According to WordPress.com, Mistylook is the 3rd most popular theme available on their website. It was no surprise then that Catherine, Farida, and Andrew have all chosen Mistylook for their blog theme. I can see why it’s so popular — it has many of the elements of a good blog design.
The Mistylook theme is definitely reader friendly. The whitespace, shaded sidebar, and tinted background minimize the distractions while bringing the blog posts to the forefront. Other design elements that I like include the page tabs at the top and the right column sidebar. This adds to the readability of the layout, as we instinctively look at the page from top to bottom, left to right.
The one thing about this design that could improve? The fonts. The title fonts are a bit small and the blog title is left-aligned. I prefer something with more oomph, I guess. Like Amy’s title, for example. It definitely stands out by comparison – it’s front and center in a bright, bold color.
At first glance, I really liked the contrast of the colors used on Amy’s blog – steel, black, and bright orange. After looking more closely, however, I realized that it’s difficult to read. According to Jonathan Baily’s 5 Ogilvy Tips for Blog Design, reverse type is a no-no. It’s almost like an optical illusion whereby your eyes never completely focus on the words.
I also thought this design could be greatly enhanced by adding a photo or graphic to the page. Not only would it be more visually appealing, it would also add a more personal touch.
Andrew’s blog is a good example of this. He swapped out the default photo and instead used a picture of a shimmering Hong Kong skyline. This is a simple way to give readers a glimpse of who you are. For Andrew, his choice of photo might be indicative of his heritage or hometown, a love of travel, or his affinity for nightlife. In any case, it makes a statement.
I’m not a design critic and I don’t pretend to be. But of the blogs I was assigned to analyze, I preferred Andrew’s. The Mistylook theme is reader-friendly and I enjoyed his customization of the banner photo. It definitely sets him apart from the many other bloggers who use the same theme and helps give his readers an idea of who he is.