• 设计,博客,blog,
  • 2013-10-08 07:46:41


As designers, we each develop distinct(明显的,独特的) styles, and usually gravitate(受引力作用,被吸引) towards different kinds of projects when we have a choice in the matter(物质,原因). For me, it’s content-driven websites and nothing is more content-driven than the good old-fashioned(老样式) blog.

There is something that simply feels right about putting a whole bunch(群,串) of meaningful(有意义的), interesting text, pictures, and/or video together in an aesthetically(审美地) pleasing(令人愉快的) way. Blog content is all about ideas, and ideas are meant to be read, appreciated(欣赏,领会), and if everything goes well, discussed at length. Facilitating (促进)that process is personally(亲自地,当面,个别的) fulfilling(令人满意的,能实现个人抱负的), and often challenging(挑战的,引起挑战兴趣的).

For people who own blogs, the advantages(优势,利益) are clear:

The format is flexible(柔韧的,灵活的). They are free to discuss a variety(多样的) of topics. Even if a blog has a central(中心的,主要的) theme(主题), they can occasionally(偶尔,间或) break away(脱离,放弃,逃跑) from it to explore(探索) other ideas that intrigue(激起。。。的兴趣) them.

Posts can be as short or as long as you like.

Posts don’t have to be text. Video and photo blogs can be engaging(迷人的), and some are pretty(漂亮的,优美的,可爱的) popular.

Blogs can be used to establish(建立,创办,安置) someone as an expert(熟练的,内行的) in their field, thereby(从而,因此) increasing business opportunities(机会).

Blogs are incredibly(难以置信的,非常的) easy to create and experiment(尝试,进行试验) with, thanks to services like WordPress.com, Blogger, and so on.

Blogs haven’t changed much

No matter what blog you go to, you’ll see a variation(变化,变种) on the following system:

a home page with the latest articles, either displayed in full, or as a list;

a list of categories – probably(大概,也许) in a sidebar;

an archive(档案,存档), with links to listings of articles sorted by month or year;

individual(个人的) articles with an attached comment thread;

usually, an “About” page, and/or a “Contact” page.

This is not a bad set of defaults. By and large(大体上,总的来说), this structure works and it’s familiar(熟悉的,亲近的). This does not mean, however, that it’s right for you, or your content.

As UX designers, our job isn’t just to make sure that text is big enough to read, that navigation is easily recognizable(可辨认的) as such, or that buttons are big enough to tap on. We solve(解决) problems. We make sure that it’s easy for users to find what they’re looking for, and quickly. We have mere(仅仅的,只不过的) seconds to engage(吸引) readers and keep them on our site, so we have to get creative(创造性的).

In this article, I’m going to look at features which are common to the majority(多数的) of blogs, and see how we might make them easier to use, more engaging(保证), and/or irrelevant(不相干的). Let’s start with my absolute(绝对的) favorite(最喜爱的) pet peeve(不能忍受的事):

The sidebar

One problem that I have with the sidebar is that too often it distracts(转移,分心) me from the content as I try to read. It might be a colorful animated ad, or worse, one that comes with sound and no mute(哑巴,弱音器) button, or the sidebar itself just clashes too harshly(粗糙的) with the rest of the site.

Sometimes, sidebars are rendered(提出) next to(几乎,差不多,紧挨着) unusable by people who try to cram(填满) far too much information into them, making the text smaller and smaller all the time. Sometimes, sidebars are much much longer than an individual(个人的,个别的) article.

Here’s a hint(暗示): putting five years of archives, sorted by month, in one sidebar is not a good idea. This might sound like it’s just a personal irritation(令人恼火的事) to some people, but there is no reason why a sidebar should be twice the height of my 1600×900 screen.

Many blogs have solved this problem in one of a few ways, the most notable(显著的,著名的) of which being that they often drop the sidebar altogether(整个). Navigational lists such as categories and archives are moved to their own section, usually under the main content.

Now let me be perfectly(完美地,完全地) clear. I am not saying that sidebars should go altogether. In fact, when I move my personal blog from my main domain to its own, I actually intend to use a sidebar for some rather important things.

What I am saying is that sidebars should not be stuffed(塞满了的) with more information and widgets than is reasonable, and they should not dominate(在。。。中占主要地位) the page. They are meant to be navigational aids only. Let’s treat them that way.

If you want to display more information than can comfortably(舒服地,安乐地) fit in a sidebar, display it elsewhere.

Individual articles

I’d like to talk about individual articles before the home page because if you’re doing well as a writer, the home page will rarely(很少的) be the first thing that people see. People will be sent directly to individual articles by search results, links provided by friends, and services such as Stumbleupon.

For this reason, make sure that navigation options like categories and search are available(可用的) on every page of your blog. The article that your users find may not be the one they’re looking for, so you’ve got to make it easy for them to find your other content.

A lot of self-styled blog “gurus(领袖,专家)” will talk about the importance of having “related articles” listed for each individual post. As much as I hate to agree(同意,赞同) with anyone who calls himself a “guru”, they have a point. Reading through a blog is all about discovery, and that discovery process should happen quickly. Users are more likely to click on an eye-catching related headline than look for the category link to see similar articles on your site.

Make sure that there’s a bit of descriptive(描写的,叙述的) “About” text on every page. If it’s a really short paragraph(段落), it could go in the sidebar. If it’s longer, you could put it in the page footer, where users are likely to see it after they’ve finished reading/skimming the article.

Finally, if there’s one thing you learn from this part of the article, remember this: on a blog, you should spend more time designing your post content than your home page. Your content is what people will see first, in all likelihood(可能性,可能).

The home page

Many people design the home page of their website as though it will be the first thing that every user sees. This is a mistake. The users most likely to view a home page are regular(常客) readers who don’t use RSS feeds (which should always be available), and those first-time visitors who’ve just read an article, then clicked “Home” because they felt like it.

So yes, the home page of most blogs is essentially(本质上) a glorified(赞美,美化,美其名) RSS feed. This is where users come for updates.

Unless you’re running a tumblelog – a blog made up of very short posts, images, and videos – I would recommend(推荐) displaying no more than a headline(大标题), an excerpt, and an optional image thumbnail. Blogs that display entire posts on the home page force readers to scroll down and down to make sure they haven’t missed anything.

Some people get around this by displaying a list of the most recent headlines in their sidebar, but I see this as redundant(多余的,过剩的). Such a list can be useful on every page of the blog except the home page.

This is not the only way to make a home page for a blog, of course. There are other ways to present your content, but I believe that this approach(方法,途径) makes the most sense from the perspective(观点,远景) of a reader.

Need more proof(证明,试验,证据)? Look up a newspaper or magazine site. All they do is display the links to the most recent articles in every major category.

Chronological navigation

It’s typical to put a date on every post published, and to allow users to navigate the site’s content by month or year. For some writers, this makes sense. If you’re writing about design trends, reviewing technology, addressing political(政治的,党派的) issues, or doing anything else that’s time-sensitive in any way, use it.

However, is chronological(按年代顺序排列的) navigation always necessary? Probably not. Examine your content. If you’re writing about things that aren’t going to change in a hurry(匆忙,急忙), like history, human nature, or less-than-contemporary(同时期的东西) art, you may want to leave date-based navigation options out altogether.

Look for other ways to organize your content based on your subject matter. Categories will never go out of style, but let’s take art, for example. You could design the site in such a way that people can browse your posts by which artists are mentioned(提到的,提及的), or by the art styles and mediums you discuss.

You know your audience(观众,听众,读者). How would you like to be able to find the things that interest you?


Ah, comments. The place where everyone can virtually(事实上,几乎,实质上) gather round and discuss the post at hand without getting off-topic, starting pointless debates(辩论,讨论), or insulting(侮辱,损害) each other. And just as we’re all about to indulge(沉溺,满足) in a quick drink before we peacefully(平静的,平和的) disperse(分散,传播) to go about our lives, I wake up.

All jokes(笑话) aside(在。。。旁边), having a comments section can provide invaluable(无价的,贵重的) feedback, and the interaction(相互作用) and user engagement(婚约,约会,交战,诺言) can help bring your readers back for more.

One thing I’ve seen many blog designs and themes do is make their comment areas too small. This is especially(尤其,特别) a problem when you consider(考虑,细想) two things:

Threaded comments are a standard these days. As people reply to comments, and then to other replies, the content area of these sub-comments tends to get smaller and smaller.

The problem above can be exacerbated(加重) when the website’s design is fluidly(流动的,不定的) responsive(响应的,应答的).

原文标题:How to design blogs



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