ProBlogger links to a post on blog design trends written by Rachel Cunliffe in the cre8d design blog. Cunliffe, in her post, enumerates elements of current blog design trends: big fonts, big headers and footers, top border, bright colors, speech bubble comments, rounded corners, highlighted links.
I won’t go as far as calling it a trend but I get to see more and more sites with neat (some say this is already tiresome) background patterns (slashes, dots, or horizontal lines) and shiny, almost glass-like button interfaces or graphics. And most of the sites using these elements are well-designed and pleasing to the eyes.
Duncan Riley rightly points out in his comment on the Pro-Blogger post that all these design elements won’t make a difference “if the fundamentals aren’t right (ie content).” A good design would just be a facade if you have poor content.
Of the design trends listed in the cre8d blog, I’m partial toward big fonts and highlighted links. Most people spend a lot of time in front of the monitor nowadays and reading small text get to be a strain on the eyes. I find it hard to read text, especially large blocks of text, smaller than 10 points.
I find it easier to read body text set at 12 points. Once in a while I get to visit sites with really small text you’d have to squint while reading it. And after wading through a few paragraphs, that’s the time I’d remember that I could increase the text size by using ctrl plus the mouse wheel in Firefox. This, however, screws up the layout at times because all text elements are rendered larger.