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Blog Design- Little things matter a lot

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Apart from focusing on content as we discussed earlier, one of the most important things is User Experience on your blog. As soon as a site is called a blog one usually forgets the user centered design requirements. If you keep track of little things it can enhance your reader experience greatly.

You may question how many readers actually bother about where links are placed and what kind of navigation do you have in your blog. What gets noticed is not the presence but the lack of it.

Reduce Sidebar Clutter- Place the widgets, only which are important to your blog and are serving a purpose. Think innovatively while placing ads, don’t overdo them in your sidebar. Latest blog design trends are putting archives and other navigational links at the bottom of the page to unclutter the sidebar( I personally do not like to scroll down as far to browse categories, and find other posts). So it is important to offer your reader a way to navigate through the blog from a place that is as important as sidebar.

Blog Width- Building your blog to a set width and satisfying all your users isn’t the possibility. A number of other solutions exist, with the most popular being the liquid layout. It expands based on the size of the browser window. Ideally, this means that everyone will view the webpage at the largest possible width.

Though the drawback is with very large or very small resolutions, the design can become very haphazard. The length of line will either become too long or all the content will be squashed into a very small space.

The best way to deal with this will be to set the maximum and minimum length of the content.

Links- First of all, links should always look like links. Don’t make it hard for your readers to find out where to click. This is the least thing they will want to put their brains into.

Now to answer should the links be opening in new windows or not- people have different opinions about it. To do or not to do depends your individual thinking.

The right view-

Users browsing your content will right click and make the link open in a new tab(as I like it) or a new window. Forcing multiple windows won’t make your blog sticky. Rather try to get people back to your blog by making the content more engaging and hard to live without.

The Left View-

Keeping Blog readers on your page and not loosing them to an external link can be one of them. Sometimes its hard for readers to remember how they got to particular webpage, and have to click the BACK button a zillion times to find the navigational source, they would just ignore and move ahead.

It is also distracting for your reader to navigate away in the middle of the article.

The Libran view(My view)-

As a browser I find it too hard to manage a hundred windows all at one time when I am trying to do a five hundred things at one time. So I prefer links opening in tabs.

As a blogger I would suggest to go an extra mile to make it easier for your readers by providing links to PDF files and large images to open in different window. Also if you have some external links in the middle of the article let it open in a new window.

Rest can be left on users choice of opening the links as per their requirement.

I would love to listen to your point here.

Enjoy Blogging,


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posted by Divya Uttam, 12:48 PM



I want to contact you...but could not find any contact information on your blog....

commented by Blogger Unknown, 6:32 PM  

Oh here is another one that did- a prominent contact info. I just did the correction hoping that my readers can reach me now, easily :)

commented by Blogger Divya Uttam, 1:43 AM  

been following ur blog for a while now. useful tips & ideas.

keep it up!


commented by Blogger tulipspeaks, 8:30 PM  

Some really good advice! I can't stand opening a blog that's just filled with clutter, I still have a little cleaning up to do in my own but it's nothing compared to some out there!

commented by Blogger Unknown, 8:07 PM  

Hi Divya,
I have been reading your blogs for a while. I can say that you have managed your blog pretty well. No clutter in the sidebar.
But one thing I would like to say is : is it really OK to provide your email id and cell no. upfront the way your have put. Are you not prone to scam emails and un-necessary calls.
I prefer putting emails in 'yourname [dot] somthing [at] provider [dot] com'. Just for reducing the unwanted clutter in my mail box.
Visit my blog, I would love to hear any suggestion you might have for me. I am sure you will definitely have something to improve my blog.
Keep up the good work.

commented by Blogger Anurag Bansal, 6:19 AM  

I am happy to see the change you recently did by changing the email id as I mentioned previously in the comment.

commented by Blogger Anurag Bansal, 9:01 AM  

How do you make links open up in tabs? Or is just the target="_blank" and user specified?

commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 11:21 PM  

This is great advice for those of us who are on a constant quest to make our blogs better. I like the flow of your blog - it's a great example of the advice you give. Thanks.

commented by Blogger nathanburrblair, 10:12 AM  

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