Like most people who browse the internet, I am very familiar with the media giant called Buzzfeed.
Buzzfeed articles frequently appear in google searches and the brand has become famous for their YouTube videos, as well as viral quizzes easily seen on Facebook timelines. All of this, plus even more content, can be found on its main website. Whether or not you are personally a fan of Buzzfeed, its website is great material for design analysis.
Buzzfeed understands that creating a space containing an array of topics from pop culture to food to hard news, will potentially create a large spectrum of visitors. Millennials are most likely the biggest portion of traffic to the website although it is not uncommon for teens and older individuals in their 40’s and 50’s to also visit. This is largely due to the effort that Buzzfeed puts into creating their varied content. This can immediately be seen on the front page.
Most of the color comes from images and graphics. To add some neutrality throughout the site, the background is either black or white and almost all text is either black or gray. Although this brand is best known for entertainment, the biggest image on the front page is usually very serious news. By the website logo, a navigation system displays “news, videos, quizzes, tasty and more.” Here, people can immediately go to their place of interest.
If a reader is just browsing, they can scroll down the main page to find bright pictures to catch their attention. While images are an important part in Buzzfeed’s strategy to attract their audience, headlines are equally just as useful. Headlines, just like the text, are colored in black. Any other color in combination with the bright pictures would be too much. Straightforward titles like “12 Very Obvious Facts That Will Make You Strangely Happy” are common. These are attention-grabbing, much like everything else on the site. Keeping up with the mainstream, pop-culture theme, graphics with phrases like “wtf” or “omg” add a fun element to the website.
Even while reading an article, more related content is displayed on the side and bottom of the page. The intention is to keep a visitor on the website by constantly providing something new to click. However, this can have the exact opposite effect, making a visitor feel overwhelmed or annoyed and quick to leave.
Two of the most important parts of the website is the ability to share article links and the comment section under each article. At the beginning and end of an article is a colorful bar that allows readers to share Buzzfeed content. Also at the bottom, the comment section (mostly from Facebook users) adds interaction amongst readers, which aids in developing a community.
All of the design elements on Buzzfeed’s wesbite has played a major part in supporting their media content and up-keeping viewership. These elements might attract or repel visitors, but nonetheless, have been essential in grabbing its large audience.