If you’re a dedicated blogger, you probably have a lot on your plate. You have to generate content, grow your followers and email list, form valuable partnerships, promote your blog, and so much more – all before breakfast. There’s no rest for the weary when it comes to blogging, so crucial components of your blog can easily fall by the wayside.
One of these crucial components, perhaps the most crucial of them all, is design. Sure, you probably know that your blog should look good, but have you thought beyond simple aesthetics? Design is an important aspect of so many parts of our lives – mobile, eCommerce, and more – yet we often forget about the importance of implementing quality UX design in blogs.
But failing to consider UX design can mean huge headaches for your valued readers. No one who runs an eCommerce website would dream of letting UX design fall by the wayside, so why do so many bloggers ignore this critical piece of the blog success puzzle? Perhaps, they are unaware of the problem or the mistakes that result from poor UX design. So in the name of improving the internet for readers and bloggers everywhere, here are eight mistakes that too many bloggers are making, due to a lack of focus on UX design:
1. Ignoring the importance of white space
Many bloggers feel a strong pressure to fill the page with endless information and entertainment to keep their readers amused and on their site. However, this often results in a cluttered blog that leaves little room for the reader to breath. Instead, identify your most important elements and surround them with appropriate white space so you don’t overwhelm your readers.
2. Poor navigation
Navigation can be one of the hardest parts of web design, for designers of any level. To achieve great navigation, you have to think about how the pages flow together, what should be included on the same page or separated, and how everything should be labeled. Depending on your blog, you probably have a number of different areas or specializations that need to fit together seamlessly, so don’t ignore the importance of good navigation. Spend some time browsing UX portfolios from experienced designers to see what you might be able to implement in your blog to make navigation easier for your readers.
3. Overloaded and cluttered sidebars
Again, you don’t want too much on your site to distract readers from the reason they are there, which is reading your content. When your sidebars are overloaded and cluttered, it can result in poor navigation, as discussed above, and just general confusion. Visual clutter, whether it’s in sidebars or other areas of your website, negatively affects your readers focus by increasing their cognitive load. It’s science: keep your sidebars simple.
4. Your links don’t look like links
If your readers can’t tell which text contains a link, then they’re going to miss out on the relevant background and additional reading that your links provide. Simply adding CTA color is one of the easiest ways to fix this mistake and alert readers on the location of links.
5. Poor readability and legibility
Successful blogging can only come if your readers understand your content, so readability and legibility are huge factors to consider. This means a lot more than simply using a legible font, however. In order to ensure readability, bloggers should also stay away from using too many different fonts and colors throughout their site. Instead, focus on giving readers a uniform and coordinated experience. Establish your blog’s color pallette, pick no more than three fonts to use throughout the entire site, and don’t stray from these elements. Finally, make sure the sizing of all the elements on your site works across platforms. In a mobile first era, you don’t want to have content that is easily legible on a desktop but not a mobile device or vice versa.
6. Unorganized content layout
Don’t worry, we’re not trying to get you to forget about content completely, since that’s obviously what drives traffic to your blog. But while you should definitely be focused on providing readers with quality content, you should also focus on structuring that content accordingly. Many readers just scan the page without really taking in its substance before deciding whether or not to read, so make sure to use headings, sub-headings, bullets, keywords, paragraphs, blockquotes, and more to guide your reader to the most important parts of your posts, and don’t forget to name every page.
7. Inconsistent interface design
As a blogger, you’re probably a creative person, but at a certain point creativity can become excessive. You absolutely do not need to create different designs for every web page or section of your blog. This will only confuse and annoy your readers, no matter how amazing the designs are. Instead, use a standard, consistent template for every page that links back to all of the important sections of your site, and don’t be afraid to keep things simple.
8. The wall of text
Many blogs revolve around written content, but that doesn’t mean that your layout should accost readers with a giant wall of text. Even if readers come to your blog specifically for your written content, that’s not all they want to see. Break up your text with images, videos, or animations – anything to engage your reader all the way to the end of your posts. Giant walls of text are both intimidating and unattractive to look at, so don’t force them on your readers.
If you feel out of your depths when it comes to incorporating strong UX design techniques into your blog, just remember that simplicity is the name of the game. As long as you keep these nine mistakes to avoid in mind and prioritize simplicity, your readers will find the design of your blog’s website, as well as its content, utterly delightful.