Information(data) is the most important reason of existence for the Internet. On our daily web tasks, all we do is interact with information: search, read, write, share etc. But in order to achieve a proper level of interaction, the information should be displayed in a pleasant visual way for the user. This is where design and user interfaces come and help the viewer.
In this blog post we will analyze various sites and the way they display their information. To be more specific, we will analyze blogs and how blog posts components are displayed. We will see how some blogs deal with the following blog post components: title, date, comments, author and images.
For this post we’ve made a selection of about 50 blogs that are quite visible and important in the blogging area. We’ve selected blogs from the news area like Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, Gizmodo; also blogs from the design area like: Alistapart, SmashingMagazine, CSS Globe; but we’ve also selected individual blogs like Matt Mullenweg, Jeff Croft, Jason Santa Maria. As you can see we wanted to have diversity in our list of blogs so that we can see what elements are important and how to emphasize them.
1. Strong Blog Titles
Titles are mostly for describing in few words the content, but they have visual importance as well. In many cases the typographic style helps in separating one blog post from another. There are also cases where the title has less visual impact than it should. Regarding our analysis, we’ve noticed that most of the designs have big headings that are emphasized and distinctive from the rest of the article. These types of headings can be found on 85% of our blogs. There are also blog titles that have a small font-size – 15%.
2. Visible Date
The Date element can be found on 95% of our blogs list. Over 70% of the blog posts have the date element placed in the header. This is clear that the user wants to be informed from the start about the posting time.
The visual representation of the date can differ from blog to blog. Most of them have a simple text without any additional graphic elements. Still there are blogs that have emphasized the date with various element.
3. Emphasized Comments
Easy access to comments is a great feature in blogs. That’s because comments can drive traffic. Users tend to read posts that have many comments rather than fewer. In this way a community is build around that site.
Like date elements, comments are often decorated with graphic elements like balloons, speech bubbles etc. According to our analysis, 90% of the blogs have information related to comments on the first page. The major site that hasn’t this feature is Alistapart. Here are some styles for the comments info:
4. Author Name
In over 60% of our blogs the author is displayed. This percentage is somehow normal, because the blogs that are powered by one person don’t have the author displayed in most of the cases. Regarding the design, sometimes the picture of the author is attached near the article. But, most of the time a simple text is enough for the user to know who the author is.
There are also singular cases like Mashable and Creative Bits that have both the picture and the text.
5. Relevant Images
Images are very important to blogs. Images can attract the user and make him more comfortable with the article. The importance of images can be seen also in our analysis. Over 60% of the blogs have big images displayed inside posts. There are also blogs without images like CSS Globe or blogs with small images like ReadWriteWeb. In fact most of the news related sites have smaller images compared to design related ones.
To recap here is what we know about blog posts:
– 85% of the blogs have big headings
– 95% of the blogs have the date displayed
– 70% of the blogs have the date displayed in the header of the post
– 90% of the blogs have comments info displayed
– 60% of the blogs have the author displayed
– 60% of the blogs have big images
Below we will showcase some of the most interesting designs of blogs. We will display also samples of blog posts that are not part of our blog list. This is simply to show you the different ways a blog post can be stylized.
The bottom line is that your articles must benefit at maximum from your design. Emphasizing the most important elements like title, comments, date, images and author can help you a lot in creating a stronger image for your blog. So polish the design, emphasize these elements and write good quality posts.