With Internet speeds getting faster, displays getting bigger and our attention spans getting shorter – the online world is getting more and more visual.
Visitors no longer have time to sit and read everything you have to say about your business and they don’t just want to be confronted by a wall of text on every web page. Instead, large banner images have now become a staple part of most modern websites as a means of easing the user journey.
A prospective customer will open the landing page and immediately make a connection with the banner image. Is it what they expected? Is it what they hoped to have seen?
With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of a few considerations that you need to make when planning new banner images for your website.
First things first - you need to make sure the image is in context with the information on the page. If you operate a manufacturing company, you don’t want to be displaying a group team shot on a page about Finishing Services.
The concept of a banner image is to instantly let the user know that they’re in the right place.
During the very early stages of your website build – create a breakdown of your page structure and identify which images will complement the information you’re displaying. A little planning in advance will ease a lot of headaches in the future.
The next question is – how true to your business are the photos going to be? Sure, stock imagery can be relatively cost effective – although exceedingly short-sighted. The age old expression “pay cheap pay twice” couldn’t be more appropriate.
Stock images may be clean and professional looking, but they’re always just going to be stock imagery. Although they may be timeless, they will always be tenuously linked to your content and will never be true to your business. It’s important to get your photography right first time.
Sure, your friend might have a big expensive camera that you can borrow to take your own photos, but unless you’re a seasoned professional photographer, it’s rarely a good idea to do it yourself. It often takes an outsider’s opinion and input to see your services and business for what it really is.
Nevertheless, if you’re keen to take the photos yourself then make sure to follow a few simple rules to optimise your efforts.
Due to the huge variation in website designs at the moment, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ method.
However, one feature that does tend to carry over is the vertical space limitation. This is particularly problematic when displayed on a very large screen and with banner images that don’t fill the full vertical space on the page.
Because of this, it’s important to consider your framing at all times to avoid losing any vital information in the scene. It may look odd, but leave plenty of space at the top and bottom of the frame to allow a buffer for recomposing your images.
You may also want to try ‘negative spacing.’ This is where your subject is all the way over to one side of the frame. This is key to maintaining banner text legibility and to avoid obscuring any important aspects of the image.
I could write an entire book on optimising images for web. But to keep a very long story suitably short, here are a few things to consider when preparing your images for your website.
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