Posted: 10 Dec 2009 02:57 AM PST
Comment styling is an often-overlooked part of blog design. After all, they’re at the bottom of the page, not seen until visitors already have an impression of your site, and they’re really there for function more than anything else. Why invest a lot of time in styling them and making them really stand out?
But good comment styling can set your designs apart from your competition. Taking the time to design your comments, and your comment form, can make a huge impression on your regular visitors. It subconsciously implies you care about their opinion and want them to engage in discussion on your site. Below you’ll find some best practices and examples of creating a beautiful commenting system on your next blog design.
Styling Comment Views
How you style your comments can have a huge impact on the overall perception visitors have of your blog. It shows that you care enough about what your readers have to say to take the time to show off their remarks in a stylish and user-friendly way.
Threaded View or Flat View?
Whether to have threaded comments or simply order them chronologically is always a tough question. There are a few things to consider when trying to decide. First, if you want your visitors to actively discuss your posts with each other, then threaded comments go a long way toward promoting that, especially if you have a high volume of comments.
On the other hand, threaded comments are sometimes abused. Commenters might respond to the first comment on the thread with something completely unrelated, just to make their comment show up closer to the top of the comments (of course, you can always moderate these to prevent this, but it’s an extra layer of work for the admin). If you’re more interested in having commenters reply directly to the article and not to each other, then having flat comments makes more sense.
Both options come with their own pros and cons, so you really have to weigh the benefits and disadvantages of each one before making a decision.
Here are some tips for creating more effective comment designs.
Examples: Neat Comment Views
Designing Comment Forms
Your comment form has to be user-friendly and encourage visitors to get involved in the discussion happening on your blog. While good comment form design alone probably won’t get you tons of comments overnight, a poorly designed form can definitely prevent your readers from commenting.
Considerations and Best Practices
There are a lot of things to consider when designing your comment form, from whether to include extra spam precautions to how to handle replies. Below are some tips for making those decisions, as well as some others.
Examples: Comment Forms
Sources & Resources
About Author – Cameron Chapman is a professional Web and graphic designer with over 7 years of experience. She writes for a number of blogs, including her own, Cameron Chapman On Writing. She’s also the author of Internet Famous: A Practical Guide to Becoming an Online Celebrity.
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