How to Design Your Blog the Right Way

Design

Blogging is a continuous and consistent effort made by every business because it is a powerful marketing tool. An effective blog compels target consumers to make a purchase. It is important to make the right blog design that will encourage your viewers to actually read it.

Choose your blogging platform

One of the most popular blogging platforms is WordPress because it is easy to navigate. Gone are the days when blogging was so complicated because of HTML coding or software issues.  Today, there are plenty of blogging platforms out there that are easy to use.

Find the theme that suits you

The theme has to be related to your business. A theme has two parts: framework and beauty. Make sure the framework suits your needs and that the beauty of your theme matches the kind of business you are promoting.

Add Plug-ins

Use share buttons that will link your blog to your other pages like Twitter or Facebook. Some are more adept at using social sites so they would appreciate seeing share buttons that will link them to your other pages.

Great content

Always put fresh blogs and make sure the content is unique and useful to your readers. No matter how well-written your blog is, if it is insignificant to them or if it sounds like a sales pitch, you might drive away your online traffic.  Optimize Keywords helps so your page will rank high in search engines. Blogging is a continuous effort that very business has to make. Sometimes it pays off to hire a professional writer for this job.

Track stats

As time goes by, you will have lots of audience, it can be coming from your social media profiles. You will be needing to buy social media services even how much does it cost to buy twitter followers or any other social media platform. Measure your stats by making use of tools like Google analytics to see if your effort is paying off.  Knowing if you are generating greater with your blog is essential to make necessary improvements right away. Tracking your stats helps you reinforce your strong points or work on your weak ones.

Posted in Design

Top Practices For Web Design

Your business’s website is your face in the online world. Everyone who’s looking for your online presence is likely to find your website and explore what’s included there. In order to get more visitors to your site, you should ensure that the design of your website provides your visitors with a great user experience.

Top Practices For Web Design

Here are some important tips on how you can come up with a great website design:

  • Make the navigation simple.

Your website should be easy to understand and navigate. Include markers to direct your users to other parts of your website. Also, minimize the use of Flash and excess text. Make sure you also put your social media icons to the right spot to look credible and real and one example is by having the “people who like us box”, Twitter followers count and Google + followers. There’s a bunch of social media services out there like you can buy twitter followers or even Google+ circles that you can take advantage of putting to your social profiles.

  • Limit the use of photos in your website.

Although images are very powerful in communicating the message that you want through your website, it is best to remember not to overdo it. Too much images included in your website might cause it to load slowly and this might drive some visitors away especially those who are using slower modems.

  • Use shorter sentences and paragraphs.

Keep your content short and concise. Present only the most important information and be direct to the point. Long paragraphs may not be able to deliver all information to the users because they readers tend to skip reading lengthy content. Break down long stories through the use of headlines and subtitles. The best example is Twitter, the design is nice and they only have shorter sentences and paragraph, giving you comfortable look by looking at your profile, some even buy followers on twitter cheap just to make their account look great.

  • Make your website compatible to different browsers.

The kind of browser used to view your website might influence user experience. Make sure that the design of your website is compatible to every possible browser that your users can use. Different browsers process codes in different manner and you need to make sure that your site looks good on IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, or Safari.

  • Use CSS in styling your page.

CSS will help you save a lot of time of the use of this tool will enable you to work on the entire style of your website instead of having to transcribe the code for each element one by one. CSS also helps in maintaining your website and making sure that it is concise, consistent, and clean.

Posted in Design

Some Essential Resources for User Interface Designers

Website designers know the importance of designing a website whose user interface is both simple yet aesthetically-pleasing. There are many factors to consider in coming up a good UI design and we’ll discuss the most important ones for this post:

  • Design Inspiration

The first step of coming up with a good UI design is looking for design inspirations. These inspirations could take the form of anything influential to you; it could be something you saw in the movies or in a museum. Your inspiration will guide you to the theme of your design which can serve as an important building block of your UI design.

There are some websites that you can look into for some design inspirations. The first site is called MephoBox and this site contains some inspirations for user interfaces as well as some designs for other website elements such as headers, paginations, login forms, and others.

Another site that you can check out for design inspirations is UI Patterns. UI Patterns offer a huge display of user interfaces with discussions about their elements, usage, and the specific advantage that each pattern has.

Some Essential Resources for User Interface Designers

  • Reading about Designing User Interfaces

Another factor that you should consider for designing user interfaces is what’s written about it. Looking at design patterns may not be enough and to learn more, you should read about it as well.

Inspire UX is a blog focusing on user interface design which could be helpful to you. This blog contains relevant case studies, articles, and quotes which could educate you more about UI design. The articles featured on the site also cover many topics ranging from helpful tips on UI design to book reviews.

  • Improving your Technical Skills

UI design may be a simple task for some but it’s actually a complicated science that you should practice more on. If you’re keen on improving your technical skills for UI design, then here are some resources that might be able to help you.

Web Design Practices is a site summarizing important statistics for common elements included in a web design. This website features discussions about these different elements as well as data on how frequent they were used by existing websites. There are also a lot of examples featured on the site, and links to the websites are also provided so you can take a look at them yourself.

Another good resource for improving your technical skills on UI design is User Interface Engineering. UIE is actually an organization of UI experts and user interface designers. The UIE websites provides resources on UI design education as well as training materials in the form of virtual seminars, articles, conferences, and publications.

Posted in UI

Best Practices for Improving Your Website’s Readability

Your website’s readability refers to how easy your readers can comprehend and digest the content that your website has. A high readability score reflects that your content is simple to digest and that users can just scan the page to understand what a certain post is about.

Best Practices for Improving Your Website's Readability

Making sure that your users understand the content of your website is a very important goal for this also influences your visitor’s chances of coming back to your website for more information.

Below are some simple tips which you could use to improve your website’s readability:

  • Create simple and concise content.

Concise content relays information to your readers in the simplest and fastest way possible.  Simple content also helps readers comprehend your website better and it gives them a quick overview of what you’re talking about. Here are some tips that you can do to make your content concise and simple:

  1. Do not include unnecessary information, get directly to the point.
  2. Limit the length of sentences and paragraphs.
  3. Test your content’s readability using The Readability Test Tool. Using this tool, you only need to provide the URL  of the content that you want to test and it will present you with scores based on different readability tests.
  • Headings and subtitles can be used to break up lengthy articles.

If your site has a lot of long articles, you can use headings and subtitles to break down the article into bits of information. According to the eye-tracking study done by Nielsen, a lot of online readers skip text in between the first and the last paragraphs, following an F-style pattern of reading. Subtitles and headings will present the information of your article in tiny bits, making sure that the readers will still understand the article even if they just scanned it.

Best Practices for Improving Your Website's Readability

  • Make your page “scannable”.

A scannable page is a page which can present complete information to the readers even at a glance. As stated in the study conducted by Nielsen, online readers tend to skip a lot of information in between and your page has to be scannable to help you get your message across to your readers. Here’s how you can make your page scannable:

  1. Make the first few words count as these are the first thing that your readers will pay attention to.
  2. The passive voice is great for putting emphasis on links, webpage titles, and headings.
  3. Make the inverted pyramid your guide into writing your content. All important information should be on the first paragraphs of the articles.
  4. Include visuals wherever appropriate. Visuals such as charts and tables break the text block and present information in a more organized manner.

 

Posted in UI, UX

Best UX Practices of Community Design

Designing a great user interface design is a challenging endeavor for every web developer. A user interface is one of the most noticeable parts of your website and therefore, it has to be perfect and “user-friendly”. For this post, let’s take a look at the best practices of UI designs as seen on various websites.

Best UX Practices of Community Design

  • Hitting Two Goals at Once

TripAdvisor is one of the sites with the best user interface design. For experts, the UI design of TripAdvisor is able to achieve the two most important goals of UI design; 1. To serve as a host for the visitors looking for information and 2., make the site easy to navigate by those who are browsing and contributing to the site. These are the two goals that you should keep in mind in designing a UI design.

  • Working with the User Behavior’s Spectrum

User behavior is categorized in three levels; browsing, searching, and contributing. Your UI design should accommodate all of these activities of your visitors. Think of your site as a place for a cocktail party, some people are scanning the crowd, some are just there to know what’s going on, and some are actually engaging in conversations. At any rate, users should find it easy to navigate your site whether they want to browse, search, or contribute. This also requires you to have a welcoming homepage for your users before and after signing in. The homepage before they sign in should be informative enough of what they’ll expect from the site and similarly, the homepage displayed after the user has signed in should be enticing enough to encourage the user to participate and engage in the community.

  • Classify the Information on your Site Accordingly

Websites with community integration are able to mine different kinds of content from their users. All the information presented in your site may be confusing for someone who has just discovered it and information organization may affect the ease of navigation through your site. Make sure that you have an effective system of classifying and grouping information and include markers that users can follow to find the kind of information that they are looking for. These markers may take the form of tags, sub-categories, and tabs within your website.

  • Ease of Navigation through Different Entry Points

Users come to your website through different entry points, some of them found your site through social media networks, some searched for you on Google, and some found your site as a link sent via email. This goes to show that your users arrive at your website on different pages; they might be directed to Home, Forum, or a single post on your website. This poses a difficulty in navigation especially for those who have just discovered your site. A good UI design will be able to facilitate ease of navigation regardless of the entry point of the user. You can do this by making important pages such as Home, Articles, and others to be more prominent on other pages of your site.

Posted in Design, UX

5 Key Points for Homepage UI / UX Design

The homepage is like the “best foot forward” of a website. The homepage serves as the gateway that will lead the users to the website’s other elements such as content, pages within the site, and the general user interface of the website.

The homepage also has the burden of impressing the user and inviting him to explore the site more. Furthermore, the homepage should also deliver the site’s message and be able to capture the site’s essence.

5 Key Points for Homepage UI / UX Design

Here are some tips on designing a great homepage:

  • Keep user experience in mind.

User experience is a very important factor in web design. User experience refers to the users’ overall emotion and perception while he’s navigating through your site. Make sure that your homepage serves the experience that you want your users to have. A good homepage should not be just images and words; it should be a combination of touch, sounds, and sight and actions. User experience is all about soliciting a pleasant feeling from your users while they are on your site.

  • Simple is always better.

Remember that the primary goal of your web design is to communicate the overall purpose and message of your site. Make your homepage simple by including only the most essential elements. When people go to your site, they should readily see what your site is about and what they can do within the site. A simple yet good homepage could include an overview of the contents of your site or a guide to where people can find specific information that they’re looking for.

  • Your site should be scannable.

The term “scannable” refers to the characteristics of your site which presents all vital information that is relevant to your users. Remember that people tend to understand and retain more information if it is presented to them in a bit by bit manner. Here are some guidelines in making your site “scannable”:

  1. Content- Use simpler words and sentences always be direct to the point. One paragraph should discuss a single idea only. Follow the Inverted Pyramid structure; include the most important information in the first paragraphs and the less important information in the succeeding paragraphs.
  2. Bullet Points- Presents lists in a more visualized and simple manner. The use of headlines and subtitles can also present your users a brief overview of what’s written on your site.
  3. Images- Images as well as videos present more information than you could with words.
  • Include a Call to Action

As we have stated before, the homepage is the first part of your website that your visitors will see. Apart from presenting what your site is about, the homepage can also direct the visitors on what they should do next.

A clear Call to Action should be included in your Homepage. You can invite people to read more about your website, join your community or forums, or check out the latest news and updates about your business.

Your Call to Action should stand out (focus on font size and color), have a clear label (Use active verbs such as Join Now, Check Out our Site, or Learn More), and decrease the number of choices on what your users could do.

  • Make sure that your SEO techniques are in order.

Your website will still depend on SEO techniques in order to be seen by other people. Remember that search engines focus more on the quality of content in your site, rather than quantity. You can also link to websites and pages which are relevant to the theme or subject of your site.

Posted in Design, UI, UX