my blog review - the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Do you read the blog Inspire Me Heather?
If not, you may want to add it to your reading list - 
Heather is a creative diy girl, a great writer and truly gracious, 
featuring diy projects from around the blogosphere regularly.

At the moment, Heather has a new feature that's designed to improve everyone's blog,

The premise is simple - 
by signing up, you agree to review two blogs, and likewise two fellow bloggers review your own.
The results are private, only shown to the bloggers participating.

Well, one of my reviews is in, 
and it makes me realize there are some areas of the blog that really need improving.

Want to see the review?

How about I mix in some eye candy?!!

What I liked about their blog: I love all the white. 
It makes it look clean, and it makes the images really stand out. 
I LOVE the large photos. They are so inspiring and it is nice that they are easy to see. 
I like the frame around the buttons -
 that that theme carries over throughout the whole blog (including photos). 
I like the brevity of words. The author does a great job at describing what she likes without going on and on. It is the perfect combination of great pictures + great words. 

**blushing** thank you very much... 

I was thinking about making the buttons smaller, and simpler -
but still using the frame.
Perhaps in black and white.... I'll try some better versions out shortly.

And I'm wondering if you like the way the text reads - centred.
Is it more difficult to read?
I know Barbara's reviewers covered this one (that's where I first heard about Heather's feature).
I like symmetry, and having it all off to one side just feels so unbalanced,
but I'll change the alignment if you would prefer to read it another way.

LOVE the header - but I wish it were centered over the whole blog instead of over the posts. 

me, too! 
I made it the right width, 
but I think I need to decrease the height (does anyone know?) 
because blogger keeps shrinking it like that :)

I love that she has inspirational blogs to read - it would clean up the sidebar if she made that a page instead of links on her side bar. Not a big deal though. 

need to share love for the people that inspire me - I can move it down, 
but many of these people have become friends, and there's always room for friends, yes?

She does not link back to the original sources (or at least the pinterest pin where she found) of the photos. 
That is a huge no no.

Okay, this one surprised me, because I actually work hard to include links in my posts.
But it's pretty serious, because I don't want people to think that I don't give credit - I think it's really important.
I usually do a source "line" under the last image of the post, where the links are presented as numbers.
I used to link under each image individually, 
but it seemed that placing links under each pic is visually distracting, and I usually do photo collages.
It's the second time someone has said this to me, however, 
and so I'm thinking that what I am doing is TOO subtle -
What about listing links at the bottom of the post under the signature?
Would it be better to skip numbering and present them as words, such as, "pink vase", etc...?

I don't like the shadows around the images. They seem a little much, and sort of distract from the photos. 

I have actually been feeling the same way.
Frames will be going....

I don't like that the followers widget + subscribe, etc. are all the way at the bottom of the page. 

I was trying to keep down the sidebar noise, and I don't like the number of followers to define a blog -
there are so many great undiscovered reads out there!
That said, maybe I can work these back in - I agree they feel a bit awkward down there.

The font is just a little bit too small. Maybe up the page font size by 1 or 2. 

I don't think it's the size, but more what a light font it is -
I would like to keep it, 
but I could move it up in size a little -is that better?
It feels a little big.

** can't help it - must interrupt just for a moment - I NEED THIS BAG!!!.... okay, back to the review.... **

Move the photo of Anne Marie above the text that begins with "Colour Consultant" - I'd like to see her pretty face as soon as the page loads. Would like to see some pages - especially about who she is. 

Will add pages. And I'd like a new photo, in colour - that one doesn't feel very happy, does it?

There are three buttons - "Crushing on Color" "Palm Beach Week" and "The Great Clean Out" - 
you don't really know what they're for. 
When I clicked on them I was kind of surprised they were labels for her content - they didn't seem to fit the rest of the blog. 
(I thought they were "I've been featured" buttons for someone else's blog.).

I know. That needs to be re-worked somehow.
 The Crushing On Color series is one of the best parts of my blog. 
I really enjoy catching that glimpse into all you talented lovelies.
Maybe just a button for that one, lose the other two, 
use the same scalloped frame I use for my logo, and placed up higher, with the other buttons....

Also, how about a my house tour page? Would that be something you'd be interested in seeing?

Overall, not too painful!
Thank you very much for being gentle, mystery reader.

I'm hoping you all will share your thoughts in the re-do process...
 Then I'll get on with it -
design and colour, more pics and less talk, that's what this space is all about.

Thank you!  x

(now go over there to Heather's and sign up, and get your blog looking it's spiffiest!!!)


okay, I've figured out how to make just the links to other sites open in a new page, rather than all links opening to a new page - because it drives me crazy when I get a zillion pages open from one site - you?

Just go to your blogger overview, click template, click add new gadget to your footer, choose the HTML/JavaScript gadget. No title, just copy and paste the following code into you gadget, save, and voila - link magic :)

Just be sure to change the xxxxxxx in the code to your blog name, without spaces - for example, I substituted 10rooms. Let me know if it works for you!

<!-- code for turning all non-blog links to new page links -->
<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">
   var arr = document.getElementsByTagName("a");  //get all links in the page
   for(var i = 0; i < arr.length; i++)
      if(arr[i].href.indexOf("XXXXXX.blogspot") < 0 //not links that are 'inside' blog
         && arr[i].href.indexOf("javascript:") < 0) //not javascript links
         arr[i].target = "_blank";

that's it, and yes, I'm having fun....

Pin It Now!


Tatiana Doria said...

I´m impressed by the detailed review!!
I actually never thought of so many things, although I do agree that the font is a bit small and I like the bigger better.
It almost like going to psicoanalysis!
I thing I´ll go sign in myself!
I love your blog though, it´s perfecto to me.


Designwali said...

wow...i participated in this and did not nearly get as much detailed review! love it. its good to get other people's perspective...

Giulia said...

Great to get someone's perspective, isn't it?
I think you can keep the font size if you have it left aligned, if you want to keep it centered I would enlarge it. I've worked in print for 15 years and there are many studies that say that aligning your text left (or right depending on culture) is much more pleasing to the eye and easier for the readers as the eye only has to focus on one line (left) to start read the line - having it centered you have to refocus on every line to read.
I would source after your signature, or have you thought of sourcing within your text like decor8 does or SFgirl by bay?
Oh, and yes on a house tour ;)

cmf221 said...

i think the font size and bottom links are fine. i do have one suggestion/request though -- when you link to anything off site, could you make the links open in a new window rather than take me off your page? sometimes there are multiple things i want to click on, and i have to keep going back, or i forget and just close the window thinking i'm done with that link (but not your blog).

Carissa @ the Fabulous Design File said...

Wow! You got a really detailed review! I participated as well, but didn't get this much feed back! I actually liked the font one step bigger... and it looks like you have already implemented a few of the other changes. It's looking great over here!!! It's inspiring me to spend some more time tweaking things on my own blog.

peerless.Fashion said...

very nice Post !

The enchanted home said...

Holy smokes...they took their job seriously! I think your blog is awesome, and while a few of those comments maybe just maybe I could see had some validity, most I didn't totally agree with , especially having to do with your header, its perfect in my eyes (this is when my eyes are fluttering)......lol.
Looking good!

Anonymous said...

Interesting read :D
Been in the design industry running my own show for the past 10 years myself and I must say it is just one feedback and a lot can be subjective - for example regarding the polaroid with shadow look for your photos - I actually prefer that because it adds texture and layer to your all white look, it makes it feel like I am looking at photos on a white table ;)
Like many have left their thoughts here, you are doing just fine!
And last but not the very least ~ thank you for featuring our mint ring ;)
All the best and God bless you ~ XO JR

Kerry Steele- Design du Monde said...

To be honest, I like your blog the way it is. I don't find the design elements are a problem.I also don't find it too text heavy.
I would love to see a tour of your house.

momto8 said...

I very much enjoyed your review. I now confirmed I have absolutely no idea what I am doing!! i don't mean this as a negative response, rather an eye opening response., with lots to learn! thanks!!
I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

Ramblings of a Redhead said...

That's quite the review! I'd be terrified to see what they'd say about mine :) PS - you won an award. Come to my blog to see! xoxo

Shannon said...

Great review - really great feedback! It's nice that you shared it!
I think some is just personal preference. I like small font, sidebar works for me.
I'm new to the blog so I will check it out!

Carol@TheDesignPages said...

Anne-Marie, you have one of the most beautiful blogs of all that I read. I truly admire how stunning your blog looks. I would love to see a "home tour" and an "about" page because I feel like there's so much I would love to learn about you. BTW, I am tagging you in a game. Check my blog tomorrow:)

Musthave said...

Love it !!!!!!!!!




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