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This is a pet peeve of mine. As a product manager, I think it gives me some credibility to talk user design and put in my five cents. Let me set the expectations before anyone gets worked up about something I wrote: this is my honest opinion, you may or may not agree with it.
I arrived at the idea of starting a blog through a “side income” Google search, and I landed on a page that laid out quite a few options with first being blogging. Being new to this space, I needed to do research. And, I needed to conduct my “market analysis.”
I spend a loooot of time reading articles, learning about marketing, SEO, making products, email captures, legal rules about disclaims/TOU and privacy policies. Yes, I’m just that kind of person. I need to understand things inside and out in order to make the assessment: is it worth it? [The MBA in me speaking].
As you can imagine, I’ve come across one or two blogging sites. Generally speaking, there is a lot of awesome content out there and I’m really impressed by the quality of content that’s out there.
There are some things that I’ve noticed about blogger’s site design that simply makes my eyes hurt. I’m not saying that this site is perfect, it definitely needs some work. But, here are some things that I think need to change:
Be Creative with Headings
I’m very visual. My mind captures information better visually then echoically. As I was going from one bloggers’ page to another – learning – it became harder and harder to remember where a certain piece of advice came from. All the heading s begin with either “About” or “Start Here,” and depending on the niche, vary very little.
How about “Who is X?” prompting the user to click to learn more? Instead of “Money,” maybe it’s worth naming the category “Side Hustles”? I could be completely off the wall wrong, maybe I missed the memo. As much as it helps users orient around the blog page, I think it makes it very systematic.
But we need to optimize SEO, you may say. Yes, I’m completely on board with that. Once users land on your page, what makes your page stand out above others?
Look at Apple’s page versus Samsung. Both sell products, but the user experience is so different. You remember Apple for its minimalism, simplicity, and cleanliness. That’s part of their brand image, wouldn’t you want your blog to be representative of the brand and voice that you represent?
We’re all unique and I think our blog pages should be reflective of that.
The Infinite Scroll
Oh. My. Goodness. Where. Do. I. Start. This is probably one of the biggest user design issues I’ve noticed over, and over, and over x100.
This mostly pertains to bloggers selling their online products and courses. Their sales pitch is literally dozens of screen scrolls. Ok, you sold me on this course on the page that lead me here, can I just learn how much it costs? Where can I sign up?
Your fingers will get quite a workout before you get there. Ok, there was one helpful lesson I learned from going through this experience. Did you know if you hold down CTRL and press END on your computer, it will automatically scroll to the bottom for you. Voila … you’re welcome.
Maybe it’s just me, but why do these pages need to be this long? Can’t it be more streamlined? I wrote an article (LINK HERE) about how today’s content readers are interested in getting their information clearly and concisely. Part of the reason being is our shortened attention span due to our “overuse” of technology.
Again, maybe I’m missing something here … but the unending scroll on blogs: Needs. To. Change.
Could I just read your amazing content, please?
This may just be the name of the game … And it’s possible that I may end up being convinced that I’m wrong. But isn’t it just a tad bit frustrating to have content being interrupted by pins, “read more” links, advertisements, and whatever have you?
You may be one of the few blogs there that can make it work. But from a user experience perspective, that’s just a no-go. The content should be fluid and uninterrupted, allowing the reading to follow the flow of your ideas. But what it looks like right now in quite a few blogs is …
EXCERPT FROM SOME BLOG XYZ
“I would like to talk to you about saving money and how to do it … blah blah blah. Quisque hendrerit lobortis faucibus. Fusce quis dignissim nunc, eget scelerisque lectus. Nunc id eros vel ante consequat laoreet non et mauris. Praesent id feugiat massa. Nullam et nisi fringilla, sollicitudin turpis ucibus massa. Maecenas lorem nisl, commodo vitae turpis non, tempor semper leo. Maecenas at dui consectetur, porttitor ipsum sed, blandit tellus. Vivamus sollicitudin lectus.
Anec venenatis neque finibus fermentum. Vivamus cursus convallis nunc, a molestie purus lacinia sit amet. Suspendisse et diam commodo, dignissim sapien eu, posuere purus. Sed quam eros, suscipit eu nisl in, efficitur magna lacinia, ut sodales augue mollis.
”Read More: I’m here to distract you, click here and stop reading the rest of the article. (Link)
Read More: Are you still reading? Click here to read stuff that’s even more interesting. (Link)
FlashyAdvertisementThat Has Nothing to Do with the Post.
“Ok … where was I? Oh yes, here is what you need to do … blah blah blah. Quisque hendrerit lobortis faucibus. Fusce quis dignissim nunc, eget scelerisque lectus. Nunc id eros vel ante consequat laoreet non et mauris. Praesent id feugiat massa. Nullam et nisi fringilla, sollicitudin turpis ucibus massa.
Maecenas lorem nisl, commodo vitae turpis non, tempor semper leo. Maecenas at dui consectetur, porttitor ipsum sed, blandit tellus. Vivamus sollicitudin lectus.
Anec venenatis neque finibus fermentum. Vivamus cursus convallis nunc, a molestie purus lacinia sit amet. Suspendisse et diam commodo, dignissim sapien eu, posuere purus. Sed quam eros, suscipit eu nisl in, efficitur magna lacinia, ut sodales augue mollis.“
Look-at-me Pin.“More of the article … ”
And so on, and so forth. How was that?
Ugh … help!
As a result, the content becomes so segmented with so much stuff placed in between content. We, as readers, have so much come at us from different angles (with pop-ups and all), at least make the reading simple. I think even if you’d like to add a link or two for the article, embed it within the text. Explain to the reader what it is that you’d like for them to check out.
I understand that bloggers are trying to maximize their earnings by trying to fit as many affiliate images on their blog pages to increase the chances that someone sees it and buys something. In my opinion, blog [post] content should be kept uniform allowing the user to read the entire post without being distracted.
I just want to reiterate that I’m not here to hurt anyone’s feelings or attack anyone blog particularly. These are some general trends that I’ve noticed browsing through blogger’s sites. The content that most bloggers produce is great, so why not get the rest of the blog site on board to let it stand out?
There is a chance that I am completely wrong about this, and I accept that. But, I am all for creativity. I also realize that I’m probably not the most creative person so I welcome your feedback!
Are there any other pet peeves that you have when reading online blogs? Do you agree or disagree with my point of view?
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I love hearing from you and as always would love to learn your ideas, perspectives, and comments. And if you just want to say “hi” – would love to take the opportunity to say “hi” back!