Now this is an article that grabbed my attention straight away!
Often when I think about web usability and usability heuristics I think about it from a commercial perspective. I think about my clients and the type of sites I would normally work on: Finance, government, retail, travel, telco’s… you get the picture. But one genre I haven’t considered in much detail is the blog.
Tom Johnson has just published a really useful and well researched article on his blog, I’d rather be writing. The post, entitled Twenty Usability Tips for Your Blog — Condensed from Dozens of Bloggers’ Experiences really does cover a lot of ground.
I’ll leave it for you to take a look at the post yourself, but in summary his 20 tips are:
- Pick a topic for your blog
- Encourage comments
- Make it easy to subscribe
- Include an About page
- Present your ideas visually
- Keep posts short and to the point
- Use subheadings for long posts
- Link abundantly
- Make headlines descriptive
- Archive by topic
- Include a list of related posts beneath each post
- Allow users to contact you offline
- Present your real viewpoint
- Write for your future employer
- Include a Top Posts section
- Provide an index
- Get your own URL and match it to your blog’s title
- Include a Recent Posts section in your sidebar
- Reward commenters for commenting
- Post often
Let me tell you, if you haven’t already noticed ;), I struggle with the last one and it’s something I’m working on at the moment :)
This is a really great list of tips that most of us will be able to work with immediately; many of them you’re probably already doing… But it’s a great check-list to identify ways of improving your blog further.
Think about printing out the points above and sticking them on the wall next to your desk…. I know that’s what I’ll be doing!