Website design: It’s too easy to argue over the wrong things

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

After having the same look on my website for a while, I thought it was time to redesign. And by redesign I mean search for a newer template. The last look had been on my site here for a few years after the previous template crashed and I installed this while riding to a client visit in Chicago. #done

Anyway, went to the WordPress dashboard and searched for “blog” templates. The term blog has so many definitions out there and there’s so much baggage with it that I would often argue that this site is absolutely not a blog. Many people seem to think blog = diary. Which this is kind of a diary, but with a professional twist and business goals in mind.

Read now: Things to consider when using WordPress as your CMS

I ended up going with the SEO Writers Blogily template by ThemeEverest!

Once installed, here’s how that looks on desktop:

And here’s how it looks on mobile:

website on mobile

And then after all the articles:

website on mobile

The experience on mobile is so different from desktop. And – here you go, I admit the error – I forgot about that!

The reason this only crossed my mind was because at first I didn’t like the sidebar. So I fiddled with it. I moved my picture up there, moved up the sign up form and made other adjustments. I messaged my wife at home (as I was traveling) and asked her if she thought my picture looked blurry. Her response: “The one of the airplane?”

Well, no THE ONE OF ME!

But see she was on her phone – like the majority of readers on here – and she would only see the pictures of me when she scrolled way down – past like 44 articles before she ever got to the “sidebar.”

I took a quick look at the makeup of readers on here and over 60 percent are on mobile devices:

devices for visits

I’m always talking about the new things and trying the new things and mobile-first design is still somewhat new. Nonetheless it’s easy to forget. So what should I do with the sidebar on mobile. Some ideas:

If I really want people to see the actual sidebar on mobile, move it to the left. In that case I should probably make it shorter. It’s quite long now. That way it will show before the articles though. But really, are we only talking about the homepage here? My homepage only sees about 2 percent of all traffic – so not that much. How long should we debate a page that sees so little traffic?

Just this year, there are 7 other articles/pages ahead of it for the year.

Of course, article pages have a sidebar too. It’s probably too long for those pages but since it comes after the article it should be okay. If I’d move it to the left, it would need to be trimmed down quite a bit.

See, the problem is that people see the world in front of them and then let’s throw in some perceptions (right or wrong) and that’s where discussions start. If you look at a website from desktop and you use websites a certain way it’s easy to assume that everyone does that exact same thing.

Of course, that’s not always the reality and this was a great example from the real-world of communications between my wife and I.

It’s something digital strategists, change agents and leaders really need to remember. I do this kind of work daily and I as you saw here can forget it, too.

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