Compare and contrast: Is sunscreen dangerous?


The two articles that I picked to compare this week are about the safety of sunscreen. The articles take on different viewpoints, and I found the online readability to be better in one of the articles. I chose this topic for a several reasons. I am about to go to the Caribbean with my family and we are all very fair, so the concerns that have been in the news lately are in the front of my mind.

The first article is from Men’s magazine called Two-Thirds of Sunscreens Could Be Hurting You, Report Says. The article did a wonderful job in breaking down the report issued by the Environmental Working Group. The article’s comprehension was easy to follow and understand. The layout was clean with a lot of open white space that did not take away from the content of the article. The overall experience of the content had a nice flow delivering information and was written in a pleasing manner. The informative article kept my attention while giving me points on both sides of the argument. Below is a good example.

“The Environmental Working Group released its 2019 Guide to Sunscreens today—the 13th annual report of its kind—and it finds that two-thirds of sunscreen products on the market “offer inferior protection or contain worrisome ingredients.” But not everyone agrees you should be scared.”

The article listed the concerns in an easy to read list while summarizing that the major issue. They also consulted with a dermatologist to understand their point of view and give advice for safe sunscreen use which kept my interest to find out more from an expert. I found the article to be very informative but it left me coming up with my own conclusion on how I want to protect my family. The delivery of facts did not develop an opinion but rather kept me interested. I was intrigued to keep reading for more information.

The second article is from CNN called Avoid sunscreens with potentially harmful ingredients, group warns. I found the article to have several useful tips towards the end but the beginning was one sided to pull you in. The experience was not written in a manner which was entertaining or pleasing but rather very opinionated. The facts were not given until much later in the article which left me frustrated. This flow would leave many readers to abandon their reading before getting all the information towards the end. Due to the heavy opinions early on, this article was not easy to read. The layout was not clean design and had a lot of advertisements that were distracting. An example of the comprehension that I felt was hard to read is below.

“The Environmental Working Group says 56% of beach and sport sunscreens contain the chemical oxybenzone. The primary function of oxybenzone is to absorb ultraviolet light, but some research shows oxybenzone can be absorbed through the skin.”

Although I was using the two articles to compare what I liked and did not like about the readability of each, I was able to walk away with some useful information I can share. Until the FDA puts stronger regulations on sunscreen it is recommended to :

  • Not use a sunscreen over SPF 50
  • Make sure labels list both UVA and UVB (broad spectrum protection)
  • Avoid products with oxybenzone and retinyl palminate
  • Choose lotions over sprays


Professional Bio

I have been in the creative industry for over 20 years with experience in digital, print, mobile and email communications. I started as a print designer and moved into the fast paced digital world of emails and websites. I successfully launched a widely used healthcare mobile app with over 500 modules in just a few short months as a Creative Director at Aetna. In my recent role as Senior Communication Manager at Aetna, I provide design direction and strategy within healthcare communications for both print and digital. A large part of my role is client facing to provide solutions and strategy while maintaining the brand across several products.

I earned a BA in Graphic Design from Southern New Hampshire University, and I am pursuing a master’s degree in Interactive Media and Communications at Quinnipiac University. The digital world fascinates me. Understanding what the user experience means for the user is essential. It is all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the site, services and products that leads to a successful product.




Journey mapping is essential

jouneymap_finalA journey map is a visual representation of the experience the user has with a product or service. It tells a story from the user’s point of view from initial engagement and continues throughout their journey. In order to understand a user’s experience, you need to observe how the user interacts with the many different starting points within the product or service.

For example, this can be through marketing, referrals, search, social media and customer service to name a few. To ensure the experience is a positive one, you need to map out every touchpoint along their journey.

Why create a journey map?

Journey mapping helps you see the business from the user’s perspective. It provides insights into user pain points — how you can improve the experience, and define what users need in order to complete an experience. Users expect companies to be connected and seamless; while also knowing who they are and what they’re looking for. They don’t want to take extra steps to get to their goal. A journey map will help find the cracks in order to create a solution for a better user experience.

Some of the benefits of a journey map may include:

  • observe where users interact
  • determine whether the user journey is in a logical order
  • provide an outside perspective on the why
  • reveal the gaps between the desired experience and the experience received
  • help create priorities for product strategy
  • afford you the opportunity to view from the user’s needs rather than the business needs

Making it worthwhile

For a useful map, you need to include every touch point the user experiences within the product. For example, when a user is planning a vacation, you will need to begin from the moment they start thinking about possibilities right through to finally booking their vacation. Each touch point is an interaction with a product or service. By following along the journey, you will be able to see where users experience pain points.

Key elements to include:

  • Journey
  • User profile
  • Actions & Channels
  • Emotions
  • Actions
  • Opportunities
  • Ownership

As your relationship with the user develops, the map will include a view of the long-term, post purchase journey. Looking at the completed journeys of users can help highlight whether there is a clear path from research to end product or service. This shows the potential obstacles and opportunities to improve the journey.