As a blog owner, there are so many different things you need to consider if you want your blog to be successful. While it’s safe to say that having great content is essential, it is simply not enough these days. Your audience will not only expect you to churn out high-quality posts, but they will only keep on following you if you are able to do so consistently.
And on top of it all, there is the design of your blog. This applies not only to the visuals, but also to the usability and user friendliness, because the interface and the layout of your blog determines the manner in which the readers will interact with it. The problem is that, most blog owners try too hard, and throw everything but the kitchen sink into the design, which result in unnecessary clutter. These days, it is all about offering everything that the audience might need, but using as few design elements as possible, because most of them will be using their smartphones and tablets to access your content.
In order to improve the design and the interface your blog, check out these useful tips below.
1. Include Calls to Action
We know you are probably fed up with this sort of thing, because everywhere you go, you run into this sort of advice, but hear us out. While call-to-action buttons might not even be necessary for the desktop version of your blog, where it’s perhaps even better to just use links, which look sleek and slim, they are absolutely essential when it comes to the mobile version of your blog.
And if you think that you don’t have to bother with this because mobile users don’t make up the majority of your audience, think again, because desktop users have become a minority for the first time ever. Having minimalistic and large buttons, or large clickable/tappable areas on your blog is a must, because that’s pretty much the best way to get the users to click on one of your links.
2. Be Conservative with Your Choice of Icons
Although it is a good idea to provide your blog with some custom elements that will give it a unique look and feel, icons might not be the best place to start, or even the best place to end the customization. Let us elaborate. If you have a bunch of icons which you have designed yourself, their purpose may not always be clear to the end user. If they are scrolling or trying to navigate your website, icons are supposed to help them out in the process, not confuse them even further.
In this case, using those generic and familiar icons is probably the best solution of them all, because they are instantly recognizable, regardless of which end of the globe your audience members are coming from. If you have your own set of brilliantly designed icons which you are simply dying to use, well then do so, but keep in mind that they need to be self-explanatory. Of course, you can always put labels underneath each to clarify their purpose, but that only creates extra elements on your page when you are trying to simplify things.
3. Make Use of White Space
Most web designers and blog owners approach a blog as a blank canvas, and focus on filling on filling every nook and cranny of the aforementioned webpage with as many elements as possible. However, sometimes, less is more. We are talking about using white space on your blog. Keep in mind that plenty of users these use mobile device to consume content. Although it may be tempting to cram as much as you can onto a small screen, you should do the exact opposite. Why?
Because white space can help you accentuate some of the most important elements of your page, such as graphics, links, or icons. Plus, you can use it to direct the reader’s attention and guide their eyes to a particular element. Also, as an added bonus, blogs which utilize white space look incredibly sleek, clean, and simple, which definitely makes them every user-friendly.
4. Go Easy on the Sliders
Even though sliders are hugely popular these days, because they make use of those big, beautiful images, and the ease of swiping, if you go overboard with them, you will achieve the opposite effect. Yes, they allow you to fit lots of information onto each of the slides and present your blog in a matter of seconds, but if you have a slider that has too many slides, your readers won’t be able to tell which areas of your blog they should focus on right away, such as special offers, or an online shop.
What you can do is reduce the number of slides inside each slider, and attempt to explain everything using as less text as possible. Ultimately, sliders might not even be the best way to go. Using a single static image might work even better in some cases.
5. Make It Easier for the User, but Don’t Cater to Them
The whole point of improving the user friendliness of your website is to make it easier for your audience members to consume your blog content and make quick and easy purchases of your products and services. So, in essence, it is not about giving the user what they want, because more often than not, they don’t have a clear idea about what they want, or they have diverse ideas about their wants and needs. But, what they all have in common is the need to obtain a solution to their problem in as few steps as possible, and that’s what you should be after.
Most bloggers neglect this, and focus solely on the wishes of their readers, which is a mistake, albeit an admirable one. Instead, they should focus on building better navigation that will allow users to go through their blog, make their purchase as easily as possible, and be on their way. Rest assured they will come back quickly if you have managed to provide a pleasant experience for them.
6. Strike a Balance between Written and Visual Content
Nowadays, it is absolutely impossible to run a blog which doesn’t offer some sort of eye-catching visual content to go along with useful articles. If your blog is full of dry text and nothing else, your readers won’t find much joy in it, and they will turn somewhere else. What they want is informative and helpful written content, which is presented in a visually striking and easily digestible form, which are images, infographics, GIFs, or even short videos.
Infographics are especially popular, and for a good reason, because they allow you to present a ton of information in a way that’s not going to overwhelm the readers. In fact, the opposite will happen. They will become even more interested.
7. Make Your Text Easily Readable
We are not talking about the tone and the voice you will be using for your written content, but the way it will look. Having huge blocks of text is not exactly easy on the eyes, and most users will simply get lost. This goes double if you are using small and poorly readable fonts. Instead, you need to break up your text into sections using spacing, subheadings, lists, or bullet points. Also, make sure that the title of your post is written in big, bold, and elegant letters which will grab the attention of the reader.
As you can see, treating your written content as graphical element can go a long way toward helping you create a clean, simple, and user-friendly blog that will keep your audience hungry for more.
With these simple, yet effective improvements, you can turn your blog into something that will provide your audience with an entirely new user experience, which they will love. Not only will they be able access the best possible content, but they will do so in the easiest way possible. In case that there are some ideas and concepts which have worked for you, but which aren’t listed in this article, feel free to share them with us in the comment section below. We will be sure to include them in one of our future posts.
About the author
Leah Cooper is a professional writer and editor at AussiEssay. She writes about different topics in such spheres as e-learning, content marketing, blogging, personal development and freelancing. Feel free to follow her on Facebook and Twitter.