Blog Bloke’s Design Critique for the Day
Lately I’ve been on a design kick so I’ve been analyzing a lot of different blogs out there — what their strengths and weaknesses are. What I like and don’t like.
This will be the beginning of a series of posts where I’m going to analyse the blog themes of certain a-listers out there. After all, they paid someone to make it for them so they deserve to get value for their money spent.
This will be a great learning experience for all of us including myself as I prepare to make my move over to Wordpress.
Recently Darren Rowse did a blog redesign so I thought I would start with him (I’m not picking on you Darren). I’ve been looking at it more closely and this is what I think (I’m trying to think of a more delicate way to put this but I can’t. So here goes.)
Is it just me or does Darren’s new blog theme really look
ugly harsh on the eyes? Sorry mate, but that’s what I think and in some ways I miss your old blog. At least it had character, but those stark colours make me shudder and there’s a general lack of symmetry in the overall look of the homepage.
You are wasting valuable real estate with the video of the day spot. Why? Because you aren’t making new videos every day. So that particular spot is being wasted most of the time, and what makes it even worse is it’s in the crucial area above the fold. (For those of you who don’t know what that means, it’s the page you first see on your screen before scrolling down).
And that featured post area at the top. I’m not sure about that because what it says to me is the rest of the posts (that are relegated to smaller areas) are not as important. So from a psychological point of view, viewers might just skip over those posts.
On the other hand, most of the posts can be viewed above the fold and that can be a good thing. But when you consider how small it looks on a larger screen resolution, older farts like myself might have to get out the magnifying glass just to read it. So I’m not sure if the concept is worthwhile just to save a viewer from scrolling down.
One thing that I do like is the greatest hits “Best of” bar with the submenus. I’m thinking of doing the same myself.
The right sidebar isn’t making the best use of real estate either. The top bar is wider than what you need for just your newsfeed subscribe button. Also, take a look at the area below your advertising and you will see more wasted space. Hmm…
I’m also not convinced with the reasoning behind making the footer into a sidebar (or in this case a bottombar). I think it’s a fad that will just fade away.
It only makes sense if the content area flows into it. So many blogs that I’ve seen doing the same don’t, and so viewers will not continue scrolling down to read it. But in your case I’m glad to see that the content does flow.
Anyhow, that’s what I think and it’s my critique for the day. But don’t worry, I still love you bro. Cheers!
What do you think? Is my analysis fair or did I miss the boat?