Have I mentioned I like to travel?

Hi everyone, here is a brief introduction about me: I’m a graphic design student. I already have a degree in Spanish, although my knowledge is fading due to extreme lack of practice. And I love to travel. It stresses me out a lot – I am a ridiculous worrier; I spend a huge amount of time going through worst-case scenarios in my head for contingency plans if things go wrong.

But I revel in experiencing new cultures, visiting the great architecture and art of the world, and adding more pins to my “I’ve Been There” map of the world. Due to a sad lack of funding (having spent a good deal of my life as a student,) the list of places I’ve been is shorter than I would like. My travel experiences started with family trips in my youth, like taking road trips to Michigan to meet up with family, down to LA and back, and over to the west coast of Canada. During my Spanish degree I spent a month in Barcelona to attend a language school, and later that summer took a family trip on a cruise to Alaska. Since then I briefly visited London and Paris, spent 2 weeks in Mexico, and one week in Cuba.

As I am soon to be done with school again, hopefully forever this time, I am looking forward to the time (and funds!) to get out and see more of the world. Bucket list: visit each continent (except maybe Antarctica) at least once in my lifetime. Wish me luck!

Tower Bridge in London

Tower Bridge, London

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My Social Media Policy

1. Connecting: Hi! I’m Laura

Laura Brown profile picture

It’s me!

I love reading other people’s thoughts, and if other people like to know what I’m thinking and writing about, that’s cool. For some reason I’ve never gotten into writing comments for people I don’t know personally, maybe that’s a generational thing. But if you’re into that, talk away!

2. Follow, add, friend: Twitter-ers and Facebook-ness

My views vary by social network. On Facebook, I only accept friend requests from people I know – I feel that my Facebook page contains far more personal material than I really want the average person off the street having access to. On Twitter, my account is open, so if you want to follow me, you can! I personally only follow people who I am interested in reading random 140-character thoughts from, and unfollow people frequently if they constantly spread negativity. The only other network I use frequently is Pinterest, and so far I follow a) close friends and b) people with really interesting boards.

3. Privacy, boundaries and safety: Keep it light please.

Social media is NOT an outlet for me to passive-aggressively air my grievances with the world. I keep my posts friendly and funny, and tailor my posts to my audience: more personal posts go on Facebook, and general commentary and work-related thoughts I usually put on Twitter.

4. Signal to noise: No Double Posts

This obviously wouldn’t bother me if I only followed someone on one social media, but I get annoyed when a single post is shared to Instagram, Twitter, AND Facebook, or Pinterest and Facebook, etc. Seeing it once is enough for me. Also, even though they’re allowed now, hashtags DO NOT belong on Facebook so vary your content please!

5. Personal data and sharing: DON’T DO IT

Unless you want to make people uncomfortable and start arguments and debates, don’t post religious beliefs/political/etc.

6. My networking needs and uses: Spread It Out

Pretty much covered this with #2, but for me: Facebook: things related to friends and family, Twitter: commentary, Pinterest: Recipes, websites, etc., LinkedIn: work-related ONLY, Instagram: obvious.

That ended up being a lot longer than I expected, but there you go! Obviously I’m very private and compartmentalized in my social media uses, and I definitely think that reflects my personality. Thanks for reading! Find out how to make your own social media profile here.

British museums and their blogs

Today I am comparing two designs of two blogs of two art galleries/museums in London. The first is that of Tate Modern, one of the most well-known modern art galleries in the world. Its blog is well structured and easy to navigate, with a four column structure and a short description of each post accompanying each photograph. On the left is a sidebar with list of topics and series’ of blogs.

Screen shot of the blog of Tate Modern art gallery

Tate Modern

Now we compare the blog of the British Museum. It features a single column of never-ending content to scroll through, which is mind-numbingly dull to look at. Even when a topic is selected from the drop-down menu above the content, only one more column is opened up which is filled with badly organized related categories.

Screen capture of the British Museum blog

British Museum

So the moral of this story is: if you have a lot of content and posts, like these sites do, the site is much more engaging when organized into a few columns and with minimal copy on the home page, allowing the user to easily spot items of interest.

A few good…Portfolio Sites…

Today I am taking a look at a couple of portfolio websites, for the following reasons: a) a class assignment, b) inspiration, and c) jealousy. The website awwwards.com maintains a list of excellent portfolio sites, which I aspire to be on someday! Here are two sites that caught my eye.

David Boyero portfolio site

David Boyero portfolio site

This site demonstrates an excellent use of flat design. The colours used are eye-catching and unique, with the addition of minor interactive tidbits that keep you interested and engaged, moving your mouse around the page to see if anything else changes. The illustrations are minimal but well done, very much in keeping with the page design.

fixate screen shot

Fixate Web and Design

The home page of Fixate Web and Design caught my eye immediately. The individuality demonstrated by the simple black-on-white line drawings creates an immediate intimacy with the designers, as if you were seeing directly into their creative minds.

So there we are! A couple of portfolio concepts for your visual snacking pleasure.