A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words

  • A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words

    Amazingly we’ve never actually written about this subject, but image quality is a discussion we do have fairly regularly with clients.

    Text content is, of course, very important and professional copywriting can really enhance a website, as well as helping to improve conversion (if that is the goal).

    However, the impact of wisely selected or designed images are usually the first thing that a visitor notices. As such, they need to engage immediately, be relevant and assure your customer that they have entered the shop front of a professional organization.

    The responsibility of a web design agency is to design a quality website that showcases your products and services. They should take the time to understand the factors that will determine the type of imagery to use.

    Considerations include:

    The Demographic You Want to Reach

    Target Age Group 

    This matters, since certain genres appeal to different age ranges.

    Social Status or Aspiration 

    ​​This is not only a matter of current affluence, but it may be ‘aspirational’, appealing to what people are reaching for.

    Equally valid is the appeal to basement level products. The stack ‘em high, sell ‘em’  cheap’ philosophy of some supermarket brands. 

    Regional and Geographic Considerations

    Akin to the afore mentioned, but with another dimension.

    City, rural or coastal settings can have a bearing on images chosen. 

    Pictures Re-assure or disturb and can generate a feeling of security and trust.

    Seasonal Considerations

    No one wants to see Christmas trees in summer for instance. This is obvious, but there are some far less evident pitfalls to avoid.

    A correctly positioned image can either disturb or create a sense of wellbeing.

    A typical example would be a tropical beach and azure sea acting like a magnet on a cold winter’s day. 

    Quality/Value Equation

    Nothing wrong with either. The bargain basement philosophy works for the right clientele.

    However, if you have high unit prices, your images need to exude quality.

    There is a strange ‘inverted pride’ to appeal to here. People will choose to pay more for a perception.

    Sourcing Your Images

    Unless you happen to be a keen photographer, we’d recommend either engaging a professional, or sourcing quality high res images from a stock image website.

    Images can make or break a site visually, and in addition, from a technical perspective, large image file sizes can also slow the performance of websites, so it’s imperative to get the balance between quality and file size right. They will also need to be uploaded at the correct aspect ratio, in order to avoid stretched out of proportion images, this involves some cropping of images offline prior to upload.

    Finally, it is extremely important that you are confident, you have the rights to use images, just because an image is online (i.e. Google Images) it does not mean you have the rights to use them. In fact even on stock image websites there are a number of images that can only be used for editorial purposes, so they cannot be used on a commercial website.