Design Review: Carlocab.com18
Carl Ocab writes a blog on how to make money online. There are many, many sites about making money online, but this one is different. Carl is 14 years old. Starting at age 13, he has worked up his way to 300 subscribers, and designed the theme himself! When Carl asked for a review, I was happy to oblige.
What Has Been Done Well?
- Style. Carl is 14, and he’s proud of it. Perhaps the site could have looked more professional? Traditional? Dollar-bill-green? Instead, Carl’s theme is modern and forward. It’s a new generation. New advice. A classic design just wouldn’t cut it for him.
- Color and logo. The color and logo are the main proponents of the style here. The highly contrasting black and white colors, mixed with the dark red look modern. The logo is fantastic, not because of the modern font, but look at the decoration behind it. It’s not just a decoration. It’s a graph! A perfect fit with the blog’s topic.
- Typography. In a content-heavy site, Carl has done a great job in making the content as legible as possible. The body text is easily readable, and the headings stand out clearly.
- The RSS advert. Many blogs advertise their RSS feeds at the end of a post. It is easy for the ads to be too plain to be noticed, or to be too blatant, and make the post footer look cluttered. Carl’s advert fits with his design perfectly. It’s simple, but it works.
- Personal touches. The comment lines have been personalised, but even more than that, Carl has added a special link to his blog’s footer. Click it. You’re bound to smile, and any feature that makes a reader smile is a good feature indeed (That said, there are a few errors when you try to comment on the page).
- The footer. The footer has been expanded into two sections. The first contains 3 useful sets of information, well structured and each of the links have been styled to act almost like buttons. Great effect. The second section then takes on the usual footer features, such as copyright information.
What Could be Changed?
- The RSS area (Pictured right). This was the first flaw that struck me; the RSS area is quite messy. For instance, the first two areas I clicked on to access the feed where the orange “Subscribe to…” line, and then the large RSS logo. I was surprised to find that neither of these were links. The links are just the Feedburner button and the “Full Feeds RSS” title.
- I would also be interested in rearranging the RSS area, especially as it almost feels like a continuation of the ads below. For instance, is the “Full Feeds RSS” title needed? And what about moving the large RSS icon up, so that the bottom of it is not cut off and it appears to be coming out of the side of the page?
- The navigation bar. The actual buttons look great, but the lighter grey color is such a similar color to the page background, but not quite the same, that it can be a little annoying. How do things look when the two colors match? Or if the navigation is separated from bleeding straight into the background?
- The smilie in the page footer. I’ve never used it before, but is the smilie generated by the WordPress stats plugin? I would either disable the smilie, or move it into the actual footer. The footer’s design is very neatly done, and it’s begging to reach the bottom of the page. The smilie is getting in the way.
As you can see, the changes are all minor little things. What does that mean about the design? It means it’s a great design! Carl has made a theme which suits his style, and is still readily usable. That is something every blog should aim to do.
What do you think of the theme? Yay or nay?
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