vikiworks We’ve talked a fair bit about personal blog design this week. Conveniently I came across a fantastic personal blog yesterday, by Yichi from Beijing. The design of his blog, Vikiworks, is one that all personal bloggers could pick up tips from.

What Has Been Done Well?

  • Personal elements. The header and left hand side of the blog contain a wealth of information about Yichi, all wrapped up in the design. The PSP? Apple logo? Yankee’s hat? Even the date of his birthday! It all tells you a little more about who Yichi is, and what his interests are.
  • Graphics. As well as telling you who he is, the graphical elements are an integral part of the design. You will not see such a combination elsewhere, and rarely do you see such well designed graphics. They greatly add to the uniqueness of this design.
  • Logo. It would be hard not to mention the logo. I love the little smilie with his shocked expression. Wrapped inside the curly braces, the smilie could easily be changed between various poses to stay constantly fresh and fun.
  • Prominent tag cloud. In line with using a list of categories to clarify a blog’s topic, the tag cloud here is prominent and kept short enough to be a useful summary of the site’s topics.
  • Icons. Icons make up a big part of this blog. Each section of the sidebar has a title with a curly arrow pointing to an icon. Furthermore, each section also has a large, faded, icon in the background. You’ll even find icons in the comment forms!

What Could be Changed?

  • The “Usability Principles” graphic. This seems to draw my eye more so than the actual logo does. Making the logo a little more prominent, or this graphic a little less so, may restore a little extra balance to the header.
  • The FireFox advert. I’m already using FireFox, so the bright orange advert in the sidebar is needless for me. I wouldn’t mind ordinarily, but it is rather attention grabbing. In a similar nit-picky vein, the “23th” date in the sidebar should be “23rd.” Hardly crucial changes, but perfecting the design can’t hurt.

All in all, Vikiworks is a fantastic site. Going through the checklist of recommended elements of a personal design, Yichi has included just about every one of them! This site should certainly serve as a role model to other personal bloggers.

And the best part? Yichi has graciously released his theme for free.

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