People are lazy. We don’t want to read, especially long pieces. How many of you have read Indiana Jones Series, or The Game of Thrones and who watched the movies instead?
The popularity of internet resources has grown during the last few decades, and users spend really vast amounts of time online. They watch/read news via online resources, talk with friends in social networks, watch movies, listen to music and finally work online. What about blog posts? Who reads them? I know, right now many of you are trying to skip the text and move to that article section, where the images are. This is not your personal problem, this is how the human brain works.
Still, text remains an important content element. So, when can you use text instead of images and other visual content, and when it is not appropriate?
Text or Content?
Home page and landing page are designed to make conversions. They need to be clear, catchy, quick to view, yet informative, persuasive, and user-friendly. This means you can’t avoid text content, but you definitely need to emphasize the visual part of it.
Home page makes the first impression of your business, as well as you make an impression on customers in the office. Let’s draw a parallel between these two first impressions (made by people and websites): you dress neatly when you meet your business partner or future employer for the first time, and the website design has to be neat too. The design should be minimal, although its value can be emphasized by some elements like trust marks (compare it with your expensive watch you usually wear for these occasions).
Body language is everything when you are doing your best to make an impression; your posture, gestures, mimics. Body language of the website is its content and how you present it. Visuals will tell your customers more and do it quicker than words, especially because users can skip the text. You should demonstrate your interest, so the website is to be user-centered. There should be simple navigation with minimum innovations because users like common things they used to experience before.
Build the connection with visitors through your home page, smile at them with a visual-rich design!
Jesse Richard’s Portfolio Site with Catchy Visual Navigation
Monsieur Restaurant Website
Any product needs promotion to be sold. It is a fair dependence that goods with cool advertisements are more popular that the ones being not advertised, even if the last are of a better quality. When people go to the store, they want to buy a drink or a snack or anything they saw yesterday on TV. Websites work in the same way: you make a good promotion and people buy from you. And here, you need to use visual content: images, videos, slideshow presentation. Pictures evoke emotions, they are more convincing and the major part of information coming to the human mind is visual. The only use of text here can be a slogan and/or brief description.
Danone Website with a Products Image Slideshow
Nivea Website with Image Gallery to Promote Products
How long are you going to explain your lately done project to users? It would be better to show it: therefore, you save time on writing and please users with great shots. It relates to anything from photography to interior design, from fashion clothes design to cars, from architectural projects to modeling experience, etc. Also, if you have a chance to include big images rather than small, you should do it. Images of a full-screen size attract more attention and they are better guarantees that users will go for more, view more, call you and hire you.
Architecture Website Home Page with Portfolio
Florist’s Portfolio without Words
Social Media and Content Sharing
A social-media-friendly website is the one with visual content. Why? Because people tend to share images and videos. Infographics have become the most popular content recently, so if you can make it and your website allows you to use one: do it and your traffic will double, if not triple compared with the last month.
We need to add one more important thing: social sharing buttons are essential to a website. The design for them should be picked carefully and the position has to be suitable. Make these buttons big, creative, colorful and what is more place them in visible positions. Good ones are footer, sidebar, or any place with enough white space.
How to Make Text Content More Shareable?
Suppose you can’t manage your online business but with text-heavy web pages, and text content is your priority. Then, you need to find the ways to make it more interesting for users. Here are our suggestions:
- Add at least one image to each article/page.
- Add videos; (product presentation, testimonials, commercials, greetings, etc.).
- Make articles long and in-depth – 2,000 words or more. Users like to share deep researches, such post shows that much time and effort was taken to complete it.
- Give statistic data with diagrams, schedules or such.
The war of text and visual content began with the trend of making websites minimal, simple, visual-rich and user-centered. Hope we will never come back to those horrible websites with walls of text, and still existing websites of this kind will be redesigned sooner or later, but ‘sooner’ is of course better.