learn who Karlo Kablar is, so, I went to the About Me heading in the menu bar. It was cool to learn about Karlo’s background in gaming and all the experience he has. Although I am unfamiliar with the programming languages such as Java, C#, and the GML language, it was interesting to see how educated Karlo is in this field and how many skills he possesses. Unfortunately, however, although Karlo included a photo of himself, doing something he loves, we unfortunately can’t exactly see his face. With that said, I suggest an additional picture be added so that his future viewers are able to put a face to “Karlo Kablar Design”, as most people on the internet “can’t easily tell who [we] are” (Suler, 2004, para 5). Furthermore, I specifically liked the point he made at the end of the introduction encouraging his viewers to stay connected and invite them to take a deeper look.
Although Karlo currently only has three process posts, they are well worded and concise. I enjoyed reading them, however, I felt like I needed more. For example, when explaining his stranger encounter, it would have been good to find out more about how the conversation started and how it dwindled down. I also would have liked to see him link out to the things he mentions, such as Weebly and Wix in Process Post #2. Currently, his webpage is “blind”, it “can’t look or gaze at another webpage” (Derakhshan, 2015, para 26). That being said, however, I do appreciate that he included where he found support as well as an article on color theory that explain his decisions. I am also really interested to know where he found the illustrations for his featured images. Did he make them?
Moreover, For Karlo’s Meme Mini Assignment, I would have liked to read about what it is like to be around him and his friends while talking about gaming design. The meme had me laughing, but I was interested in hearing more, as I feel it would have added an even funnier element. There is also a small spelling error in the caption of the meme that can be easily corrected!.
In terms of Karlo’s blog posts, I thoroughly enjoyed them. They are great, specifically the first and second posts, as they really hone in on the basics of gaming design, not only teaching the viewer but instilling in them a want for more! Once again, I would include links here “to make [the] text richer” (Derakhshan, 2015, para 23). For example, it would have been helpful if Karlo linked a video of the exact video game he was talking about, for those who are unfamiliar.
Overall, because “unwanted interruptions are tiresome and intrusive”, I would recommend Karlo look over his content a second time to catch any grammar mistakes that may be hindering his viewer’s experience (i.e., commas) (Bernstein, 1998, p. 3). I would also suggest Karlo look into providing links as many of his viewers may want “wilderness”;” a rich collection of resources and links” as they are most likely interested in starting game design (Bernstein, 1998, p. 8). In the end, “It’s less about iterative learning and more about public learning,” (Basu, 2020, para 9). Karlo has done a great job of delivering his work and “provid[ing] richly teachable moments” (Campbell, 2009, para 59).
Basu, Tanya. September, 5 2020. “Digital gardens let you cultivate your own little bit of the internet” MIT Technology Review.
Bernstein, Mark. 1998. Hypertext Gardens: Delightful Vistas.
Campbell, Gardner. 2009. “A Personal Cyberinfrastructure.” EDUCAUSE Review 44 (5). http://er.educause.edu/articles/2009/9/a-personal-cyberinfrastructure
Derakhshan, Hossein. 2015. “The Web We Have to Save.” Medium.com. July 2015. Available from: https://medium.com/matter/the-web-we-have-to-save-2eb1fe15a426
Suler, John. 2004. “The Online Disinhibition Effect.” Available from: Cyberpsychology & behavior 7.3 (2004): 321-326. http://truecenterpublishing.com/psycyber/disinhibit.html
Audrey Watters. 2015. “The Web We Need to Give to Students.” https://medium.com/bright/the-web-we-need-to-give-students-311d97713713#.4d7j8rs6x
Featured image created with Canva