My blog design

Creating my blog
As a perfectionist, I wanted to make sure that my COETAIL blog looked decent before I unveiled it to the world (and wrote my first post). I first chose a color palette that was appealing to me using Adobe’s Kuler. After picking my WordPress theme, I passed my palette on to my husband who created my header in Photoshop. I love that my header has a little bit of my personality in it! I then changed my professional blog so that the two looked nearly identical.

Another look
After reading this week’s articles, I took a closer look at my blog. Although it is appealing to me, I didn’t love the organization of my right side-bar widgets. I took Brandon Jones’ advice and did some moving around. I’ve tried to clean up the side-bar and make it a little less overwhelming. You can compare the screenshots below to what it is now. (On the left was the top section, on the right was the bottom section. Unfortunately I lost the middle section that contained a tag & category cloud).

Coetail side bar 1                                             Coetail side bar 3

My ideal blog layout…
Speaking of side-bars…there are some other things I’d like over there. Instead of a text link to my other blog, I’d really like to have icons for my other blogs, twitter, diigo and linkedin. I really like the look of icon links instead of text (thanks to Beth for sharing the article!). After reading the article from Slate, I would also like more control over the font of the page.

Guest Blogging
Before reading the week one material, I had written a rather lengthy guest blog post (I compiled a few posts I had written on my other blog). Although I wasn’t able to make it too much shorter, I did decide to break up the sections (similar to what I’m doing with this post).

What do YOU think?
I believe it is most important what my readers think. I want my blog to show my personality while still appealing to the readers. I would love if you completed the ‘Exercise to Test Visual Hierarchy‘ in the comments!

  1. List the key information points that you are seeking.
  2. Assign values (1-10) according to their importance.
  3. Now, look at the actual design again.
  4. Assign values (1-10) according to the actual visual importance as you see it in the live design.
  5. Consider: Does the expected importance match up with the actual designed importance?

Thank you! 🙂

3 comments

  1. Jeff Utecht · September 9, 2013

    Like the new colorful layout and sidebar. Not sure you need both “Recent Posts” and the calendar of recent post widget. Personally I never really understood that calendar as it just marks the days you that you posted blogs.

    Glad to see the CC License moved to the footer so it shows up on every page seeing that in this theme the sidebar does not show on single blog posts.

    Like

  2. Julie Lemley · September 15, 2013

    Hi Lissa,
    I love the deep purple color of your blog and your header. I think it provides nice contrast to the white middle column with all the content. I really like that the first link you have in your sidebar is your professional blog, it’s really nice to be able to see what you do in your classes and your readers get to learn more about you personally and as a teacher. I agree with Jeff on the calendar and recent posts. I also like that the sidebar is a good mix of visuals and text. Lastly, I really like that your two blogs follow the same theme. It is your “brand” and people know that both of these blogs are yours. I need to consider this for my blogs.

    Like

    • Lissa Layman · September 16, 2013

      Thanks for the praise Julie! I just took your and Jeff’s advice and nixed the calendar 🙂

      Like

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