When we moved into our house, I had so much fun decorating my 6-year-old’s room. We used Benjamin Moore’s Bunny Nose Pink. We bought her a white bunk bed and my mom sprang for Pottery Barn Kids bedding.
Now she’s 11. And she wants San Clemente teal for the walls, a silver rug and beanbags for her friends. Times change and we need to change with them—and nowhere have we seen that so apparently than with websites and responsive design.
As design changes, are we still making good decisions about what our customers need on our websites? AND: Why is a content person and the email newsletter of a writing firm talking about visual images?
Using Visual Images Wisely
Visual images are content. That means we must apply the same rules for content that is text:
1. What is the priority of messaging?
2. What do we need the customer to know?
3. What do we want the customer to do?
There is much debate in the design community about the use of large “hero” images to create emotional punch and impact. Newer websites seem to be moving toward one very large image, or a series of large images in a carousel. Without the rules above applied to visual images, you will end up with content that hurts the customer experience instead of helping it. Jakob Nielsen recently published an article about how to keep image-focused design targeted on your customers’ needs.
If you are redesigning and picking new images, consider:
1. Priority: What matters most to your customers on the page? Will a big image detract or anchor the information in a pleasing and findable format? What matters most to youon the page? If it’s that call to action, then consider how your chosen image may detract or add.
2. Use the right images: If you’re promoting a maternity ward, then images of moms and dads holding babies make sense. If you’re promoting heart surgery, then think carefully about what types of images your patients may want to see.
3. Keep everything balanced: A good designer is key here, as is a great content strategist. Ensure your teams understand the fundamentals of UX so they can weight words and images appropriately. The web is a visual medium, but at its heart it’s an interactive medium. People want to DO things. Make it easy for them! (Tweet this)
What are your visual design challenges? Email Ahava and let her know.