Hey guys! I ran a poll on Twitter a little while ago about what kind of blog design posts you’d like to read about. The winner of that poll was Blog Design by a pretty big chunk. This is my attempt at teaching everyone a little bit of blog design. Nothing too intense but still very important tips. If you’re already interested then keep on reading to find out what my top ten tips to a great blog design are.
1. Think about the message you’re trying to convey
Do you have a book blog like me? Great! Then as soon as a user clicks on your blog there should be something to indicate what kind of blog this is. A user would get confused if they found their way to my blog and there were tons of pictures of cats all over the place. I’m not saying don’t use a cat in your blog design but you should know how important it is for your blog’s theme/message to be clear to a user as soon as they hit your blog.
2. Use 2-3 fonts max
Using anymore can make your blog seem messy and unfocused. Try using one font for your logo, one for headers and important text, and one for your main content / everything else. You can also play around with fonts here. A really thin, light weight font can look really good with a bold, chunky font. Play with it! Also if I see any of you using Comic Sans or Papyrus, I will come after you.
3. Use 2-3 colours max
It’s not just fonts! Using too many colours is confusing for everyone. Most brands will have a main colour and then a couple other colours they use to emphasize. For example: GoodReads uses 3 shades of brown. A light brown for their header/navigation bar, a darker brown for their header and icons, and a greenish colour for their links.You don’t have to include black and white as a colour. They’re used pretty much all the time.
Also know your colour theory! You all know what the primary colours are right? What about complementary colours? Analogous colours? The last thing you want is for your colours to clash. We don’t want that! Check out this lovely and simple infographic all about your basic colours here.
4. White space is a good thing
You want to eliminate all unnecessary distractions. Do you really need 10 different pictures on your sidebar? No. You don’t. They make your blog seem messy. Try making a separate page for them. Or get rid of them all together if you don’t need them. You don’t have to fill every space possible. Keeping some white space makes your blog seem clean and more sophisticated.
5. Use sub-headings
I sometimes don’t do this as much as I should, but you should break up the content in your posts. What would you rather read more: a long, unorganized review that doesn’t make use of headers, or a review that uses headers to break up the content of their review? You rather have the headers wouldn’t you? That’s because it’s so much easier to read content when it’s broken up and organized well. Check out this post for example!
6. Keep it consistent (Repetition)
Do you have headers for different kinds of posts you write? Example: A header for discussion posts or reviews. Then use the same style for all your headers. Check out the ones I use as an example. They all match because of the same colours and fonts. You wouldn’t want a bright blue crazy styled header for one type of blog post and then a cleaner more elegant style for another. You want to keep it consistent! Do you have a pretty butterfly in your logo? Then use it other places too! This goes for fonts, colours, or any other design element you use in your blog design.
This goes for your blog, facebook pages, twitter accounts, etc. Try to use the same profile pictures for them all. (Not your personal accounts just blog related ones) You want to make it as easy as possible for people you recognize you around your social media platforms.
7. Use contrast to your advantage
Can you see the contrast in this image?
Do you see how they use a bigger font and colours to make certain words stand out? You want to do this to important elements in your blog too! For example, you want your social media icons to stand out so that people can find then easily. Try making them a different colour so that they stand out more. It’s the same thing for your content. When you’re writing, bold certain words if you want to make a key point really stand out to your readers.
This is a tough one because I love using patterns in my designs. I think they’re great and really add something to a design. The tricky part is, a lot of people tend to overdo it. By a lot. You can use a pattern in your background for example, but it shouldn’t be in your face. You don’t want the pattern/background/image to take away from the rest of your blog design. Generally you want something pretty simple so that it’s noticeable but doesn’t overwhelm you. It’s the same thing with using an image in the background. You want images and patterns to enhance your blog design, not take away from it. Check out this great article for more background tips!
9. Keep your important information above the fold
You know the old newspaper saying “above the fold”? It still applies for web design today. Some people can take it a bit too far and shove everything up there but I don’t think it’s necessary. Basically above the fold means that section of your blog that users see first without scrolling. So as soon as you go onto your blog you want your most important pieces of information there. This is a little harder today because we now have responsive design, which means people can use their phones and tablets to get onto your blog. I still want your logo/header to be the first thing I see. I still see tons of blogs where you have to search for a second to find their logos. You want that to be the first things a user sees so that they remember you! Also, your navigation and social media icons should be close to the top as well. You want your users to click through your pages? Well then make sure your navigation is all together in one easy spot, near the top!
You want all the elements of your blog to work together as one big design. You don’t want people coming to your blog and saying oh they have a great header image! (well you do but…) You want someone to come to your blog and notice everything about it. You don’t want one part better than the other. Everything should work together and that’s probably one of the most important tips. It’s what really sets a good blog design apart from a great one!
How’d I do? Did you get thinking about your blog design? If so, then I’ve succeeded! I need some feedback though. Do you like these types of posts? What else would you like to see? What kind of topics do you want to learn about? Please, please, please, comment below!!