Articles tagged as ‘Blog Design’

Blog Design: Does Design Impact Your Success?

Those of use that read and visit tons of blogs everyday have grown to expect certain designs and styles. In many cases blog design tends to be less attractive and less innovative than website design in general. Part of this obviously is because of the emphasis on content rather than appearance. There are certainly plenty of blogs that stand out as being beautifully designed, but these are the exception to the rule. Just how much of an impact does a blog’s design have on its ultimate level of success?

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Best Blog Design Showcase: Creative Ideas for Web Designers

The key to any good blog, regardless of the topic or industry, is content that interests readers and keeps them coming back for more. Although content is the number one priority, part of providing a positive user experience involves having an effect design and layout. With millions of blogs already online, and more coming every day, having a unique or high-quality design is a great way to stand out.

In this post we’ll showcase 23 examples of well-designed blogs. These examples should provide you with plenty of inspiration for your own blog designs and for client work. You’ll find a variety of different types of blogs and styles of design here, so you’re sure to find something that you like.

Noel Tock

Noel Tock

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10 Mistakes to Avoid in UI Design

User interface design has to do with both the outer layer of a design and the placement of elements in the design, whether it be a website or an app. In simple terms, UI design refers to everything that users can see. However, the more important meaning involves the usability of a design. Just as with a street sign, if the design doesn’t provide clarity, then confusion can occur and scare users away, often permanently.

Of course, talking about the usability gets messy when it comes to terms. Many argue about the actual definition of labels such as UI and UX (user experience), and, really, it’s kind of a moot point here. After all, the “prettiness” and other visual aspects (UI) also have much to do with the usability side of design (UX), and this is why the terms UI and UX (user experience) are often used interchangeably, or at least why UX is more of an umbrella term under which UI falls and somewhat crosses. Because, really, both have to work together to really make a design stellar.

I like how Marci Ikeler puts it in a Quora forum on the difference between UX and UI designers: “Generally, what they [the company placing an ad] mean is: the UI/UX designer is a person who is responsible for strategizing, organizing, and executing an interface that accomplishes that company’s business goals.”

As a UI designer, you should definitely know the common – and not so common – mistakes made on various designs so that you can better help your client meet goals. If you know what to keep in mind while designing, you’ll be much more likely to create a website that matches your client’s description of “easy to use but makes a huge impression and leaves viewers with the right impression of our business so they buy lots of our stuff, forever and ever.” And, if your client insists on including any of the UI design mistakes listed below, you can make a valid argument for refusing…politely of course…

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16 Breathtaking Travel Blogs That Give Us a Dose of Wanderlust

Pack your bags, and grab your passport. Today we’re taking you on a trip around the world with these sixteen incredible travel blogs that will give you a major dose of wanderlust. Readers be ware–you may be rushing to the airport by the end of this post.

I selected these travel blogs for their beautiful photography, elegant website designs, and their unique visual assets (from time-lapse videos and gifs to text overlay images and hand-sketched field notes).

Browse through these blogs and get a taste for the globetrotting life. I guarantee you’ll be jealous (I know I am)…

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15 Top Food Blogs With Elegant Designs That Leave Us Hungry For More

Today I’m sharing my picks for the most beautiful top food blogs that leave readers drooling over their whisks. These blogs boast gorgeous food photos as well as exemplary site designs that earn them each a place on the top shelf.

These blogs were selected based on their design style, their exquisite photography, and, in many cases, their unique approach to the concept of food.

Take a look at these food blogs and choose which is your favorite…

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The Secret to Telling a Memorable Story With Your Brand

telling-a-story-with-your-brand

Good stories leave a lasting impression. Even if the audience can’t remember exact details, years down the road, they will still remember if it was “awesome,” “horrible,” “sad,” “funny,” and even to what degree of emotion the story evoked. Brands who have a strong story provide the same long term results as a movie or story. And just as with a poor or boring story that is easily forgotten, a brand without a stand out story is quickly forgotten and replaced.

Graphic designers, web designers, web developers, illustrators, design agencies, and others in the graphic design field have to stand out from the competition. If you have a unique skill set, then you probably won’t have trouble finding work or clients. But web designers and graphic designers seem to be found in abundance these days, so creating a brand that prospects and clients remember long after an encounter with you is vital.

Turning your graphic design brand into a memorable story is one powerful way to stand out from the online sea of designers. With a strong story, you make yourself more personal and, therefore, easy to approach. You make yourself real, and clients want to connect with real people, not a company. A story told well also evokes strong emotions, which last longer than a plot line, making it that much more likely that customers will remember you years down the road…

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8 Small but Powerful Tips for a Standout Website Design

Every one of your clients wants to (or at least should want to) stand out from their competition. To be distinguished is to be memorable. Your client’s job is to provide a solid business. Your job as a web designer is to make sure that they get both noticed in the first place and remembered so that they have an audience to whom they can demonstrate their excellence.

Creating a standout website design is not exactly the easiest task. It is much easier to pick a common layout and fill in the blanks or to pick a design trend and build a website around it. Neither of these methods will help you create a website that breaks the mold, though.

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Google Should Penalize Multi-Page Articles: Here’s Why

When writing most articles, I usually end up on some news blog at some point or another searching for facts, statistics, or a reference to back up my opinion. As a health nut, I often find myself browsing through nutrition or fitness blogs for updated findings on health.

The problem is that many of these informational or news websites make it extremely difficult to do what I do best when I need to digest a bunch of information in a short amount of time: skim the content quickly to pick up the main points. Why is so hard to skim these articles? Because the blogs break up the information into several pages. These multi-page articles (also called slideshow or pagination posts) require me to click somewhere on the page to get to the next section in the article, thereby forcing me to spend way more time than necessary reading an article.

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Website Designs that are People-friendly are Google-friendly

Google has always had the goal of making sure that their search engine provides the most relevant results to searchers. Through the use of algorithms, Google determines how related a site is when an Internet user completes a search for a certain keyword or keyword phrase. Recently, though, Google has made some very drastic changes to its algorithms. These updates have left many unaware website owners wondering how to make their sites appear on Google searches.

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Why the Flat Design Trend is Hurting Usability

The flat design trend has taken over the graphic design world in a very short amount of time. One of the first big interfaces to go flat was Windows 8. However, it wasn’t until the release of Apple’s iOS 7 last summer, June 10, 2013 that we really saw a huge increase in the many interfaces, websites, apps, and more that adopted a flat design. Before then, most designs were skeuomorphic with lots of 3D effects, gradients, and texture.

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30+ Yummy Dessert and Candy Website Designs

There’s nothing like looking at pictures of candy or desserts to get the mouth watering. For designers, viewing creative designs can have a very similar affect! Sometimes just even the sight of a unique font or clever use of texture can cause a creative mind to start “watering” with ideas.

The following list of websites are all dessert, bakery, or candy websites – and all are designs that have more than a few inspiring aspects. A few are amazingly easy to navigate along with a clever design. Others have a beautiful home page, while some are creatively interactive. A few contain photography too brilliant to pass up. Some of the best below will get both your saliva and creative juices flowing, so you may want to have your favorite treat to munch on as well as a pen and paper handy for phenomenal design ideas that appear due to inspiration.

Be sure to share which are your favorites or even those you think are not worthy of inclusion in this collection. If you have a favorite dessert or candy website design that’s not included in this list, tell us about it!

Wonka: Feed Your Imagination

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25 Incredible Examples of Flat Design

It almost seems that this year flat designs have taken over the world of graphic design by force, but especially in the arena of mobile apps with the first industry-shaking flat design being for the iPhone5. Reality is that flat design has been around longer than the emergence of the iPhone5, but of course it was Apple that helped to bring such cross-industry awareness to the design style.

You ask almost anyone who owns an iPhone5 or who has read about the design in the news, and they’ll describe flat designs as, well, flat. In the design world, flat indicates a design style that avoids 3D effects, animation, and other bling-bling. Most flat designs also include lots of illustration, bold use of colors, and fairly minimal layouts. Just as with any style in graphic design, however, most flat designs do not include all of these aspects. A design can be usually agreed upon as flat if it includes more of these minimal aspects and less of the “extras”.

As mentioned beforehand, you can find flat designs in almost every area of graphic design. The list below includes websites, icons, and mobile apps that most would agree fall under the “flat design” category. Most very clearly follow the guidelines, if you will, for flat, but please feel free to share in the comments below if you have found a better example.

Websites

The following flat website designs use several flat aspects in a large part of the design scheme. A few do include a bit of animation, but were so minimal that they still fall under the flat design category.

Operativnik Website Design by Felix Baky

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30 Fresh Websites with Modern, Clean Design

So much is possible these days in web design with CSS3, jQuery 2.0, etc, which is why so many websites include animated imagery. You can design a website with all of the bells and whistles and it can still be mobile-friendly, most of the time.

However, my favorite designs still tend to be the ones that have a clean, modern look to them. Clean design doesn’t necessarily mean minimalist, although many are to a certain degree. A clean website often has simple navigation and well-organized elements on a page. The content is easy to read, find, and browse. Some clean websites include minimal animation. Many have a single page design, while many more include several pages, all with a clean look and feel.

What do I define as both clean and modern? By modern, I included the latest trends of this year. Parallax scrollling, full-page images, retro illustrations, and creative typography are all modern trends you’ll find in the collection below.

Very often, a clean design is used by design agencies, freelancers, photographers, artists, bloggers, and other creatives with limited content. The amazing feat is when a website with tons of content is cleanly designed. The list of modern, clean website designs include those with brief content and a few of the awe-inspiring ones with a plethora of content organized incredibly well. Keep in mind that for many of these, you will need to visit the site to get the full affect.

Playful – New Finnish Design

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Comment Systems and Options for WordPress Users

There are a lot of different factors that help to make a blog successful, and reader engagement is one of those factors. A blog that has a high level of reader engagement is likely to receive a lot of quality comments from readers, and a blog that gets a lot of comments is likely to benefit from that high level of engagement.

The commenting functionality was a key issue in the rise to popularity for blogging several years ago. Visitors who were accustomed to reading static pages with no option to leave their own feedback typically appreciated the opportunity to interact with the blogger and other readers. Over the past few years it seems like more of this discussion has shifted to sites like Twitter and Facebook as many blogs have seen a decrease in comment activity. However, the opportunity is still there for blogs to benefit greatly from an active comment area.

In this article we’ll take a look at the different commenting options that are available to bloggers who are using self-hosted WordPress to power their blogs. Most of these options are also available for other blogging platforms as well.

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Evaluating the Effectiveness of Your Blog Theme

One of the greatest benefits of blog platforms is that they make it easy to quickly get new content onto the site without the need to spend time on the design and layout of each page/post. Once the theme is set, all you have to do is create the content and hit publish. However, this can also be a negative as well. With the ease of publishing new content it’s extremely easy to overlook the importance of the design and it’s impact on the blog overall.

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Is a Magazine Theme Right for You?

Mimbo Pro

Magazine-style themes, particularly for WordPress are very popular right now. The majority of premium themes for sale are magazine-style, and there are some very good ones. With the rise in availability and popularity of premium themes, magazine themes are also being increasingly common. A magazine theme can be a great option for building a website to utilize WordPress as a CMS rather than just a standard blogging platform.

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Blog Navigation and the Ongoing Challenges that Arise

Navigation is obviously one of the most critical aspects of usability. Developing effective navigation is a challenge for most websites, but it’s especially an issue for blogs because of the content that is continually being added.

Think about the typical blog. A few new posts are probably added each week, but navigation is almost never changed or updated, except by using internal links within the posts themselves. Finding posts is always possible by browsing through the archives, checking through some categories, or by doing a search, but the more content that is added, the harder it is to navigate.

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Effective Use of Blog Sidebars

While sidebars aren’t the primary focal point of blogs, they still have an important role in usability and appearance. A well-designed sidebar can make it easier for visitors to find what they like, which will keep them at your site longer and improve your overall effectiveness. On the other hand, a poor sidebar can lead to lost and frustrated visitors.

Before the re-design of this site was started, the sidebar (or in this case sidebars) was a focal point of need. I felt that whatever direction the new design went, it needed to improve the usability of the site by making navigation easier and directing visitors to the appropriate parts of the site. The decision was made to use two sidebars in order to include everything that was needed without cluttering up the sidebar too much.

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Excellent Uses of Excerpts in Blog Design

Blog designers consistently face the decision of showing full posts or excerpts on the front page. Personally, I prefer excerpts because they make it easy for the visitor to quickly scan the most recent posts and see what’s of interest to them. The downside of course is that they’ll have to click through to a post in order to read it in its entirety.

Displaying Excerpts on the front page can also give the designer an opportunity to add some creativity to the design and to make it a bit more visually appealing. In this post I’d like to take a quick look at 5 blogs that are effectively using excerpts to create a functional and attractive front page.

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