Friday, February 12, 2016

Using Images in Web Design: Make it Right!

Using Images in Web Design
Are you questioning yourself about using images  in web design? How to choose the right ones, what you should pay attention to, where to take them from? These are some of the questions we are about to answer in this post. So, stay tuned and keep on reading.

Website design has come a long way. There are trends that come and go, but one important element will definitely always be trendy – the use of images to highlight the content shared on the site. A good chosen picture translates for what words cannot describe. We all know the saying: a picture is worth a thousand words.


Once we brought the content importance up, in one of our previous articles we gave enough reasons why a business has to invest in content marketing.  Check it out!

A picture is not only a visual element for your website design. It also stands for the content that cannot be rendered in words; it usually tells a story and contributes to a better understanding of a complex piece of content.

One can get outstanding pictures through various means: hiring a professional photographer, relying on one’s own photograph skills, or using online image stocks (( we will talk below about using stock images for websites) with thousands of pictures available on various categories.

A photoshoot is probably the best option, as it results in professionally taken, creatively set-up and unique pictures. However, this is also the most expensive option. One’s personal photograph skills might backfire, as not all of us know the definition of focus, background light and other photograph techniques required for a high-quality picture. Online image stocks are a good option for those who don’t put too much value on authenticity and uniqueness.

It might seem that choosing an image for the website is “a child’s play”. But there are things to consider, such as relevancy, authenticity, quality and so on. It is imperative to stand out from your competition, especially when you’re a new business that makes its way through the crowded website realm.

Guidelines to the usage of images in web design that impacts UX and UI experience

The picture you use on your website is not only an element of design. Although photographs are used for their ability to bring beautiful visual effects, they are also powerful communication tools. They are used to entice emotions and to grab attention. If the image you choose does not appeal to the users be certain that this will lead to their drop-off.

It is important to anticipate the way your users will perceive the image you choose. We’ve put several guidelines to help you in the process of choosing the right picture for the website design.

Naturalness
It was once thought that a staged picture is more appealing, as all elements are the way the author wants them to be in order to come into a perfect synergy and convey the message that the author has had in mind when staging the composition. The thing is that these types of images are full of false clich├ęs. People are now attracted by natural pictures. They have the tendency to cast trust and honesty on the brand, than the overused, insincere stock images. Also, natural pictures give a feeling of authenticity.

Purpose
Images must bear a purpose. If used for marketing purpose, such as selling a product, the picture must clearly embed this intention. In this case, an image that shows a person interacting with the product will definitely strike a convincing chord. You don’t want to use visuals just to fill in the blank space, but rather want to communicate additional information through a more engaging instrument.

Quality
The quality of the image you use for your website design has a huge impact on your professional approach towards the design as a whole. Therefore, a high resolution image will work the best. If you think that too many pixels will slow site load down, consider compressing it, rather than choosing a lower-quality image. Try to pick pictures that have a focal point and an enticing composition that translate the message it carries.

Use your creative skills and work with the picture yourself to make it the way you want it to be. A little bit of editing of a photo that you find appropriate, but lacking some touches, can result in an impressive photo.    

Relevancy
This means that the images you use must associate with your business and the purpose of your brand and resonate with your target audience. Often, images are the ones who do the talking on a website. If you are a catering website, use beautiful and mouth-watering photos to showcase that delighting taste buds is your job and that you are the best at accomplishing this mission. Also, if you are a online marketplace selling baby stuff, show pictures of baby and baby clothes to relate to the business you’re running.

Emotions
Visuals bear emotions, which work best at increasing conversion rates. If you want to attract users, a perfect picture with powerful emotion will help you in this quest. Happy faces, proudly displaying a certain product, satisfied expressions of your customers are just some hints for a picture filled with positive emotions. Positive-enhanced images work as call-to-actions elements. They are inviting, persuading people to take action.  


Using Stock Images in Web Design

It is boring to see one and the same stock image overused across several sites. It backfires in case one and the same stock picture is used by competing businesses. Therefore, uniqueness is the way to differentiate from others. These images must tell your audience that, although you are involved in a saturated business niche, you offer special services and that your business approach is unlike others.

People
Images showing people have also the capability to contribute to conversion rate increase. It is because they have the power to convey credibility for the brand. However, as stated above, avoid using stock images that showcase the same people over and over again, across many websites, as they can have an opposite effect.

These images must convince your visitors that they show real people, in real situations, and that these people are somehow associated with the activity you carry out.

Conclusion
When using photos in web design you must align them with the values of your company. It is important that it identifies with the message the images translate. Although there are a multitude of online resources, it is crucial to choose images that are unique, to highlight that you differ from your competition in every way possible.

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