Minimalist Blog Design

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The zen of minimalism. Minimalist blog design is all the rage these days. In the pursuit of usability and a better user experience, designers everywhere are stripping out the needless elements of their sites. The result? Clean, fast loading sites that a user can actually use.

As with any design trend, there are two questions you should ask yourself.

  1. Why should I adopt a minimalist design?
  2. How can I adopt a minimalist design?

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Author Name. Nuisance or Necessity?

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Names
Photo by TonivS
Every free template includes the author’s name near the content of each post. You would have to look hard to find one that didn’t. But why should you keep the name there?

Single and Multiple Authors

The purpose of giving the name so close to a post is to give credit to the person who wrote that post. This is important in multiple-author blogs where the author changes from post to post. Regular readers will be interested to know who is writing which posts, and the writers deserve credit for their work.

However, in a single-author blog, the author does not change from post to post. Regular readers do not need to be told your name over and over again as they know it already and can assume that the writer hasn’t changed.

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Cut Category Clutter and Toggle Visibility

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Grouped Categories
Photo by *Micky*
Categories are very easy to set up in a blog. So easy in fact, that we can often get carried away and end up with dozens of categories, all clogging up space in our sidebars. Rather than deleting these categories, we can remove the clutter by linking the categories into groups.

We then show only the group titles in the sidebar, and when a group title is clicked, the list of categories in that group expands beneath it. You can see a demo here.

This solution is very easy to implement, will remove the clutter for the vast majority of your users. For your users, and search engines, who have disabled Javascript, the complete list of categories will be shown as normal (And for the code junkies, it’s also XHTML valid!)

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