Website graphics.. do you need pictures?

There are many types of websites but what you need visually for your site is largely influenced by the kind of content you are trying to deliver and the impression you would like your website to make about you. What I want to briefly touch on today are points to consider for the visual appearance of your site when delivering your content and making your impression, and show you examples of my work to help illustrate my point.

Reduced Visual Impact

Some sites have lots of content to deliver and a less visually distracting design helps the user focus on content. In cases like these, graphics on the site are not absolutely necessary to get the websites point across, and just serve to enhance the site without being overpowering. They may also be used to illustrate some aspect in the content, but even then, are kept to a minimum.

This type of design also has a slightly more professional feel to it and I find it is how I approach my more ‘traditionally professional’ clients like doctors and lawyers.

High Visual Impact

This is more suitable when the graphics add significantly to the point the website is trying to make, or, in some cases, deliver a message on top of what the content is trying to say without adding a lot of text. Big graphics can also be used to fill space when there is not a lot of text on the site in the first place.

In my opinion, high visual impact could be used for any type of website but work well for portfolio, marketing and documentary sites.

Everything in between…

Of course there are sites with more impact and less impact and some in between, and although I have put down my thoughts on the subject, there are no set rules of how many pictures a site should have.

A final point to consider…

There are of course pros and cons to adding graphics to a design. Sites with fewer (and smaller) graphics load faster for the user, but, without many images, they tend to be text heavy (a lot of reading) which is actually less appealing to some users. Having great visual appeal might mean a lot of big graphics which will slow website download time and users may not wait around to see what your site is all about. The best mix of course is a nice balance of text and graphics optimized to load quickly.

As always, if I can answer any questions or offer any advice on this subject, just ask. Advice is always free.

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