Posted By Predrag on September 5, 2006
Today I want to talk about blog design. As I browse the Web, I stumble on many different blogs, most of them ugly. It’s understandable that people can’t design web pages, but with many free descent templates available, there’s no excuse for ugly looking pages. All I can say – if you don’t know how, get a free or buy a template, or hire a professional.
However, if you still want to design your own blog template, here are some tips that could be helpful:
- Keep it simple
The master advice. Don’t use many different fonts and colors. Pick few fonts and a color scheme, and stick to it.
- White background
Except if you’re in some unusual industry where colored backgrounds are in, forget about it. Most of the third-party images you will insert in your blog posts are made for the white background, making their appearance on some other-than-white background, well… ugly.
- Clear navigation
Usability is important in blogs, as it is in regular websites. Don’t complicate too much. There are dozens of plugins available which tempt you to install them and add some additional elements to your navigation. Resist the temptation and leave the navigation alone.
- Don’t let the social bookmarking ruin your design
I’ve seen many sites that add social bookmarking (del.icio.us, digg, etc) buttons to their design even if it looks awful. If it can’t look good – forget about it. Use text links instead (as we use on AS Workshop).
- Make sure that user knows what’s a title
This seem too obvius, right? However, I’ve seen blogs where it’s hard to know what is the title and what is the content. They put the title in some heading boxes and one can not determine where post begins and where it ends.
At the end I want to mention two good-looking blogs from a friend of mine. One is Japanese Cars Watch and the other is Symbian Watch. Take a look at them and analyze them thoroughly – you can see a great blog design and even better information structure there.