Killing The List Post

The design community is failing. Here’s why:

I took the year 2009 off from the design niche. That’s why the following opinion is unique – I’m able to see the design niche from new, yet experienced, eyes.

After coming back from a year off I’ve noticed a change in the design community. I want to point out this change and start a conversation with other designers about the issue that the design community is facing.

The List Post

Call my a hypocrite, but I’m sick of list posts. I’ve posted them since 2007 here on Elite By Design, and they are often met with loads of traffic. Everyone does it right?

Right – and that’s the problem. Dozens of new blogs are springing up every month offering the “best of” or “most beautiful” showcase and collection posts. For a while, these were great – authors were obviously investing time to find the best and most beautiful examples of whatever topic they chose.

However, as the design niche becomes more and more crowded, there simply isn’t enough unique content being created to keep these lists posts original and fresh.

Today when going through my feeds I saw these three posts:

A Showcase of Beautiful Typography In Web Design
Web Design Trend Hunting – Big Bold Typography
55 Examples of Huge Typography In Web Design

Three posts about big typography in web design, posted on the same day. Coincidence? Maybe. Each of these posts is certainly high quality – they feature what I agree are some of the best examples of typography being used in web design. However, they each use more-or-less the exact same examples, aside from a few unique finds per post.

Killing The List Post

Killing The List Post

On my Facebook page for Elite By Design, I take my favorite articles that I find on Twitter and my feeds and publish them for my fans to view. Out of the last 31 links I’ve shared, 20 have been roundups, showcases, or “best-of” posts.

The relatively new Smashing Network aggregates the best posts from the best design blogs on the web. Today on their Network Posts page, 12 out of 14 entries are list posts. Over 85%.

Web Design-Ne.ws aggregates links from all across the design niche. 8 out of the last 12 entries were list posts. 75%.

Design Newz by Spyre Studios: 11 out of 27 of their latest posts were list posts. 40%.

Design Bump: 9 out of 20. 45 percent.

Chad Mueller describes his thoughts on this issue:

“Today too many blogs are being created, I feel lost in the information and inspiration. There can only be so many different showcases featuring (insert number here) Examples of Brilliant Illustrations. I understand the internet has endless information, and we are just trying to showcase that. I would just like to go to a few destinations to get all the information.

Let Me Hear Your Thoughts

Here’s where I stand:

The current web design atmosphere is polluted with non-original, rehashed content. Lists posts are taking over, and without enough original content to fuel the lists, bloggers are reusing old content that’s been seen countless times before.

The design community needs to focus on writing fewer list posts, and writing more unique, thought-provoking content. List posts, despite their merits, are nothing more than reorganized, rehashed content from other websites.

Here’s the action behind my words: I won’t publish a list post again. New, fresh, and original content only on Elite By Design. What will you do?

Your reactions? Post in the comments below…

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