How to choose meaningful images

Quality

  • Use high quality images.
  • Don’t use images that are too small

Meaning

  • Use helpful images that are highly related to the written content on the page.
  • Be original and use images with visual interest.
  • Don’t use images only to decorate your page, fill in empty space or create a visual break from dense text.
  • Don’t use obviously stock art, faked or polished images. People will ignore them 85% of the time (e.g. smiling woman wearing headset).

Colour and contrast

  • Use colourful images instead of black-and-white images.
  • Use images with a high contrast between the object and the background.
  • Use images with a simple background. Avoid busy images with a crowded background.
  • Use images with smiling people looking directly at the camera.
  • Use real-life images with attractive and real-looking people. They should look healthy; have a well-proportioned body and a symmetrical face.

Photos

  • Use large, high quality photos for slide shows.
  • Use a thumbnail and a larger high quality photo when selling products.
  • Offer a zoom-in option to show the product details.
  • Label photos if their meaning is not instantly clear.
  • Confirm the person’s identity with a caption near the image.
  • Offer screenshots in full size.
  • Don’t embed text within photos.

Illustrations

  • Use precise illustrations to demonstrate a process, give instructions, or break down complex subjects.
  • Don’t use cartoon-like illustrations in websites for adults.

Icons

  • Use only icons that are obvious.
  • Don’t use tiny icons that make users think.

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