I’ll be the first to admit that I probably spend more time on my laptop than I should. Being a part of this generation has conditioned me, in some form or another, to have a mentionable attraction to all forms of technology. When I got to college I told myself that in order to stay informed I had to spend at least some of my time indulging in technology to look at recent events and trends. I looked around at websites and news organizations that I believed catered to a younger audience on a broader scale. Of the few that I found, I kept returning to one in particular. The Guardian is a millennial-catering news website that references topics from current political events and business, to sports, art and fashion. Until this class and the Purdue OWL article, I could never really articulate what it was that kept drawing me back to this website. After reading about some rhetorical techniques and the User-Based Design strategy I figured out a few key reasons why I like drawing my information from this organization.
As I stated earlier, I was looking for a website that seemed to “understand me”. As cliche as that sounds, I thought it was important to get my information from a site that could adapt to the changing trends of a certain demographic. What The Guardian does so well specifically, is know their audience. For example, their “Arts” tab is full of articles of new movies and TV shows that are typically geared towards younger audiences. They’ve honed in on reviews of Comedy Central shows which historically has been marketed towards a young viewing group.
Arguably my favorite aspect of this website is how it’s laid out. The document design is so precise and intentional that you don’t even notice how smoothly you’re scrolling through articles until you take the time to purposefully look into it. Each article category is labeled across the top of the website in bold white lettering that’s almost contributing to an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere. Another facet of this element is their linkage. Just as we do here in WordPress, The Guardian adds links in blue lettering to any relevant supporting topics. These links lead to either in-house articles that further the main idea of the article or to outside articles that serve the same purpose. Not to mention that almost every article is accompanied by an attention-grabbing picture that attempts to give an insight to the main idea of the writing.
To me, this is the most underrated aspect of not only this websites, but any news organization’s effectiveness. The guardian uses giant margins and large lettering to get eliminate distractions. Their paragraphs are generally shorter to allow your attention to remain constant through the duration of your reading. Maybe I’m wrong and it’s a little sad to admit my opinion, but a part of me believes that these tools implemented by The Guardian are specifically designed for Millennials. Statistically, our attention span is shorter than that of the average american, and I really credit The Guardian for being able to accommodate this circumstance. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I think The Guardian’s content is any less substantial than any other organization, I just think it means they’re aware of the techniques they can use to captivate their reader’s attention.
This assignment has really opened my eyes to the simple techniques that writers can use to draw attention, send messages, and sway their audiences. It’s really the first time I’ve examined my reading material and looked for clues that tell me a little bit about the organization whose material I’m reading. It’s ignorant to think that an online news source is completely impartial to using this techniques for their audiences. If anything I just believe it tells you that your news source knows what they’re doing.