Review

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Laughing Squid
Added 09/07/2013
Official_review 1060f6e Created by Anthony Jones
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rating 7.7
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Art & Design Culture Technology

Introduction:

LaughingSquid is a carefully curated blog that features interesting art, culture & technology from around the web.

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Idea

Rating 8.0

The oddly named Laughing Squid is a blog created all the way back in nineteen ninety five by 'primary tentacle' Scott Beale and his team of writers and editors.
The blog contains an eclectic mix of postings covering art, technology and popular culture that are updated daily. The sites users can also get in touch and suggest postings of their choice, which will be given consideration for inclusion.

There's an array of weird and wonderful content on offer here, some of which I find interesting, amusing and bizarre. Notable postings that are well worth checking out include: 'Taylor Moore Teaches How to ‘Sex Your Food’ in Instructional Videos' and 'The Penis Machine, A Robot That Draws Penises at the Push of a Button'. These are both seriously strange, so don't say I didn't warn you!

Functionality:

Rating 4.0

Most of the blogs I've reviewed here are generally pretty easy to use and navigate, which should never come as a surprise, considering they are simply a list of postings listed in date order, often with some kind of extra filtering system. However, Laughing Squid has succeed in making me feel frustrated when trying to navigate the blog. Don't get me wrong, the general navigation and ordering is as you would expect. The problem lies with filtering results. Unless the facility is hidden away somewhere, there doesn't appear to be any way to look through older postings other than to keep scrolling down the page that never ends. This gets seriously tedious after a while. There is a search facility found at the top of the page but it's only any good if you happen to already know what you're looking for or want to find something with a particular word in it. I much prefer to be able to search blogs like this, month on month, getting surprised by what I find.

All the much needed usual social media links are prevalent with each posting which is great. What I don't really understand, is why they are listed in the main menu at the top of the page as well. I feel sites like this need to be as simple as possible to navigate, so the inclusion of parts that are already there seems very unnecessary.

Another rather annoying element here is the way the user can send their suggestions for potential links etc to be included on the blog. It's obviously great that one gets to make suggestions for the content, because after all, it's the social networking side of sites such as this that really help to create a great and diverse range of material to peruse. So the problem is the way one initially finds the page. It took me ages but it's actually found under 'Contact' in the main menu. There is a drop down with a sub menu named 'Blog Tips'. Within there is instructions and a data capture form. Ok, once you know where it is, it's fine for the future but then this is just another point as to why the blogs creators should have a serious rethink about the user experience here. There's sections in the menu bar that simply don't need to be there and then the ones that do, are hidden away.

Layout:

Rating 7.0

Overall, the design and layout of Laughing Squid is very clean and simple. There's no denying that the strong visual elements of the postings pop out well against the white background used. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the green text used throughout and I do feel that each posting section could be tweaked very slightly in order to make everything a bit tighter in the aesthetics department.

However, I have to give credit to the logo. I think it's very strong and saves the entire look and feel of the blog from looking rather dull. It's very unique looking and well executed. It just would have been nice to have seen some of that great flare spread throughout the rest of the blog.

Summary:

Rating 6.3

I like Laughing Squid and there is some genuinely good postings to be found on the site. However, as I've already pointed out, there's various elements about the user experience here that I find frustrating and alienating. This is a great shame because it makes me somewhat reluctant to want to return to the blog in the future. There's so many other sites like this around, that it's important to stand out from the crowd. Unfortunately a quirky name and a cool logo aren't enough to win me over this time. I don't want to try and put you off visiting this blog as some of the areas that I found problematic, may not bother you in the slightest. If that is the case, you could find yourself coming back time and time again to check out this frequently updated and interesting blog.

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