If I were to ask you what the goal of a blog’s design is, what would you say? Have you ever thought of that before? I don’t think I had before I read The Web Designer’s Idea Book. What is the point or purpose of your particular blog’s design? I’m guessing (and hoping!) you’ve got a pretty solid grasp of what the goal of your blog is, but what’s the goal of your blog’s design? Well, according to Patrick McNeil, the author of the book, the goal of a blog’s design can be summed up in a few sentences.
Ultimately, the goal of blog design is to capture new visitors while rewarding repeat users. Creating an easy-to-consume design is a key piece of the puzzle. Making a distinct and beautiful design is certainly another.
To capture new visitors. Eh?
Wait… How do you capture new visitors with design? Well, here are some of my thoughts on the subject, and please feel free to leave your thoughts as comments. You can capture their attention with the right kind of headlines.
I’m not talking about writing attention-grabbing headlines (that’s copywriting), I’m talking about having your headlines be a certain color, a certain size, ora certain font. That is design that can capture new visitors.
Along those same lines, italicizing or bolding parts of your posts can draw readers in and capture them.
You can capture new visitors by generally having a blog design/theme that is beautiful and fits your niche well.
And you can capture new visitors and not let them go if you get them to subscribe to your posts or newsletter. This is a prize that’s bigger than having your readers like the look of your blog or read one of your posts.
So with that in mind, what are some ways that the design of your blog can help you capture more subscribers? (<– See?! See what I did with the bold, there?)
To reward repeat users. Eh?
This one is a bit harder for me to dissect. So a blog’s design should reward repeat customers (or readers, in our case)? How does it do that?
How about having a “recent comments” or “top commenters” widget in your sidebar?
I want to say something about commenting back on their blogs if they comment on yours, or talk about giving your subscribers exclusive content. But that’s not rewarding through design, is it?
Anyway, this post was kind of rambling without too many hard-and-fast tips, but I hope it gave you some food for thought!
[Check out The Web Designer’s Idea Book on Amazon]
Blog Improvement Tasks:
1) Leave a comment below with your thoughts on using design as a tool to capture and reward you readers. Is it something you should worry about? If you organize your thoughts by writing them out as a comment, you’ll have a more concrete idea of how you can improve your blog.
2) Have someone who is unfamiliar with your blog look it over and navigate their way through it. Watch them as they do so and see where their attention is drawn first. Ask that person what their first impressions were.