Excellent Uses of Excerpts in Blog Design
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Blog designers consistently face the decision of showing full posts or excerpts on the front page. Personally, I prefer excerpts because they make it easy for the visitor to quickly scan the most recent posts and see what’s of interest to them. The downside of course is that they’ll have to click through to a post in order to read it in its entirety.
Displaying excerpts on the front page can also give the designer an opportunity to add some creativity to the design and to make it a bit more visually appealing. In this post I’d like to take a quick look at 5 blogs that are effectively using excerpts to create a functional and attractive front page.
The front page of Carsonified has a lot going on. It’s a great design, but the look obviously wouldn’t be possible without a well-executed use of post excerpts. On the left side of the screen you’ll see the most recent excerpts with a picture of the author and the comment count in a nice speech bubble. In order to really appreciate the use of the excerpts you need to evaluate the page as a whole and how the excerpts allow visitors to see which posts interest them, but they still allow plenty of space for other content.
Kineda has a colorful, clean design that displays excerpts of 8 posts above the fold. The excerpts are very short (the posts are typically short also), but I don’t remember seeing other blogs that put that much content in sight at once. Each excerpt includes a picture, the date, and the number of comments. Since multiple posts are added on some days, this gives visitors a chance to see all the most recent content without missing anything. This approach gives the front page a nice look with a lot of visual appeal.
PSDTUTS and NETTUTS both use the same design with some minor changes, and both have an attractive front page that effectively uses excerpts to show off recent posts. Each excerpt has an image to the left, which is the finished product of the tutorial in most cases. The excerpts also include links to vote at four different social media sites. For a tutorial site that covers graphic design I think this layout is wonderful. As a reader of the site I frequently visit the site when I’m messing around in Photoshop. With the excerpts and the images I can scroll through the pages easily to find something that interests me.
Art Culture uses a bit of a magazine-style approach with its front page. The most recent post has a large excerpt with an image, and other recent posts have attractive excerpts with images, dates and a link to comment. Art Culture shows six of these smaller excerpts followed by a featured post and two larger excerpts.
La Privata Repubblica
The front page of La Privata Repubblica shows 8 excerpts with corresponding images. This keeps their front page fairly short and still presents a good bit of content and some images to increase the look of the page.
What’s Your Opinion?
How do you think the decision of full posts or excerpts affects the design of the front page? Are there other examples that you would like to point out?
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