If you’ve been to my site in the last few hours you might have noticed that I’ve shuffled a few things about on definatalie.com. The most significant change is that I’m now using the conventional reverse chronologically ordered layout rather than the magazine style layout I’ve had for some time.
I made the change for a few reasons, most of them to do with accessibility. A magazine style layout limits the amount of information readers can see at a glance and necessitates a lot more clicking. I don’t like clicking a whole lot, so it didn’t make sense to force my readers to! While magazine themes appeal to my need to group information and present it clearly, it doesn’t really work for blogs and if I were to have a useful magazine-themed blog I’d have to undertake far more code tweekery than I’m capable of to make it work.
The layout switch was also important to me because I don’t update my blog as regularly as I used to, and the latest posts in the highlighted categories on the front page were remaining static for far too long. The layout didn’t easily show readers what the freshest content was, and isn’t that kind of what blogging is about?! Readers were having trouble finding new stuff as well as old, so I’m hoping that the new layout will make that easier. Every post displays a hyperlinked category now, and I’ll be tidying up my unwieldy category list so I can display it in the sidebar too. For now you can see the most recent posts in a select number of categories in the top right of the sidebar, those are the categories I post in frequently.
In the latest layout I’ve also increased the font size of the body text, changed hyperlinks to a nice blue colour, included links to my social media places in the sidebar, and listed my blogroll in full on every page. The footer has a little blurb about me, some popular posts I’ve written and a search bar.
I’ll probably be tweaking this layout for a while because there are still things that bother me! One major thing is related to image descriptions, as descriptions appear within the image caption on the site but for those who view my blog posts via an RSS feed those captions are unformatted text indistinguishable from the post text. Nick thinks I can’t hard code an italic tag in there, but I’m going to see if I can figure it out!
I’ll be doing some more research on accessibility and web pages to make my blog as easy to read as possible while still looking cute and reflecting my own personal style. I felt it was important to switch out the very limiting magazine theme as soon as possible based on my increasing discomfort and feedback on my survey (thank you!) I’m also going to write up a page on accessibility so that new readers can gain an understanding of why I incorporate image descriptions, animated gif warnings and other things into my blog.
Let me know if there are any significant obstacles to easy reading of definatalie.com for you and I’ll see if I can make your experience better. I truly believe that the Internet can only benefit from more involvement and consultation when it comes to accessibility, and I’d love to be able to enhance access for my readers because youse are GROUSE!