The use of imagery in modern web design is crucial to creating a visually appealing and engaging website. High-quality images will establish brand identity, convey information, and evoke emotions. In this article, we will explore the various types of imagery commonly used in web design and how they can be optimized for best results. It goes without saying you will quickly run into copyright issues if you use images downloaded from the web and reuse them on your site. This should be avoided at all costs.
High-quality well taken photos are an essential element of modern web design. Well chosen professionaly taken photos will help make a strong first impression, set the tone of the website, and provide a sense of authenticity and uniqueness to the user. Custom photography can be especially effective for showcasing products or services, as well as highlighting unique features of a business or organization.
Stock photos are a popular option for web designers who want to use high-quality images but may not have a budget for custom photography. They are simply pre-created photos or illustrations which can be purchased or downloaded at different sizes and resolutions to use as their lisence allows. There are many online resources that offer stock images for sale. They can be a cost-effective solution for businesses on a budget but they have their drawbacks for example the time taken searching suitable images should not be underestimated.. Many offer a one month trial or new user offer that will help reduce the costs involved. It’s important to be careful when selecting stock photos, as some images may be overused online or irrelevant to your brand. There are some free resources, however they are almost always lower quality or mismatched images. For the best results generally its best to use good quality custom photos or high end stock images provided they are a good match.
Graphic icons are the small images used to represent concepts or actions on a website. For example, a shopping cart icon is often used to represent a user’s shopping cart, while a magnifying glass icon is commonly used to represent a search function. Graphic icons can help to improve the usability of a website by making it easier for users to understand how to navigate and interact with the site. On smaller devices icons can offer clear visual signals to users aiding navigation and helping them find your products for example.
For businesses selling physical products online, high-quality product photography is essential. Product photos should be clear and well-lit, and they should showcase the features and benefits of the product. In addition to standard product photos, lifestyle photos can also be effective in demonstrating how the product can be used or how it fits into a user’s life.
For many small businesses and trades good on site photos should also be thought of in the same context as product photos.
Image Optimization and File Size
It’s important to optimize images for use on the web to ensure that they load quickly and don’t slow down a web-page by having a large file size. Large image file sizes can cause slow load times, which can lead to a poor user experience and lower search engine rankings. Photos straight from your smart phone or camera are generally far too large for use online. Images should be optimized for use online by reducing their file size and compressing them without sacrificing image quality. Tools such as Photoshop and Canva are used to optimize images for the web.
Usability and the Use of Alt Text
Alt text is a type of HTML attribute that describes the content of an image. Alt text is also used by screen readers to describe the content of images to the visually impaired and by search engines to understand the content of the page. They should be used for all images on a website. Try and be descriptive and relevant to the image when using them. Alt text can help to improve the accessibility for the visually impaired and will generally improve search engine optimization. Most modern CMS systems like WordPress make it easy to use alt tags successfully.
In conclusion, the use of high-quality imagery is essential on your website. Quality photography, stock imagery, graphic icons, and product photography can all be effective tools for creating a visually appealing and engaging experience. It’s important to optimize images for web use to ensure fast load times and good user experience. Alt text should be used to improve accessibility and search engine optimization. By using imagery effectively, businesses and organizations will create a website that is not only visually appealing but also user-friendly and memorable.