What Makes a Design Good?116
Image by Felipe SkroskiIf you’re reading this, then I imagine you have an interest in blog design. Together, we invest huge amounts of time into tweaking our blogs, or huge amounts of money into paying others to do so. But how do we know our design is actually worth all that effort?
What is it that makes a good blog design?
The 4 Aspects of Good Design
There are many factors, but we can wrap the main ones under 4 umbrellas. These are what I would consider the main elements of a good blog design to be.
- Achieve Site Goals – What is your purpose for having the blog? What do you want visitors to do?
- Achieve User Goals – What is your user’s purpose on the site? What do they want to do? Your blog’s design should promote usability, and help make the user’s experience as enjoyable as possible.
- Branding and Remembrance - What impression does the site leave? Will it be remembered at all? Design is not important solely when the visitor is on the site, but also when they have left it.
- Distinction and the First Impression – Does your design separate you from the rest of your niche? When a visitor first loads it, what does it say about your site? Does it make them want to read on?
These 4 points have been analyzed as part of a series (links above), with a more in-depth explanation, and suggestions as to how your design can accomplish each goal.
Apply Your Knowledge
The purpose of asking this question is simple; without knowing why your blog needs a good design, then what is the point in designing at all? If you know why you are spending so much time on a design, then you are better equipped to make decisions about that design. It is more than just looks.
Often you will need to make a decision which aids one particular goal, but harms another. As a basic example, adverts inside the post content will aid the site goal of making money, but it will harm the user goal of easy reading. Knowing that, you can then ask yourself if the adverts are worthwhile. Do the pros outweigh the cons?
In the odd case, it is possible to have a good design by simply making something that looks nice. It is however impossible to have a great design without first understanding the goals of the design.
With that in mind, I’d love to hear what you would say makes your design good. What made you choose the theme you did?
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