As pretty much everyone on the planet is aware, the way we receive our daily news about what is going on in the world is constantly changing. The Guardian is a daily English newspaper that has become one of the world’s most popular online news sources. Its online version includes a US edition as well as an UK edition. I enjoy getting my news from The Guardian because I believe it has one of the user-friendliest platforms on the web, utilizing great visuals and simple formatting. The news outlet’s use of images, links, and easy to navigate website shows that User-Centered Design can make or break how the consumer reads and understands their articles.
It wasn’t until reading the Purdue Owl article linked above that I realized what drew me back to the guardian again and again. The Guardian does a great job at knowing their audience. They are a news source tailored to the needs of millennials like myself. Almost every article has appeal to me whereas a competing news source like The New York Times has a great number of articles that are geared more to older age groups.
The Guardian does an excellent job of quickly and concisely identifying the purpose of each article within the title. In blue they state the topic such as “Donald Trump” or “Dakota Access Pipeline” and beside it in black, they convey in a few words the purpose of the article. For example: “Dakota Access Pipeline / Army Veterans return to Standing Rock to form a human shield.”
Something that The Guardian excels in is the User-Centered design and layout of each article. They make it extremely easy to find articles about whatever you are interested in learning about. At the top of The Guardian’s main webpage, news is broken up into 13 categories ranging from U.S and world politics to sports, travel, and entertainment. After you click on one of these categories you are brought to a colorful webpage filled with images and the article titles I previously discussed. You are able to access whatever information you desire quickly and effortlessly.
For example I want to catch up on what President Trump has been accomplishing in his first days in office. After clicking politics I was able to see a link called “Trumps First 100 Days.” Within 10 seconds I am directed to a page that summarizes trumps accomplishments at the top and then further breaks down each and every one of his days in office below. The tracker at the top is in a large clean font that immediately attracts your attention as you open the page. It tracks statistics that I imagine a millennial would care about more so than an older reader. For example, nights spent in the Whitehouse, number of tweets, and meters of wall built (which is still zero). It also lists people, places, and things recently insulted by President trump. (Its a long list)
Within each article the font is larger than most new sources as are the margins. There are more pictures, videos, and links than comparable news sources. This again is part of the User-Centered design. Millenials like their information readily available, and spend less time reading each article than an older reader might. The abundance of visuals and big fonts help keep a millenials attention and make each article feel much shorter and more “skimable”, than an article with long paragraphs and with few images.
It is due to their rhetorical awareness and user-centered design techniques that I believe The Guardian is becoming one of the top news sources for millennials.