Today’s world is filled with information, much of it useless to a majority of the world. The material moving its way across the Internet ranges from fact to fiction to opinion. It is now more important than ever for websites to center their writing and design to align with the individuals who will be accessing their information. CNN.com relates to its consumers through User-Centered Design and Rhetorical Awareness to aid in their ability to spread information.
The Importance of the Audience
CNN.com, as well as their channel on television, is known best for spreading political information and opinion. In the case of politics specifically, it becomes even more important to consider the audience and tailor it best to reach them in a meaningful way. Outside of politics, the news becomes important information that not only affects the current knowledge of the readers, but impact markets, business decision, and personal lives.
CNN.com attempts to reach readers through easily displaying information, particularly in the business and political world. The individuals that tend to frequent the site would be business owners, investors, voters, and people searching for the latest updates in current nationwide events. Through the site, they are able to keep up to date, as well as access less important articles that some may find interesting to help pass time.
User-Centered Design and Rhetorical Awareness
User-Centered design on the site is very apparent. When you first arrive at CNN.com, the bright red colors stand out immediately, in which always display “breaking news.” This always helps the reader to immediately direct their attention to important updates that they may be likely searching for to begin with. Underneath is a black selection bar with different tabs to click on. From left to right, they read from the most broadly relevant, to articles and videos on sports and style. As the reader moves down the page, the red writing continues to signify what the designers believe to be the most relatable. It also includes a large picture in the center of the page related to the breaking news being displayed.
The writing on CNN.com contains news, but it also includes many articles and videos about different opinions. This includes experts with different views arguing, or articles talking about the different points and why one might be better. Therefor, the site must use rhetorical awareness in order to be persuasive towards a side they may be trying to get across to their reader. CNN.com will often include articles supporting a political candidate and giving examples and reasons why the reader should as well. In the context of news, nearly everyone, including people not reading the site, is a stakeholder. Because is it a nationwide news service, all events effect the way business is done. Whether or not someone supports the views of certain articles, CNN.com produces factual news that affects everyone in one way or another.
Quick and Easy Subcategories
When someone clicks on one of the subcategories of the site, it takes them directly to another page with quick links to articles and videos that best fit that subcategory. Instead of having to search through hundreds of articles, CNN.com categorizes them for their readers and displays the most relevant information. This makes it extremely easy for the reader to find either the specific information they may be looking for, or find an interesting article that most likely affects them in some way. These subcategories include U.S, World, Politics, Money, Opinion, and more.
What I find interesting is each subcategory also displays its on color scheme that seems to associate with the information. For example, the health subcategory is color coated in green, and includes pictures of green vegetables to give the reader a refreshing feeling. Politics is color coated in red and displays a much more serious feeling to the reader. Despite what information the reader may be looking for, CNN.com easily displays it using rhetorical awareness and user-centered design techniques, making it one of my go-to websites for quick and relevant news.