Good Design Looks Good. Period.

49

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.

Read More »

Warning: Your Blog Is Being Forgotten!

20

Stand out and be remembered. This is the 3rd article in our attempt to answer the question of What Makes a Good Design?. We’ve already covered site goals and user goals, but those only take effect when the use is actually on your site. What about when they’re elsewhere? Or even offline?

A purpose-built, usable blog is great, but if it isn’t strikingly designed, it will be forgotten! If a visitor reads your iPod article today, what is it that will make them think of you the next time they’re looking for iPod info?

Be different. Be unique. Be memorable. And here’s how:

Read More »

Achieve User Goals Through Usable Design

11

Yesterday, we talked about achieving your own goals through your blog’s design. Of course, you won’t achieve anything if you’re putting your visitors off. The key is to balance your goals with your reader’s goals.

What do they want from your blog?

There is more to it than simply reading the current page. A reader may want to do a whole host of things on your site. Most blogs are very similar though, so what a reader wants to do on one blog is usually the same thing they’d want to do on any other blog.

I would consider the following to be a bare bones version of the usual priority list for a blog reader. The bolded words are the actions, and beneath them are some of the questions that a reader might ask at that point. Your job is to make those questions as easy to answer as possible.

Read More »

How to Achieve Site Goals Through Design

13

prominent Photo by pshanEvery site has a reason for being online. It has a purpose. Good design takes into account that purpose, and then works towards it.

Site goals are what you want your visitors to do on your site. It is important to make the distinction between what you want, and what they want (Although the two may often overlap).

For instance, your readers may not originally want to sign up to your newsletter, but if you want it enough, you just might persuade them.

The first stage in creating a great design is to lay out your blog’s goals. My advice is to scribble down everything that you would like to gain from your site (RSS readers, advert clicks, sales leads etc.), then take that list and order it by importance. It is important to think this through now because it will make decision making during the actual design much, much easier.

Read More »

What Makes a Design Good?

116

What Makes a Design Good 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.

  1. Achieve Site Goals – What is your purpose for having the blog? What do you want visitors to do?
  2. Read More »

Where to Find Good Paid Blogging Advice

19

Blogging tips. Blogging has become a huge industry these days, not just in terms of design and development, but of blogging advice too. There are hundreds of blogs out there on all aspects of blogging, from writing content, to making money. There are even some on blog design! Imagine that.

Although all of that advice may be available for free, it isn’t readily available. It will take you many hours of trawling to find those few gems that make it all worthwhile. Rather than wasting time sorting out the signal from the noise, you have the option of paying for some solid guidance and advice.

Anyone can pose as a consultant though, so this post is about the places where I personally would spend my money if I wanted blogging advice (No affiliate links anywhere. Just honest opinion).

Read More »

Design Review: Starfeeder

31

starfeeder2.jpg Starfeeder is a fan site for the massively popular StarCraft series of sci-fi strategy games. Naturally, Starfeeder sports a very modern, techy, design to suit the series. Has it pulled it off?

What Has Been Done Well?

  • Header image. Most blogs show their topic through a well-thought-up title, a good slogan, or some other sort of written message. Starfeeder however has chosen to use a striking image from the game itself. Very effective, and any long-time StarCraft fan will appreciate the joke!

Read More »