We have dealt with display aspects of blogging in a good number of posts, but have not answered the specific question of when a blog turns too gaudy.
Overall display of a blog, including colours, depends on personal preferences. However, we often do not realise that our own choices of colour, font size etc may not be liked by many visitors especially if we use elements that do not suit our type of blog. For example, while a kid blog may look very good if it has doodles, splashes of primary colours, balloons hanging from all corners, a duck floating over the title and weirdly twisted text. But these elements will look totally out of place on a blog on scientific aspects of skin diseases. This could be an extreme example, but doesn't it show that we should not ignore this aspect on the blog?
Coming specifically to 'when does a blog look gaudy', we'd like bloggers to look at these aspects:
- prominent colours and their arrangements, background patterns and colours
- title and bottom areas
- widget types and coloration
- font type,colouring and size
- images used in posts
- post headings and footers
- suitability of overall display for the blog's theme, age and sex of visitors, target audience's likes and dislikes. This includes cultural icons, taboos, etc.
Look at the screen shot of a blog on the right. This blog claims to be the most boring blog in the world. It is extremely elemental and yet very popular; one of its posts got 392 comments! Can you call such a popular blog 'boring'?
Now look at the screen shot of a blog below. Its homepage is full of pictures, which is fine, but the title is lost in the collage in the title area. [We have blurred the screen shot but not the title area. Can you read the title?]
The second image on the left is screen shot of a blog with broad strips of bright red pattern on both the sides and a narrow strip for the text. Isn't the pattern too overbearing?
The screen shot below is of a site with too many thumbnails on the homepage and each one is supposed to represent a section, but we found the photos too general to serve the purpose. Also notice that the Facebook 'likes' widget has become one among these photos.
Got the point? Let's sum it up:
- Don't let display mar navigation.
- Keep the display simple and sober. Add colour and vibrancy but just enough.
- Let the blog's overall look suit its subject and visitors' preferences.
We have blurred screen shots of blogs to hide their identity.
You can see our earlier tips on blog design aspects here.
You can also see some other tips on photo display on blogs here.