stunning It’s the final saga in our quest to decide What Makes Good Blog Design? and today we are coming to one simple truth, good design looks good. That much is obvious, but good looks are for more than just looking at.

You don’t design a blog to print it out and hang it on your wall to be admired and you don’t design it to keep up with the Joneses. Stunning designs are good simply because they get you more readers.

Design Says 3 Things on the First Impression

  1. How much effort has been put into this site? If the design looks gorgeous and is a joy to use, then a lot of time has been put into it. We can then assume that the same level of care has been put into the content of the site.
  2. How modern is this site? This isn’t always as crucial on blogs (Where the date is usually shown), but it still bears mentioning. We can all recognize 90s design a mile off, and subconsciously we can even pick up on less drastic differences, such as differing styles. Whilst good design is in no way limited to the most recent trend, keeping up the pace will help your image as a modern blog.
  3. What is the personality of this site? Colorful? To the point? Friendly? A good design fits the image of the blogger behind it. Your aesthetics are all you have to paint that initial picture with.

As you can see, there is quite a bit to be gleaned from a first impression. A good design will say the right things, and is the most effective way of slashing your bounce rate.

One of your most valuable tools is to make good use of the fold. Whilst many users will indeed scroll down the page, it doesn’t change the fact that the first thing they see is still the top of the page.

From that one glimpse, they need to discover the name and purpose of your site, but they also need to decide if it is worth their while viewing it. That is what makes attractive design useful.

Beyond that, it’s up to you to create the best design you can, whilst still succeeding in your own goals, user goals and being distinctive. A good design can be made up from any combination of colors, shapes, designs and fonts.

I’ll end the series with a final question. Are usable designs attractive? The most usable web sites are often the most forgettable, and not by mistake. They were built with the user experience in mind. But is that on its own enough?

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