The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Analyzing Design

The first assignment of many to come in my UX Academy program, this post will discuss 5 sources of content, and my analysis as it relates to the comparison and contrast of graphic and ux design elements.

Smashing Magazine, Design Hierarchy of Needs

As a guideline, I will use the Design Hierarchy of Needs to analyze a site on the basics of design, as well as higher-thinking design concepts. See above for the outline and criteria in which the sites will be held up against.


A video sharing mobile app site, Periscope was launched in 2014, and purchased by Twitter in 2015. The site boasts over 10 million subscribers.

Periscope Homepage
  1. The homepage of Periscope gets right to the point of what the site is about. However, because of the video-rich content, load times are slow, and sounds overlap from many videos, making it an audible mess. The idea is there but the execution/functionality fails.
Periscope Menu Bar

2. Menu bar is clean, but unless you are familiar with the app, you don’t necessarily know what site you are on. This may not be important to the company, but it can create confusion for the user. It does, however, function and is useable. In this case, though, less may not be more, as you don’t really know what you are doing without some extra clicks.

3. The channels menu doesn’t list things by popularity as seen in the number of live video posts. How are these topics chosen for the channel menu? Do I need to create an account to select what I am interested in? What made these choices populate now? This does not meet higher needs of the pyramid, and really doesn’t even meet basic foundations. It appears random.


Created by two University of Virginia roomies in 2005, Reddit is a site dedicated to social news and entertainment networking. Submissions are ranked by the users, and registered users can submit their own content for review.

Reddit Homepage
  1. Oh, Reddit. The homepage here is functional, yes. May be even some can say it is reliable. Usability is where the buck stops. Between the small thumbnails, tiny headings, and overall crowding of information, this site just doesn’t do it for me. Break out the bifocals; you’ll need them for the typeface used on this site.
  2. Because users post to the site, things can get messy. This can cause confusion. And I am not sure who is supposed to monitor it. Take this for example:
Same post, different poster.

It’s the same article, posted by two people. Now, because I am not sure how Reddit works really, I don’t know how this happened or if it is normal. What I do know is that it creates clutter and doesn’t make sense. The articles were posted at the same time, by different people. And one is more popular than the other. It’s just weird and doesn’t make sense.

3. And then everyone has the cute puppy and kitty pictures. Yes it is nice. Yes they make people smile, but there is no purpose. When you click on the AWW tab at the top, you are given a page of thumbnails with titles, and then you click on one and you get photos and clip art. Ok.



This is the social platform for Google. It started in 2011 by invite-only, and has since opened up to anyone.

Google+ Homepage
  1. The home dashboard can be a little confusing. There is not a clear distinction as to where you should be directed on the page, and I would imagine as you create more collections and follow more people/things, it could get pretty messy quickly. Everything is labeled well, though, so you can navigate the page well to get to where you want to, and filter what it is you are looking for. This makes it incredibly functional and reliable, and easy-to-use.
  2. The site offers ‘board’ like features, similar to Pinterest. You are able to follow categories that interest you easily by simply clicking ‘Join’. You are then immediately connected to the blog.

3. The menu bar is ever present, allowing you to navigate between boards and topics easily. Although I wouldn’t say it is overly creative, it does meet and exceed the other steps on the pyramid.


Created in 2004 and acquired by Yahoo in 2005, Flickr is an online video and photo sharing site. An estimated 1 million photos are shared daily on Flickr.

Flickr Homepage
  1. The Flickr homepage gets right to the point. Action is immediately required by the user in order to proceed. The prominence of the sign up button leaves no room for question on what to do next. There is no search of click around for ‘what do I do?’. It’s right there. Easy, simple, visible, clean.
  2. Once your account is set up, which takes about three clicks, you are ready to rock. Adding photos is a breeze, and there are options for you. This not only provides reliability and functionality, but it plays on the proficiency of the user, giving them options based on where they are in their skills.
Photo Upload Options Page

3. Let’s just take it to the top while we are at it, shall we? You already have all of your most memorable moments in one place, so why not embed a way for you to create art, books, projects, etc. here instead of forcing another program upon you? This. Is. Smart. Flickr allows users to create wall art and photo books right from their page. It’s easy, it’s fun and it just makes sense.

Flickr Create Page


Tumblr is the land of posting anything. Really. You can nearly post any format of anything, making it an all-inclusive social that was created in 2007.

Tumblr Homepage
  1. The call for action is once again front and center. The white letters on a saturated background tell you where you are and where you need to go next. It’s functional, reliable, useable and proficient. I know what I need to do to proceed.

2. Scrolling web design allows you to go further and learn more. So, if you aren’t ready to take action quite yet, you have the chance to learn a little before you take the plunge. The color choice here allows for easy reading on the title, and although the typeface for the smaller content works, it could stand a little pop to make it a little easier on the eyes.

Tumblr About

3. And, just in case you still aren’t sure, they give you some visuals and added explanation. Don’t worry, they want you to be confident. The delivery of explanation in both visual and literary is creative and helpful. It allows all users to understand.

Tumblr Blog Info

So there it is. Five social sites and my take on their design based on the Design Hierarchy. There is more to add, say, and investigate, but the time limit was two hours for this assignment ;)

Cheers! Jessica