Thursday, March 11, 2010

New Blog Design

First and foremost, I need feedback on the new blog design. So please tell me what you like, what you hate, etc. However, the more important topic is how this change in design came about. Google announced that Blogger now has a new customizable template designer. The new feature is a lifesaver for me and other Blogger bloggers across the nation of Google. The designer is really an improvement over the previous method of picking a design, and makes the site look so much nicer and sleek.

Before testing out the new interface, I must emphasize how simple and bleak the old theme chooser was (see left). All blogger gave us was a bunch of generic themes with radio boxes to create slight variations of each theme. To change the font and everything required a different tab, and none of these tools provided as much as a live experience as the new designer does. The only preview you get is by clicking the Preview button under a template. Now don't get me wrong, my previous blog design was just fine, and the theme chooser did not bother me much, but the sheer advantage provided with the new template designer is simply amazing.

The new template designer is different primarily in that it provided a live preview; the new designer updates a draft version of your blog as you make changes, so that you can quickly tailor the design to your needs, and simply click Apply. Furthermore, the options are all in one place, for each access. Here is an overall preview of the new template designer in comparison to the old theme selector.

The designer is in a top bar (that can be hidden if necessary) while the live preview is directly below. By putting the two template designers side by side, there is no comparison, and those of you who have read my blog before can attest to the notable difference in designs that the new template designer has facilitate. One of the features that I particularly like is that you can pick a pre-defined template from the limited set they give you in the screenshot above, but you can then change everything and anything you want. Of particular importance is the background selection. The new designer contains a set of numerous background images, from abstract to technology, all in a simple selection box. Furthermore, you are now allowed to customize things like the width of your blog content (in pixels), as well as the font and color of just about every text in the entire blog.

The really exciting part of all of this is the new interface and its effect on Blogger blogging as a whole. For the longest time, Blogger templates left their tell-tale mark. If you went on to a Blogger blog, the layout, plain color design, and distinctive upper toolbar would give it away every time. With the new template designer, and hopefully more templates to come with user and artist submissions, bloggers such as myself can make my blog look more interesting to read, and possible tie the interface to an expression of my own personality, rather than Google's pre-defined personalities.

Hopefully all my reader like the new design. It is definitely better than the old plain Blogger design, and hopefully this is only one of a long line of new customizations that Blogger will allow authors to apply to their blogs in order to further express themselves in terms of visual interface. The way a website looks is almost as important as what is on it.


  1. I am not a huge fan of the white on black. The background image is cool, but this isn't a goth blog. :)

  2. Yeah, I was kind of thinking that, but it just looked too cool to pass up a test run.