User-centered design and rhetorical awareness are ways the technology world compensates for the lack of face to face connection that exists. Rhetorical awareness is the first step because this is where the analysis and understanding of the audience and everyone else involved is done. This helps to make the website, article, video, etc convincing and effective. The next step is then user-centered design because now that the needs of the audience have been discovered, they can be enacted and implemented. User-centered design also takes away from the focus on technology and draws it back to the audience.
Distract me: Buzzfeed has to be one of my all-time favorite websites for when I’m bored at work, procrastinating doing homework or trying to avoid listening to my professors in class. When you initially go to their website, top stories are the focus and then to the right there are trending posts. You also have the option to click on specific topics and go to all articles that relate to those. Topics range from animals, to world news, to puzzles. They use the art of storytelling to keep their readers entertained while informing them about important things happening in the world.
It is obvious, just from the terms and the way the website is setup, that it is focusing on millennials. When comparing Buzzfeed to a site such as BBC News, it is obvious that they were meant for completely different audiences. BBC doesn’t have a trending area, a “what’s hot” spot or use words such as “lol” and “wtf”. It’s the perfect platform for young people to get important news information while also being entertained.
Time saver: No one these days wants to spend 20 minutes scrolling through an article searching for what they were looking for. Buzzfeed is constantly experimenting and testing out new ideas to connect to its readers. They are known as one of the most forward thinking, innovative websites that exists today. One of my favorite things about their articles is how they put things into lists for easy reading. For example a new post today called 6 Important Things to know before Amazon Prime Day quickly lists the top things to be aware of. In less than 2 minutes, you can scroll through the article and read the bolded headings of each 6 things. If you have more time, you can read the explanations below but it isn’t necessary.
Along with that, Buzzfeed has a plethora of newsletters you can subscribe too. Instead of scrolling through their site trying to find one specific thing, you can get an email anywhere from once a week to once a day with the most important articles on the things you are interested in. For example there is a Buzzfeed DIY newsletter, a Buzzfeed Food newsletter, etc. The newsletter arrives with links to the most viewed, most important and newest articles in that topic area.
My favorite: As everyone already knows, I have an almost unhealthy obsession with food and Buzzfeed Food has made it 10 times worse. It is the most user friendly, interesting and easy to use website for recipes I have ever found. Not only are there fun, inventive recipes but they have articles on what to eat each month, tips on eating healthy, step-by-step videos and much more.
I guess you could even say I become the decision maker when I go on to Buzzfeed Food at night to get inspiration for what to cook for dinner or what to buy at the grocery store. My roommates become the stakeholders in this situation because they are the ones directly affected by the choices I make, most of the time they end up happy!
All in all Buzzfeed uses rhetorical awareness and user centered design very effectively to appeal to its audience and persuade us to purchase this, avoid that or cook this tonight.