I think one of the biggest problems working with web design is the lack of attractive and compelling imagery. The key to designing efficient, attractive, and personal websites is the use of a wide range of engaging media.
To me what makes a website design look great are the careful use of imagery that is considered when its designed. In my other blog post – Ways your website is bad for business I talk about if you had a photography business you would want to show off your photography so people could explore your creative side and to sell your services as a photographer. Your images need to be bold and have meaning in order to really sell yourself as a business.
90 percent of all information that we perceive and that gets transmitted to our brains is visual.
Images draw attention
The use of photography and stock imagery can be of great value when it comes to presenting important information, images are a great emotion trigger that you can use to draw your visitors in and get them engaged in your content. When you first visit a business website 9 times out of 10 there is a big photographic image in the first visual area of your laptop, this is the first impression of the business – and you want to make it look good! People need to know straight away what it is your business does, and an image can say that perfectly for you – a picture is worth a thousand words and all that jazz!
Choose important images
If your a business selling cameras you don’t want to be using images that regard ballet – unless the camera you want to sell is in the background (that has meaning) don’t just use images because they fill up white space or that you just like them, images are used to relate to something and to support your content.
Users pay close attention to photos and other images that contain relevant information but ignore fluffy pictures used to jazz up web pages.
Don’t forget about video
We started out with heavy-weight flash files of videos and animations, whereas now we have HTML5 video and so many more options for including video in our web pages. Video is being used more to enhance the way we portray our work and our business, it can make the user journey and experience better as well as being great for introducing your users to a product or service, just like you would a normal image. I have seen a lot recently in placement of the popular use of full-screen-sized background imagery, some companies are now instead using this space to promote full-screen-size video, a video can in theory suggest more about the company then a standard image.
Ensure that Images Do Not Slow Down Your Site
SO instead of video you stuck with imagery you need to think about how images can affect download times – they can slow down a site and by doing so counteract a positive experience. Although nowadays internet speed reduces the amount of time to wait for images too load you still need to consider people who haven’t got fibre optic broadband or mobile phones that are out in the middle of nowhere – it is important that you optimize your images. There are a number of free to use programs that allow you to down scale your images without the use of photoshop. Programs I have used in the past include: TinyPNG, JPEG Optimizer, OptiPNG.
Image Stock resource
I am quite a heavy pinterest user and after spending some of my time exploring the many wonders that is pinterest I found a great article listing websites with free stock imagery – so being a great person I thought I would share this on to allow great use of some of this photography. Original Article here
4. Jay Mantri
9. Foodies Feed
13. IM Free (attribution required; some may have modification restrictions)
14. Lime Lane Photography (can’t modify the images)
15. Live Loud Texas (attribution required)
We use images to enhance the look and feel of our website, images can be a powerful type of content that will enhance the user’s experience on your website. However consider the types of images you use when promoting content on your website, it needs to be relevant and stand out from the crowd. Don’t just use an image because it looks pretty, or that it fills up that annoying white space in the bottom corner of your website, you need the image to really mean something to your business. If used with reason, images can attract and guide your visitors attention, trigger emotions, and build trust. Oh and don’t forget to optimise your imagery – some people really suffer from slow internet.