Better Design: Cleaning Up The House

Can you please step back and look at your blog like a 1st time visitor?
Does the single article view answer the readers question immediately?

Is your homepage a 5* hotel lobby or a cluttered discount shop?

“I have no idea how to find something on your page.” Could this be the #1 answer of a 1st time visitor when arriving at your blog?

Believe it or not but this is the main difference between people used to read blogs and standard Susan Surfer. Standard websurfers have no idea how a blog works. They want to SUCK information. FAST!

From: Attracting Joe Surfer to stay: It’s the navigation stupid

How many 1st time visitors do you have? I assume that a standard medium traffic blog has between 60% and 90% 1st time visitors. Please don’t expect blogging knowledge from your 1st time visitors!

Some basics, a provocation and five ‘go read’ link tips…

Basics everybody knows

When a friend stops by unannounced, what’s the first thing you say?

Typically, you apologize for the condition your home is in, no matter how clean it is, right? Why?

Improving Your Blog: Clean It Up

A really great article from Lorelle VanFossen at the Blog Herald. Recommended!

Provocative To-Dos

  1. Remove all the typical blog buttons
  2. Have a standard Web 1.0 vertical left side navigation block WITHOUT whistles and bells
  3. Make it top, left and main again like in the good old ‘frameset’ days.

Can you imagine that a visitor feels ‘at home’ when the landing page follows some navigation standards and doesn’t look like a free jazz ensemble of web 2.0 widgets and buttons?

Chronological navigation is a very big NoNo if you want your 1st time visitor to stay!

Five tips for related articles on

  • Great list on ‘Best of Performancing’: Blog Design – If you only want to follow one link then follow this one.
  • How to Attract Readers Who Don’t Read Blogs
  • Blogger. Know Your Readers — 10 Traits
  • Intuitive Navigation with Tag Clouds – Read the comments. Nice discussion about Pro and Cons!
  • Help Your Readers: Reduce Virtual Clutter – The short and easy version of a ‘clean up’ article.

Old but pure gold from Nick Wilson: With Navigation, Less Is More

Bonus: Usability issues

This article is for the advanced who want to dig a little deeper:

30 Usability Issues To Be Aware Of

Remember: Step back and look at your blog like a 1st time visitor!

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