Every article, blog post, or even tweet has some kind of purpose in mind that is being displayed to a particular audience. Even the tiniest bits of writing can follow the guidelines of user centered design and draw readers in with their persuasion. If no one wants to read what you write, why even write it at all?
Getting “Edumacated”: When thinking of the concept user friendly design, I had to forget about the websites I use most often, which would be Pinterest and Facebook. Their website’s focus are not always centered around being very organized nor easy to read. When I scroll through Facebook I am confronted with random pictures, videos and posts mixed in with advertisements. Most of the time I find my newsfeed being cluttered with information or videos that I could really care less about. I will be honest, I spend most of my time on sites such as Buzzfeed and gossip sites and tend to slack on staying up to date with the news and rarely ever watch the news on television, but when I do want to feel a little more worldly I go to ABC News for information.
The Key to Success: When I look at news websites, the layout of the website for me is key. I don’t want to have to sift through pages and pages of messy articles to find the most important information. I want to go to the home page and immediately see what I need to know. ABC News seems to really have the user front and center in their minds when they display their news articles and updates. Following the HATS Methodology, their website is split up into various sections including various topics, trending news and the latest headlines and most popular current stories. There are also advertisements neatly displayed on the side of the page rather than scattered with the articles, which I am thankful for. These sections make it very easy to navigate through the website based on your interests (I somehow always find myself in the lifestyle section by accident, I cannot stay away, oops!). Along with the various tabs, the homepage can be described as clean. There is plenty of white space to allow the reader to focus on one story at time. The posts are displaye with one intriguing picture, a headline and a short sentence that summarizes the article. This summary allows a reader to get the bottom line of the article before even clicking.
Huge Target: Although ABC News is focused on news readers, there are countless shadow readers that ABC must consider including a college student to an 80-year old keeping up on current events. Since they have such a wide audience they need to make sure their articles are designed and written so that any person, of any age, can enjoy their landing pages. They focus on easy to read articles that will please breezy readers such as myself and intellectuals who want the facts. Their document design usually includes a couple images and bolded subtitles throughout the piece to make it easier to read. Some of ABC News articles also seem to take a storytelling approach as well, getting the reader hooked right away with a couple intriguing sentences instead of diving in with cold hard facts like this article about the Republic Convention which includes live coverage. The layout of the homepage is very simple and clean. There are not too many flashy colors besides the pictures which helps allow the audience focus on the articles and their titles.
The Bottom Line: The reality is when I am trying to understand what others are talking about in a conversation about current events and do not want to be clueless, I go to the simple, informative ABC News which makes me feel like it was created with me in mind.