If it isn't evident, I really love blogging...unless I'm sick...then it gets put on hold. But I am also a sucker for all those newfangled things you can put on your blog. Stuff for the sidebar, stuff for your footer, etc. All that nonsense that just seems cool at the time. I think I mainly do it because I love to find & play with new things. But sometimes this clutters up my blog & doesn't make it look too nice. I've tried to stop being a widget hoarder & here are 2 things I keep in mind when I think my blog is getting too cluttered:
Do I Need it? - Is it really helping or is it just cool? This helps me decide if it's really valuable to my readers. I recently added a recent design work little icon over there on the side bar. I didn't have one for a long time but because I am looking to do more blog designs, I thought it would be another little place to actually showcase a design rather than just have it in the navigation. I looked at it this way, when I come to a blog I read the content. What is right next to the content? The sidebar! Usually I scroll away from the header of the blog as soon as I arrive & only go back if I want to know more about the blogger. But the side bar is right there catching my eyes as they move from left to right.
What's Going on Down There? - Once upon a time I thought, 'well, I'll just move all this junk to the bottom of my blog. I still do like all this stuff.' Which meant that my footer was a jumbled mess of random icons & links. Now (along with the first tip) I only have a few things down there. Any copyright things & a little banner asking you to sign up for the newsletter. Nothing too fancy. Too much stuff can make your blog scroll forever. Believe me, I was guilty. Keep it relevant down there. I've seen lovely designs with 3 column footers. One column has recent tweets, another has popular posts, & other as links for policies, terms, contact, etc. I love that idea!
These are the two main things I look at when I think I want to add something or it seems there's too much junk in the trunk. I've always loved minimal designs but for myself, I just can't keep it that way! So jealous of Hayley of the Weekend File. The design we worked out together....so awesome & minimal....too bad I can't keep mine that way!