Syntagma Media, the blog network that thinks big and acts small, has rolled out “design tweaks” to their main blog. I think John and the folks over there need to talk to a designer and at least get back to a basic standard of normalcy in their design concepts. Why do I say that?
I’ll leave it to Chris to outline all of the design choices that he made – and why. He also writes quite eloquently and in quite some detail about the backend shenigans that he pulled to make this design provide the functionality that we were looking for.
The little chump-ass Vince Chan that blogs at Amblogger – who previously stole a design from Problogger’s Darren Rowse has done it again by stealing a design from Ben Bleikamp.
This is the first in a series of posts over the next week or so about the new design of The Blog Herald.
Today’s topic: Navigation (or, how do you read this thing anyways?)
For those of you that read this blog regularly… how do you read the blog?
Do you skim it in a newsreader?
Do you come to the page every day?
Do you use the archives?
Do you prefer a brief summary on the mainpage, and then click through to the full article?
Do you prefer to scroll down 8-10 posts each day and read them in full?
How do you read and navigate through The Blog Herald?
Chris and I will use your feedback as he fleshes out the design in the days to come.
Chris Pearson, uber-blog designer, asks How much should a blog design cost?:
Every week, I get emails from potential clients who all want to know one thing: How much for a design?
Nine times out of ten, my answer causes them to run for the hills…
Good design not only stands out clearly, it is not cheap.
In the last month, we’ve been discussing with various designers the costs associated with redesigning this very blog – The Blog Herald. Prices ranged from $1000 – $4000 or more depending on some various options.
Getting an outstanding design on your professional blog is not only critically important – it is not cheap to do. Not with a good designer anyways.
I’ve stated before that doing my own blog design is simply not an option. I may know what I want in my head to some extent, but I certainly can’t translate those mental images into any sort of reality – no matter which platform we’re talking about. But great designers can. In the end, you get what you pay for.
I’ve worked on my own for more than thirteen years now as a consultant. While my expertise is more in the area of coding, development, and systems administration, the parallels are similar. Our firm has put together very complex student loan systems with significant backend automation – all wrapped up very prettily with PHP and MySQL leading the way for us. But we don’t come cheap.
Many clients, even in the heyday of the net in 1999 – 2000, would balk at our $100+/hr rate for coding work. We’d get lowballed down to prices like $40 – $50 for the entire job, not even by the hour. Obviously, we didn’t take those jobs.
Great designs come only from great designers – and they are worth every penny. And if you’re a professional blogger, then you should seriously consider getting a great design. After all, isn’t the packaging just as important as your content?
Disclosure: Chris Pearson is a former business partner of ours and is currently completing the redesign of Blog Herald.