Make it Simple: Thoughts from a Blogger, a Designer, and a Developer

[tentblogger-vimeo 17926420]

[Tom McFarlin, a gifted developer, and Jared Erickson, a very talented designer, give a few thoughts as it relates to blog design and development.]

You’ve heard me say it before and you’ll hear me say it again: Your challenge as you build your blogs from the ground up is to maintain a level of simplicity in your design, the information architecture, and the back-end code.


Adding too much bloat will create confusion in your readers and slow the flow of information as well as practical load times!

For many of you this will be a subtle reminder of what you already know, but I’m constantly reminded that most people are not familiar with the power of simplicity as it relates to blog design and development!

Even many of your blogs that are linked from here in the comments are a little too busy for me (and your visitors).

Let’s encourage each other to keep it simple!

  • Brian Notess

    Da Vinci… slash Steve Jobs

    Brilliant! I love simple sites. Unfortunately I have clients and bosses who always want more “flash” or “pop”.

    I try to keep “flash” and “pop” out of the code and put it in images and graphics if I can.

    That’s my strategy.

    • John Saddington

      like popped collars.

  • Dave ©

    Simple is hard to achieve without taking the time to really think things through.

    I think I’ve figured out a way to keep to five categories when I re-launch my video site.

    BTW…another completely random comment…have you considered propping up your laptop when you shoot your videos to show yourself closer to eye level? Or are you intentionally going for that “intimidating, looking down upon you” look?

    • Joshua Chase

      That’s funny only because I’ve thought the same thing, just never asked it… :)

      • John Saddington

        i typically don’t do that, right?

    • John Saddington

      i didn’t mean to! sad. i’ll try better!

  • Randy Kinnick

    lol…I’ve noticed the looking down issue with my own videos as well. I think it’s about time to do another vlog post.

    • John Saddington

      doh! sorry.

      • Randy Kinnick

        No need to apologize…I just saying I do the same thing when I record a video. It comes from sitting it on my lap or on a low table. It isn’t intentional, but I will try to make sure my laptop is at a higher level next time I record so I have a more eye-level view.

        • John Saddington

          i typically don’t do that… this was a bit off-the-cuff.

  • Craig Allen

    I disagree that “all a newspaper is, is typography”. The newspapers I read have a huge image that takes up about 80% of the “above the fold” part of the front page. Also, many articles have an image that goes along with it, big or small.

    • John Saddington

      i hope you can believe that we were being a bit facetious…! :)

      • Craig Allen

        Sorry, I completely missed that. Went right over my head. I’m an idiot.

        • John Saddington

          eh. not your fault. it was off-the-cuff anyways. :0

  • Mary DeMuth

    I wonder how you balance an aesthetic need for beauty with over-simplicity. I know my site probably is too heavy graphically, but I love the design, and I get lots of compliments. Website grader gave it a 99, so I must be doing something right.

    • John Saddington

      i honestly don’t think yours is too heavy graphically at all actually. i like it!