Whether you’re getting ready to launch a website or facing a major redesign of your existing site, you’ll want to make investing in high-quality, relevant images a priority. Current trends in web and user experience design are picking up on the overwhelming evidence for higher engagement with images and video, and bringing those elements front and center on sites and in apps.
When starting your site design, including the best possible use of imagery on the site, you should analyze your needs, goals, and target audience. What is the purpose of the site? Begin with a broad category, and then narrow it down to the specific. Are you launching an ecommerce site, or an informational news source or blog site? Will visitors come to your site to make a purchase, or to learn something, or to do something on the site itself, such as playing a game or interacting with a web app?
In addition to your goals for the site, you’ll want to factor in the preferences and interests of your target audience when developing a design and selecting imagery for your site. A children’s toy storefront might feature bright, primary colors and simple, fun graphics to convey a sense of play and excitement and childhood, or it might focus on soothing, natural-looking images with muted colors if the target audience are millennial parents with a strong interest in organic, ethical purchasing. A professional consultant might select images with darker, more serious tones to fit in with traditional, corporate branding, or you could stand out from the crowd with pop art or comedic imagery.
You’ll want to incorporate the distinctive branding of your business or organization into the design and imagery that you choose for your website. If you find yourself leaning toward a different look for your new or redesigned website, it may be time to think about a total brand redesign to better reach your customers, or to bring in a specialist consultant to help you narrow down what the most effective choice would be for your business. You need a cohesive look across all brand materials, including real-world collateral and web designs, defining characteristic layout, color choices, and graphic elements for your brand.
A key marketing, branding, and design idea to keep in mind is that prospective and existing customers or clients never owe you attention, so your website needs to give them a reason to care and engage with its content. You need to provide value to them and make it instantly clear why they should look, read, click, or otherwise interact. Strong, effective imagery is a key way of accomplishing this. Large, high-quality central images can be a critical element in drawing attention and making your content or brand seem interesting and worth engaging with.
Be careful to avoid small, pixelated or blurry, or stereotypical stock images. For imagery to work for you and not against you, it needs to be of interest to your readers, relevant to your brand and offering, and high quality at a glance. However, most businesses don’t have access to, or the budget for, a dedicated professional photographer or graphic designer, which means that you need to identify a reliable source for effective, quality imagery. Dreamstime offers a large library of royalty-free photos, graphics, and videos; you select appropriate imagery whenever it’s needed. Having a go-to source for imagery is important in keeping your site fresh and relevant, both when it comes to new designs and for ongoing use. You can actually see the value of effective imagery on the Dreamstime site. The search bar, a key driver in visitor engagement, is set into a crisp, warm background image, setting it apart as an important component, and drawing visitors’ attention to it while demonstrating how best to build imagery into web design.
Whether designing for desktop or mobile experiences, storefronts, brand pages, or blogs, relevant, quality imagery is key in driving engagement. Your site needs to give visitors, customers, and clients a reason to spend time with you. The value of incorporating great-looking imagery that engages them and cements your brand in their eyes as one worthy of their attention cannot be overstated. Written content tends to get overlooked, unread, and dismissed without great accompanying imagery. Online shopping is less fun, less compelling, and less likely to result in a purchase when it’s just details on a page. So, make sure you stay organized in order to be effective. Build your brand online and keep them coming back for more with the right image strategy and approach on your website.