March 18, 2013

Book Blogger Confessions (#2) - Sidebar RANT

Book Blogger Confessions returns and will come again in April! This is my inaugural meme that posts the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, where book bloggers "confess" and vent about topics that are unique to us. Feel free to share, vent and offer solutions (politely).

Hosted by For What It's Worth and Midnyte Reader
What is important in design for the blogs you follow? What features/elements do you appreciate? What are big turn off's?

...Appearance. You've seen this blog, right? Obviously design isn't something I focus on (apart from the GIF's of course- just check out my reviews)! At least I don't think it is...
The only important thing is there can't be too much in the sidebars and if the sidebars are too wide or things from the sidebars overlap into the main blog it just looks sloppy. I like sidebars that understand that less is more. I quite frankly will not look for something specific in sidebars like GFC if I think I'll end up scrolling almost endlessly. Perhaps the sidebars won't be an issue... GFC isn't at the bottom? Thank heavens.
I'm going to overlook things which just... are so random. I appreciate the automated scroll thing that some bloggers use to display a range of other blog buttons (you can find out how to do it here (caffeinated book reviewer). But blog buttons aside, what else do see shoved into the sidebar (please say they are in sidebar/footer... You put them all into the header? Ugh!)
(Key: Œ = less than 1 but not always necessary |  = equal OR more than 0 |  ü = great (if numbers are specified I mean within those limits, it means I like it concise!) | û = not useful | MD = most disliked point)

1. Social networking buttons or buttons that say stuff like ‘tweet me’ than link to the place where you can do said thing (it’s not common for them to be like mine but hey...)
ü   MD - Google+ (especially when it's a substitute of a blogger about me or account... don't advertise that bigger than any others... unfortunately it often is!)

2. Buttons/lists with links to recent/important posts/pages (includes blog archive but I also like specific to certain posts lists/buttons)
ü should link to approx.  (give/take- but no long label lists please!) MD - too many labels (best to add buttons for main ones- you can click via post to see a label if it matters!)

3. Guide to ratings
ü MD - it being more than half way down probably annoys me...

4. Groups/challenges a blog is part of/participating in
ü  MD - massive, not thumbnails (more likely to overlap into main blog unless sidebars are really wide!)

5. Polls
ü Ž MD - also don't like these to be buried- how can you get votes?

6. Blog search tools
ü  MD - it doesn't need to be there from start, best on big blogs otherwise may not be utilized

7. Following stuff.
ü ③ MD -  Wordpress. No Follow simply :P Don't talk to me about the google issues. If I stick my fingers in my ears it'll be no issue?

8. Shelves/books (ie. Currently reading)
ü MD -   if more than one I like it to look like the goodreads embedding things- you don't need to embed, obviously, all your shelves on goodreads?)

9. Stats for the blog
 (sometimes better in footer! It fits more there & I like it more... just me?)  MD - big graphs, more into maps if anything...

10. Comment/tweets/statutes etc. shown
ü  MD - too much irrelevance.

û ❷ MD - BIG FONT.

12. 'Team ... ' graphics (and series graphics)
û MD - the amount... Normally blogs have lots or none.

13. Ads (including book ads)
Ž MD - add it on everything ever. Ugh... per book = Amazon, Book Depository & if you want to support local bookstore that too. Don't advertise loads of randomness or books everywhere, authors or not.

...That pretty much brings a close to the list of pros & cons of stuff in the footer/sidebar. What is important also is the header... I can tell you the same applies to headers as covers... People judge by the headers in part. Especially as that is where the blog name goes. Before you click onto a blog you'll have seen the name often... If it's lengthy or easy to overlook (I like an inbetween, awkward I know) I'm unlikely to follow... Unless of course it's a follow/follow in which case you're unlikely to bother me even if the header doesn't fit onto the laptop screen because it's so large (I obviously care about appearance).
I have no problems with following others in return- if they look like a nice book blog (I look at the content as I've mentioned) I'm likely to click that follow button as quick as lightning... Just make sure that I can find GFC there!... Sorry wordpress!

Hope this helps (:


Karen said...

I don't like messy sidebars. I'm always tweaking mine because they can get out of hand without you even realizing it.

Julie@My5monkeys said...

I love making it easy to find and being able to use all the icons and love GFC too.

Midnyte Reader said...

I will often put an event at the top of my sidebar, but once the event is over, I delete it. I try to put the important stuff at the top.

Trish Hannon said...

Interesting comments Amy. Header, yea I know, I need to get one! Bad blogger :D I have been looking just not successfully!
Stats as the footer, good idea.
You've given me lots to think about, so thanks :)
Oh and I like your black and white blog, it feels distinctive.

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