Web Design Trends 2016: Era of Large Powerful Images

Good morning internet fans. It’s Ryan Perry with Simple Biz Support. Today is Thursday August 20th; therefore it is Internet Marketing Thursday. I have Virginie Dorn with Business Website Center down in good old Petaluma, California. Good morning Virginie.

Virginie Dorn: Good morning Ryan. Happy Thursday to everybody who’s listening today.

RP: Definitely. Happy Thursday. We have a lot to cover so I want to jump right into this. Essentially what we’re talking about in this kind of series, I think it’s going to be a four-part series on where website design is going into 2016, is really talking about the big image. It used to be that back in the day we had to really be careful about image size. Even Google said, “Look we want your websites to load because of mobile devices and the slow download speed. Today however, technology’s changed quite a bit. Internet speeds are definitely ramping up even on the mobile side. We still need to be aware of minimizing the overall file size. But more and more websites are going to very large images and actually a few of them now are going to full screen video. Which I think is really cool. And I think that’s just an advancement of technology allowing us to take… To really maximize the real estate space that we have on a website.

VD: Yes. There’s nothing more powerful than the right image for conveying a complex subject matter. I mean in a matter of seconds you can really convey a very complex idea like you and I discussed. Then people are not required to read six paragraph of text so images when used purposively and appropriately can be quite beneficial to the website. So that’s what we…

RP: Yeah. The only thing I was going to say is that in that case, it’s really important as a business owner that you have a really clear understanding of who your audience is and what the goal of the website is so that when people land on it that expectation is met with the imagery that’s presented and then obviously the words.

VD: Yes. Absolutely. We talk about target audience I think every single Thursday. And for some of my clients sometimes it still goes over their head. If you don’t know who you’re trying to sell to, there’s no point in doing anything. When using large images the same remains true. You have to know who your target audience is and will large image will be beneficial to them? If so how are you going to purposely use it? And we’ll be showing you today some actually live example on how customers have used it too appropriately and have got really positive success from that method.

RP: Okay perfect. You are going to cover two concepts is that correct, with individual parts with each one?

VD: Yes, so we’ll have two parts. The first part is the mechanics and maybe three different samples and how to use a large image on a website and the second part about using an image with a purpose. I’ll be repeating the word “purpose” a lot. You just don’t want to use an image because it’s just pretty or kinda look like what you do. You want to use it for a very specific goal to support your business vision. So let me start with sharing.

RP: Alright. And the one that you’re going to start, sharing, this is a very large image and we’re talking about… What are we going to be talking about with this image?

VD: Well, this one is when you use a large image as a full screen. So that website; regardless of the screen size of the user I’m counting on a 24-inch screen size. It will adapt itself. So even if you’re on a smaller screenshot like 19 or 18, the image will still be full screen and fully visible by the visitor. And this can be quite powerful. You can really focus on just a few elements. As you can see they have four defined sections to their website. They have, I think, hundreds of pages. And it represents what they do, which is a door siding for houses.

VD: The next one I want to show you is how large images can be used in sliders. This one is actually quite a large image. Again, I’m using a 24-inch screen and it’s… They all have a purpose. It’s used in a slider. It’s totally possible nowadays with the new coding technique. There’s no slow-down. I have regular Comcast internet here. As you can see the images are displaying just fine. There is no down time whatsoever.

VD: And the third one I want to show you in terms of mechanics. By the way we will be spending more time on purpose behind images, but let’s look at mechanics. You can also do a collage of some sort. Again, screen size are getting larger and larger nowadays. It is not uncommon for someone to have a 20 inch or above. And as you can see, this client was able to convey very specific message about what they do and the need by using a different collage. And maybe this could be our segway into the next part. As you can see on that image it was done purposively.

VD: There is different ethnic background of the children they help around the world. There is actually a total of six images, three of which are quite sad, what are the current situation in those countries. And three images are smiling children, which is the positive result this organization has, thanks to donation from the public. So it has the need, but it also has the output of what difference people can make by supporting Children Hunger Relief Fund. Which by the way is a fantastic organization so if you’re looking in supporting someone, those are the people. So they did a large image.

RP: Right, and what I like about all the images is that they either… They clearly define what they do or who they are or they convey an emotion, you respond to that emotionally and ultimately if you can connect with people emotionally, they are going to want to take the next step which is fill out a form, make a donation, buy a product, pick up the phone and call you.

VD: Absolutely, and people keep forgetting when you’re on the Internet there’s no possible way for eye contact or handshake, there’s no physical contact, somehow you have to evoke a certain type of feeling and the feeling is different for every industry, and a non-profit organization you really want to touch the heart of the visitor. So very heartfelt if you are high-end corporate office you really want to strike the feeling of power, accuracy, trust, high performance. So different feelings, different companies and that can be done with the large powerful images when it is used right.

VD: So let’s move on to again the purpose behind the image, you just don’t want something when it’s just pretty or kinda looks like what you do. You want to do it with a goal in mind, so it can work if for instance if it’s a perfect representation of your services of your products, so think, Apple computer; If you go to their website in their iPad section of their site they have pictures of their iPads which makes complete sense. This particular client is using large images of branded product they’ve created for their own customers. Again it’s a perfect representation of the vast majority of products they can build for clients and how they can brand them.

RP: Right and what’s really nice about that is that when you get to see the after effects, is that you can see how everything comes together. The brand and the purpose and all of that comes together and that’s really powerful. The other ones is if it’s relevant or before and after images also.

VD: Oh absolutely. That’s great in the service industry when you’re doing renovation work, cleaning work, anything before and after, even dietary industry, exercise. Now the next one is if you for instance have… You’re trying to push a brand, so this client here has developed a new logo so what they did is they put it right nice and big as their first slide… Fairly large. Typically people will not put the logo that large, e but again they’re pushing the release of a new logo and that’s what we decided to do, is put it nice and big on their homepage for at least the next few months and at some point they’ll take it down and just replace it with a different slide.

VD: So if branding is important to your company, make sure it’s there on that first large image so to really connect the user, “Oh, that’s right, that’s who they are!” It’s all about visibility. Now another purpose you want to think about is again highlighting the benefits of what you do. So for instance if you’re a construction company you mentioned the before and after. Another thing can be the focusing on the after, “This is what we do. That would present the quality of our work, those are our projects, we do large commercial buildings” and so forth as you can see it has pictures of all of them.

RP: The other thing you’re doing is you’re getting social acceptance especially with these people when you… Locally we all know Cloverdale and if they built or were part of the Cloverdale Fire Department there’s a certain level of credibility that they get with that image just because of the brand that they are now associating themselves with.

VD: You’re absolutely correct and they actually indeed build the entire construction of the entire building here for the fire station. So yes, brand recognition… Oh, you did their website, you did their construction, you did… People just by association will think better of you. Now last purpose to consider is when it helps support some sort of call to action, so you have an image perhaps that you want someone to do something. So I’m just going to refresh… The first slide on this particular website ask you to even… Let me go back again. I ask you to contact the agent or visit the page associated to that image. So people could click here and it would take them directly to that real estate property that is available for sales if you have over $3 million to spend, and I think you went there not so long ago, correct?

RP: Yeah, this is one that I was back in April or… I think it was April. It’s a beautiful place if you have an extra three million, it is definitely a beautiful place and very close to downtown Cabo San Lucas.

VD: Yeah, well, you can see how you can have the image and then call to action right on top of the image, just like here is another page you can click here and see the property. So again something to remember, have a purpose behind using a large image, it could be a perfect representation of your services or product. It could be when you’re trying to push your brand forward. Announcing maybe a new brand, it could be highlighting the benefits of you using a company; What would be the finished product if you choose us and also illustrate a concept that helps support a call to action on your website. So all of this if you can use an image for one of those four purposes you can be quite successful and…

RP: Alright, and if you’re going to do that I really recommend that you talk to an expert, somebody like Virginie, who deals with this on a regular basis. And there’s a couple of key reasons. One, understanding how people look, interact, and deal with website is really important. When you convey… Essentially, a website is another marketing tool; it’s a way of conveying information. A radio ad is a way of conveying information. A billboard is a way of conveying information, just like a postcard is. But people are going to interact and deal with each one of those forms of communication differently, and so, if you try and take the same message that you put on a postcard that you mail directly to people and just copy and paste it and put it on a billboard, you’re going to have horrible results. And so, you really want to make sure that you work with somebody who understands how people are going to interact with the device that you’re putting this message out on.

RP: The other part is, having somebody that has graphic designers who can actually create beautiful imagery that you may not be able to do as a business owner. A lot of times we go, “Ah, we got a really tight budget, I’m just going to try and build out my own WordPress site.” And the downside to that is that you end up creating something that may look nice, and when you show it to your friends and family everybody goes, “Oh, my goodness, it’s beautiful.” But if it doesn’t convey the right message, then you’re not going to get conversion, if you do not get conversion, then you essentially have a marketing piece that’s not effective, and you’re wasting time, money and energy, because every day you’re not making a sale, is a day or a sale that you can never get back.

VD: Oh, gosh, you said it so well. Mommy’s proud.

RP: You’re not going to start crying are you?

VD: No, no, it’s exactly it. You nailed it right on it, yes. Listen to Ryan, he knows what he’s talking about.

RP: Alright. Well, that’s it. It’s the end of the show; I nailed it, time to go.

RP: But actually, really, it is the end of the show. We’re at the last minute, do you want to highlight real quickly, just kinda recap what we talked about?

VD: Yes, so there are different ways to use the large images on the website, either full screen size, it could be in a large slide show, also known as slider, it could be a collage of some sort. Then again, the important thing to remember is to have purpose when using an image, and make sure it pushes forward your brand, or at least promotes your services or convey a very complex, or maybe a very specific message you’re trying to convey in a matter of seconds. So again, purpose, purpose, purpose, and with that you can use large, powerful images and render great benefits for you and your company.

RP: Alright. Perfect. Well, that is the end of the show Virginie. As always, I appreciate the time and energy that you put into this, and providing all of the viewers out there some great information. Next week, we’re going to continue the website trends in the 2016, it’s going to be the final part in this four-part series, and always looking forward to talking with you and sharing some great information with our audience.

VD: Sounds good. Well, have a great weekend.

RP: Alright, will do. Okay everybody, have a great Thursday and a great weekend, and we’ll see you next week. Take care.


About the Author:

Ryan Perry is the founder and CEO of Simple Biz Support, Inc. Ryan started video blogging in 2009 as an alternative to written blogs to create visibility and credibility online. During the workweek, he enjoys helping small business owners harness the power of video to grow their companies. On the weekends, he enjoys hiking and searching out waterfalls throughout the state of California.

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