Have you ever had an embarrassing story that you wanted to get off your chest? Or maybe you just can’t stand the monotone voice of the professor that is giving you a lecture about which stock to pick, so you need a quick refresh with a funny picture or video. Well, look no further because Reddit has got you covered. This website has it all. From motivational posts to financial advice, you can waste hours of your day on this site.
The best part about Reddit is that all of its content is supplied by the users of the website. This gives the website a unique advantage because the content is specifically tailored by those that are knowledgeable about the subject. The website is essentially one large forum that is broken down into what are called “subreddits.” The most common “subreddits” are news, “askreddit,” funny, and “todayilearned.” Each “subreddit” has moderators and bots that analyze the appropriateness and validity of the content. Moderators are typically industry professionals or those that have credibility within the context of the “subreddit.” This article from Business Insider explains the responsibilities of one of the moderators from the science “subreddit.” Each item has a heading and if there is a long body of text to read through, the publisher will provide a section called “TLDR” which is short for “too long, didn’t read.” They understand that users quickly jump from page to page and may just want a brief digest of the issue that is at hand.
Since the website is loaded with a variety of content the design is crucial to being able to navigate. Reddit offers a tab at the top where you can organize the information that you want to use. Maybe you want to see what is most popular, most recent, or the top articles of all time. If you want a more tailored experience, you can create an account where you can subscribe to specific “subreddits” that you want see. When you create an account you are given the ability to comment, up-vote, and become more involved in the community. Up-votes give posts their ranking and relevance to the front page. Even comments can be up-voted and down-voted which is especially useful on the “askreddit” thread since it is centered around the community’s responses to your question. If you want to search a specific “subreddit”, you can use the search bar.
The website at face value, doesn’t appear to have many graphics. There might be small pictures that are complemented by a heading, however the developers understand that the user wants to browse quickly. They want to be able to quickly skim the front page for the most interesting articles or pictures. If the user finds the heading enticing, they can click on the heading to be taken to the actual “subreddit” where the article will have a more in depth analysis and community comments. If the user likes the concept and it involves a picture or gif (small looped video), there is a small button underneath that will blow up the picture or gif without linking you to the actual article. This especially useful because if the user only wants to see the funniest pictures, but doesn’t want to waste precious time by opening a new page, they can just click the small expand button underneath to fully examine the content. The website is simplistic and compressed with not a lot going on the front page because users will typically delve into a “subreddit.” The “subreddits” are more customized. They will typically have a banner and some sort of unique graphic or theme that is relative to the content of the “subreddit.”