How to Engage Readers with an Eye-Catching Design Blog
Let’s face it, the number of design blogs that are on the internet is mind-blowing, and the ability to catch a users eye without them quickly going to another blog is a feat in itself. While many would argue content is what keeps a user on your blog, others would say good aesthetic design will keep them there longer. I, for one agree with both arguments, but would lean towards the aesthetics side more heavily. After all, do you enjoy reading a book that is all words, or would you rather peruse through a beautiful coffee table book that offers gorgeous pictures and content? The same scenario should be considered for your design blog, here are 3 tips to consider when creating an eye-catching design blog.
1. Choose a color palette which reflects your audience and style:
Have you ever been to a design blog’s website and it’s all one monotone color scheme, and 6 paragraphs of text, and you quickly leave it, in search of a more interesting site to look at? Design blogs should reflect just that, good design. Decide who your audience is, what they love, and take your color cues from them. On Freshome, a modern interior design and architecture magazine blog, the users like minimalistic interior design, and modern architecture. Therefore the site’s design has a crisp white minimalistic theme, and the colorful, large images steal the show. Simple navigation menus with high contrast colored categories, creates a unique experience that makes a home connoisseur want to linger on the site for hours. The simplistic and clean layout makes the user feel as though they are inside of the gorgeous homes that grace the pages.
Questions to ask yourself:
- What feelings do you want your user to feel? Warm and light colors evoke happiness, while darker themed colors can evoke sophistication and drama.
- What themes offer a color palette that is versatile? For those of you using a developer’s theme, make sure you know how to manipulate the CSS coding, or can hire someone to reach the color palette you’d like. Don’t just agree on one, because that is the out-of-the-box palette. Envision your outcome before you pick a theme.
2. Add media to entice and engage:
The beauty of blogs is they take the innovation of the internet and combine an experience for the user as if they were there. Adding media such as images, video, music, and other multi-media can make your design blog look great, and keep users engaged longer. On Jay Leno’s Garage, a car enthusiast blog website that encapsulates the celebrity talk show hosts love of car design. Throughout the blog, videos of vintage and rare cars, accompanied with the worldwide community’s car finds engrosses readers with up-close and personal views of cars in video and images. The readers are transported into this masculine aesthetic blog that leaves the user wanting to search for their own vintage find!
Question to ask yourself:
- What media will ‘sell’ your idea? While I don’t mean ‘sell’ in the literal terms, more in terms of grabbing your readers interest and keeping them hooked through your use of images, videos, podcasts, and other multi-media options. Every design blog has a niche and your goal is to find what media will convey your ideas the best.
3. Simple layout and navigation is key:
While imagery and colors are beautiful, navigation and the layout of your design blog goes hand-in-hand with your eye-catching site. Many Blogger’s assume more is better, and it can be if displayed cleanly with navigation menus that are clear and concise. The Smitten Kitchen is a good example of simplicity and eye-catching wonderment all in one. The foodie blog helps users find great recipes and get inspired by the mouthwatering images at the same time. The one side bar navigation makes the user know where all the Resources, Recipes, Cookbooks, and Social Media outlets all are in a concise navigation area. This eye-catching blog allows the user to drool over the images and find their way around simply and quickly.
Question to ask yourself:
- Does your design blog allow the user to concentrate on your content, or worry about navigation? Your goal is to entertain, inform, and inspire your reader. If they get frustrated looking for information, you will lose them before they stay on your blog a minute. Aim for simplicity and your reader will repay you in enjoyment of your blog.
An eye-catching design blog isn’t hard to achieve, it will require you to analyze your reader, your content, and the experience you want them to enjoy while on your site. Use color, imagery, and a concise layout to bring about a beautiful user experience. After all, isn’t that what design is all about? Taking life and putting it into a format that speaks to the world through beautiful form? Than so should your design blog.
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- How to Engage Readers with an Eye-Catching Design Blog - November 10, 2011