The Blog Critique #04: The Look & Feel Of Your Blog

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the blog critique | 04

took two weeks off to refuel and refresh my creative juices but now it’s thursday.. and thursdays are blog critique days. and like i always say, it’s never too late to submit your blogs for the blog critique so keep them coming. tell one of your blogger friends about it. spread the word.

3LilApples.com
family + parenting blog

amanda has been blogging about pregnancy, parenting, beauty and health on blogger since 2009. she has even dabbled with design having designed most of the elements on her family blog today. having followed a few of the blog critiques, amanda submitted her blog in hopes of finding out just how her blog looks and appeals to others. is it convenient? is all the information easily accessible? most importantly, does the blog look appealing? well amanda, you’ve come to the right place!

the good

when first arriving on your page i appreciate how you’ve incorporated your graphics — it’s not too overwhelming; it doesn’t have me exiting immediately. i have a clear sense of where things are and can easily access other pages and all your social networks. love your little bio excerpt. it gives first time readers a chance to instantly learn a little about the voice of the blog so kudos! i’m also a fan at your use of icons to help readers navigate to specific topics if needed.

you didn’t raise many concerns. you are more worried about how your blog looks and appeals to others. honestly, you have a lot of great things going on. let’s just talk about some things you can do to better your blog’s design.

the solutions

+ consider simplifying your header. at the current moment the header image is competing with the background since the same pattern is used. not to mention the pattern makes your blog title a little hard to read as it gets lost within the busy print. i would suggest one of two things: removing it completely or turning the opacity down drastically. like 10-20% where it’s a faint gray but you can still make out the pattern and most importantly, see the blog title.

+ simplify your colors in the sidebar. for the most part i see that your color scheme is a mint green, a coral and a yellow color. i would probably stick with the coral as a primary color to use on the sidebar titles and remove the yellow to coral gradient altogether. as design trends are constantly changing, old trends like gradients and drop shadows can make things seem a little dated. you’ll be surprised how cleaner everything starts to fill with a solid color. especially those awesome icons.

+ make sure you make your photos the same width as your content. if your content space allows for 600px, then all your pictures should have a minimum width of 600px. it will just help things look neater in the long run.

+ consider making your sidebar one column instead of two. having three column blogs can at times make everything look a little cluttered. i would consider moving everything into one column and maybe making the column a little smaller — like 250-300px so you have some ample space between your sidebar and your content.

the overall critique

overall, you have a lot of great things going on here. you have a fun family blog and your design definitely shows that. aside from the suggestions i made above, i would also suggest maybe eventually switching over to wordpress.org to allow you more freedom with things such as SEOs or adding cool plugins. the major things you’ll want to do you for your blog while still using blogger is fixing up your header so it no longer competes with the background and maybe making your sidebar slightly smaller so it allows for some breathing space on the page. well, that wraps it for this week’s blog critique. amanda, hopefully i was able to provide the insight and some tips you were looking for! i’ll love to see where you take your blog from here!

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