Redish Chapter 13: Using Illustrations Effectively

We read in a previous chapter about too much text on a web site being a bad way to attracting visitors. Balancing illustrations and pictures with text helps make a site visually interesting and inviting. It attracts visitors, helps support the conversation and makes the visit memorable. There is such a thing as overdoing the illustrations and pictures. Moderation in all things is the key.

What works and what doesn’t for illustrations and pictures? The best illustrations create a memorable experience. They are consistent throughout the site, and make sense with the brand and content. Illustrations set a tone that is appropriate for the message. In the early days of web design, there was a lot of use of flashing and moving objects, a variety of colors and multiple fonts. Things have settled down quite a bit as studies have revealed that moving objects alienate visitors, and minimal number of fonts and colors are more effective in capturing attention.

Good illustrations and pictures help augment the text. They clarify information. Charts, graphs and maps can also simplify the message, and replace lengthy text. Illustrations and pictures also set the mood, whether it is serious, inviting, happy or informative. As with writing text, it is important to keep the conversation in mind and test to make sure the message is clear.

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