Does the design of your book review blog really matter? How do the color and images of your blog represent who you are as a reviewer? How does blog design affect how your "clients" perceive your skills and abilities as a reviewer? How did you design your book review blog, and what impression are you hoping to make by the choices you made?
It does to me. I really hate blogs with dark backgrounds with light or neon text, it just hurts my eyes and seems juvenile most of the time. Another thing is clutter, when blogs have a billion widgets and badges, it's just messy and overwhelming.
Another pet peeve is when the main column is tiny (more common on bloggers).
Other things I look for is "about" pages and archives (like what if I want to see a specific type of post), organization, if those are missing than I don't think the blog is as well thought out as it should be.
I have a wordpress blog so I can't customize it as much without paying for the services.
I will still look around the blog but these are real turn offs. I'm just picky. :D
Of course design matters.
For example, if you got some fancy shmancy curvy font on your blog there is a good chance that many people won't bother reading it, or if you have many graphics which is difficult to load or too many animated GIFs
I do have opinions about blog designs. I like them to be easy to read and be organized so I don't get confused trying to find what I'm looking for/at. I also like to see an appropriate theme to it that reflects what do.
Personally, I do a romance review blog so I stuck with reds, hearts, roses and such. I like how it turned out and others have commented that it's cute, so I'm not alone in that thought. I think you should just make it easy to use/read and make you smile whenever you see it.
"It makes me smile every time I look at it."
I like that! That's what my blog does to me too. It's a good, satisfying feeling, isn't it?
Same here. I prefer to read user friendly uncluttered blogs with two columns, a wide main column, large font, light background/darker text, easy to navigateand and no flashy things or music.
So yes, design matters because I won't follow a blog that isn't easy on the eyes. But on the other hand, a completely sterile blog is blah--- so little tasteful touches of personality to stand out of the crowd and attract a reader's attention is important.
My bookish blog is not a review blog-- it is about all things books/reading and is inspired by a note written in 1951 that I found in an old book. The design reflects my penchant for user friendly uncluttered blogs. And I hope the Welcome blurb, about page and vintage roses border lets visitors quickly know that Mrs. BG is a cozy quirky chatty sort of blog.
Well, I just set mine up. I find that a ton of different buttons, links, etc are a little overwhelming to me. However I like it when people personalize their blogs. I happen to have put a personal friiends spacescape art on mine because I just love spacescapes.
I think that the content of the blog is more important than the fancy "paint job" put on it though.
With so many professionally-created, free themes out there, it's a shame to find blogs that AREN'T well-designed. Tumblr has some GREAT ones, as does Wordpress. There are a lot of Blogger ones that I just don't care for, though.
Some things I look for, from a purely aesthetic standpoint: use of only a few colors that match well, headers that aren't too tall (you shouldn't have to scroll down to get to the start of the content), and an uncluttered sidebar. I usually like to see an About Me page, too, so I know what kind of reviews to expect (since those are the main kind of book blogs I read).