The value of Creative photography in web design
Many people underestimate the importance of good creative photography. Don’t be one of them,
Probably the biggest issue in designing a website is the lack of compelling photography.
I really can’t stress enough the importance and value and how it is a vital cog, combined with well written copy it is the 5th gear that goes on the structure of any site, no matter the subject.
Let’s be clear, the internet is a visual media, visitors judge with their eyes and will only digest the content if you make the whole experience a pleasurable one. This all adds into UI (User interface) and UX (User experience)
Fit for purpose
No matter the images you have in your library they will rarely be suitable for the task. Sorry, but that is most often the case. You need photography that has been taken for purpose, by a professional and with a brief from the client.
Consider the responsive nature of web design, different areas of the photo will be visible depending on the device size. The exact same web page is then rendered differently on different devices but we still keep control.
Directing the shoot
The biggest benefit for me (as a designer) is the ability to direct the shoot in order to obtain images that will work seamlessly with the website, I’m not having to compromise design to fit in with pre-existing images, images that haven’t been taken for purpose.
The aim of design is to direct the visitor down paths that will lead to a sale, either online (with eCommerce) or by contacting your business. Every element is important in this and creative photography,
People buy from people
Our previous point leads on nicely to the question of stock photography. How can you buy an image that will represent you, your products, your services? How can a visitor trust an invisible supplier?
“A shoot you direct is more likely to establish trust than a stock photo”
There is a lot of research showing the psychological issue with trust when buying online, and this isn’t just for eCommerce websites, if you have a website highlighting your products or services you are selling online, you want a visitor to trust your business to such an extent they will make contact with you, to potentially throw themselves at a sales pitch, they have to know you are worth it.
Photography is not the only reassuring aspect, I personally will not buy from a website that doesn’t list a physical address and telephone number, these things help incur trust and so does photography showing you or your team at work. Make the visitor trust you more than your competitors, let them know you are real people and not machines.
Any website can be let down by its weakest link, the purpose of design is to deliver on the goals on the site. Engaging photography can boost success rates, poor photography can severely hinder.
“Design is Art optimised to meet objectives”