Using visual images simplifies your message and supports or often takes the place of added text. It’s shorthand for a concept or something hard to describe.
People’s visual recognition and association is very quick. Images communicate quickly. It‘s like the saying, “a picture is worth 1000 words”. But only if it is the right visual.
Images are capable of evoking powerful responses and connecting with each of us in unique ways. A conceptually appropriate image can draw us in and create an emotional bond by tapping into our own feelings.
How can we make an emotional connection with customers through the use of images?
One way to evoke an emotional connection is for the viewer to be able to make eye contact with an image of a person. This connection can also be accomplished by using hands or any image that viewers identify with. Dramatic images can help convey a concept you want viewers to identify with emotionally.
Here are a few additional quick image tips gleaned from numerous online eye-tracking studies:
Image quality is a factor in drawing attention. When people do look at graphics, crisp images attract attention better than small blurry ones.
People in pictures facing forward are more inviting and approachable.
People who look like models (perfect human specimens, according to popular culture) are less likely to draw attention than “normal” people. We need to be able to see ourselves and emotionally connect with the image.
Faces in photos draw users’ eyes.
It is clear that eyes move toward faces when viewing photos of people. When choosing images with people, tighter images where faces are easy to read may work best to draw reader attention.
Multiple faces in photos attract more viewers.
When choosing photos of people, viewers tend to look at and spend more time with images that have more than one face clearly visible.
People routinely click on photos.
It’s worth considering making homepage images links. From the homepage a photo click could lead to an article associated with the photo.
Images that are at least 210×230 pixels seem to keep viewers most engaged. On both homepages and inside pages, the larger the image, the more it will be noticed and the longer a viewer will engage with it.
Once again, take note, most of the online rules here hold true for traditional print media as well.