[Updated November 8, 2018)]
Web design and basically social media have become such a visual medium. In the beginning, as web developers and web designers, we were limited to text that we would try to finagle as an image. When we found we could include images we rejoiced and then we went a little haywire with all kinds of animation then flash and now we see parallax design (that image you see as you scroll through a page). Then the hard part of finding stock photos and the ability to find photos that best represent our companies. (More on not using stock photos here)
Now, it has become even more important that we build websites with the right kind of visuals. Photos that make sense and have a purpose.
1. Use images that will direct attention. Images that can direct the attention of your users are helpful and can guide the users eye. Having a photo with a face that faces to the right where you call to action is. This can leverage the subconscious by positioning photos of people so that they are looking toward your key products or call-to-action.
3. Clear purpose. Each photo should have a clear purpose. Some of your photos that you might have included would be purely decorative. Stay clear of photos that do not show exactly what it is you do. If you own a spa, I don’t recommend showing the front of your building. It’s boring. It’s not expressing the warmth and calmness of your services. Why not photos of the spa indoors. Give us a better indication of what we can expect. If all you have is the front of your building to show me, then you have problems.
4. Images that show not tell. Screenshots are an example of showing versus telling. Sometimes it is best to show a complex idea by showing it using a screenshot. It will add authenticity to your post as well as help explain. My favorite tool for quick screenshots and annotations is Skitch.
5. Images that convey emotion. Research shows that people are innately attracted toward faces, and will react to faces on a Web page, faster than anything else on the page. And photos of faces looking directly at the camera will have the greatest emotional impact on visitors.
6. Charts and Graphs. Visuals that can help explain a complex statistical report or data. We remember images better than words.
7. Company Photos. Your own company photos are the best when trying to convey culture. It can help you connect with your audience on a deeper level.
8. Performing Photos. If you are going to discuss plumbing or oil and gas production, try to use images that portray it in the best light. For example, if you are going to talk about how you perform a certain type of drilling, do not pick any random drilling photo, try to use one that best represents your company’s process. If you can, a photo that shows a successful install and not one that shows the work site as unorganized.
The first example below show the production as messy, disorganized. While the second shows a completed result.