The Power of (Web) Design

It has been just about two weeks since I switched from a more conventional blog site design to this design. Previously, the blog contained a long column of links on the left and the last seven posts displayed on the main page. I chose this new design because I felt it worked better for the type of blogging I do: longer, more substantive posts a few times a month.

I’ve compared the two week period from before the switch with two weeks since. In terms of visits, traffic stayed constant. Since it takes time to build readership and my topic and frequency stayed about the same, I’d imagine this kind of change would take longer to appear. Other measures show some interesting results. First, the “bounce rate,” or the percentage of visitors who visit only one page on the website before leaving, declined from 70.4% to 63.61%. This decrease is very consistent, and after the change every day except three was below the previous average. The decline from the previous month’s average was about 9% This means more visitors are reading more on the site. The number of comments has also increased. The average number of comments on the 8 posts previous to the new design was 2.9 per post, and on the 8 since it was 4.6 per post.

Author: Rob Goodspeed


  1. I was first lost when I visited your site with this new design, but I’ve since grown fond of it. It really takes advantage of the documented visual primacy of the upper-left corner and puts all the other details where details should go: at the bottom.

    It’s an unusual layout, but if you think about it, it makes sense.

  2. I am not surprised at all. Not only is the new design easy to look at and use — it also makes commenting much stronger. The great downfall of the last site was that it was nearly impossible to read the comments. Now commenting is much more effective and the ideal of comments — to create dialogue between the reader and author and the readers themselves is reached. Before you could comment away — but it hurt the eyes to read what others had written.

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