My Top Blog Design Mistakes, per Jakob Nielsen

Jakob Nielsen over at has caused a lot of bloggers to navel-gaze the past few days, including yours truly. Of his top ten blog design mistakes, I suffer from a few, while I escape from a few others.

1. No Author Biographies

Nope, mine is there are the top of the page, a little blue tab called “About Me.”

2. No Author Photo

Mine’s on the “About Me” page. One of my favorite photos of myself – wherever you are, Steve Shear, thanks for taking it and sending it to me!

3. Nondescript Posting Titles

Guilty as charged. I have such goodies as, “Frog City“, “It’s Knitting Time Again“, and “Summer Vacation Parts 1-4“. A long time ago, on a blog far, far away from this one, I used to have the longest, most descriptive titles every. It might be time to resurrect that practice. Thanks, Jakob! I enjoyed those post titles, and look forward to the challenge.

4. Links Don’t Say Where They Go

Well, seeing as how I mostly blog for myself, as a public web-diary, I’m not very concerned about this. In short, I rarely link out, and when I do, it’s usually to businesses. But it’s a good thing to keep in mind.

5. Classic Hits are Buried

I don’t think I have any classic hits, except maybe for my Klaralund sweater post. I suspect personal blogs and more political blogs might be different somehow that way. That said, I’m willing to find a few top entries and keep ’em linked in the sidebar.

6. The Calendar is the Only Navigation

Nope, I use categories, and try to use only one or two categories for each post. Go me!

7. Irregular Publishing Frequency

Again, guilty as charged. Must consider a way to change that.

8. Mixing Topics

But my LIFE is a mixed topic, and this blog is about my life. So I flaunt this one, I flaunt it knowingly and willingly, and that is that.

9. Forgetting That You Write for Your Future Boss

You know, I really do keep this one in mind. Yes, I talk politics (sometimes) on this here blog. But when I send out resumes, I definitely use the word “feminist” in them (hard to hide that grad work in women’s studies, you know?). And I AM a feminist, pro-choice woman. If my future boss doesn’t want people like that around, I don’t want to work for that person. Seriously, and truly.

I think a better rule on this one (for me) would be: Would your mother blush or be offended if she read it? And I suceed there too, I think. (Mom, care to chime in here?)

10. Having a Domain Name Owned by a Weblog Service

Nope, I have my own domain. Installed WordPress all on my own. Broke things and fixed them and found a theme I liked and installed it and broke it and fixed it again. Backed things up, poked some more, restored things. I like having my own domain – I suppose it’s a socially acceptable way of being a quiet exhibitionist.

So like I said, I am good on some of the rules, bad on others, and choose to flaunt a couple because darn it, I want to.

How does your blog stack up? Find out from the expert, Jakob N.

3 thoughts to “My Top Blog Design Mistakes, per Jakob Nielsen”

  1. Yeah, I know – I have pictures on my splash page, and some stuff about me (though I think the link says “About this site”) but am thinking of rearranging a trifle after reading that article. Nielsen’s a top name in web usability – I have a book of his from when I worked at an Internet company.

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