Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Thoughts on Blog Designs

I am no website designer by any means. I think looking at this blog makes that pretty clear. LOL Still, I like this blog design for the Sisters' Weblog.

As I surf many many blogs a day, I see a lot of different and creative designs. Seeing all these colors, banners, buttons, lines, shapes, fonts, plug-ins, blogrolls, profiles, and icons, I started wondering if people can learn anything about a blog's author, not from reading posts, but by examining blog design. As readers, do we make suppositions about the author simply through what we see in the blog's design?

I notice some blogs (Drama Queen's Guide to Life, Mystickal Insense Blog, Mommy's Busy...Take a Number!) have these really interesting modern "art-deco", cartoon looking characters in the header of their blog. I wonder if these characters are representative of the author? Do they share some physical resemblance at all, like in a caricature? Did they design these sites or have a professional designer build it from scratch for the author? I really find these type of designs interesting and nice.

Some bloggers opt to stick with the generic templates, possibly with minor tweaks, offered by whatever blog software they choose to use (My Opinion on Sports, i On Global Trends, Jazz Coffee). I wonder sometimes if they chose a template because it matches their taste? Or maybe they figure they can use it as a "launch" pad and learn how to tweak it to their taste later? That's kind of what I like to do. Or, maybe the look of the blog isn't as important to them as the content they can share on it?

Some authors have these wonderfully magnificent, visually stunning pictures or interesting artwork that immediately capture a reader's attention (One Man Bandwidth, Nature's Artwork, This is Not the Life I Pictured). Obviously these banners/headers are very cool. They are nice to look at and work very well to get a surfer's attention, probably enough so to hang around a read an entry or two. I wonder, are these author's feeling more "pressure" to write outstanding posts to live up to any expectations their blog design commands? Why did they choose that picture/artwork? Does it represent them in anyway, or is it just a pretty picture?

Some bloggers have gobs and gobs of things on their blogs; blogrolls, polls, scriptures, music, videos, "blinkies", buttons, weather pixies, clocks, puzzles, ads, etc. I call them "busy" and wonder if this reflects what goes on in the author's life? Some blogs are so simple in design, I can scarcely know anything about the author because there is not even a profile posted. Are these authors shy? hiding?

I'm a simple person, therefore I am partial to simpler designs. This blog demonstrates that with a simple header, a blog and one sidebar. The sidebar contains information pertinent to us, and hopefully if a reader is interested in learning more about the sisters, it is easy to find a quick profile. With some more investigating, it is possible to click on the "+" signs and follow some more links and discover even more things.

The design of the Sisters' Weblog is an important one to me, partially because I've learned a lot in "tweaking" templates and trying to make it "my own". It has been fun playing around with fonts and colors and stuff that is at least representative of myself and my friend Katie. This

"The shadows prove the Sonshine"

design is in green because green is my favorite color. The background design is of shadows. The two figures in the shadows are Katie and me. I took the picture as we were walking along in front of the Marshall County Courthouse in Marshalltown, IA when we were visiting in April 2005. It was such a sunny day and our shadows were so prominent on the sidewalk, I just snapped a quick picture. I played around with the coloring and contrast to make it workable as a background. The header design incorporates the shadows as well and I also included a picture of Katie and me, which, was actually taken in front of the courthouse that day. I cut the courthouse out of the shot and pasted the pic of us on the banner. In the upper right I included the words "the shadows prove the Sonshine" because while shadows are sometimes associated with dark alleys and dark times, in order for there to be a shadow, there must be light. Katie and I are in the Light, and shadows remind us of that.

We are sisters, not in the biological sense, but in the sense that we share a common bond through Jesus Christ. Our faith in Him make us sisters, sisters in Christ. We try to honor God with our lives and through our blog we want to glorify Him. We hope that people stopping by might be blessed by what they learn about us, and what they might learn about Him.

So, sometimes I am just curious as to why a blogger chooses the design that they do? Or why they change it? and why they change it again every week? or why I am sometimes, as the reader, given the choice as to what design I want their blog to be? Why is your blog designed the way it is? How does it represent you? or does it?

No comments:

Post a Comment