As I mentioned in a recent post, I won a Samsung Galaxy Tab by entering Go Pet Friendly’s Zyrtec contest. It has all kinds of features that I’m trying to figure out, but while I’ve been dipping my toes slowly into other functions, I’ve been doing something I’m pretty good at: Reading my favorite blogs.
And I’ve discovered some of them are far easier to view than others in this new format. All those cool design features, those gorgeous photos many of them have…they just don’t come through. I see only a boring list of titles that I wouldn’t click on if I didn’t know they were worth clicking on. There’s nothing visually riveting to keep me there.
Early in 2010 I had my blog redesigned by a talented web guy, Brandon H. Jones. I had asked for certain features — sorry, I don’t remember what they were — and he said, “You don’t want those. People with mobile devices won’t be able to see them well.” Now I know what he’s talking about.
The good news: Many of my favorite blogs look great. They include Go Pet Friendly — whew! it would be a drag if the tablet I won came back to bite them — Pawcurious, Dancing Dog Blog, Something Wagging This Way Comes, I Still Want More Puppies, Dog Jaunt, Doggie Stylish, and Dog Star Daily.
Some others, however… not so much. I’m not going to out them here; that wouldn’t be nice. What surprised me is that some of the bloggers are very tech savvy.
I don’t know the common denominator of the successful blogs; several of them — including PawCurious and Doggie Stylish — have lots of bells and whistles, so it’s not all about simplicity. They use different blog platforms too, from Blogger to WordPress to WordPress with a little Joomla thrown in (yo, Karen!)
I may not have the answers, but I do have the device, and I’m happy to tell you how your blog looks on it. Just ask me in the comments section. If you want me to answer you in private, I’ll do that too. My answers will be very brief (looks great; sorry). There’s a limit to my procrastination.
Note: I don’t have a smart phone or an IPad, only one amazing Android tablet. So I can only tell you how your blog looks on that.
One more thing…When I googled Brandon to give him credit, I couldn’t find him; he didn’t have a website when I worked with him so I’m not shocked, and I do have his contact info if anyone wants it. But, oddly, I did find another web designer with the same name (no middle initial) who wrote a great article on the topic: The State of Web Design Trends: 2011 Annual Edition. I got the image I used here from that story.
Update: It turns out the Android tablet is a bit anomalous. Plug-ins that enabled Apple and Android phones and iPads to view blogs didn’t always work on the Samsung Galaxy tab.