Blog Design

Keep it Simple!

Simplicity is the key to a good looking blog.
Today’s web readers are inundated with a flood of visually stimulating advertisements, ideas, posts and photos. The result is overwhelming … and very exhausting. 
A clean, crisp blog will relax your reader and make them enjoy their stay on your blog. This doesn’t mean make your site boring – it just means it’s time to throw out the Comic Sans font, and put the fancy photo backgrounds back in your high school yearbook. 
Here are just a few simple guidelines that will give your blog the air of professionalism, without giving up your originality or personality:

Fonts: 
Step away from the Fancy Fonts. They can make your blog look unprofessional, and often, childish. According to America’s Most Fonted –  Comic Sans is the worst font of all. Just Google “comic sans” and you’ll find a long list of web designers that share the sentiment, including websites like bancomicsans.com.   However, Fusion tries to explain the enduring appeal of the worlds’ most hated font.
So don’t put all the blame on  Comic Sans, when it comes to professionalism, here are some other fonts you want to steer clear of.

saynotocomicsans1. Comic
2. Bradley Hand ITC 
3. Curlz MT
4. Papyrus 
5. Vivaldi 
6. Kristen ITC 
7. Viner Hand 

When professionalism is key to your blog:  A good rule of thumb is to look for fonts that are “Sans Serif” such as Arial, Calibri, and Verdana. What’s the difference? “Serifs” are the small finishing strokes on the end of a character such as Times New Roman. “Sans serif” fonts do not have these finishing strokes. Serif fonts have been widely used in traditional printed material such as books and newspapers. But once you start using the web, with varying screen resolutions and sizes, serifs become difficult to read, and hard on the eyes.  Researchers at MIT offer a more detailed explanation on how fonts can make, or break, a first impression.

Backgrounds:
“White Text on Black Background is bad. We can’t read your blog.” Tatham Oddie explains the scientific reasoning which has to do with your iris opening to receive more light, and create a “fuzzy” effect. 

Thanks to UxMovement for this demonstration

Just keep in mind the key is readability
Downloading blog templates can be great, but can also be disastrous. You want your blog to stand out because it’s good, not because it’s a prime example of what not to do. Fancy backgrounds with photos can work if they don’t distract from the most important part – your posts. Make sure the background behind your post is clean, clear and offers enough of a contrast for even the lowest resolution screens.  Remember, your focus should be on your what you’ve written, not the bells and whistles in the background.

Photographs/Pictures:
We are a visual generation – we need photos. “Text only” means a boring blog. Break the monotony with photographs, videos, slideshows, etc. But again, make sure the photos don’t detract from what you’re saying. 
It’s important that the photos are large enough to see, but don’t overpower the post. Especially when more and more people are reading your blog on their mobile devices. Think of the photos that catch your eye and make sure yours fit that category.
Don’t go overboard!  Adding too many photos can prove taxing for the reader and also for the browser which will add to the download time, different sizes, places and photos plugged anywhere threatens the professionalism of your blog.
Also make sure when you are adding photos that they are scaled properly, meaning not out of proportion and check the Creative Commons for the legality of using someone else’s photo.  We’ll go into more detail about choosing the appropriate photos in our next post.

Simplicity is the key to a well designed blog

Finally, Consistency: 
A consistent approach to layout, colours and fonts allows readers to adapt quickly to your design and get comfortable. The visual language of your blog is a reflection of who you are and what people can expect. Don’t speak in a number of tongues. Impress visitors with not only a great first impression, but also an even better lasting impression.

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