Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Irritating

There's a new template that a couple of my favorite blogs are using (e.g., Confessions of a Pioneer Woman), and I HATE IT. I hate it enough that I may stop reading both of them, to my loss. The template makes it more difficult to discern what is new content, more difficult for me to find the parts of the websites that I enjoy reading, and just plain more difficult to look at because I keep the bookmarks sidebar open and this template fills the whole screen, so I'd have to scroll over as well as down to see all the content.

The design is similar to a newspaper's front page, with several headline stories arranged horizontally and vertically that you have to click through to read. I don't understand the appeal, really: newspapers are supposed to be dying, not infecting the World Wide Web with their antiquated layout.

Please don't switch to that template, oh authors of blogs I adore. Please, I beg you.

4 comments:

nicola said...

So do you think it's just a function of the layout, i.e. essentially bad design, or do you think it's a design put to inappropriate use? I'm asking because I'm mulling a total redesign of www.nicolagriffith.com and I'm dithering between all the varieties out there...

Kai Jones said...

I think it's bad design. Although it might be easier to read if you're accustomed to reading graphic novels, and breaking the left-to-right, top-to-bottom style of plain text. But graphic novels are static (on each page), not changing; the human brain notices novelty, but I can't pick out what is new when so much of the content changes each time I view the page. It's just chaos afresh.

Two or at most three vertical columns are easy (for me) to follow and allow for a lot of stylistic creativity, along with providing a recurring geographic space in the layout for new or highlighted content.

Artistically the balance of the particular pages in question offends me; they're not symmetrical, but they're also not balancing the white space and text and pictures and typestyles and colors into a harmonious whole.

Stef said...

You didn't ask for advice, but I'm wondering if reading those blogs via an RSS feed might give you the new content in a more accessible form. (I agree about the design flaws. I despise most 3-column and more layouts of web pages. Web pages are not newspapers, dammit.

Kai Jones said...

That's a great idea!