In the world of web design, one of the most critical elements to an efficient and cohesive site is the use of graphics. Graphics convey meaning and purpose — and help to enhance the style of your brand, product, or service.
Here are 10 invaluable tips on how to get the most out of graphics in web design.
Graphics should help website navigation
When it comes to graphics, a good rule of thumb, is to make sure the graphics are useful for user navigation. Website efficiency depends heavily upon the user experience — how easy is it for your user to get around your site? If you keep things easy and efficient, your users will be more likely to return. Whether your graphics are leading your users to your portfolio, an outside site, or a video link, make sure they serve a purpose and help with navigation.
Graphics should enhance the site’s style and purpose
Every website serves a purpose. Perhaps your site is a way to share your creative photography portfolio, engage potential customers with your brand, or convey information about a product. Whatever your purpose may be, use graphics to enhance this purpose and do so in a way that mimics the style, aesthetics and color palette of your site. A social media consultant, for example, will have a site that serves a greater purpose if they are sharing specific graphic icons related to social media (rather than ambiguous images).
Use images that support an idea
Similar to using graphics that enhance the site’s style and purpose, you want to use images that support your ideas. If your site is one about positivity, for instance, utilize images that support this idea and convey this particular feeling. If your site is about the thrill of outdoor adventure, think of images that speak to this idea: a mountaintop, a bicycle in the hills, a backpacker gazing on the valley below.
A great example of supporting the message with photography on SearchingforSyria website (I’d suggest to scroll it to the end)
Check the copyright of the image
If the image you’re using isn’t your own, make sure to check the copyright (this will prevent you from getting into a less-than-ideal situation down the road). If you’re using stock images, they tend to fall into the categories of personal use, editorial use, and commercial use. Here are the basics of each.
Personal use refers to images that aren’t being utilized for commercial gain (for things like social newsletters and party announcements).
Editorial use images are used for sharing information and news.
Commercial use photos can be used for anything from advertisements to products.
Use quality images
This is a simple tip— but it’s a crucial tip. Use quality images. Too often sites are cluttered with blurry images or images that are poorly edited. Make sure your images are high resolution, scaled appropriately and optimized for search engines. When it comes to editing, today we have a lot of options to choose from. Photoshop can offer tools for practically every task you need to perform. Luminar offers a variety of creative one-click presets to give every photo a professional edge. So far as a free software, experiment with a powerful but flexible program like the top-rated GIMP.
Use graphics that grasp the viewer’s interest
It’s easy to stumble upon a series of graphics and choose the first one you see. However, in the world of graphics, not all are created equal. Take a few extra moments to ask yourself what graphics draw you in, grasp your interest and maintain your attention. Even if your viewer’s gaze is only lingering on the graphic for a moment longer than it would be otherwise — it’s worth it. That could make or break the possibility of them buying your product, returning to your site, or hiring you for a gig in the near future.
A great example on https://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/poor-millennials/. Scroll it down!
Graphics should explain ideas visually
One of the most incredible things about using graphics in web design is that they hold the power within them to explain ideas in a visual way. For many people, this is crucial — as they associate themselves with being a visual learner rather than someone who learns simply through reading and absorbing. Use images that support your content and share relevant information. Prove your points and enhance statistics with things like graphs and charts. In doing so, you’ll help your audience to understand and trust the information you are sharing.
Fonts are important, too!
Have you ever ventured to a website and found the font to be startling? Sometimes, fonts can be too large, too bold, too soft or too delicate. Keep in mind that the font should mirror the site. For example, a site of an automotive shop might not be the best pick for something feminine with lavender swirls — just as a bakery specializing in edible flowers might not be the optimum site to host a big, dark font that uses solely capital letters. Keep your font in line with your theme and your viewers will be more likely to connect with (and understand) your site.
White space and clean design
Just as a clean and clear home is more inviting to household visitors — so, too, is a site with a clean design. A clean design is a key element to communicating your message but that doesn’t have to mean less content. It simply means you are using the space of your site in a way that is clean and clear. Instead of feeling the need to fill every inch of space, remember that white space on your site can make just as much of an impact as a site filled with images. Sometimes, simplicity works wonders to showcase images and graphics in the best way possible.
Creative use of a white space on socialclubparis.com
In web design, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of sites and pulled in a variety of directions. Above all, remember: experiment, have fun and be willing to get creative.
The world wide web is a dynamic and ever-changing place. If you move with it and continue to learn, you’ll surely create the site you seek. Our hope is that these 10 tips have given you the inspiration needed to go out and use graphics in a way that helps your site to develop and evolve.
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