Taking art pictures and using them in a website is like using any other component when building and maintaining a website. It is something that needs to be done with some careful thought as well as consideration. If you are wanting these pictures to enhance your visitor's experience on your website, help with your branding and just improve the overall visual appeal of your website then you might want to consider some of these ideas.
A lot of website professionals will preach and preach about how important it is to include images such as art pictures in the overall design of the website and in it's content. This is because they believe that visual appeal is quite important for any website. But, you simply can't use just any old image and then expect it to do wonders for the website.
You need to use your images and art pictures with purpose. Since websites look pretty bare without images often people think that if they add something that it is getter than nothing at all. However, Jakob Nielsen, who is a well regarded researcher did an eye-tracking study to see what kind of an impact that images have on websites. The study showed that those who participated actually ignored images when they had no purpose on the website and were just used to fill up empty space. This means that images, even art pictures that have the sole purpose of just filling up white space isn't going to help anyone. The following questions should be asked when you are considering images:
- What are the benefits of using a certain image? Is it showing off my service or product?
- Does the image I've chosen helping the user understand what I'm trying to say?
- Does the image I've chosen create some sort of emotional appeal?
- How does the image help to relate to my brand or relate to my brand? If you are trying to sell something.
- What kind of a message does the image send?
- How are my visitors going to respond to a particular image?
It's important to try and use images of real people, even when it comes to art images. This is especially true if you are trying to get people to sign up for something. People tend to be more willing to sign up for something if the image is of a smiling person.
Your images need to point out the obvious. The images that you use should be able to guide your visitors as well. If a person is in the image it was noted that those who are facing forward towards the viewer that the viewer hardly ever connected them with the content of the actual website. So it is important that images with people are not straight on views. But when the eyes are looking elsewhere or towards the product, service or content of the page, the visitors will direct their own views in that direction.
Art pictures and images also can be used to illustrate different concepts. Very often a picture really is worth a thousand words. This means with a meaningful picture to convey the concept on the page means less words are often needed to explain the concept.
Make sure to optimize the size of the image files. An average web page is 1.28 MB with over 60% of it due to images on the page. So, if you are not careful and your site depends too much on images it is going to make a bad experience for visitors and it will slow down their ability to engage with the site. There are a variety of free apps that will help you optimize the size of your image files:
- Kraken Image Optimizer
- JPEG Optimizer
Just remember, never use images just for the sake of having images on your website. You need to use them for a far greater purpose than to just fill up empty space on the page or to make the page more visually attractive.