09 December 2010

The New Look

So here we go. I realize that the format of my blog won't rocket it to success or anything, but I felt like I needed a clean slate if I was going to get back into it the way I really, really, want to. Basically I looked around at the blogs I found physically enjoyable, not those that I like to read, but the ones that provided what I felt was the most direct interface to the stuff readers want, and I gathered a few common themes:
  • Simple lines, clean background- with the exception of those who blog for business and therefore use their sidebars as revenue generating space, I think the plainer the better.
  • Black font on white background- sounds obvious but I finally realized it is more comfortable to read stuff written this way, not really sure why, but it is.
  • Simple fonts- Arial seems to be the font of choice, but no one who is taken seriously is writing in crazy fonts.
  • Cute headers- while the basic outlines and backgrounds do best relatively plain, a bold, but streamlined header seems to claim the space as your own without gumming up the content with lots of graphics and distracting backgrounds.
  • Not many blogrolls- or at least simple ones that are not taking top billing. I personally want to keep mine running just because I like it, but it should be a list of good reads and not the main focus of your sidebars.
So there you have it. Taking all that into account I did away with the backgrounds and color schemes. Made a bright and pleasing, but still pretty simple, header and redid my sidebars to be neater and less cluttered. I also removed the crafting blog stuff from this blog, with the exception of the link to my own sister-blog of course, since those items don't really belong here. Now I feel like I have a fresh clean slate on which to do some real work.

Any other tips or suggestions? I realize everyone has their preferences, but did I miss any major design elements common to nice blogs?

7 comments:

Kathleen (amomen2think) said...

I like it, it looks great. I always agree that cleaner and simpler is better. You did this while still maintaining the feel of your blog (cause you want it to still be you) Great job!

Ginger said...

I think it looks great! One thing I might suggest (this is just a personal preference of mine though) is some small line or something to break between posts on the home page. The one problem with so much white space--which is by far my favorite--is that it can sometimes make everything blend together, so an unobtrusive visual break between posts can be nice.
Totally not mandatory though, because things look really nice as is!

mmeperpetua said...

I like it a lot! I've had trouble finding a wordpress template that I love (and I don't know how to adapt them, or if you can even do that). This is one of the ones I was thinking about using.

My suggestion is to add twitter to the sidebar if you have it. That's where I post links to the posts I really want people to read. It helps me feel more connected to the people I read, too.

Alexis said...

@Kathleen (amomen2think)
Thanks!

Alexis said...

@Ginger
That is a good idea, I am trying to "frame" stuff a bit more, but just have not loved the feel of any of it yet. I also like the dividers and the code is technically easy, but you know how it goes in HTML time-space warp!

Alexis said...

@mmeperpetua
I don't yet Twitter, but I will def. look into putting more "networking" effort into the site.

Alexis said...

Thanks everyone, this is just the kind of feedback I was hoping for. Thank goodness for them internets!