The OF Blog: An open letter to blogs who are too bright and full of distracting images

Sunday, April 25, 2010

An open letter to blogs who are too bright and full of distracting images

So I'm glancing through a few blogs, some that appear on my blogroll and others that do not, and I kept finding myself being a bit distracted.  Although most of the content differed in some particulars between these blogs, what I finally realized was that on each and every one of the blogs that irritated me was a (for me, at least) too copious use of bright colors and scads of images.

I'm not a very visual person.  I struggle to remember specific images, such as even my own relatives' faces.  I don't like bright colors and I find a more spartan design to be easy on my eyes when I read.  Yet I've noticed that quite a few book blogs seem to be more "book cover" blogs, with about as much space given to displaying images of covers approved, covers despised, covers of forthcoming books, covers of blasts from the past, covers of dogs humping trees...you get the picture (even if I can't envision it).

I feel like I'm getting in touch with my Inner Andy Rooney here (God help me if I develop eyebrows like his!), but whatever happened to there just being mostly words and a small scattering of images?  I don't care, after a while, to read five different blogs that over the course of a day cover the exact same cover.  I couldn't care less what societies you belong to or who gave you a sparkly.  It gets distracting after a while.  There are some blogs that I can hardly read because the garish color schemes and the plethora of images that appear there.  Apparently, those blogs aren't friendly for my eyes and I guess I'm just not part of that blog's intended audience.

But yes, I am indeed sounding like a grumpy 80 year-old man here.  But for the love of God, Montressor, please consider those few readers who like simpler designs and who prefer to read about something rather than just seeing a bunch of pretty pictures.  A few like myself might appreciate it.

20 comments:

Gabriele C. said...

I don't mind pictures so much - after all, my own blog has lots of photos - but I really HATE animated gifs and dark backgrounds. Anything that moves somewhere in the corner of your vision distracts from reading, and white or grey font on black is very difficult on older eyes.

Chad Hull said...

This is the most bitchy I think I've heard you rant; amusing as always. A few weeks ago I had picked out a few new templates to use on my blog and ending up keeping the boring 'blogger' form for reasons I'm not really sure of. I, like you, seem to prefer just plain old words on a page or screen or something.

To each his own.

I second the animated gif hate.

I hate that shit.

Angelo said...

You can allways just read the rss feed. You avoid annoying templates and it's more practical.

Amanda Makepeace said...

I have noticed how many book blogs have taken on a similar look. It's a bit frustrating at times when I'm scrolling through my reader and it's the same Meme's and Covers over and over and over, but to each their own I suppose.

My biggest pet peeve are the blogs that play music. Ugh..

Joe Sherry said...

Covers of dogs humping trees?

Link me, please.

Larry said...

Joe,

Not quite a dog, but... enjoy?

Chad,

And yeah, this was a bit bitchy, but with the humor intended to be the main part of it, that and making an observation that some don't care about anything but the story, with maybe just a tiny occasional picture to go with it.

Angelo,

I don't have enough blogs I follow regularly to warrant a feeder, sadly. Good suggestion, though.

Amanda,

I hate those too.

Gabriele,

I can't stand animations and dark backgrounds. It HURTS!

Joe Sherry said...

Bless you.

Matt Denault said...

"Blogs who are too bright"? Oh Larry, there you go again with the anti-intellectualism! (grin)

Larry said...

Ha! :P

Harry Markov said...

You got your grump on, man. :P

And I agree that some color schemes are simply eye stabbing with color. I do plan on having a major overhaul, but keep it dark and stylish.

Mimouille said...

I do agree that an excess of colors hinders readability, but I do like to see a lot of book covers, since I like beautiful books, beautiful book covers draw my attention...in our ADD infested society you have to draw the readers attention with shiny things...your blog is so full of letters. My goldfish memory cannot process them...I hope you could insert a few pics so I may get to the en of your reviews :(

Aidan Moher said...

You're running out of things to complain about, Larry.

Larry said...

Nah, not really. The apoliticalness of several blogs is always fertile grounds for more complaints :P

Harry Markov said...

Hahaha, You got told Adam. Nothing is stopping Larry from finding a reason to be pissy about. :P

Larry said...

Until the squirrels come into their dominion, there shall always be things for me to gripe about ;)

Harry Markov said...

You know, that may take awhile. As far as I hear it, they have to overcome the great Nut Crisis. Acorns are deficient.

Larry said...

Harry, some squirrels are already turning to human nuts to meet their needs. So perhaps you ought to be aware? ;)

E. L. Fay said...

I hear you, Larry. Those of us on Blogger seem to be the worst offenders. In addition to garish/cutesy backgrounds, one of my biggest pet peeves is cluttered sidebars, especially when you have a three-column layout! I've actually been angsting over mine lately. Should I get rid of the swimming fishes? Do I need to display every award I've won?

Gabriele C. said...

I don't think it's connected to the blog provider (except maybe LJ which doesn't offer so many widgets); I've seen cluttered Wordpress and Typepad blogs as well.

Yours looks fine to me. Nothing animated, no dark background, and not too many pics in the sidebar. I've taken my dozen or so awards down at some point because the main text of my blog has a lot of photos and I felt it was too much. A balance between sidebar and main content is the best, imho.

Derrick said...

Yes! Book readers should be interested in the words, not the glitzy gee-gaws.

 
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