Simplicity. It’s one of those things that seems easy to
It can be really tempting to go wild on a new design project, believe me. In fact, I’ve been a victim of this myself; some of the earliest iterations of Rosarts have been over-complicated to say the least. When you launch a new brand or business idea, it can be incredibly easy to overdo things. Often, you’re so enthusiastic about your new project that throwing lots of different style combinations seems like a fun way to throw your work out there.
And yes, while launching a visual identity is really exciting, it’s also crucial that you do it correctly.
Slimming Things Down
That’s not to say that your initial concept has to be set in stone – far from it. I’ve evolved and adapted my own branding more times than I can remember, but I’ve always tried to stay true to my main themes and goals.
One of the main places I’ve seen excellent content fall foul of over-complicated design is on blog sites. Bloggers are skilled at creating interesting, relevant and easily consumable content, but so often the design and layout of their actual website can cause the opposite effect for the prospective reader.
Multiple pop-ups, fonts that are illegible, overpowering colour combinations and random audio players that the reader is unable to turn off are just a few of the most common issues I see on blogs every day. Things that you might find fun and quirky may be a lot more off-putting to your reader than you might thing. Less is more really does apply with website aesthetics.
There’s a lot to be said for simplicity, and ultimately, you may have the greatest posts in the world, but if your website’s design is annoying your audience then they simply won’t return to read any more.
You’d be surprised how neglected key areas of websites often are. Updating plugins, for example, is very important to avoid hacking, but its often one of the most overlooked areas of a blog’s maintenance.
Another thing to consider is your website’s bloat. By that, I mean how big it is. Yes, those flashy sliders and scrolling Instagram feeds on your front page might look attractive, but they’re probably also weighing your page speed down heavily. Be sure to look for simple, lightweight plugins and widgets to avoid overloading your website. Slow loading sites are often disliked by Google too, so if that’s not an incentive to re-evaluate your content and setup, I don’t know what is!
I aim to do a regular in-house declutter and pare-down of my websites every couple of months. I recommend an approach that involves a regular refresh of not just your blog’s tone and content but of its overall look, user-friendliness and style. Check your plugins and pop-ups and make sure that all of your crucial components are regularly updated.
Where To Start:
Here are some simple tips that you can work through right now if you’re keen to get started!
- Check your font sizes – too small and people won’t make the effort to keep reading, too big and it’ll put people off the never-ending scrolling required to finish the post.
- Look carefully at your colours – grey on white is a classic error; consider the accessibility of your text and make it easier on the eye for your audience.
- Clear up the clutter – all those photos you’re not using but have stored in your media library will eat up space in your website and have an effect on its load time.
- Mobile optimisation – how phone-friendly is your blog? Can you improve the navigation and mobile layout?
There are many subtle elements involved in creating a sleek but simple blog look, but it’s absolutely key that you stay on top of your game when it comes to blog interface. If not, you could be losing potential readers or customers. And nobody wants that to happen!
Blog design is so important; make sure yours looks as good as the writing you’re putting out there reads. If not, you could be driving potential audiences and clients away before they’ve had chance to read your work.