Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Top 10 Blog Design Mistakes

"Weblog Usability: The Top Ten Design Mistakes"
Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox (October 17, 2005)

"Blogs are a form of website. The thousands of normal website usability guidelines therefore apply to them, as do this year's top ten design mistakes. But weblogs are also a special genre of website; they have unique characteristics and thus distinct usability problems.

"One of a weblog's great benefits is that it essentially frees you from 'Web design.' You write a paragraph, click a button, and it's posted on the Internet. No need for visual design, page design, interaction design, information architecture, or any programming or server maintenance...."

Yes, the Lemming noticed: That page is more than six years old. Back then, we had wood-burning computers: so you might think there's no point in following that link.

Quite a bit has changed since Google launched its Google Personalized Homepage and Correlate. On the other hand, the Lemming thinks folks are still plagued by the usability issues listed on Nielsen's page:
  1. No Author Biographies
  2. No Author Photo
  3. Nondescript Posting Titles
  4. Links Don't Say Where They Go
  5. Classic Hits are Buried
  6. The Calendar is the Only Navigation
  7. Irregular Publishing Frequency
  8. Mixing Topics
  9. Forgetting That You Write for Your Future Boss
  10. Having a Domain Name Owned by a Weblog Service
"Weblog Usability..." tells what each point means, and why it's important. If you're willing to overlook slightly-archaic words, like "weblog," the Lemming think you might find a useful reminder on that Alertbox page. Or, not.

Obviously, the Lemming doesn't follow all of Mr. Nielsen's advice: and that's another topic.

There's also a link to Jakob Nielsen's "Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design," which the Lemming also thinks is worth a look.

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