In which I discuss curating a museum blog

The thing with blogs is that they are created to curate information, and that the curators (whether an average joe or jane, or an employee of a professional enterprise) are people who like to write, and sometimes too much. For me, an excessively written blog is tedious and turns me off from spending my time with it. Similar to exhibits in museums—I feel that to make a successful exhibit (whether a blog or museum exposition) it needs to be designed cleanly with a lot of space, and the information given simplified, direct, though complete.

One example of where a museum blog site fails at being effective, is the British Museum blog. In my opinion, it’s like a punch to the face. I don’t know where to look, the information is overwhelming, I don’t know how to find anything, and frankly, I don’t care. A few seconds in and I’ve clicked away from this mind and eye-boggling blog.

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In contrast, the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s (WAG) blog site, strategically titled “What’s On” cleanly showcases current and past articles while owning the clean branding of the rest of the WAG’s site. It is simple, navigable, and keeps me on the page and interested in clicking around.Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 6.08.07 PM

In conclusion, maintaining branding, adding white space, and keeping information clean will produce a successful blog—and that information-diarrhea on a site will kill it.

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Moving Waves, or Solid Rocks. A comparison of portfolio UI styles.

Portfolio sites are a very personal reflection on an individual of style, skill, and preference. They showcase the designer’s work, and are judged critically by potential clients and employers. Every designer is unique in the way they design, and thus every project they design will be unique (unless they’re a raging copy-cat, in that case I greatly frown upon them).

What I see in existing portfolio websites is that some designers opt for sites which follow current trending UI styles, such as the current flat, muted colour UI influenced greatly by Apples latest iOS.

Charlie Waite portfolio site

Charlie Waite portfolio site

Or, the designer chooses to design their site in a solid design, not influenced by current trends, with the intention that it will serve them for a period of years.

Sarah Kruger portfolio site

Sarah Kruger portfolio site

So which is more beneficial? What would an employer like to see? I myself see merit in both. Showing off a site that is well designed and fresh shows that you can stay competitive in the immediate market as a designer. In comparison, a solid design shows talent in designing for long-term and stability.

Downsides may be that with a trendy site, the designer will need to redesign frequently to not look dated. A fallback of an unchanging site could be that it will look “safe,” and unimpressive.

So what is more beneficial for the designer? Current, or withstanding?