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Chapter 4. Designing for Readers > Essential Features

Essential Features

No matter what type of blog you are developing, there are core features you'll want to make available to the people who visit. These essential items will help you gain more visibility and ensure that your visitors can find everything they're looking for.

Features Affect Design

Good blog design focuses on providing useful content to visitors in a format that they can navigate easily. Readers want to understand very quickly who you are and what you have to say. They want to read recent posts, comment if they can, check your archives for other interesting information, link to your posts, and get your RSS feed. They don't expect to be confronted with complex menu systems or a Flash movie demo of your latest doodad.

Even though more and more Web sites today include multimedia features, many studies strongly suggest that people surfing the Web are not interested in animated interactive gadgetry. In 2003, the Pew Internet & American Life Project conducted a survey of several thousand Internet users and concluded that Web surfers are focused on looking for answers to specific questions, or are gathering research about products and services when they go online. Therefore, it's a smart move to focus on providing quality information. Anything that doesn't contribute directly to that end is best eliminated.


Note

The features that we will discuss in this chapter are available in somewhat different forms in all of the major blogging software. We'll go into the different software options available to you in Chapter 5, “Tools and Implementation.”


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