How do people recognize good web design when it comes to anime blogs?
There is a big difference between good and bad design. Many people can identify a good design, but they don’t know what makes the difference.
Most people are not looking at an anime blog and thinking: That website has well-matched serif and sans-serif fonts and a nice usage of white space!
Nope. Only designers think that.
In most cases people just feel like there is something good about it. Maybe it’s that eye-catching font or maybe that vibrant color, but they never actually know for sure.
There is something more to good design than making it just look right.
Because you can design your anime blog according to all the major design rules with surgical precision … and people may still not like it.
Form, Function, and Feel
Good design is not just how the blog looks; it’s how it works.
Yet a good design is also not a machine. There is no simple code base or recipe for a good design. You can’t program it, generate it, or somehow automate the process.
That’s why your design needs something more.
In order to create a blog design that links, we need it to reach new levels of interaction with our audience.
1. Design For People
Your blog’s design creates a first impression with your viewers, and you want to make their interaction with your site as human-friendly as possible. Nobody wants to be greeted and instructed by a robot.
Making your blog human-centered means making it easy to use and not making people guess what they are supposed to do next. It means that you focus your design around people’s actions and how your visitors expect your website to work for them.
You can improve user experience on your blog by easily solving common problems that would otherwise take your visitors’ time to figure out.
The most common problems that I find on poorly designed anime blogs when I do my daily filtering:
“Is it clickable?”
All elements that need interaction with a user should be clearly visible or stand out in some way. Links and buttons should at least be marked in a different color than the rest of the body content.
“Where am I?”
Visitors will feel lost on your blog when your design layout is not consistent. When people don’t know where to go, they’ll always find the exit.
You can’t move the navigation or change the layout too often between pages. You should use common patterns throughout the entire blog so your visitors can learn your blog’s interface.
Consistency is one of the most important aspects of a well-designed anime blog.
“I can’t read it!”
Is your content easy to read? If not, your text may be too small or the color contrast between the background and text color may not be clear enough.
Remember that you design your blog’s typography for the human eye.
If your targeted audience is a little older, you need to make your typography even bigger and add more contrast. You should focus on your audience’s needs; don’t worry if it doesn’t look aesthetic to you anymore.
Take some time to get to know your typical visitors and study their behavior on your blog. Find their common questions and problems, and try to solve them.
Make sure your blog is usable by visitors that matter to you. Forget about making your design flat or using fancy colors if it’s not working for your people.
2. Design To Invoke Emotions
Emotions have a big influence on most of our decisions. Therefore, we can’t ignore emotions when designing blogs.
It all matters when it comes to people’s feelings. By using specific fonts, shapes, icons, photos, or colors you can affect the way people feel about your content and create a good experience for them.
You can see big professional brands using this all the time in their work, just look at companies like Apple or Starbucks.
Design is definitely one of the main factors in Apple’s success. Apple spends a lot of time and money making sure their products look sleek, sexy, and modern.
It’s also not just the way the product looks, but how it works and feels when you use it. Most Apple products have smooth, nice-to-touch surfaces and consistent rounded corners. It feels good, right?
So, how can you use emotional design?
Give your blog a soul.
Choose one emotion you want people to feel about your blog and content and then focus on it and be consistent.
Do you want your anime blog to be on the light-hearted, humorous side? Then use joyful colors, smooth shapes, funny characters, and combine it with light jokes all over the place.
But let’s say you’re running a blog that’s more analytical. You may want to make your design sleek and modern while using a strong color like red.
You wouldn’t want to use bright pastel colors or Comic Sans font because that would mismatch your design.
Surprise your visitors.
Do you want to get some attention? People remember things better and pay more attention when their feelings are associated with it. Surprise your visitors by making something unexpected but positive.
For example, show a “Thank you” message on a simple action, make interesting parallax scrolling effects, or employ animations when the cursor hovers over some elements.
3. Design For Storytelling
The age of making pages look like airplane dashboards is over. Here at Seasonal Prattle we avoid overusing buttons, widgets, and all the other distractions these day.
Because the new role of blog design is to tell a story – ours being simplicity and fluff free information. This is especially noticeable when you look at our Clarity series.
We use zero pictures outside of the feature picture. The sidebar is extremely minimal (for awhile we fought on even having one) and it’s laid out in either black, a variant of grey or white purely in an effort to diminish it being a distraction.
The actual post itself is the same way. One picture (just the feature) and mostly everything is black and white (much like this blog).
The only part that’s different is the part that counts the most – that being the links. The links are green and pop out among all the black/white/grey on page.
We want our visitors to be able to get right to the information they’re looking for with little hassle and that’s pretty easy when these links stand out so well from the scheme that we set.
So what story does your blog tell? It’s okay if you don’t know, because your blog can tell a story too:
Design a layout that enhances exploring.
Try to keep your page content in a proper narrative and progressive order. Use a simple vertical design for easy visual eye movement and flow.
Divide your content into parts, but make sure there is a clear connection between them. This way your visitors can read it like a real story, with no pause or break.
Also remember to have a good visual balance, both horizontally and vertically. Let your readers’ eyes smoothly move from left to right. If one section is left-hand heavy, make the the other one right-hand focused, and vice versa.
Use various content elements to keep visitors interested.
Make sure your story is interesting. You can use different interactive elements like tabs, sliders, and scrolling animations to keep your users engaged in exploring your website.
Avoid using long and boring paragraphs of text. You can chop them into smaller portions supported with videos, graphics, and illustrations. Or you can introduce some organization and make a bulleted list, which is always easier for the eye to read.
Don’t be afraid to change background colors between the page sections. This allows you to manipulate the balance and can encourage scrolling if the background colors are in a certain order.
Every story has an ending. Make sure you tell your visitors what you want them to do, so people can take the next step.
Make sure the vertical flow of the page leads visitors right to that. You may want to make it more prominent than any other elements, with a headline or button text that looks like a continuation of your story.
So, What Is Your Next Step?
See what I did there?
There is always so much we can do to improve our blog designs. I encourage you to take it one step further. Go deeper behind the scenes.
You can never be wrong by simply taking care of your visitors and improving their experience. Consider their feelings and add more sense to your site content by designing a good story.
What is one simple design change you could make today that would improve your visitors’ experience on your blog? Let me know in the comments below!
How do people recognize good web design when it comes to anime blogs?