I love the new blog layout. I had never been completely happy with the way the blog looked in the old layout — the quotes were too big, the font wasn’t the best, etc. etc. etc. — and I also wanted to switch to a theme that put the blog front-and-center instead of below-the-fold.

The current theme is Scrawl, if you’re curious. It was created by Automattic, which means it is going to integrate really, really well with WordPress. (Some of those third-party themes don’t, always.)

Of course, as soon as I got Scrawl set up, I got the big promo note from WordPress that they’d just launched Twenty Twenty-One, the new theme that is supposed to do EVERYTHING YOU’VE EVER WANTED A WEBSITE TO DO, though really I just want a website to be a blog that I can write in (and that guest writers can also write in, pitch me) and a portfolio that I can share with others.

The big thing for me, in-regards-to website design, is to eliminate the number of choices that the reader has to make. This is one of the reasons why I pulled Disqus comments and went back to the standard WordPress comments. The Disqus interface came with too many choices — should you leave a comment? Should you like someone else’s comment? Should you click on one of the articles Disqus is recommending?

Right now, the comment section gives you one choice: COMMENT, or DON’T COMMENT.

I even like the fact that all of the important stuff about me (my email address, the classes I’m teaching, my freelance portfolio) is hidden in a sidebar that you have to ACTIVELY MAKE THE CHOICE TO FIND.

If people want to know more about me, they’re going to figure out — I mean, I should ask you whether you can figure it out, just to make sure that the usability aspect is in fact as usable as I think it is. If you wanted my email address, would you know where to look for it?

And the people who don’t want those things, or who don’t yet know that they want those things, have only one choice to make when they visit Nicole Dieker Dot Com: READ, or DON’T READ.

(crossing my fingers that everybody picks READ)

On the subject of reading, here’s where I got published this week. I really like the Valentine’s Day article, btw — lots of good insights about love and love languages and whether it’s worth it to put on fancy clothes and have a date in your dining room. ❤️

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