A new beginning


A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. – Lao Tzu

A new academic year, a new challenge in our Course 3 in Coetail. A bit late with my blog but with all the energy to keep on learning. This week, we revised different sources of visual literacy. Understanding the impact of the design, reading patrons and visual hierarchy. I consider myself a visual learner, I remember pictures, faces, places more than words or names. I usually recalled them later! I’m a big fan of Infographics because they summarized the main concepts in one shot. Easy to read and to understand. But the tricky part is planning the content. Anyway, this week we have to rethink and redesign our blogs. So it’s a new beginning on my ‘A neverending learning journey’ blog. 

I have chosen that title because my learning journey with the IBO, as a school librarian and educator, doesn’t have an end. Every time I’m reading and finding new ideas that make me wonder about how can I implement them? or What shall I do next?.

Visual hierarchy is the arrangement of graphic elements in a design in order of importance of each element. The visual weight defines the importance of an element in a design’s hierarchy, communicating to the viewer’s eyes what to focus on and in what order”Alex Bigman

When I was going through Bigman’s reading, I decided that I shall follow these steps to improve my blog:

  • To analyze the structure of my blog
  • To identify areas of improvement
  • To implement at least one of them

Step 1: To analyze my blog

It was the first time that I have a blog. And, I didn’t think about the impact of the design on readers and the psychological aspect behind it. From the colors to the organization of the texts, all are related and influenced our decision to read a site. I also thought about myself, how do I read online. And, I shall agree with Alex Bigman, I prefer visual content than long texts. In fact, now I prefer to listen to podcasts or audiobooks because I feel less distracted and more focus on the content. 

My action plan:

I took pictures of the blog and on GoodNotes I started to analyze and brainstorm about the structure of it.

Highlights:

  1. The photo was too big. It only disappeared when you scroll down. It requires two steps to read the latest blog. => change it and make it only one step.
  2. WordPress theme: Twenty seventeen => change it. Find another theme.
  3. No reading pattern. It’s only a vertical line of text. => change it for a Z reading pattern.
  4. The content is a sequence of text, photos, text videos => make it more visual.
  5. Improve the writing style => Direct English

Step 2: Identify areas of improvement

  1. Change the WordPress theme
  2. Use a reading pattern: Z
  3. Improve the text: use an active voice, short paragraphs, quotes, bullet points
  4. Use more visuals => a new challenge!

Step 3: Implement at least one of them

?1. Change the WordPress theme.

?2. Use a reading pattern: Z

?3. Improve the text: use an active voice, short paragraphs, quotes, bullet points.

?4. Use more visuals => a new challenge!

A final reflection:

The main purpose of a blog is to communicate. If I want effective communication with my readers, I will have to redesign the visual aspect and aesthetics of my blog. All the readings made me think and wonder how to improve it. The Infographic Guide to visual hierarchy summarized it in 17 points. It will take me some time to make all the changes and express more visually my thoughts but it’s a personal challenge. 

Meanwhile, I will follow a Z reading pattern because it follows our left-to-right way to read/scan a site. As Alex Bigman suggested the importance of the size, spaces,… etc, I started to apply his advice on this post. 

On the other hand, as a Head librarian, I’m the administrator of our Libguides and Online library catalog. I have access to the configuration of the sites. This is my new challenge at the library! There’s so much to do. 

Then, reading some resources, I found this post  7 best practices to create a user-friendly library website by Ebsco that confirmed some of the suggestions that I’m adopting for my blog: simplicity, straight to the point, direct English, use of graphic elements. And, as a final gift, they include an Infographic to summarized the content. 

What do you think about my new design? I have chosen the WordPress theme: Expounds. It shows a photo as a link to the post but I don’t know why it’s not showing them. It’s another task on this neverending learning journey!

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