Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Blog Header Design: Pretty Good Advice

"Blog Headers: 20 Great Examples and Best Practices"
Webdesigner Depot (October 30, 2009)

"The header is likely the first thing a new visitor sees on a blog, so it is the first impression — but why is a blog header so much more important, or at least different, than the header of a basic website?

"Blog headers need more functionality. Other web designs may differ in terms of their use and therefore, what's included in the website header and how it's presented can vary greatly.

"With a blog specifically, though, there are best practices that can help the reader navigate through the blog and become better involved.

"That's exactly what this article will do. We'll help you define what should be a part of a blog header and how to finally implement it, and then we'll look at twenty awesome examples that do just that...."

The article lists four points to consider when designing a header:
  • What mood needs to be set to attract the correct target audience?
  • How can the first impression via the header communicate what the blog is all about?
  • How can the blog's header give the first impression, 'I'm different from the others.'
  • What pieces of content need to be immediately noticeable to create better action? (clicking on links, subscribing, etc.)
There's a short discussion of each point, then examples of 20 blog headers.

Don't let the first two fool you: they're not all 'busy' designs.

Like this one:

"10. Vectips

"This header is rather minimalistic, which puts more emphasis on the bits of content it does hold. The logo is decorative and outlined in a contrasting color, making it memorable.

"It is followed by a tag line that shares what the blog is about, and then simple navigation which further defines that. The navigation is great because it has individual icons to bring attention to each as the reader is skimming over them.

"The fun illustration to the right sets the mood and leads the eye to the navigation up top...."

"Minimalistic"? Okay. It certainly is, compared with this:

I suppose it's partly a matter of taste.

This article came to my attention at a good time. I've made headers for each of my blogs - and they're about due for review. As a gesture of blatant self-promotion, here's a sample, with each image at half-size:

I'm rather partial to Sizzles, the mascot for Easy Griller: but over the next few weeks I plan to review each blog's header and general design. Not that I want to change anything. But I figure a little review now and again couldn't hurt.
A tip of the hat to timethief, on Twitter, for the heads-up on this article.

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