David Patrick McKenzie

Digital Public Historian

Critique: Design Assignment

For class we are each offering friendly critiques of one person’s design assignment (here is Claire’s insightful critique of my assignment). I am critiquing Amber’s assignment, about sites in Athens.


  • This is, overall, a really nice site. The color scheme works extremely well here–it’s muted, thus not taking away from the content. It matches well with the bust that you have at the top.
  • Your header font works well. It immediately invokes Greece, without exoticizing it too much. The headlines are consistent throughout the page. Although it’s a fun font, it’s also readable.
  • Your font throughout the page works really well, too. The serif is a nice choice, particularly since you are emphasizing ancient Athens. Also, you leave plenty of space between the lines.
  • Good choice of pictures. I especially like the bust hanging over the header.
  • The margins are nice–there is enough “white” space, without it being overwhelming. All in all, things are nicely spaced.

Just a few areas for improvement:

  • The bust, unfortunately, hangs over a little too far, obscuring some of the text. I know that’s a tough thing to control–perhaps shrink the bust a bit in Photoshop (or specify a smaller footprint in the HTML or the CSS)?
  • The spacing underneath the headline for the Parthenon was smaller than the spacing underneath the other headlines.
  • The captions could be distinguished in some other way from the main text. They are close to the images, and in a smaller font, so that certainly helps; perhaps also italicize, or even put a different color box around the images? That might help them stand out more. Perhaps use the same nice color that you use in the header and the footer?
  • That same color may work better for the pull quotation, as well. However, nice work in putting the pull quotation above the fold!
  • The left menu could be more aligned with the header background. Also, I think it would work to get rid of the left and right margins in both the header and the footer.

So, all in all, nice work! Is your final project going to be about Athens? Looking forward to seeing it!

1 Comment

  1. Thanks David! I will have to check out what is going on with my bust! On my computer, it pushes the text down so it aligns with the top of the nav bar. It must be one of those examples of the importance of checking various browsers for differences! These are all very helpful suggestions and I’m glad for them.
    My final project is actually on contemporary art museums and events in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I figured that it would be hard to find an obvious, distinct style for that so I went with my favorite subject, ancient Greece. I have pictures from when I visited and books with plenty of information for sources, so it wasn’t too hard for me to put together.
    Good luck with your project!

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