How to Create Visually Stunning Websites?
You have probably heard how important are the visuals in web design and you are just wondering is there something new to learn.
Well, I am not going to rediscover the hot water.
The aim of this article is to summarize what we know and recap on what seems to be important in relation to visual content in web design with a few touches of social media usage of visuals.
Our Brain and Visual Content
You have heard the most popular cliché that a picture is worth a thousand words which is by no means true. A visual “story” can convey more messages and evoke many emotions in a blink of an eye. On the other hand, a written story can do that as well, sometimes more powerfully than the visual one, but it takes time for the brain.
What happens with your brain when you read a story?
- It processes the sound of the story (if it is being told or read)
- It processes the visual aspects (the letter or images on the pages)
- It creates visual aspects of the story
- It creates the visual aspects if the story
- Sometimes, it sends the messages to the old brain*
*The old brain is the one that is responsible for our safety, the one that manages our primal urges: need for shelter, food and drink, and sex.
The Pictorial Superiority
Our brains are visual in terms that any visual information is perceived faster that a written one. And it seems that visual memories are better than the ones created while hearing or reading a story.
Our Brain, Stories and Online Visual Content
Try to answer the following questions:
- What is the last website that impressed you?
- What do you remember if it?
- What do you remember of websites you regularly visit? And why do visit them?
Let’s imagine you have to design an online shop. You probably think about what the product layout is going to be. You think about filtering the products (in case of shops with many items). You also take into consideration the CTA section and newsletter signup.
But do you take into account how you are going to market and drag attention to different product categories. Do you know you are going to engage visitors with your brand? Nowadays, if you pay careful attention to successful brands, it is all about stories. Stories which relate to us, told by people like us.
It is no secret that we trust people who are like us. Purchase decisions are easier when we buy products or services from people we relate to.
One great example of a brand connecting to the people is the last advert from AirBnb for the SuperBowl. This advert not only relates to a versatile group of people (literally to everyone) but it happens to be released in an interesting period of the history of the United States of America.
Using the current affairs is also fruitful for any brand when it comes to visual content. People feel related to brands which take a stand, have opinions and their sales figures are not the first and foremost in their campaigns. In the case of AirBnb, it is worth mentioning that their whole brand image is about trust. Trust between people.
Trust and the Old Brain
I already mentioned that the Old Brain is all about safety, it is the part of the brain that keeps us fed, warm and satisfied. If your website evokes these in the Old Brain, you are likely to gain customers that will trust you.
Visual content, no matter if it is an image or video, should speak to people in way that they do not feel like taking a risk by believing in you. If you sell cloud hosting for example, make sure that your content is telling a story of safety and reliability.
If you sell food, talk about the quality of the food and how you care about your customers by providing food that is healthy.
Visual content should be carefully chosen to enhance the image if your services and products. Choose them carefully and make sure that they will stay longer in their visual memory. Last but not least, know your audience, guide it and be honest to them. People do love honesty and trust brands that are true to them.