I was intrigued when I came across this post on Lisa’s blog about getting rid of the archives feature on your blog. If I’m honest, I’d say that 99% of all my clients request archives to be placed somewhere in their blog design…when in reality, I’m betting 99% of their readers never use it. I was doubly intrigued by Lisa posing the question to her community about what blog features they (as readers) actually use and what they don’t (or, in my hyperbolic language here on The Well, what they LOVE and what they HATE). These types of discussions are so interesting, because they speak to how differently each of us consume content on the web.
A great example are post breaks, or the button/link you have to click on to “read more” or “get the rest” of a post. I personally use them a lot when I’m blogging, because my posts are often long and I want to break them up so readers can see other recent content on my front page. As a blog reader, I also can’t stand it if posts are extraordinarily long, especially if they’re very photo heavy — if I’m not interested in the post at hand, I end up scrolling and scrolling and scrolling, and can quickly lose interest in the other content that has recently been published. (Sidenote: the worst is when a blog post has a bagillion photos and they also haven’t been properly resized or optimized for the web, so they take minutes to load. Goodbye, I’m outta there). Conversely, I often hear from people that they absolutely HATE post breaks, and prefer to see everything at once.
One question I wanted to pose here today is how people are feeling about a shift towards the very editorial/magazine style layout for many fashion and style blogs. With these types of layouts, the blog design might have an enhanced navigation system near the top of the page, no sidebar, and lots of slideshows and special features called out around the page. Ironically, I’ve heard mixed things from my own clients. Some are requesting similar types of designs, but recently, I’ve also gotten feedback that bloggers and readers alike can’t stand this type of layout, as it’s too confusing and forces too much interaction in order to view the content efficiently. What do you think?
And to build off Lisa’s wonderful post, I wanna know — what blog features do you love, and what do you hate?
Image: Tony Hisgett Flickr; graphics added by The B Bar