Lately this thing is bugging me. My blog is not what stands out. It’s the design that impresses people in the first place.

The design, which I cannot take any credit of.

ais journal wordpress blog
Cover photo of AIS Journal Facebook page.

I usually include the address of this blog right below my signature in all emails — personal or professional. Recently, Taylor Norrish, Founder of PrintFriendly, happened to contact me for some reason and I included the link in my first response. He was amazed at my blog. But what he loved most was the unique design. That’s actually when the thought struck me. Then I went through my previous feedback received through this blog and on Facebook about this blog. Most of them were talking about my recently activated theme.

So, it all comes down to a design in the first place. If I had Twenty Ten or Twenty Eleven theme activated, they probably wouldn’t be so impressed at my blog.

Of course, Taylor, among others, did praise of my blog contents but they always came second. First of all, they talk about my blog’s look. This makes me think, nobody likes my blog in the first place. They love the design and then they read a couple of posts before deciding to follow or move away.

I didn’t design the theme of this blog. So when someone commends the design, I don’t really feel nice. It’s rather like, “okay design is taking all the credits!” I’m not complaining. It’s a fact that nobody has anything to do about.

It’s also disappointing, you know. I really wish I could design. But designing requires creativity. I believe — and somewhere I read — designing is not just knowing the tools, it’s also using creativity to manipulate the tools to come up with something brilliant.

Alas! I’m not talented in designing field.

Written by A. I. Sajib

I love writing about technology, life, and everything between. I love photographing people. I'm a Happiness Engineer at Automattic/WordPress.com. The best way to get to know more about me is through my blog at http://ais.blog

32 comments

      1. Aye but what can you do? I’ve still got back reading to do on your blog, free time is such a precious commodity. Exam season has started.

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  1. I actually think the design is a little cluttered…

    Have you ever made any forays into the world of design? I find that many attributes of strong writing – brevity, good structure, flow – translate well into the design process. But the technical side is an entirely different matter. In any case, your writing – like that post on Timeline – is certainly what most people are here for. Consider the design helping those words along πŸ™‚

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    1. Um, it’s probably because of the recent change I made in the layout. Other than that it’s pretty simple theme.

      I sometimes sit down with Photoshop to design posters (for blog posts) with quotes but never found luck. Like I said, whenever I’m trying to design something, I feel my mind is empty. Lack of creativity, I guess.

      Those posts that draw people from search engines is a different case. I’m talking about the other way round when I invite people to be here on my blog. Their first impression is on the design. Secondly the blog content.

      Thank you for your nice words. πŸ™‚

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      1. Perhaps it’s because your creativity is mostly invested in your words and “voice” rather than the more visual expression of design. I know I feel like that a lot of the time – I was trained as a writer not a graphics or visual arts person, and that’s how I’m most used to expressing myself. No matter, though. At least we have one thing we can call our own – our words.

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        1. But I think it real world, graphic designing is more important. You can even earn by doing that. πŸ˜‰ As an added bonus, you get fame if your creativity in designing is cool enough! If you only know what I mean.

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  2. Design and Content both are vital things for any website. Design makes it easy to navigate when Content is something for which a user come frequently on a website. No good contents means no visitor even though you have nice designed website. On the other hand if someone is using a “twentyeleven” theme but has rich content people will surely pay visit on that site. If I am here in your site right now thats not because I like the design but its because I like your writing style, the content that u have posted for us. I give you the credit first and then the theme.

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    1. That’s not really happens in most cases when it’s me who invites people to visit the blog. And like I said, if it’s just the design that people like, I’m no good at blogging. 😦

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        1. For that to happen, visitor has to return at least once to see that I followed up. I think a not-so-great design doesn’t really appeal to most people to come back. 😦

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  3. You’re wrong when you say that nobody likes your blog. I’ve followed you before you chose this theme. And trust me there are many bloggers out there who follow me, and out of respect I’ve tried to follow them back for a while, but their contents don’t appeal me, so I’ve stopped following them. But I haven’t stopped following you yet. I like your blog because you share the cool things that happen in your life, and seeing it from your perspective and how you appreciate those things feels really good. And also because you share some important things that we should all be aware of concerning social networks or other phenomenons on the internet, so I know that if something big is happening, you’ll most probably write about it :).

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. Beating yourself up only spreads distress. And just like you share your firsts and breakthroughs in life and engage people in the positive feeling towards those, negative feelings spread as well. Believe in yourself and don’t depend on the judgement of others.

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    1. You’re right actually. I shouldn’t have written “nobody” in there. But I was so attached to the thought “my blog’s design is ahead of my writing” that I felt a little depressed.

      For loyal readers like you, it’s been a pleasure and exciting to keep blogging. So, thank you (despite knowing that it’s just not enough)! πŸ™‚

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  4. I would like to argue, it’s the content I like more than that of the design. I have been following your blog for more than 3 months. You may call me your silent visitor, cause I don’t comment much πŸ˜›

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    1. I’m actually talking about most first time visitors and what impresses them in the first place.

      Thank you for following my blog. But please don’t stay silent. I’m sure at the end of each post you have something in your mind. It shouldn’t take more than two minutes to let them out and post here. It inspires a lot, you know.

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  5. well the human brain is such that it registers images more than words.. you are student too and you knw well you cant remember the exact words of the book but just main points… it is good to be a graphics designer (an interior designer myself) but your blogs are excellent… n i hardly notice your theme but go directly to your words.. you are creative with your words.. thats your god gift… celebrate it by writing n giving pleasure to the world…

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    1. I don’t think I can entertain with my words because there are lots of better writers out there (creative/fiction writers always fascinate me). But I’m definitely happy that you enjoy my writing. πŸ™‚

      And by being too practical, I meant, you can hardly depend on this creativity (personal blogging, really?) to make a living while those who have passion and creativity in designing field can make a living just by doing that. I think you get my point. πŸ™‚

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      1. i understand that… even i earn through designing so… but that is ok.. i think it is just a start.. and i am sure you shall accomplish a lot with the skills you possess…

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  6. Dear Sajib, I don’t think to much about design. And, your think is little bit wrong to me. Because, Just sometimes before in Facebook you told me about my AdSense earning, Remember that? πŸ˜› I told you that I’ve no rich knowledge on English as U are a fluent in English. Finally U said, there is no matter I made wrong in my writing in blog English blog. Because, Adsense never look up spelling and grammar. As like this cause of AdSense, I wanna say, U litle boy have much more quality in this field. Be always mind design is not always the mandatory in every spare of life. If your don’t have this quality but you have rich quality in English! Carry on with this Art !!! πŸ™‚

    Again Sorry for my poor literacy on English ! Maybe I made some mistake again in comment! 😦

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    1. Well, remember I tried Adsense a while ago? It’s not really about writing. It’s more of a skill of marketing which results in more traffic that equals to more impression and ultimately revenue. Plus I don’t really have great command over English. I can write the basic stuff.

      Anyway, thanks for your comments. πŸ™‚

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  7. Hey, I like your blog Sajib. But I do admit, that theme really pops. I almost changed my blog over to this theme because I admired it so much on yours.

    Instead of thinking that no one likes your blog, you should think “thanks WordPress for making such a neat theme that people NOTICE my blog!”

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    1. I definitely thank WordPress for the entire system. But this case is different. It makes me think everything I have here is worth only the design. 😦

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      1. Sajib – you have 693 followers – way more than I do. I think they are following your blog because they like it, not just because they like the design. Plus, you’ve only had this theme for a little while – people followed you before you had it.

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  8. If design is what brings readers back to your blog then keep the design and keep writing πŸ™‚

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. My goal is 2 posts a week; I try not to bombard my subscribers with email posts πŸ™‚ I’ve noticed it takes about a week for my faithful commentors to comment on any post I’ve written.

    Feel free to stop by and comment more often

    -Melanie T

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  9. My coder is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on
    various websites for about a year and am concerned about switching to another platform.
    I have heard great things about blogengine.net.

    Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress posts into it?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Like

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