February 7, 2007 in Web Usability

Post Blog Usability


The impact of blogs on web usability Is something I am noticing constantly. Firstly lets all agree that the most frequented websites on the Internet are blogs, and secondly lets agree that blogs are here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. The impact that blogs have had on personal publishing and news distribution has been phenomenal but the lasting impact in the post-blog Internet will change web usability and web design forever.

Web Usability

There are probably many different ways to determine web usability, from people with many more letters behind their names than me but I like to think of it as the way that we naturally use the web. This means how we interact with websites and what cognitive processes we naturally go through to use websites.

Thinking aloud

Cognitive processes are made up of skill sets, the more times you perform the human computer interaction the more robust the skill set. So as average Joe surfs the net and uses the most in-vogue websites which of course are blogs, the simple navigation and predictable layouts mean their skill sets for browsing the Internets many blogs have grown.

Blog-Quality

People are used to browsing well designed templates that blogger and word press amongst overs provide for free and users now expect a similar layout with obvious navigation, a very friendly and responsive browsing experience with vast user communication, meaning a website has to have at least one form of easy dynamic interaction with its users.

Raising the bar

The average blog has a 2 column layout usually made up of a content and sidebar. A sidebar on the right seems the most popular layout method and all blog layouts seem to handle white space very well indeed. I think for the majority of designers the impact of blogs has raised the bar as far as web usability is concerned.

User Expectations

Users now expect an updated website with fresh content, if average Joe Blogosphere can keep fresh content on his old p3 machine and a blogger account, a small to medium company with real funding and expected ROI from blog and Internet marketing should have wonderful content. Users also expect user interaction features, at least a comments section and maybe latest news or events and again this should be up-to-date. Users are also now used to having well categorized information, so navigation and page structure are now expected. I would even go as far to say that blogs have made the about, contact and Even archives / index page mandatory. The impact of blogs is unmeasurable, and its only just starting, imagine what the Myspace generation of webusers expect from our websites next! – Their teenage websites were featured packed and interaction and media driven.


About Anthony

Anthony Brewitt is Design Bit, has been for years - he's an experienced WordPress Designer, and Muggle-born Marketing Philosopher. Let’s talk about your website; your marketing, blog design, and that cool new mobile web thingy. Contact Anthony

6 Responses to Post Blog Usability

  1. I think part of the blog-explosion is due to ease uf use and simple setups. This means that today pretty much anyone can publish anything they like with little or no web design experience, whereas several years ago people either needed to learn HTML and update pages manually, or hire a web-designer.
    Admitedlly most blogs do adhere to a modest simple layout with an emphasis on written content, which is a great thing, as most designers will agree “content is king”.
    Whilst there are many well written and often interesting blogs out there today, there are however many not so good blogs with people simply writing mundane day by day diary entries for the world to see. Now its not really for me to say what is interesting to others and whats not, but with blogging bocoming so easy to do that anyone can set one up, there is a minefield of crap out there.
    Still, back to the subject in hand. Blogs have certainly changed the web publishing landscape for the better, and for the forseeable future, although personally I feel the simple layouts and usability is more of a general web trend (evolution) than a trait directly descending from blogging – I think the 2 just happened to conincide at the same time.
    One things for sure, blogging IS here to stay, especially with the likes of WordPress on the scene, and a wealth of people keen to publish there own opinions freely (be they interesting, mundane, or corporate ramblings).

  2. @ Vinny, I do agree that there is alot of crap out there. I think the biggest change is probabably the fact that users can update and manage content so easily on blogs that this exspectation ha filtered through to other types of website, gone are the days of html editing, whether this is a good thing or not I am not sure, In a way we are shooting ourselves in te foot.

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  5. Great post. I’m expecting more user activity and social bookmarking to be integrated into all blogs in the future so that there are more than just comments.

  6. Blog explosion is a positive trend showing the interest of people ever ready to talk about and share what they have found interesting. The user friendly atmosphere makes people feel free to comment on and revisit the site and explore even more. And BLOGGING is defintly to stay for LONG.

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