August 5, 2008
Yesterday, we looked at the clutter that can be found on many blogs for visually displaying outgoing feed information. Today, let’s explore the clutter of incoming feeds as part of the WTF Blog Design Clutter series.
With the ease of adding incoming feeds to your blog through widgets, bloggers are stuffing their sidebars with incoming feeds. Incoming feeds have become the next generation blogroll. Like the long blogroll lists, these incoming feeds can quickly get out of control.
At first, this made sense. If you want to recommend specific blogs and content, then having a feed or feed aggregator in your blog’s sidebar acted like a scrolling ticker blogroll in a way, giving your readers more options to explore. Unfortunately, many bloggers found too many visitors were finding the help they needed on those incoming feed links, clicking away instead of digging in deeper to their own blogs.
Tags: blog clutter, Blog Design, blog design clutter, blogroll, feed lists, feed readers, feeds, incoming feeds, web design
August 2, 2008
As you’ve probably seen, The Blog Herald doesn’t look they way it used to. This is intentional, luckily, and part of our efforts to get better at everything. That’s the goal after all, so let’s be frank about it.
I mentioned the relaunch with a new design when I took over as the editor a few months back. I would’ve wanted to do it sooner, but you can’t get everything you want, and besides, the poor designer’s schedule was really full. Being my schedule, I did the design, and I hope you like it.
So let’s talk a little bit about the relaunch, shall we? read more
Tags: Blog Design, Blog Herald News, redesign, The Blog Herald
July 30, 2008
This is slightly off topic perhaps, but still important, I think, being a designer and all. Design community sweethearts A List Apart is conducting a survey aimed at people making websites this year, and the result will be made available later this year. If you think you’re the target audience, do take the survey, it just takes a few minutes so don’t be daunted by the fact that it is 18 pages long, most of them are really short.
Tags: A List Apart, Blog Design, survey
July 29, 2008
As we explore our blogs and clean out the clutter in this ongoing series on WTF Blog Design Clutter, we’ve looked at the pros and cons of blog clutter with too many “friend” pictures and badges, calendar archives, and most recent comments and shout boxes. Remember that clutter is in the eye of the beholder – the visiting user – not necessarily the blogger. What we see when we visit and use our blogs is not necessarily what the visitor and return reader see or experience. We need to explore our blog’s design through their eyes to help them use and read our blogs.
The usability factor in web design is critical. We often add design elements (widgets and gadgets specifically) to our blog for fun or novelty. We’re flush with the excitement of the latest and hottest whizzbang goodie and we want to share the fun on our blogs. If your blog is getting cluttered with a lot of WordPress Plugins, Widgets, Gadgets, Scripts, and whizzbangs, maybe it’s time to analyze these design elements to find out which ones are most important to your blog and its users – and which one are just clutter.
Today, I want to explore the pros and cons of microblog clutter on your blogs. Are you microblogging?
Tags: blog cleaning, blog clutter, Blog Design, blog housekeeping, Blog Relationships, Blogging, clean your blog, microblog, Microblogging, microblogs, sidebar clutter, tumblr, Twitter, web design, wtf
July 28, 2008
In this ongoing series on WTF Blog Design Clutter, we’ve talked about blog clutter with too many “friend” pictures and badges and calendar archives, two of the many elements many use to clog up their blog’s sidebar. “Clutter” is a matter of perspective. If these added design elements really work for your blog, serve your blog’s purpose, and enhance the reader’s experience, leave them. In fact, put them at the top where they are the first thing people will see next to your post title and content beginnings. Promote them. If they are that important, let them stand out.
If they are not important, then they do become clutter.
One of the most popular blog clutters are the Most Recent Comments and Shout Boxes that many feel are important elements to a blog’s design.
The web is now social. People are experimenting with all types of methods to bring the social to their blogs and emphasize how social their blogs are – or at least appear to be. Among the most popular and easy to do are most recent comment widgets and chatting shout boxes. read more
Tags: blog clean up, blog clutter, blog conversation, Blog Design, Blog Relationships, blog tips, Blogging, chat, cleaning up your blog, Comments, conversation, how to blog, live chat, poll, Professional Blogging, recent comments, shout box, sidebar clutter, survey
July 25, 2008
If you are a member of a social networking service, it’s natural that you want to put the HTML code in your sidebar that shows off the faces or avatars of your buddies. After all, that’s what these social networking sites are all about. Your face on their blog and their face on your blog.
Is it? What good it is? How does it help your blog?
As part of this going series on WTF Blog Design Clutter, let’s look at the visual social clutter that clogs our blogs.
If your blog is a social blog, and the pictures of the folks participating on your blog might be helpful. People like seeing their faces or avatars on other blogs. Besides, it should be good link juice, right?
Maybe. read more
Tags: Blog Design, Blogging, Marketing, SEO, Social Networking
July 24, 2008
Remember the old adage that you never get a second chance to make a first impression? You personally may get a second chance to sway that first impress, but your blog doesn’t. If you don’t grab them within the first micro-seconds of a visit, they won’t subscribe and they won’t be back.
Digging through a lot of blogs recently to research an upcoming article, I found myself thinking “WTF” as I looked at the designs. I was constantly distracted from the content I was eager to read through and quote towards things that blinked, flashed, or listed irrelevant stuff. My eyes had to work overtime to stay focused on the information I was there to glean.
Tags: blog clutter, Blog Design, Blog Relationships, blog tips, blogging tips, how not to design a blog, how to design a blog, Marketing, SEO, sidebar clutter, web design
July 22, 2008
Your blog archives are the list of months some bloggers keep in their sidebar that link to monthly chronological collections of their blog posts. In the early days, a site with such a monthly listing in their sidebar meant this was a personal blog. Without it, it was a website or professional site.
Are you still displaying your blog post archives? What benefit do bloggers get when the offer a long series of months and years in the sidebar of their blog? Do visitors and readers really use them? Do you?
With all the worry about duplicate content and Google’s PageRank, if your blog is generated similar or duplicate content within the categories and tags, then why do you need to clog their databases with archives?
Have you ever found archives in a search result? I do all the time. I click though hoping to find the answer to my question and find nothing. That information might have been on page 4 of that month’s archive of posts, but now, the natural chronological push from the present to the past of the blog structure may have pushed the information I need onto page 6.
How would I know? read more
Tags: archives, blog advice, blog clutter, Blog Design, blog help, Blogging, chronology, clutter, dates, design elements, site map, web design
May 24, 2008
Apparantly, this is the week for blog redesigns – with both Joi Ito and John Battelle of Federated Media either deploying new looks, new blog frameworks, or posting new screenshots of what their blogs could look like.
I know Thord has been working on the redesign of The Blog Herald as well.
Anyone else dropping a new look & feel on their blog this week?
Tags: Blog Design, Blog Design
April 30, 2008
Over the past few months I’ve added some new plugins and services to my blog at Webomatica that are solid and useful enough to recommend. All are working great with WordPress 2.5.
Tags: Blog Design, Technology, WordPress