If you’re looking to start a blog in the near future, you’re probably looking at different designs for your new site. But one aspect of design that you probably haven’t even considered is user experience (UX) design. User experience design is the process of enhancing user satisfaction. It covers everything from usability, accessibility and general satisfaction of the site’s design. Here are 10 ways to purposely design your blog with a heavy focus on the user experience.
1. Offer Multiple Solutions to Help Users Navigate
Don’t think that your top navigation menu will be enough to help your visitors navigate through your blog. You want to offer multiple navigation solutions to make it easier for the users. Adding a search bar on the right hand side of your blog would be a good start. You can add on to this by adding category links or tag links to help your users find the right content.
2. Design Your Content (YES! Content)
Most bloggers put a lot of emphasis on designing their site but hardly any into designing their content. There are many ways to design your content from adding relevant images, adding graphic cues, including helpful charts/pies, to creating a visual hierarchy for the content. You also need to break up your content into smaller chunks and highlight important points to draw the reader’s eyes. Investing into your content design will help you increase engagement, readability and better connect with your audience.
3. Use Unique and Easy to Read Typography
There are so many great typography databases out there now. However, very few blogs are using unique typography for their sites. A great font can help you distinguish your brand, increase readability and add a unique look to your site. Google Fonts is a great resource for helping find high quality typography (https://fonts.google.com/). There are other great font databases (both free and paid) that you should look through to find the perfect font for your site.
4. Design for Mobile Users
There will be a good amount of users that will browse your blog on a mobile device. You must make sure that your design is optimized for these users and it’s not just about having a responsive site. You want to optimize image sizes, create a hamburger menu for quick and easy navigation, ensures fast loading times, make buttons easy to click on mobile phones and create a visually pleasing layout on smaller screens.
5. Make Your Blog’s Purpose Apparent
Part of the challenge when you start a blog is building up loyal followers. Every time a new web visitors lands on your blog, you want to jump on the opportunity to convert them into a follower. In order to do this, you need to immediately make it clear what your blog is about. Let the visitor know in a few seconds what your blog is about and what the unique advantages of following your blog is. Doing this should be able to convert more users that are simply passing by.
6. Link or Lead Readers to Related and Popular Posts
If the reader has finished reading about a specific subject, the odds are that high that they’ll want to read something related to that same subject. You can do this by simply installing a plugin that recommends related content to users at the end of every blog posts. You can also use sliders in the very top of your blog to lead readers to your most popular and important posts. Readers need something to help lead them throughout your blog and discover more content, so using these simple tactics will lead to a better user experience.
7. Use Adequate White Space
A cluttered blog can really hurt the user experience. There are many blogs that confuse readers with ads, widgets and multiple content boxes. That’s not to say that using all those elements is wrong. The real issue is the lack of white space used in many of these blogs. You want to create enough space between all the elements and the borders to help distinguish each element. You also want to put enough spacing between the words and paragraphs in your content so that it reads better.
8. Use High Contrast Call to Actions
Readers want to know what the next step is whether it’s signing up to your email newsletter, sharing your post on social media or clicking on a purchase link. In order to provide clear direction, you need to use high contrast call to actions. You want to use web buttons that make it apparent there’s an action that needs to be taken. The color of the web button should contrast with your background color as well. Visual cues can also be used to draw attention to call to actions but you want to use it sparingly and when appropriate (like at the bottom of your blog post) so that you don’t take away attention from your content.
9. Use the Rule of Three Fonts and Three Colors
You can get really get crazy with your fonts and colors. It’s best to keep your fonts to a minimum of three and the same goes for the colors. Having too many different fonts can create an inconsistent and messy look. As for the colors, you want to keep it to three primary colors but you can use different shades of these colors as long as the shades aren’t too distinguishable from the primary colors. This again creates a consistent look and achieves a visual balance that allows readers to focus on your content.
10. Create an Attractive and Logical Blog Post Layout
There’s nothing wrong with using the traditional blog post layout where there’s a title link followed by a short excerpt. However, you can add a lot of context to each your individual by adding relevant thumbnail images alongside each post. It gives readers a visual summary of what the post is about. You can even go further by adding category and keyword tags to describe the topics that the blog post covers.
Those are 10 different ways to purposely design your blog for the user experience. By putting an emphasis on the user experience as well as the actual visual design, you’ll improve your blog’s engagement, satisfy readers and build more followers. It’s an aspect of design that’s often overlooked but very essential to the success of any site.