30 Bad Practices of Web Designers

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bad-web-design-banner

Every once in a while you will come across a page that just doesn’t seem ‘right’. There are three elements of a website that can be harmed by bad practice:

  • The website lacks something in its design.
  • The content is written badly.
  • The search engines don’t like something about the site.

Considering the three points above, this article will explains the do’s and dont’s of certain design habits.

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Even Links Can Look Good

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chain-links Image by elroySF

Changing the style of your links is probably the easiest change you can make in your design.

If you aren’t sure how to do it, there is a good explanation at Echo Echo. It will show you how.

It takes only seconds to try out a new look for your links. With that in mind, here are some of the best ways to style your links, to both look good and be usable at the same time.

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30 Ways to Improve Readability

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Increase Readability When I asked what the most important aspect of design was, many of you replied that it was readability; how easy it is to read your content.

People come to your blog to read articles, and the easier they are to read, the better. A design that obscures the content will only turn visitors away.

So what can we do to increase readability, and keep those readers reading?

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Let Readers Read In Peace

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Continuity of a path. The first step to increasing readership with design is to draw attention to the article. The second, equally important step, is to keep attention on the article.

Continuity is the idea that when the eye is following a line, it will continue to follow that line until something else draws its attention away, or breaks the line.

We can apply this principle to a blog post as well. When a user begins reading, we want them to continue following the article down. There should be nothing to steal their attention from the column of text.

Ensuring that their focus on the article is not interrupted allows them to more fully, and easily, immerse themselves in the words. In return, you may gain a new subscriber or comment.

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Do Images in Posts Encourage Reading?

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Post Images I begin almost every post here at Pro Blog Design with an image. The images are usually interesting, and do take a while to pick out. Do they encourage people to read more posts?

The answer is that for a certain type of blog, they do. For another type, they don’t.

When Post Images Are Worth Adding

  • In plain templates. Many blogs are designed to be minimalist and plain, allowing the content to be focused upon. A well selected image in the post can work wonders for adding personality to the design, without losing the clean simplicity.

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Typography Is An Art

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TypographyTypography is the practice of arranging letters and words to make them more readable, or more visually interesting. On the web, typography has long been hindered by the technology. However, times are changing and the future is looking bright for the art of typography.

The major hindrance of web typography is the very limited font set that is available to all users. When settings font in a CSS file, you can set one font which the site looks best in, but if users don’t have it, you need to fall back to one of the usual suspects. Stuart Brown has a rundown of 5 of the most-common web fonts, letting you know which to use, and which to stay well away from.

With CSS, we do have some level of control over the appearance of our fonts. It isn’t the equivalent of the pixel-perfection in print design, but it is still something, and to this end, Clagnut has 10 helpful guidelines. One of the most basic, but most important choices in web typography is text alignment, which Kyle Meyer has explained extensively.

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Format Your Posts For Readability

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FormattingAs bloggers, we write pages upon pages of content each week. We spend hours promoting the articles, choosing the right words and trying to get our point across as clearly as possible. How can formatting be used to further improve our posts?

There are a few basic tools that you will have heard mention of time and time again, such as bolding words. The first section re-explains their purpose, and the second will explain how to perfect your usage of them to achieve optimal formatting.

The Formatting Toolbox

  • Headings and subheadings. Posts usually cover 2 or 3 sub-topics of the overall post topic. If you don’t use headings to mark out the sub-topics, then the reader has no way of knowing exactly which topics have been covered in the article. What if they’re only interested in the last section? Mark out the last section with a good header, and they’ll know to read it.

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