At a glance, I really liked how clean the site looked. The background had a soothing off-white color scheme sharply contrasted in the black header. The auto-scrolling articles immediately attract one’s attention with their vibrant colors and size. Everything about the site focuses a user to these news articles without anything distracting in the background. I think this is a good design layout for our up-coming photo essays, because it is important that the photos dominate the website without the background confusing anyone. This site also has very nice asides with nice, bold titles followed by simple, easy to read statements separated by a single line. The elegant, user-friendly interface makes navigating the site easy.
Scrolling down, it appears that HubPages recognizes it’s obscurity and provides a video that teaches people about the site. This is a great idea for any website trying to expand its audience, because its size and color contrast immediately catches a viewer’s attention and answers the main question on their mind: What is this site about?
Beneath that, a “Featured Topics” box is inside a white box that contrasts the grayer background without being so vibrant that it distracts from the main points of the website – the articles and the video.
At the bottom of the page is a simple footer. It’s darker color mirrors the black header at the top of the page, but is much lighter so that the header can attract the reader first. I like this layout, because the patterns of the website are coherent and complete, yet the header is given much more prominence as it should.
Even though I did not plan this, the HubPages website seems to be a great example for the photo essay. Very simply, it focuses the reader’s attention with size, color contrast, and a tasteful white margin to either an article or a video. It’s background, header, and footer are simple, clean, and subordinate to the major topics in an aesthetically pleasing way. This becomes the rhetoric for a website that aims to quickly engage its readers and explain its larger purpose through a video.