A Small Change Can Go a Long Way

As referred to in my previous blog post, “Working Hard or Hardly Working?” millennials are faced with the daily challenge of SplitShire-3080connection and partnership with older generations in the workforce. I audibly stated that although we are faced with the bleak stereotype of being unmotivated and self-absorbed, we can incorporate measures in writing or our daily lives to bridge the gap between various generations.

Along with combatting stereotypes through written communication, we as millennials can incorporate a phenomenon called “user-centered design” or rhetorical awareness. Simply stated by User Focus, user-centered design is a method of advancement that will ensure a product, service, or site will appeal to the general user. Too often, a producer, writer, or corporation will create a commodity that appeals strictly to that specific source, ignoring the user entirely. By integrating user-centered design, the supplier has a greater chance or appealing to their targeted audience. Alongside listening to the user, rhetorical awareness includes a persuasive tone with a vast amount of background information which is important when trying to sell your point to your targeted crowd.

According to Usability.gov, to develop user-centered design, it is essential that the writer thoroughly evaluate the users, tasks, and environments; all of which are incorporated in the user experience. It seems as though concentrating on the consumer would be a conspicuous when trying to sell a product or attempting create a website, yet too often they are overlooked. Since we are already battling a repressing stereotype, how can we as millenials work at the forefront to master user-centered design through our everyday writing? In the process of doing some research on increasing user awareness, a few prevailing ideas seemed as though they would be beneficial in workplace writing.

First and Foremost, any written piece should be easy on the eye and easy to navigate. When surfing the web, I steer clear of anything that appears greatly confusing or unorganized. Since websites, articles, or documents take on multiple structures, it is difficult to pinpoint how to appeal to the general public. A simple step is to clearly label content, headers, tabs, or diagrams. Though an acquaintance at the office may easily navigate your publication, the audience is often less informed and appreciates minimal commotion. Easy navigation also includes having an appropriate text-to-white-space ratio. The last thing a reader wants to do is get lost in a large jumble of words, so adding photos, breaking up articles, and forming headers can induce fluid comprehension. i

Just as important as structural design is sentence design. When computing written work, the author needs to consider the background of the reader. Though our immediate peers may have the same educational background as us, there are thousands of people browsing the Internet who struggle with literacy and comprehension. Complex sentence structure can be integrated as long as the writer knows his or her target audience is efficient in reading, whereas simple structure may appeal to the vast majority of viewers. As a general rule for any audience, the creator should reiterate difficult concepts that may be unfamiliar to the general crowd. When it comes to complexity of the sentences, we should only be as intricate as need be. In the rush provoked by today’s society, a fluent and simple piece of work is much more appealing to read.

This leads into being efficient and to the point. It is essential that we cut out any background information that may not be necessary in order to get our point across to our audience. With too much noise, the reader is likely to get bored and not follow through to the end of the article or document. The quicker the writer gets their point across the easier it is to make an impact on whomever comes across their work.

Most importantly, we millenials must pay close attention to the general values and passions of our audience. User-centered design is most effective when there is a strong connection between the user and the work they are viewing. To accurately target the audience, research on the background of the targeted crowd is absolutely crucial. Do they work with a nonprofit organization? Are they family oriented? Religious? Each of these effortless questions can help you discover an immense amount about the character of your audience and therefore allow you to deeply connect to their ideals and integrity. Letting our readers know we care about them provides an emotional aspect that intrigues them and creates a strong author to audience bond. LinkedIn proves that with five simple steps this emotional connection can produce strength and value.

User-centered design and rhetorical awareness are neglected all too often yet millennials have the opportunity to take a leading edge and use specific strategies to connect to and convince their audience. Creating a piece of work that is easy to navigate, properly written, straight to the point, and connects to the values and character of the audience will ensure maximum usability and impact within any form of written communication.

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7 thoughts on “A Small Change Can Go a Long Way

  1. This was an overall solid second post. I liked how you included a reference to your first post and connected the two nicely. Your inclusion of articles was done smoothly and all of them complemented your own thoughts nicely. In your fourth paragraph you brought up how any written piece should be easy on the eye. This was a great piece of advice as it’s something that’s pretty simple to achieve yet causes such a boost in the perceived quality of your writing. Also your summary paragraph brought together all of your thoughts in a concise and clear way. Keep up the good work!

  2. Hi Megan,
    First of all I really liked that you started your post off with discussing the gap between the generations. I thought that this was very insightful and interesting because I did not touch on that topic myself nor did I really take it into consideration. I thought that the way you approached giving advise about how to write a good business email was very simple and easy to understand, therefore being very helpful for inexperienced writers. I also liked as well as learned from your insight from Usability.gov regarding developing user-centered design. I thought that the way you first off stated the three components that are required to write an effective email in the business world.

  3. I liked how you referred back to your previous post because it helped set the stage for your new post and established a clear voice. All your advice was very constructive and your light but authentic tone makes the reader more susceptible to taking your advice. I especially liked where you said that we have to pay close attention to the general values and passions of our audience. I agree that research on the background of the targeted crowd is definitely necessary. The examples you provided of potential questions to ask were insightful and helped strengthen your advice. Overall, it was a great post!

  4. Hi Megan! I really enjoyed how you mentioned what you had said in your first blog post in this one. It is great to see that you are applying what you have learned previously. Your advice and suggestions for how millennials can connect to and convince their audience were very well stated and extremely helpful. I believe that the research you did for this post clearly shows your knowledge of the material and you conveyed that greatly in your writing. Your tone was also very memorable as it gave the reader a sense of belief and comfort in what you wrote. I completely agree that we as millennials must pay attention to the general values and passions of our audience. Great job and keep up the good work!

  5. Megan! i really like how you started your most recent article by relating and connecting your previous article. That is really cool way to integrate all we have talked about with millennials and stereotypes. Your article flows very easily and your definition of user focus is in terms that are easily understood. I finally get it! Agreed that you don’t want anything to look to crazy wordy and messy looking and that it is totally worth the effort to go back and make sure everything is consistent concise and you haven’t re stated anything too often. Well done this really gave me some great insight!

  6. What an excellent read. I really loved how you started off your post with a reference to one of your previous posts. That is a great way to get more exposure on your other posts and you as a blogger as well as add to your credibility. You seem to know exactly what you are talking about. You bring up many good points about how millennials can be more effective writers, but the strongest one is how we, as millennials, must pay attention to the values and passions of our audience. It is an incredibly good skill to have to be able to connect to the audience on such a personal level, and I am glad that you mentioned that in your post.

  7. This post is great! You linked your previous post which I think is a solid way to start, drawing from topics/ideas you’ve already covered was a smart move. You kept me engaged throughout the post. You have strong sources and you pay attention to how your writing is coming across to your audience. The only thing I found distracting was the placement of your image. It’s immediately after the first line and I feel like it interrupts the flow/structure of the rest of the post. It’s a good image, but I think it could be more effective if placed somewhere lower down in the post. Overall, ace content and delivery.

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