The ever popular phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words” conveys the message perfectly; your photos on your website set the tone for what your visitors think, how they feel and the overall perception of your brand from the get go. But what we are drawn to initially may not always be the best. Looking at photos from your users perspective is an ability to look past aesthetics. The photo elements of your website should create a story and express your overall brand message.
Below we will discuss some key elements that you should look for when creating a new website or updating your existing.
Nobody wants to see the same photos they see on every other website. Choose photos that are original and don’t seem like the classic “stock” photo. There are many companies that provide a wealth of photography options. Envato, istockphoto and Shutterstock are just a few. Hiring a photographer is another great way to ensure originality. A talented photographer can capture exactly what you need to make your website ooze with exclusivity.
You know your brand and vision better than anyone. Portraying your product or service consistently ensures your consumers understand what they are getting. If you are a luxurious jewellery designer who specializes in engagement rings, selecting photos of children, no matter how cute, to be featured on your website won’t exactly cut it. You’ll send the wrong message. You still want to stay on point; think about your brand as a whole. Who is your consumer? You don’t want to exclude anyone but you don’t need to include anyone and everyone either. There is a delicate balance.
Your website is your “go to”. You don’t want to inundate someone with information and your imagery should tell a message without letting the user become overwhelmed. A picture can tell a story but too many pictures without any direction via the form of written word, will have your customers leaving your website without taking action. Find a healthy balance. A photo should always enhance your website not deter.
Did you know that large images could affect your user experience by slowing down your website? This is where it can get complicated. Have you heard of aspect-ratio? Do you understand file formats, photo scale and file size? These are all items to consider.
FILE FORMAT: File types you’ll see today are: .JPG, .TIF, .GIF, and .PNG. You’re probably also familiar with .pdf, .psd, .tff, and .doc files but those are not web-compatible. Stick with the former.
SCALE: The best rule of thumb is to only scale down, not up. You’ll know when you see the quality deteriorate. You’ve gone too far!
FILE SIZE: Have you ever visited a site where the images didn’t load? Photos which are too large steal all the real estate and take way too long to download, sending your users in a frenzy. Each photo you utilize will need to be resized to support your overall web design which makes selecting photos super tricky.
ASPECT RATIO: “The aspect ratio of an image describes the proportional relationship between its width and its height. It is commonly expressed as two numbers separated by a colon, as in 3:2.” – Wikipedia So, as an example, in order to display a 3:2 image on the web, we need to have it in a frame that is also 3:2, or whatever the aspect ratio may be. Cropping often occurs if there is a difference. Sounds simple, right? Not quite. It gets even more complex with the computer screen width and responsive web design. In today’s environment it’s simply not possible for a picture to fit every screen size.
Don’t be afraid to tell your story!
Stand out from the generic stock standard companies that you compete with and show people what it’s like to work with you. People love behind the scenes and knowing what the business does with its people and the community.
We can tell you that Jordan is the first one in most days and usually one of the last ones to leave and his current thing is to use one of our hotspot standing desks complete with spinal support standing matt. The intimate details that you don’t share with the world are what the world wants.
Use your website photos to tell your story. If you would like to organise a professional photo shoot contact us and we will put you in touch with our agency partners.
Have we lost you yet? Selecting photos for your website is no joke. To read more about how to maximize your website take a look at some of our other articles and contact our web professionals to learn how you can alleviate this headache, because your website is one of your company’s most valuable assets!