Monday, June 11, 2012

Tips on Blog Design

A few weeks ago I attended a webinar on better blog design 'Better Design = Better Blog Webinar' hosted by Digital Parents and presented by Kate at Picklebums blog.  I had never done anything like this before but thought it wouldn't hurt to get some tips on blog design.  It was great in fact it really helped me see things from a design and user view.  Some of the tips that I took away from it are listed and I have also applied them to my own blog.

Some of the main tips are things like:
Setting goals for blog design such as short, medium, and long term goals.  I am still working on these, I have a basic idea of what I want for my blog but I'm always thinking of something new.

What you want your readers to do when they come to your blog, give them some direction and insight into how to use your blog.  This also ties in with who your reader is what things they like about your blog.

One of the main tips I learnt was to make sure the content is easy to read and to include the most important elements and content.

What to include:
Header: 
  • Important elements in the header
  • Blog's logo
  • Make sure the header doesn't take up all the space above the fold
  • How it looks at different sizes.  Kate recommends checking this at viewlikeus.com 
Navigation:
  • Menu bar below header
  • Clear and easy to find
  • Easy way to find home page in the menu/nav bar
  • Links within text easy to find
Content:
  • Readable
  • Stick to 2-3 different fonts
  • Use sans serif fonts for easy readability 
  • Use a larger font size such as 14px or 16px
  • No light text on dark background
  • Use subheading, bold text, and lists
  • White or empty space around content to allow eyes to rest
Images:
  • Always link to source
  • Make images web friendly resize to fit width
  • Use online image editors such as Pixlr or PicMonkey  (these are both free and easy to use)
Comment:
  • Make it easy for readers to comment
  • Comment form should be clear and easy to use
Sidebars:
  • Less is more (the golden rule)
  • Keep 'About' blurb to a minimum include a link
  • Have a minimum amount of media icons
  • Figure out where you want the ads, and if private ad spaces can charge more for above the fold
  • Blogroll? If too much for sidebar include as extra page
  
Well that's about it, I hope you find the notes I took from the webinar as useful as I did.  Thanks to Digital Parents and Kate from Picklebums for sharing this great information.