Blogging Tips A-Z: U for User-friendly

Do you get fed up visiting blogs where you can’t work out what to click or how to find the information you need? Maybe you even like the blog, have read a few posts and want to subscribe but can’t work out how.

When designing your site or writing your blogging needs for a blog designer user-friendly blog design is key.

Your readers have one simple need: to find the information they’re looking for fast.

Having a user-friendly site is essential. Too many choices are bewildering because people don’t know where to start. If they’re confused they won’t bother, they’ll look for another blog or website where they can find that information faster.

1.Keep it simple

You have five seconds (or less) to tell people know that they’re in the right place. Make sure your name, slogan, topics and all key page names reinforce that they’ve come to the right place.

2. Make sure your site loads fast

Your blog designer should have this in hand but many don’t and if your blog is slow to load people won’t wait to see what you have to offer and Google will penalise you, making your blog’s search engine ranking lower.

3. Pay attention to typography

Make sure the fonts are user-friendly, screen friendly and legible.

4. Create a mobile friendly options

People who are increasingly reading blogs on smart phones so you need to provide a blog version that’s easy to read on a mobile phone.

5. Cut down the options.

The more options you offer people the harder they will find it to decide where to click and the more chance they will give up.

6. Consider your ideal reader

What do they want to know? How can you let them find that information fast?

7. Use white space wisely

White space or empty spots on the screen where your readers can rest their eyes are essential. If the entire screen is cover in text and images readers will be over-whelmed.

8. Make subscribing easy

Getting email subscribers is key so make it simple and user-friendly with as few clicks and data to enter as possible.

9. Respect your readers

Floating subscribe boxes that pop up automatically after you’ve been on a blog a certain amount of time interfere with the reading process. They usually pop up far too soon so if they’re an option you want to consider as they may increase subscription rates leave at least five minutes to allow you readers time to appreciate what your blog has to offer them.

What are your recommendations for user-friendly blog design?

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10 Comments

  • Barbara

    Jul 10, 2012 - Reply

    Number 7 is a big deal for me. I can’t stand it when there is no white space and paragraphs run on. I don’t care if it’s absolutely brilliant writing, it’s too difficult to read without white space. I don’t understand how bloggers, unless you are brand new, don’t get that.

    After that I have to say number 9 would be my 2nd pet peeve. I don’t care for animation on the side bar or pop ups that interrupt the flow.

    If someone is starting out in the blog world it might help them to think about what blogs they enjoy reading and how the design of those blogs enhance the process.
    Great post!
    b

    • Annabel Candy

      Jul 10, 2012 - Reply

      Hi Barbara,

      Thanks for sharing your pet peeves. It makes me sad when people get the user friendly design wrong because people just won’t read their blog then they assume it’s because their content is no good which is rarely the case.

  • Annabel,
    Great post.
    I have a question re: making it easy for your readers to subscribe.
    I have two options for readers:
    A. They can subscribe and get a free chapter of my book, “The Intuition Principle.”
    B. They can subscribe and get free recorded guided meditations and useful PDFs.
    Here’s my question. I also have a free 7 day course that I’d like to give my readers. Should I create another banner on my site to offer them the option of getting the course too?
    Thank you,
    Angela

    • Annabel Candy

      Jul 10, 2012 - Reply

      Hi Angela,

      Great to see you here and fantastic to read how prolific you are and about all these incentives and freebies you have on offer.

      I suggest combining the first two as one incentive for subscribing. Ask those who’ve read the book to forward the free chapter on to a friend who might enjoy it and hopefully that will help spread the word further.

      What’s the free 7 day course about? Yes, maybe a separate push for that one through blog posts and a banner ad then hopefully you have another product to sell them if they still want to know more at the end?

      • Annabel,
        I love the idea of people sharing the first chapter of my book and combining the chapter and free bonus materials. Thank you!

        The 7 day mini-course consists of tips to help you hone your intuition.
        I’m working on another product now. It’s a set of 12 guided meditations to help you trust and follow your intuition.

        Thank you!

      • Annabel Candy

        Jul 10, 2012 - Reply

        Hi Angela,

        That sounds good, maybe you can use the 7 day course to help launch the new product when you’re ready:)

  • Jo

    Jul 10, 2012 - Reply

    Hi Annabel. You raise some really good points. I have recently had some feedback from my readers (who can range from 35 years to 60) and some of the more mature readers who maybe don’t visit many blogs and aren’t familiar with leaving comments or subscribing have said “Oh I didn’t know I could leave a comment” or “where do I subscribe” or “why would I want to subscribe when I can just read your blog whenever I log on to my pc. It made me realise I need to dig deeper into finding out who my readers are, what are they interested in and how can I make it as easy as possible for them to navigate around my blog. I am in the process of redesigning my blog with these points in mind. Thanks once again for your great advice. Jo

    • Annabel Candy

      Jul 10, 2012 - Reply

      Hi Jo,

      Thanks for the feedback. Designing user friendly sites should be so easy but in fact they’re not the norm at all.

      Only yesterday I emailed a fellow travel blogger ( write the travel blog Get In the Hot Spot: http://www.getinthehotspot.com/) and love that niche to ask where their RSS feed was. It turned out that they have a link to it on the home page but not on any of the blog posts themselves where readers will naturally spend most of their time but the blogger hadn’t thought about that until I mentioned it.

      Sometimes it really helps to watch a friend (or friends) use you blog. Set them some tests like:

      Find my email address;
      Leave a comment on a blog post;
      Find a post about blogging tips for tourism;

      See how they do and you will learn a lot.

  • Philos Mudis

    Jul 12, 2012 - Reply

    -Don’t fill the post are with lots of ads – especially irrelevant ads

    -Keep your sidebars clean

    -Place the search bar where it can easily be seen

    -Include an archives page where readers can just use the Ctrl+F (Windows) and use their web browser to get what they want without loading pages.

  • Seana Smith

    Jul 13, 2012 - Reply

    Hi Annabel,
    Good tips and I need to run with a few of them! I know that I always have too many topics… the story of my life!

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