In the current day and age, the internet has become the primary source of information. People search for anything and everything online to find answers to their everyday questions. Not surprisingly, there are tons of websites on each topic, and everyone is offering the required information.
So how must a website stand out from others?
The information on offer has to be precise and accurate and present in a manner that the audience can connect with. It means that along with text, the visual appearance should also be excellent.
A website with high-quality content and imagery is bound to attract more audiences and retain them for an extended period. It also increases the chances of people returning to the same website for similar information.
Images play an essential part, and here is how they can be used in your web design for better results.
#1 Images Must be Relevant
The first step is to have images relevant to the topic and text. Irrelevant pictures lead to a quick loss of interest on the part of the reader. A study carried out in Canada suggests that an average person now has an eight-second attention span.
With that short window of opportunity, time should not be wasted on anything unrelated. If a web page is giving out a recipe for baking a delicious four-cheese pizza, it should not feature images of a pepperoni pie.
#2 Cropping and Scaling
Not all images come in the same size, and adjustments must be made when added to a website. The auto-crop and adjust functions generally result in poorly placed, blurry, or slow loading images on the webpage.
The simple solution is to take a few minutes beforehand and crop the images as per the site’s settings. Ensure that any unnecessary parts of the image are trimmed, and the edited image is resized. Once correctly put in place and centralized, they will look precisely as intended.
#3 Take Pictures
Taking original pictures for a project is the easiest way to take perfect photos for any website. Original images allow the ideas to be better expressed. They can be easily adjusted to meet the requirement of the webpage they’re placed on.
One can use a high quality camera and take the picture themselves, or hire a professional to get the perfect shot. A little extra expense on the images can make the website look highly professional. With no risk of a copyright strike, this is a real win-win situation.
#4 Stock Photos
Taking professional quality pictures is not everyone’s cup of tea. There is, of course, a solution for this problem as well. Stock photos are an excellent source for getting the perfect snap for a webpage. Generally you can get stock images at affordable prices with a license for future use.
The use of stock photos also helps in finding more diverse ideas. The thought process of every photographer is different and they can look over the same object in different manners. With a variety of options to choose from, finding a good fit for your website gets easier.
5. Don’t Slow Down
Nothing bores the audience like a website that wouldn’t open quickly with fast internet now a norm, people expect the sites to open in a jiffy. Heavy images can slow down webpage loading and annoy the audience.
Optimization of images for the website is a must to ensure it opens smoothly for everyone. One must take into account that some of the audience may not have high quality broadband. Images should be the strength and not weakness of a website.
6. Suitable for All Devices
Unlike fifteen years ago when desktops were the only option, people now access the internet on all kinds of handheld devices. A website’s user interface (UI) should therefore be optimized for all these platforms. A picture that looks well on the desktop may not look the same on a cellular phone with a 4” screen.
If the website and images are not optimized for all devices, it may look like information is scattered all over the place. This looks unprofessional and the reader will likely exit the page immediately. A little effort needed to optimize the site can help retain the audience.
7. Keep it Real
It is human nature to connect with other humans. The same rule applies everywhere, even to a webpage.
People like to see pictures of humans just like them. They can subconsciously relate to them as they feel real and that makes for a great advertisement on its own.
There are many other options such as doodles, cartoons, etc. that are being used by several websites. However, nothing really matches the impact of images of actual human beings with emotions, not some hand drawn caricature.
8. Multiple Images
Multiple images are highly effective in drawing the attention of the audience, especially if the website sells products. People cannot physically pick the product and inspect for themselves but images highlighting the different aspects of the products really help.
It is important that the images are sharp and crisp and show the details of the product. If the client can hover over the image and enlarge specific parts of it, it’s even better. Facilitation of the client is an absolute must for gaining a sale.
9. The Background
Images in the background often add more appeal to the message on the website. It is imperative that the images are apt and convey the right message. These images must be carefully selected and go with the theme of the website as well as the content. Plain colored backgrounds are better than out of place images.
10. Add Value to the Images
Pictures relevant to the subject of the website look good. However, adding pertinent information with the imagery is even better. Info-graphics are preferred for websites due to their informative nature while maintaining a visual description.
Captioning the images as well as making them clickable for more information is a good idea as well. Information pertinent to the imagery always creates greater interest in the audiences.
Written content and images complement each other well. Using the right imagery can add a lot of value to the information. There are various tools you can use to help create attractive visual content. These smart approaches will certainly improve the overall appearance of the website and appeal to the audience.