Here it is, the third of five IDM(Inspiration Design Model) posts for my “Interactive Media I”: class. This weeks website is “Jason Santa Maria”:, a personal weblog/portfolio for a graphic designer in Philly.

UPDATE: Jason has “commented”: on the collection of critiques by our class and I urge you all to read his response. He’s obviously a very intelligent and humble designer and I’m grateful to have had his feedback.

This site is alright. I like it better than the %“last”: %“two”:, however I’ve still found some quirks in it. Over the last two weeks, I’ve seen two style sheets applied to this site and even though it is not up now – I MUST complain about the first one.

The “October 2004/2005 Edition”: featured a thin sidebar image on the left side of the page similar to that of the current layout. My problem with it was that the vertical lettering on the image was cut off on the left side. At first, I thought maybe my browser window was too small for the page, so I spent a moment resizing my window to try and get the whole thing. Well, it turns out that’s just how it was made. I really didn’t like this because I found it distracting and deceiving. Otherwise, the design was pretty interesting.

Unfortunately, the current design features a similar sidebar, only this time the text is horizontal – still cut off, however. This time it’s not as annoying, but I still think it could have been done differently. My second problem with this design is the placement of dirt specs on the background image. I thought there was dirt on my screen – I actually tried to wipe it off. I realize the image is supposed to look like an old page from a book, but those spots are really just unnecessary and annoying.

Lastly, I’d like to comment on the Flash photography gallery. The design is alright. Personally, I like to see thumbs for each image so I can go directly to the ones that interest me. Here, you sort of have to aimlessly navigate through the images with either the previous/next arrows that appear over the image or by randomly clicking the small orange boxes along the top. Also, while it may be a nifty little addition to the site, it doesn’t allow for total accessibility. Someone without the Flash plugin or using a screen reader wouldn’t get any information from this page.

Otherwise, the site is well organized, easy to navigate, and has a relatively obvious purpose.