Ask the Reader: Blog Usability | The Thinking Blog ~ Knowledge Grows When Shared
Futurist Educator

14 February 2007

Ask the Reader: Blog Usability

Happy Valentines Day! Today's hot topic will not be this consumer driven holiday though. As you might have already noticed, I'm a part-time graphic designer. Actually, it is more of a hobby. This means I'm not a ninja (coder) but I know enough HTML to get my template to do what I want it to do. Nevertheless, I feel it is not perfect and some of my friends complained informed me that it loads rather too slowly.

So, I asked for help from experts! Fortunately, Jeff Atwood from Coding Horror was very kind to take time and give me with the following advice:

"It looks fine, but if it were my blog, I would reduce the size and number of graphics.

I'd also remove the star ratings, the email / social bookmark links, the 'translate' panel, and other items that are unlikely to be used.

I would also move 'Fresh Comments' up on the right hand side above subscribe. Also, I think 'About Me (My profile, contact me)' should be higher than the bottom of the page."

I thought of removing the star ratings before but I changed my mind when I saw that whenever people don't comment on the post they tend to use the rating to provide quick feedback. However, it was a heavy drag on loading time and removing them made a huge difference. Perhaps the reason why I get so few comments is because it makes you visit another page to leave one (or you guys are just too lazy =). I think I need to move the 'leave a comment' box under the comments and eliminate the unnecessary step.

I am not sure how to proceed with the other suggestions so I need your view on this. If you are against the removal of any of the features listed in this poll below or there is something else not mentioned, please help me improve my blog by leaving a comment. Your feedback is very valuable and much appreciated!



Note to Internet Explorer users: there is a comments link at the bottom right corner of each post but it seems to be invisible for some reason. I have to find a solution for that sometime soon but if you can't locate it, feel free to leave a message in MyBlogLog community.

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