We all have pet peeves. We all have blogging pet peeves. There are a lot of posts written about blog pet peeves and most of the time they are spoken from general perspective and by general I'm referring to opinions from any topic such as the blog's layout, its additional features, etc. Today, however, I am going to talk about my blogging pet peeves but from a visual standpoint. Now keep in mind that these pet peeves are based on my opinions and may or may not be justified by everyone.
I love blog hopping. I love visiting new blog and leaving detailed, long comments — sorry if your blog happens to be one of my victims! — but I'll be honest when I say I can't stand some blogs. I find myself not being able to read the whole entry and then leave some comments due to what I consider a bad blog design. Of course, we've been there — the bad blog design thing. Remember back when we think white text on pitch black #000000 background and headers featuring sparkly celebrities or anime characters as the bomb? Uh-huh, I've been there too.
I'm not saying everyone has to change their blog instantly because your blog is yours and you can design it however you want. But over the course of blogging for years (and constantly being fickle with my URLs), I've learned that a bad blog design is not only uncomfortable for my readers and visitors but also for my motivation. I am also writing down my opinions as a visitor slash reader who visits blogs; I am not doing this to insult, offend or call out any particular blog.
Here are five blogging pet peeves related to design that I have gathered so far:
Find yourself a good, decent themeI'm not saying that you shouldn't try and create your own theme or that you need a $100 theme, custom-made or premade. If you like to experiment, cool for you but please, understanding an organized, basic grid arrangement won't hurt your brain. Inspirations can also be gathered from pages such as Awwwards and Site Inspire if you need references or just go on to Pinterest or Behance or even Google for some examples. And if you are a coder or developer, I expect you to know proper, decent layout arrangement. If not, you can always refer to the 960 grid or the 1200px grid system. But do keep in mind that just because a person knows how to code doesn't mean they will always create an awesome, user friendly and functional website design.
Alas, if you're not a good designer, please google for premade themes that have been professionally designed. Whether it's Blogger, Tumblr or Wordpress themes, you can find both free and paid themes.
Typography & Legibility
- TYPEFACE / FONT FAMILY
Keep it simple is what I'm saying. You want people to read your post and not play cryptography. If you can't pick any font family, the classic Helvetica or Arial will do the trick; some recommended alternatives from me are Roboto, Lato, Noto Sans and Open Sans. Also, use not more than 1-3 font families to keep the consistency going. If you need help with font combination, you can check Google Font for assistance.
- LEADING / LINE HEIGHT, TRACKING / LETTER SPACING AND FONT SIZE
Font size is self-explanatory. Small fonts are okay, tiny fonts are not. Because each font face has different measurement so do keep that in mind.
Colour SchemeThis is one of my strongest pet peeves. I have visited blogs with inconsistent and uncoordinated colour scheme; there's a red, a yellow, a green, a blue — the whole rainbow on the same page! Please don't ruin your reader's eyesight for I bet they still love their clear vision. My tips is to go with the classic black text on white background if you have no idea how to coordinate an eye pleasing colour scheme. But if you want some splash of colours into your page, you can start searching for colour scheme inspirations on Pinterest, use Adobe Kuler or this cool website over here.
Avoid white text on pitch black background. The classic black text on white background works and gives your blog a minimalist look but do not go in reverse. It just doesn't work on screen.
Images, pleaseI may not be the best photographer ever but I know better than to post blurry, out of focus and yellow bathroom shots. I'm not saying (or expecting) everyone needs an expensive DSLR or that everyone needs to learn how to construct a good photography composition though the basic rule of third is a worthwhile read if you are keen on improving your shots. Blurry photos, on the other hand, make me question if you accidentally spotted something that wasn't supposed to be there, if you know what I mean. Trust me when I say a smartphone can produce good pictures too.
Additionally, I'm picky about images with smaller and inconsistent size. It'd be nice if the width of your picture is equal to the width of your body paragraph.
Autoplay AnythingSo you think the era of autoplay music is over? Nope. I remember visiting a blog with autoplay music and geez, why do people still do these things today? Come on, the Myspace and Frienster eras are over so please do not startle me with an autoplaying boombox from your page. I don't fancy being disturbed when I'm blog hopping while listening to my favorite indie folk pop tunes, thank you very much.
And that concludes my five blogging pet peeves as seen from a reader's visual standpoint. I might have forgotten or purposely skipped some points such as blog ads because it's not a huuuuge pet peeve of mine, at least not as huge as the ones I listed here.
Be sure to comment below if you have anything to add.