Thursday, June 23, 2011

'No Scroll Zone' of... No Return?

While we all know the importance of web presence, we are doubly aware of the rule of not letting preoccupation with web presence overtake actual writing. Nothing replaces putting words on the page on that computer screen. Now, that disclaimer out of the way, I can safely continue speaking on the topic of the day – important pieces of your website/blog layout.

Three months ago I decided to give my blog a makeover. Yep, my little home on the interwebs was going to get a brand new look! After using Tumblr for two years, I had no wish to move, but unfortunately Tumblr is difficult to customize and I lack amazing coding abilities. The next step in my endeavor was to recruit my friend Sabbi in building this monster. But for her to be able to help me, she needed to know the important pieces of a writer's website and I had to be able to spell them out for her.

In my research and debating the important pieces, this is what I learned.

First, be aware of what I call the 'No Scroll Zone.' This is the part of your blog or website that visitors see upon arrival. The area of the browser they check out before they scroll down to see more of your content. Why is the 'No Scroll Zone' so important? The truth is that people are impatient. Many will not bother with scrolling. They want all relevant information readily available to them. Therefore you want your key list of data in the 'No Scroll Zone.'

Based on my research and personal taste, this is my own list:

  • Menu (You would be surprised how often it is buried in the layout.)

  • Twitter Feed (If you partake of the Twitterverse, which I definitely do.)

  • Contact Info

  • Social Media Buttons

  • RSS Feed

  • Email Subscription

  • About the Author

  • Hints about what you write.

Technically I believe 'RSS Feed' would fall under 'Social Media Buttons,' along with your YouTube channel, Facebook, etc. However I mention RSS Feed by itself because of all the times I have had to hunt for it. I find an awesome blog! I want to follow said awesome blog! Commence the tedious hunt for any RSS Feed button. You do not want to make your potential followers/readers/fans wish you'd drawn them a map for your website.

My website's new look is destined to appear in two weeks. I have seen some sneak peeks and they look fabulous! What is on your list of must-have's in the 'No Scroll Zone'? If you are a published authored, are your book covers included on your list?

5 comments:

  1. Great advice, Darcy! It's made me think about where I place things on my blog more carefully! I think for Blogger blogs that it's important to keep the Followers button near the top so that it's easy for people to see they like the blog and click it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're much braver than this Darcy, Darcy. I have friends who eat this techie mumbo jumbo up like it was chocolate. Not me. I'm a computer weinie and happily ignorant. But I salute you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good pointers, Darcy. Looking forward to seeing your new blog.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sarah -- I agree! One thing I love about Blogger is the handy 'Follow' feature right up at the top. Easily recognizable.

    Darcy -- But technie mumbo jumbo tastes so good!

    Dawn -- Thanks! =)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good tips Darcy. I use Word Press. I get the basics but when it gets too techy my head hurts!

    ReplyDelete