Simon Willison’s Weblog

Small design tweak, big difference

I’ve changed from using the day as the principle heading on the front page to using the title of each post instead. This is quite a minor alteration, but I expect it to have a relatively large impact on my blogging habits. For the past year I have treated my blog as a daily endeavour, thanks almost entirely to the way the site was layed out. This was intentional; when I orginally launched blog I made the decision to keep each entry as part of an ongoing narrative, with no individual entry titles and permalinks to entries in the context of the day they were posted.

The decision not to use entry titles turned out to be a costly mistake, which I eventually fixed back in April. The problem with the date headers was far more subtle: over the past few months, I’ve found myself frequently struggling to rush out an entry before midnight in a bid to keep up the “daily” nature of the site. This bizzare compulsion was spurred on by the glaring hole left in my front page if I missed a day.

By removing the day headers entirely, I hope to shift the focus of this blog from religious daily updates to entries with a little more substance. I think the psychology of a blog’s design is easily under-rated; I’ve already noticed that my blog entries have been getting longer since I started adding entry titles. At any rate, with this latest design tweak I certainly won’t be rushing out poor quality entries before midnight any more.

This is Small design tweak, big difference by Simon Willison, posted on 14th June 2003.

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Previously hosted at http://simon.incutio.com/archive/2003/06/14/smallDesignTweak