How do I Choose Images for my Site?
When initially thinking about what specific photos may enhance your site quality, it is important to know what exactly makes an image good in the first place. The “good” images usually have a specific clarity in the realm of both visual and psychological comprehension. In other words, images that communicate and really connect with the audience.
Other things to consider when selecting photos for your website involve prioritizing image relevance by choosing visuals that directly support your content and themes. These things ensure a more positive and meaningful user experience that will boost your site’s overall credibility. By focusing your visuals in line with your content and ideas, you create a harmonious collaboration for your audience and establish a meaningful connection that resonates with the users, ultimately improving the usability experience.
Smaller aspects to be mindful of are things such as selecting only high-resolution images to create the best visual appeal or including photos with people/animals to better engage reader’s attention and create the best direction of gaze. Another smaller thing to consider is the appropriate file formats for specific types of images, such as using JPEG files for the more detailed photographs, and PNG files for graphics with transparency. Following these tips is an essential step toward perfecting your site quality and efficiency.
What these Images Look Like
In this digital age many people are unaware of the vast ways photos can be utilized to engage viewers within their content. When analyzing the specific images typically used to draw reader attention, there are usually two types of visuals they may be attributed to.
Lifestyle Images: These images typically depict things related to daily life such as fitness/exercise, traveling, or home life with family. These lifestyle photos can be very helpful to your site visitors since they provide context within the natural environment of what you are explaining.
If the information is about a travel destination, readers will not need to visualize the location since the appropriate image of that location solves the issue. If the information is about a specific object or product, a lifestyle image can simply show how it is used for clarification.
Product Images: These photos are usually shown as a product shot or a close-up detailed image highlighting product details. They are great at making users understand the uses of certain things as they are visual representatives for some brands, often showing users first impressions that influence their purchasing decisions.
They are essentially the standout compelling images that show a product’s features and influence a brand’s quality. They are often used on online shopping platforms as a way of visually assessing the things you want to buy. A good example of this type of image is a hero shot showcasing a colorful background with a focus on the product presentation.
These images are known as the important attention-grabbing elements typically displayed at the top of a site or somewhere on the homepage. They serve as the upfront visuals presented to visitors, so they need to make a strong initial impression. These photos are carefully chosen to reflect the essence of a brand or convey the main message.
Hero images are usually accompanied by bold text or a call-to-action, guiding users through the site’s content. An insufficient image on a webpage can lead to a low-quality site presentation. These elements are the reasons hero images play such a pivotal role in creating a visually appealing and compelling entry point for users.
Key Design Elements in Hero Images
The primary goal when using hero images is to instantly capture the attention of website visitors and create a memorable first impression, almost as if you are hooking them in. As a web writer, you also have to be able to identify what hero images are helpful in guiding users through the digital experience, so what do good hero images incorporate?
Good Hero Images will typically incorporate:
- Composition: This is the arrangement and organization of visual elements within the hero image, incorporating things like balance, symmetry, and focal points.
- Color Palette: This is the selection of colors within the image including the tone and saturation. They convey the desired mood and align with the brand’s identity.
- Typography: This is the use of text alongside the hero image. When using text it is essential to focus on font choice, size, and styling, to deliver a clear message.
- Contrast: This is the deliberate use of elements within the image that create visual interest and emphasize key components to ensure they stand out. An example of this could be a vibrant and colorful product against a neutral or monochromatic background, creating a striking color contrast.
- Scale and Proportion: This is the focus on size and dimensions of objects/elements within the hero image, contributing to a balanced and visually pleasing overall composition. An example would be enlarging a main furniture product and reducing the surrounding furniture details.
In the realm of web design, proper usage of these design principles within hero images will ensure that your site has an engaging look and genuine representation of your goals/purpose.
How should I Design these Visuals?
When diving into the ways of creating a professional hero image, it is important to view it as a nuanced process that requires careful consideration and strategic planning. The development begins with a complete understanding of the brand identity and overarching objectives for the website. After establishing the purpose of your visuals you can begin to explore color schemes, typography choices, and compositional elements that will evoke the desired emotional response. A professional approach entails staying up-to-date with current design trends and ensuring alignment with the values of the brand.
Despite the concise guidelines and methods for developing the best hero image, the task proves to be very challenging for a variety of reasons. The main hurdles when attempting to craft an image like this are things that prohibit it from properly expressing your ideas and broad audience variability. There will be many instances where you are not able to just make your images bright and colorful to get the job done.
Writer Ian Hernandez has an article from DreamHost about some of the best ways to create compelling hero images. His main method of enhancing the overall interactivity between the users and visuals is by utilizing call to action (CTA). This is basically when the hero image is used as an interactive catalyst within your site, prompting users to respond to a specific invitation such as making a purchase, subscribing, or exploring the webpage further.
The call to action within hero images serves as a strategic connection between visual appeal and user engagement that influences further exploration into your website. A good way to do this is to craft compelling text overlays paired with the hero image, prompting users to interact and view more of your webpage. You could also try incorporating visually appealing tabs within the hero section that can guide users toward desired pages of interest.
Hernandez writes in his article:
“In a hero image, you can include a call to action (CTA) to motivate users to visit another page on your site. Interactive heroes can also feature carousels, sliders, and other animations. Ultimately, hero images aim to be attractive, engaging, and eye-catching.”Ian Hernandez from DreamHost
This statement effectively captures the purpose of hero images, emphasizing their role in motivating user engagement and highlighting the many elements that contribute to their overall importance in web design. This quote also directly shows the evolution of hero images from simple visual elements to strategic components that actively guide user navigation.