Your Blog is Ugly - Do You Care? - 5 Reasons Why You Should Care About Blog Design
Like most people, I suffer from a few pet peeves. I don't like the sound of nails scratching on a chalk board. I don't like it when other people touch my feet. Pulp in orange juice is gross. And bad blog design really bothers me.
It could be that I am one of the few people on the net that actually get an unpleasant physical reaction from bad blog design but my reasons, I think, you will find valid.
Unfortunately in both offline as well as online worlds, there is still a lack of user friendliness and usability. We have all visited physical stores that, for reasons sometimes unknown to us, don't leave us with a good impression. The same is true in the virtual world.
Websites with scrolling and blinking text (web 1.0 popular) and advertisements on every inch of the site give most of us a bad impression. It's a bad sign when you have to sift through "junk" to find the real content. Blog design should compliment your blog niche and encourage focus on content.
I am a firm believer in good content. So don't get me wrong and think I think blog design takes precedence over good content. I do however think that blog content is a the second most important aspect of your blog. For clarification, when I say blog design I mean the look, feel and overall appearance of a blog.
5 Reasons Why You Should Care About Blog Design.
1. First Impressions: First impressions are key. Rarely do we get the chance to make a second impression, especially on the internet. If your blog looks disorganized, cluttered, over monetized, extremely plain, or even too much like other blogs it could give people an undesirable impression. Within the first five seconds a visitor is on your blog an impression is made. Sometimes a really bad design is all the reason they need to leave and never come back.
2. Pleasant Experience: You can offer your readers a good experience or frustrate them with hard to find content. We should make it our goal as web publishers to offer our readers a good experience. We should not only offer great content but also a pleasant experience.
3. Returning Visitors and Feed Readers: If your goal is to just acquire feed readers then the importance of good blog design may seem unimportant. But it is important. First of all you should want people to visit your blog. The traffic received from visitors can increase your income (if that is desired), reader awareness of links you include on your site and increase blog comments.
4. Branding: Whether you realize it or not we are all visual people. Some of us visualize a lot and others not as much but we all can visualize things in our minds. Think about this. What do people see when they visualize your blog?
Good blog design is far easier to remember than bad or plain designs. Your blog can be remembered for having the worst design ever but if that is your goal then you are surely taking away from your content. Help your visitors remember your blog by offering them a design that is worth remembering.
5. Set the Standard: Have you ever visited a neighborhood where all the houses on the block had nice landscaping except for one? The standard set for that neighborhood is to have nice landscaping. Since nice landscaping is a desirable feature the one house that does not have nice landscaping is not meeting the standard and is an eye sore.
Blog design is continuing to improve within the blogosphere. The standard is already being set. Don't let your blog be an eye sore. Improve your blog design.
My hope is that these five reasons will help you to understand how design and usability can effect how your visitors view your blog. Though the design of your blog is not more important than the content, design is very important and should not be taken lightly.
Mona Weathers (monawea)
Founder of HerProBlog.COM - Helping Women Create and Maintain Professional Quality Blogs