30 Ways to Improve Readability

459

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?

Read More »

Let Readers Read In Peace

30

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.

Read More »

Why Post Images Should be on the Left

52

lefty.jpgDepending on your blog’s topic, post images can encourage reading. But where do we place those images? On the left or the right?

A common response to this is to place the content on the left, because Westerners read from left to right. That is true, and it does play a role in the decision, but not always in the way you would expect.

The Left Logic

Images work because they draw attention. The visual interest draw the user’s eye towards the picture, and hence the post. However, once the eye has been drawn, where does it go from there?

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 »

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 »

Why I’m Using a 3 Column Layout

68

columns4.jpgThere are a few seemingly perpetual debates in web design. 800×600 vs 1024×768. Fixed vs fluid. Content on the right or left. The choice of using a 2 column layout or a 3 column one is another of these.

Advantages of a Two Column Layout

  • Forces minimalism. There tends to be less sidebar room in a 2 column layout. You simply don’t have the space for 100 different widgets without overstretching the page. This limit forces you to be a little more careful about choosing which widgets are installed.

Read More »

When Ajax Can Help Your Blog

21

Magical ajax. Ajax is a great technology. It allows you to update various aspects of your page, without ever having to refresh.

The Trouble With Ajax

The trouble with Ajax is that it is overused and abused. Many people try to do too much with it. If you’re building a web-app, fantastic, use it all you like! If you’re just building a blog though, remember your restraint.

Good use of Ajax comes in small doses, and only when it helps you achieve your goals. Can it save you the hassle of reloading the same page? Will it let you accomplish simple tasks quickly? If so, then you’re using Ajax well.

Read More »

Page 3 of 612345... 6