Usability tips for bloggers

Lisa Herrod

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:

  1. Pick a topic for your blog
  2. Encourage comments
  3. Make it easy to subscribe
  4. Include an About page
  5. Present your ideas visually
  6. Keep posts short and to the point
  7. Use subheadings for long posts
  8. Link abundantly
  9. Make headlines descriptive
  10. Archive by topic
  11. Include a list of related posts beneath each post
  12. Allow users to contact you offline
  13. Present your real viewpoint
  14. Write for your future employer
  15. Include a Top Posts section
  16. Provide an index
  17. Get your own URL and match it to your blog’s title
  18. Include a Recent Posts section in your sidebar
  19. Reward commenters for commenting
  20. 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!