How does media creation affect media literacy?

Media creation affects all five of the core elements of media literacy as defined by NAMLE, which heavily parallels user experience (UX) content best practices that help users quickly find content that is the most valuable to them. UX content informs, helps, inspires, and motivates the target audience of an organization as the content connects these users to their goals.

Information architecture, a core principle of UX design, directly impacts how accessible content is. If content is not easily accessible — e.g. page load speeds are high or the content is just one long block of text — then users aren’t likely to consume or act on that content. 

UX for Long-Form Media

Media that can be intimidating to approach — such as scholarly articles and developer documentation — can be made more digestible by formatting them consistently so that users know what to expect and can get straight to what they need. This video on how to read scholarly articles is a great example of how information architecture helps the user get to the information they’re looking for faster.

This screenshot from MDN’s JavaScript documentation shows exemplary information architecture with 3 levels of navigation, as well as plenty of headings to give the documentation structure.

Developer documentation is similar to scholarly articles in that it can be long, detailed, and dull to read through; however, with great information architecture comes great accessibility. When accessing documentation for languages & frameworks like HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, and JavaScript, programmers will often want to navigate directly to the syntax section.

Keeping user goals in mind when creating content can help media creators ensure that content is accessible, relevant, and valuable to the user. When a user becomes familiar with standard formatting for certain media types, they can more quickly navigate to the sections of the article that are most relevant to what they need from the article.