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Blog layout: Are we that ugly?


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October 28, 2005

Blog layout: Are we that ugly?

Stephen Baker

Kevin O'Keefe says our new RSS buttons are hard to find and that our blog lay-out is an eyesore.

BusinessWeek is read by business leaders and innovators across the country. You're thought leaders. If that's that case, you ought to look the role. I know coming from a large corporation it's not always easy getting what you want but you should - you need to have a nice looking blog template. It could be done with the same navigation scheme you have now with the main BusinessWeek site as well as the ads. But it could really be cleaned up and presented nicely.

Tell me it ain't so.

07:18 AM

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Tracked on November 19, 2005 11:39 PM

Ha - unfortunately he may have a point...

Posted by: Anu at October 28, 2005 08:04 AM

Sorry Stephen, he's right. The web feeds are too far down the page to be fully accessible, and the endless links are far too heavy. Occasionally, the popover ads are maddening. It's like Business Week is desperate for money. As if!

But I don't want to be too downbeat, so I'll just say, all of that is offset by the quality, relevance and style of the blogging ^_^

Posted by: John (Syntagma Media) at October 28, 2005 08:29 AM

Not ugly, traditional. The blog looks like a mainstream media (MSM) page. It lacks the usability of many pure blogs because it is busy looking like Businessweek.

It certainly would be possible to integrate the company's graphic identity into a blog and still have greater usability.

You might start by giving us a choice of getting search results that include articles from the magazine, or not.

Posted by: BL Ochman at October 28, 2005 08:30 AM

I tend to agree that the RSS feeds should be a little more prominent but as far as an ugly site ... uhhh ... maybe Kevin should look his blog in a mirror.

A lot of blogs are just plain butt ugly as they all use the same tired, standard templates. And what's with blogs like Oem Malik's where the text sits right against the left edge of the browser with no margin. How in the world doe that compute. Or Doc Searls where he quotes someone and it a skinny 1.5" mile long sliver of text running down the center of the page.

Content may be king but a good presentation doesn't hurt.

Posted by: PXLated at October 28, 2005 08:43 AM

He's right. You site states this: "Use your favorite RSS reader to get the latest BusinessWeek headlines on the topics that interest you delivered to your desktop." and it automatically goes to Feedemon. Um, I use bloglines.

BTW, most blogs have too much techy stuff on them. So, you're not alone.

Posted by: Ken Leebow at October 28, 2005 09:32 AM

I agree. Very poorly designed for the content involved, and the status of the site.

Posted by: David at October 28, 2005 10:40 AM

...as far as an ugly site ... uhhh ... maybe Kevin should look his blog in a mirror.

You're right but you should know that Airbag Industries is on the job.

BTW, most blogs have too much techy stuff on them. So, you're not alone.

There's no excuse for a blog to look NASCAR. Content is king and links bring bling, but too much of both is nothing but noise.

Posted by: Greg Storey at October 28, 2005 12:51 PM

So if I mention that Blogspotting is ugly will you also throw some link love my way? :-)

Seriously, I've never noticed that your blog is ugly. The feed buttons should be a little higher and there are some other minor annoyances, but I'm only noticing them because I'm looking for them now. The sidebar content isn't obtrusive as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by: Fritz at October 28, 2005 02:01 PM

I keep forgetting people actually look at weblogs. (Just joking.) However, as my primary interaction with this or any other weblog is via their RSS feed, I can go weeks (months) without looking at the actual blog. It's just when I want to comment on something, that I visit. And now that I'm here, I don't get the "it looks like a media site" feeling. Looks more like a slightly hacked movable type template to me. Don't change anything.

Posted by: Rex Hammock at October 28, 2005 02:17 PM

I think the blog looks like a blog - which is good. However, I agree that the RSS link is too far down the right - it should be visible without the requirement to scroll.

Posted by: Chris Hamoen at October 28, 2005 02:54 PM

Your blog is clean and that is one of the things I like about it. Leave it alone.

Posted by: Jonathan at October 28, 2005 11:21 PM

your blog is cool,I think a blog should have a simple look.

Posted by: victor at October 29, 2005 02:26 PM

Your blog looks like a pretty standard blog to me and that's the way it should be. As for the RSS feeds I usually look for them at the bottom of the right hand column which is exactly where yours are. If you start messing with the design, moving things into places they wouldn't normally be, readers have to learn a new way of interacting with your blog. It becomes difficult for them and they turn off.

Posted by: Adam Christie at November 1, 2005 05:34 AM

It's not ugly. You just need to use a more readable Font such as Verdana or Arial. A litte bit of color on the left bar doesn't hurt....

Oh yeah, and a bigger button for your RSS feed...

Posted by: A Web Designer at December 17, 2005 10:11 AM


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