Not only do I write a blog, I read a lot of them too. I look at all sorts of blogs and sites every day, and one thing keeps getting my attention. Very few of these sites or blogs have any personality.
I actually have a hard time remembering what blog or site I read things on because there’s rarely anything distinctive about any of them. They all look the same. Every blog looks like every other blog and you can’t tell one from the other. The internet is awash in right-sidebar bearing white sites that lack any originality whatsoever. It’s boring and kind of annoying.
This blog, well, it’s pretty obvious that I threw the “rules” out the window. You know my site when you see it. That blue, spacey looking site is definitively mine. You’re not going to confuse any other site with this one, and when you land on one of my pages you’ll know where you are before ever reading a word. I like that. A lot. My site stands out and is going to stick in the minds of people who come here.
Unfortunately though, most people out there are following the “rules” that say your site needs to be plain and easy to read and fit in with the crowd. This site is easy-to-read and very functional, but it doesn’t fit in. Why would you want to? Just because someone out there said so? Would you really rather have a site that looks like every other and is totally unmemorable, or have one that people will easily recognize and remember? I’d rather be remembered than blend in and be forgotten.
I think people should give their blogs and sites personality. Make them interesting. Yes, make sure they’re easy to read and functional, but make them stand out from the crowd. I want to know your site at a glance. It will make me remember you. And just for the record, for a lot of us, those stark, hospital white sites are really hard to read. Especially when you use a small font that forces me to jack up the zoom to 150% in my browser. Having no visual distinction between your sidebars and main content is annoying too. Break it up so I know what’s what.
Sometimes I think even a bad design is better than a plain one. I have a friend who has some of the ugliest sites I’ve ever seen, but at least I know them when I see them. I remember them. Memorability is pretty damn important when you’re on the internet trying to make it alongside millions or maybe billions of other sites.