Having a great writing skill is apparently important if you want to build a successful blog. It is therefore important to keep an eye on your writing style, grammar, and even your level of vocabulary.
However, just as words are very important for a blog’s success, so is its design. By design, I’m not talking about design factors that will mostly fall on personal preference such as color, typography, etc. – this is, especially, if you are building or planning to build a personal blog.
By design, I’m talking about UI design principles and practices that you need to follow to improve and better optimize your blog’s performance. As you will later see, your UI’s performance can make or break your blog’s performance, too.
If you feel intimidated, don’t worry; the principles and practices that we’re going to talk about are so simple you don’t even need a background knowledge of UI to understand them. Better yet, most of them can be applied right away to your blog.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
5 UI Design Practices Every Blogger Should Use
1) Keep an eye on your writing format
If you are a blogger or if you want to be a blogger, you should keep an eye on your writing format the same way you would keep an eye on your writing style – and blog article formats are often different from other writing formats such as academic, institutional and even online news article formats.
When writing your blog articles, here are two simple things to keep in mind regarding their writing format: font size and word spacing.
When selecting a font size, select a size that’s not too small, but not too big. This is something quite obvious, yet there are many blogs that uses font size that are small for their articles.
As a general rule, 12 or 14 font size are the ideal font sizes – they’re not too big but not too small. However, this often depends on your theme and in some cases, even the font that you use. So, before sticking to a particular font size, have a preview of your article to see if that font size is enough or not for your articles. If not, just adjust accordingly.
You should also keep an eye on word spacing: break down your sentences or paragraphs to avoid chunking them out into one big, overwhelming paragraph. Unless you are purposefully or following a strict word spacing format, it’s best if you break down your sentences into many “paragraphs” because it’s more eye-friendly and readable to your readers.
In fact, a single sentence or two can be considered a “paragraph” if they deliver the main idea you have for that paragraph.
You just see what I did there! So, break down your sentences and paragraphs into small chunks. Once you’ve delivered your main idea on a particular sentence or paragraph, you can move onto the next one, no matter how short it was!
2) Simplify your blog’s navigation
I understand that some bloggers want to make their blogs look fancier by adding a lot of cool features and other stuff. However, don’t make it too complicated to the point that your readers can’t even navigate your blog well anymore – and if your readers are having a hard time looking even for your very own blog articles, you’re doomed!
Simplify your blog’s navigation. As a general rule, your menu should be on the top. It generally also contains the following pages:
- About (sometimes written as “New? Start Here”. Some blogs use these pages separately, though)
- Contact Page
- Shop page (if you are running an store or service business on the side)
You can also place your menu section on the footer, but I suggest you place it on the top because, instinctively, your readers will look for the menu page on the top. Nobody scrolls down on the bottom of your page to look for the menu.
The whole point here is to make your menu section easier to find as it should be. If there are other pages or sections you want to add to your blog, make them easier to find as well – for instance, you can place email subscription sections on your blog’s sidebar.
Needless to say, your content – in this case, articles – should be easy-to-find as well – and that will be our next point!
3) Place your content strategically
Of course, you want to make your content visible right away. Most blogs have their updated blog articles posted right on their homepage. Most likely, this is (or will be) your blog’s setup.
However, if you choose a static homepage, be sure to show off your articles right away. A perfect example I have is Mark Manson’s blog.
Mark Manson’s homepage is a combination of static page of updated article page (which you will find in the middle). What I even like more is how his key content – articles, main topics, courses, etc. – are neatly divided in his homepage.
Below a screenshot of Mark Manson’s homepage in order:
Basically, be strategic – and neat – when placing your content. If your blog is mainly articles, then using an updated-blog-article homepage works better most of the time. If you’re like Mark who have a few more things to offer, then you may use a static page and strategically place all your key content or pages there.
Alternatively, you can use the updated-blog-article homepage and just showcase other pages on your blog’s sidebar. Feel free to use which fits you best!
4) Unclutter your blog (or keep it clean!)
I had put a shade about this topic back on point #2 when I talked about simplifying your blog’s navigation.
Basically, do not just add fancy widgets or features to your blog if it has no particular or useful purpose because, to begin with, it can clutter your blog’s navigational map, making it hard for your readers to explore your blog – which is basically what point #2 is.
Also, adding a lot of non-useful features may slow down your blog’s load time, slowing the experience for your users, especially those who have weak internet connection. If your users have to wait a minute or two before they can open your single article, then there’s a load time problem with your blog!
Lastly, a cluttered blog also adds to cognitive loading process. How do you feel whenever you look at a messy or cluttered room? It seems that your mind stops working because it needs to process a lot of things, right? The same thing somehow happens to our minds if we look at a cluttered blog – we just don’t know where to the start to the point that clicking “X” on the top right corner of the tab seems to be a better option sometimes!
So, unclutter your blog. If you’re just starting out, keep it clean. It does not hurt to make experiments, but if you think that your blog begins to feel “heavy”, then it’s time to do some uncluttering!
5) Use responsive web design
In case you don’t know what responsive design is, responsive design is simply a type of design where your website or blog adjusts onto mostly any screen size – be it a monitor, tablet or even a mobile device.
On a responsive design, once you opened a website on a smaller screen, everything in it compresses to fit the small screen – that is, while without losing its quality, especially for the images.
The buttons of your blog will also adopt to small screens if you use a responsive design. On the contrary, if you don’t use responsive design, the images and buttons may be way large enough for your screen! Not only that, but your article as well!
For more information about responsive design, you can read our articles about this topic: