This assignment compares and contrasts two websites discussing a similar topic to different audiences: technical and non-technical. The memo will examine the strategies employed by the websites to communicate to the target group. After the upcoming paragraph, the next sections will analyze and provide the details available on each website page. After a brief outline, every paragraph will analyze how variation in purpose influences the mode of presenting information on the websites.
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For the assignment, the topic of focus will be multiple sclerosis, a type of disease affecting the central nervous system of a human being. Concerning the target audience, the publication from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) is for technical viewers. The website page is http://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Multiple-Sclerosis-Information-Page. On the other hand, the publication from the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) society targets a non-technical audience. Its web page is http://www.nationalmssociety.org/What-is-MS.
Based on the details provided and terminologies used, the website for NINDS is meant for a technical group. Therefore the primary audience for the NINDS web page is doctors, nurses, physicians, and any other related healthcare professionals. The audience is well educated and has medical degrees hence they have a proper understanding of multiple sclerosis diseases. Its age ranges from 22 to above and consists of both male and female healthcare professionals. The types of information they have are definition, treatment, prognosis, treatment, patient organizations, and clinical trials. Since NINDS is an organization from America, it implies that the primary audience has a western cultural background.
According to the information provided on the MS Society website, the primary audience is the general public. The viewers are less educated; therefore, they lack a proper understanding of the subject matter. The age bracket of the audience is between 20 to 50 years which is in relation to the prediction of the website about people who are mostly diagnosed with health problems. The target group contains both genders with varying education levels, for example, some may have degrees while others may not have any educational qualifications. The terminologies used in the article are simple; hence, anybody can easily understand them irrespective of the level of learning. The audience has different occupations and they have western cultural backgrounds.
The secondary audience for the NINDS website is family members, relatives, and patients. The government (Ministry of Health) also might use the available information on the website to help in proper planning for managing the condition. The website does not use appealing strategies since it lacks attached or any other form of images. The web page does not use claims and it makes a great effort to connect with the audience by providing information about definition, prognosis, treatment, clinical trials, medical research, and other patient organization available.
On the MS society website, the secondary audiences are health researchers, students who want to understand more about the disease, and other users, including an organization that would like to provide support to people having MS conditions. Since the main targets are patients and families, the web page has used attractive imagery of people having beautiful smiles to influence people who might have the condition. The pictures inform viewers that having MS is not the end as one can be happy and continue with life. On the website, there is a photo of two men with the caption “William Diagnosed in 2002” (“What is MS?” n.d.).
The illustration informs the audience (patients and families) that after diagnosis, survival chances are high. Furthermore, the article has arranged most of the queries the audience would like to know about MS; hence, making it easier to follow. The web page does not use claims, but they have great effort to make the audience understand every piece of information. For example, it defines MS, who gets MS, types of MS, the number of people living with it, and Multiple Sclerosis FAQs.
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The biggest part of the article website contains technical language, for instance, “Beta interferon drugs have been shown to reduce the number of relapses (exacerbations) and may slow the progression of the disease” (“Multiple Sclerosis Information Page,” 2017). The terminology ‘Beta interferon’ is a technical term that the average person cannot understand. Furthermore, it uses jargon like ‘tranquilizers’ that is complex to understand by a general reader. On the NINDS page, there are about ten sentences per paragraph and around 28 words in each sentence. This shows that the audience is capable of reading and understanding long texts. The statements in this article are formal since they deliver information useful in curbing a disease condition.
On the other hand, on the MS Society website, the article does not contain technical language. It uses simple terms that can be understood by an average person. They are jargon used on the web page, for example, “immune-mediated” (“What is MS?” n.d.) which is followed by definition to simplify it. The average sentence has about 25 words and three sentences per paragraph. This shows that the readers cannot consume large amounts of information at once therefore, they are broken down for proper understanding due to a low level of education. The article used an informal format, implying that it tends to address common people.
On both NINDS and MS society websites, there is no advertising. The former does not include any kind of graph or image, while the latter contains analysis graphs and pie charts, pictures of people beautified and clear to attract audiences’ attention. In conclusion, from the audience analysis, it is evident that website communication is structured in accordance with the target audience. The language, images, and sentence format differ based on the expected readers.
Multiple sclerosis information pages. (2017). MINDS. Web.
What Is MS? (n.d.). National MS Society. Web.