I first came into “contact” with Justin Shattuck’s when I commented on his post about WordPress Plugin Development. He seemed to be asking the same questions as I was regarding the configuring and using of WordPress plugins. I am planning on dealing with some of these issues in my MA thesis Blog Software and the Act of Blogging.

When I visited his site again this morning I noticed a post titled “Write About My Site, Make A Buck.” I am not desperately in need of five dollars but I just thought it is a funny request. I kind of see the point in offering people a few dollars for their effort too: people might be inclined to take the request more seriously and instead of saying “Your site rocks” in the comments write a decent thought through post about it.

I graduated in Interaction Design at the Utrecht School of Arts before I went to the University of Amsterdam to study New Media. Usability is a big issue in Interaction Design and I’ve read all the usability gurus such as Donald Norman, Lon Barfield and Ben Shneiderman. One of the main things that I immediately noticed about Justin’s site is a lack of contrast. One of the main rules is that “text should use contrast not color” where black text on a white background is the best option. They lack of contrast caused by greyish blue text on a dark grey/black background could be greatly improved (even my young eyes could need a bit more contrast).

Lon Barfield (and I) would applaud the changing colors when selecting a different tab in the navigation. What is recommend though is giving the selected tab a different color too so that the user knows where (s)he is. Another thing I mentioned in the navigation is that above the main navigation tabs there are three more links. The JustinShattuck.com link leads to the index page thus having the same function as the Home tab.  The Contact Justin and My Vitals links seem like they should fall under the About tab. Or maybe put My Vitals under About and make a new Contact tab. Just my two cents!

In general it is a nice and clean site to look at with an easy navigation. What I liked most about Justin’s request is that it makes me think about my own site and it’s usability. I have noticed before that I strongly dislike my hovers (mouse overs) and the way links are displayed. I should change it when I have some time (altough that seems to be a bit of a problem lately).