Blog Review: Designrs Hub by Manuel Garcia

Title: Designrshub | Design Magazine
Author: Manuel Garcia
Platform: Blogspot/Blogger
Genre: Design and Developmen
Description: Designrshub is a design blog dedicated to provide high quality web and graphic design resources, inspirations, freebies and social media articles.

Cross Browser Check

  • ✓ Chrome 17
  • ✓ Mozilla Firefox 11
  • ✓ Opera
  • ✓ Safari 5.x
  • ✓ Opera Mini
  • ✗ Internet Explorer 8
  • ✗ Internet Explorer 7

Blog Review: Designrs Hub by Manuel Garcia

Things Worth Mentioning

  1. Background color is good for the niche
  2. Images have alt and title, perfect for SEO
  3. Has one H1, good for bots

Things That Need Attention

  1. Broken layouts on page for different browsers
  2. Has no mobile template

BTT Opinion for Designrs Hub

Design 4/5 ★★★★

Bias as it may seem, I love dark backgrounds and I would like to clear that I'm not up for a debate around this color issue. Actually, based on studies, design and graphic related sites tend to use dark colors for background to emphasize the color of the images.

Code wise, template uses some HTML5 and CSS3 codes, such samples might be seen on the way the elements was presented: rounded corners, shadow, gradient, etc.

Layout wise, I can say that the design is somehow modern and is in current trend, example of things you have used: circles, tool tips, sudden change to big fonts, shadow that forms a 3D effect, ribbons, text-shadow.

The background works for me this time, even though it was an image. My guess here is that you use a color for the background that looks the same as the image, that way the loading of it is not noticeable.

On the other hand, I do hate how the title attribute on the posts' title block my way when I hover it.

Blog Review: Designrs Hub by Manuel Garcia

The logo/header above feels out of place, too. Though it looks good (I mean the logo alone), it looks like an ordinary badge when it was placed up there. Make some drama out of it..

Some pages too are broken, see Contact page as an example.

Blog Review: Designrs Hub by Manuel Garcia

Content 4/5 ★★★★

I'll go for a high score on this. I do read your posts often and I find SOME of your posts informative while SOME are showcases of good designs. Take note that I used the word SOME to emphasize that some of your posts are all about graphics and less of information. So I hope you don't take the word SOME negatively.

About your showcase, I always believe that designs are all around us, and with your lists most people could learn to appreciate this simple things.

Branding 3/5 ★★★★★

As I have said I love your logo, but with your current design, I don't think that it fits.

Another thing to point out, is the spelling of the word 'designr', I don't want to say that you actually chosen a wrong word but if a new visitor didn't notice the difference between "designr" and "designer" at first glance, most of them might be redirected to a different page. Honestly, before I use the word "designer's hub" so I know that it is a real live site.

Impact 3/5 ★★★★★

As much as I love designing too and I like how you showcase some designs out there. There are some posts that just don't catch my attention. Also, I love the lists of design information but I believe that there is a better way of presenting it -- ever heard of the word slide show? see how Yahoo! do it on it's photos.

Guest Judge Opinion for Designrs Hub


Of all the guest judges' review this one would be one of the few special events wherein two judges would join forces to criticize one site.

Our first judge is Symmetrax. He is a French, graduate of Computer Graphics at Supinfocom France, one of the most prestigious computer graphics universities in the world. He is currently working as Technical Artist for Total War game team in The Creative Assembly UK, a European subsidiary of SEGA.

Teaming up with him is the "Undertaker", one of the regular household name and recognized judges here. She is a Web Developer / Site Quality Tester (Design and Development), act as the end process that signals approval for final site delivery.

For the first time, I'll give the floor (or this net space) for the judges to introduce their comments.

DISCLAIMERThe views expressed in comments by the guest judge published on this blog site are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of Beneath the Tree, nor do they represent the views or opinions of www.ajibanda.com, or any entity of, or affiliated with www.ajibanda.com

Already started the review when I was informed of the major change on the blog overall design/layout. What the…!

Anyway, I don't want to put my first "astounding" review to recycle bin, after the English battle, the nose bleeding, consumption of my precious time, so here is a clip:

Was a little skeptical on reviewing another blog as work these days is too demanding but with the suggestion of joining force with "Symmetrax" and a quick scroll showing obvious display errors… well why not, after all the "Undertaker" within me wanted to dig deeper.

The first design was a disappointment with obvious display errors especially on Mozilla Firefox, the ever code compatible, friendliest, and probably the easiest browser to deal with. BUT surprised, surprised! Turned out the new design is a double disappointment. **wink ;)

Let's get to the business…

Warning: Might be too long for lazy readers


Design 2.5 ★★☆★★

Menu: You want to give the user the easiest way-around in the site and it's always crucial for blog with a vast subject like "Design" that offers a wide range of topics. The menu should not necessarily be outstanding in effects or colors to be attractive and visible but it has to serve its purpose and function which is to give quick and easy access to information located deep in the blog. And your blog menu works well and exactly as what navigation should be.

Color/Images: I like dark color design as I think it calls for more creativity as not all elements/colors will work well on dark background in contrast with the belief that any color is fine with dark. Nevertheless, it has its pros and cons. As for advantage, dark design gives you the opportunity to emphasize content that are significant which include post title, menu, etc.

POST TITLE — I think it is better if the blue shade is a little brighter so it will give a more vibrant look (see for example, the blue gradient on sub menu hover, it looks livelier). Now inside the post page is a different color, I think it's advisable to have consistency with colors or at least same color different shade, just like branding it gives the reader a clearer view and a feeling of familiarity around the blog.

All texts in "blue" are "title"
All texts in "white" are "labels"
All texts in "orange" are "important points"

LABEL — (Popular Posts, Recent Design News, etc.) Like title on post page — Dull. Lifeless. Insignificant. I prefer it in #fffff. The challenge on dark design is when colorful Ads seem to be more eye-catching than the important parts of the blog.
IMAGES — I will repeat the same comment I made to Semidoppel's Reports blog:

"Attach image on post snippets (Homepage). Remember:
title is to get the reader to read the first line
first line is to get the reader read the whole article
interesting image gives your headline a big boost
A picture is worth a thousand words. Plain texts are always boring."

Treat the reader like a kid reading a book for the very first time. What attracts a kid to read a book? Colorful images. It's self-explanatory. No further explanation needed.

Pages:
Archives — The construction is useless. I wonder what it would be after some more months. It's just too long, it loses its purpose. A toggle effect is so much better:

Blog Review: Designrs Hub by Manuel Garcia

Contact — The right sidebar goes down to the page, it's just too obvious and a common page that readers visit, it should be fixed immediately.

Subpages under home — Not good that it looks like there is something missing on the right side. Should have extended the main container to the left.

Blog Review: Designrs Hub by Manuel Garcia

Browser Compatibility: Web developer greatest battle is always the "browser war". Besides, combating with Internet Explorer can really be a pain in the ass and is a primary source of every developer's frustration. Thanks to Chrome and Firefox that oftentimes hold ceasefire. As much as browser compatibility is crucial in web development, it is also an important matter that should be included in every blogger's list of blog development. Life is now easier especially for bloggers with zero knowledge of programming or scripting because of downloadable-ready templates. However, it has to be a practice to check the compatibility of the template to different browsers. Okay, I'll get to my point — Y U NO check of your blog in IE?! It is no excuse especially seeing your skills on HTML and CSS. It's just too BROKEN on IE 9.0. This a hundred disappointment for a blog embarking "Design" topic. Protect your credibility! I don't need to list down problems on IE, see it for yourself.

Misc: Title seems recurring in each post due to the image with title below it and image on the post page is repetitive.

Blog Review: Designrs Hub by Manuel Garcia

Rating: browser compatibility is very critical and it's part of the Design implementation, from supposed to be 3.5 down to 2.5


Branding 2.5 ★★☆★★

Blog title is very catchy and offers a clear limitation and scope though it's very generic (common). For the logo, I expected a more creative piece for a designer as you are. It doesn't reflect any creativity and it's just "unremarkable." Again, build a credibility using essential elements of the blog.

Ex. Colors = Design/Creativity

Blog Review: Designrs Hub by Manuel Garcia

Conceptual Logo = Design/Creativity
Blog Review: Designrs Hub by Manuel Garcia

Content 2.0 ★★★★★

First thing I went to look is the « about » tab, to get a presentation of what is this blog and who is behind it. From all I can see, the only regular author is Manuel Garcia, other posts are labeled as « guest author ». Therefore, I think the « we » in all the presentations and the third person to refer to « Manuel » is unnecessary when all those texts were probably written by him. It has a negative effect because it sounds a bit like a small site trying to look bigger and more important than what actually it is, trying to make it sound as if there was a whole team behind it.

Then, if I am mistaken and if there is really a whole regular team behind this, the fact there is only the presentation of the 'founder' is obviously wrong.

Quit the glasses on that photo, and what for god's sake are those percentages on that "skill set"? Who attributed those but the author himself ? It looks stupid.

My whole feeling about this page is that it gives the feeling that the author tries to look cooler and make it sound his blog is more professional and important than what it is. It's bad because it doesn't work, doesn't fool anyone and in the opposite it discredits him. It's better to stay honest and simple, and in the end the readers will have a better image of the author.

Then I went to see the Ogag section. Honestly I don't see the point of copying an existing website and republishing half of its content. Additionally, the pictures are too small, it's not possible to click on them to view those in full size, and that takes the cake for a design website — the image ratio of most pictures is distorted. This is like one of the NEVER TO DO things in design (cf the NBA: She's Really Excited; Justin Bieber Is Not picture, for example). This should be fixed urgently.

So this blog apparently has 2 objectives :
  • The first one is to be educative : to teach and help learning design via tutorials and posts about design.
  • The second one is about "high quality design inspirations".

The teaching content is very trite (worn). Common articles about what's new in this or that software, link to tutorials etc... yes why not. Except I can find thousands of blogs with the same kind of content, and I can also find those tutorials directly via Google. What's original here? What makes this blog particular and why would someone come read this one? Articles should have more personality, more prejudice, and cover things more original than the list of new features in Photoshop CS6, because thousands of blogs cover this same topic.

Also, design is not about the tools, it's about what you do with those. If you want to teach design, teach the basic rules of the eye, of typography, of how to do a lot with little, of how the simplest is often the best to have more visual impact, of how to compose a picture correctly, how to distinguish a good poster from a bad one, how the overused of Photoshop effects doesn't necessary means it will look better, but how in the opposite it's just a way to "drown the fish". Give your readers some criticism instead of teaching just small technical useless stuff.

Which leads to my second point: teaching those values would require actual design skills (design and its technical application are completely separate skills) which the author doesn't seem to have much, considering that the "top 10 manga gay pictures of Hermes" and the "Lovely happy mother's day fliers" are apparently what he intends to be "high quality design inspirations". Those are exactly the opposite, they are precisely THE things to avoid as a designer... Over use of typos, of glow effect, blur effects, all technical effects to cover up a bad design. And the manga illustrations are just terrible. "inspirations" ? Inspiration if for creation, you should show all kind of different graphism, all kind of styles... What's inspiring about manga, the most widespread graphical standard in the world? And moreover those illustrations are not even good within the "manga" style. Be more open minded, show all kind of unknown graphists, make your readers discover about them, and make them open their minds too, so they can be inspired to create their own design personality too. Making them discover that there is SOMETHING beyond manga in terms of illustration should be a priority!

Impact 2.0 ★★★★★

I think enough is said above. Just to conclude, for a normal blogger with no background and skills, I would have given a good rating as honestly I really like the design but unfortunately rating and review depend on the capability of the blogger. Didn't make me fully trust your credibility.

Summary

BTT Total Rating: 3.50
Guest Judge Rating: 2.25

Well, as you can see, I have not included a tip on this review. I guess the judges have already said the things that you need to work with. Again this review are just opinions coming from random people, whether you take it seriously or not depends on your decision.


So that's it, again this is just a friendly review from BTT. We aim for a better site and not to insult the owners and administrators. Whether you follow our tips and suggestions depend on your decision. Ciao!

To submit your own blog simply fill-up the form on this page or read this post. Thank you, we'll be happy to review your sites for FREE!

8 comments :

  1. Hello to all,

    Thanks for the honest criticisms. I wholeheartedly accepted all the comments about the page layout since it's not yet finished but I'm working on it. You know, being in the blogger platform needs a lot of time, from coding up to implementation. But I'm looking at it as a challenge. Enough for excuses.

    Anyway, I do appreciate all your comments and opinions and it undoubtedly prove that the "blog review" session of this blog must continue. Aside from other parts of criticisms that I think you forgot to research especially when it comes to "Design and Development" niche, all are great. 

    And oh, by the way, OGAG is just a funny side of the blog and it must not be taken seriously. ^_^

    Thanks and hats off.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A hot and spicy review for one of my favorite blogs. It's the undertaker again! Anyways, Manuel Garcia , sir to have a 2.25 from the undertaker is already a compliment since he's known from having a "choosy taste" ^^

    ReplyDelete
  3. So, it means my blog has a potential, isn't it? :D Anyway, I fixed all those errors stated above. I canceled one of my daily routine to fix it since I was alarmed by this review. Thanks to AJ and all the judges.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Makakatulong talaga kapag marami nakapuna sa mga kakulangan ^_^

    ReplyDelete
  5. Tess Chancellor5/31/12, 10:57 PM

    I am not a techie blogger so I am not a regular visitor of designr's hub epsecially now his theme is  dark and not friendly to my ice but as the "undertaker" said,the dark color  is good to emphasize the content of this kind of niche. A rating 0f 2.5 means there is a lot to improve from the site.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Grabe. Just as I thought that Manuel's blog is one of the bests, anrami namang napuna c undertaker. Hindi ko kinaya un. Im not techy and I find Manuel's blog as simply great. However, I salute undertaker for digging some lapses. The reviews truly help a lot 4 us lalo na sa aming obobs s coding, html, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yay! Sa akin si Undertaker lang, ngayon may Symmetrax pa. Alam ko matatanggap to ni Sir Manuel, opinion nila ito kaya hindi nmn sya obligado sundin lahat hehehe. 

    ReplyDelete
  8. the "Undertaker"6/1/12, 11:24 AM

    I just hope it's not too rude or harsh, hehehe! 
    Just FYI, Symmetrax did the "Content" review, I think he is in the right position as he got the "wagas" credentials, and I think  Ajibanda didn't mention about it. 

    Well, I agree that it is somehow difficult to deal with the blogger platform, it's capability is limited. Wordpress and Drupal are also good platforms with more possibilities to offer.

    I think next time I'd be back for a review here would only be for "ajibanda.com", teaming up with Ms. Michin, hehehe!

    Mawawagas ka AJi!!! hahahaha!

    ReplyDelete