The web has changed in many ways over the past several decades, but one trend is starting to take over: large-format photography. Big, bold backgrounds are catching reader attention and here’s a look at why it works, why it’s becoming popular, and how to use it on your site.
Why it Works
Over the past several years, many new devices have changed the way we look at websites. The same site may be viewed on a small screen, like a phone, or on a high resolution monitor on a desktop PC.
For web designers, this is a big challenge. Sites must look nice across all resolutions, and provide a consistent experience. Large-format photography provides exactly that.
In addition, pictures are easy on the reader. On average, the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than words. This speed, combined with the capacity for robust emotional communication, helps sites pop, delivering complex messages and becoming instantly recognizable upon revisit.
The thing is, large-format photographs have been around for a long time. Photo print shops have had the capacity to scan large images and upload them to a web server for several years. So why are sites moving toward these high resolution photos now?
With the development of faster devices and faster connections, visitors can now view a web page with a high resolution photo without dramatically increasing load time. This means that even a tablet on wifi can see your gorgeous photography without worrying that the download will try their patience.
How to Use It
Of course, it’s important to be careful when utilizing large-format photography. Connections are faster, but some rules must still be followed.
First, the format. If your image is detailed, with many different colors, upload it in the JPEG format for highest fidelity. If your image is simple, with only a handful of colors, upload it in the GIF format to maintain image quality while improving page load times.
Finally, the content. Pick a photograph or image that encapsulates your brand. If you’re offering cookware through your website, include a picture of a delicious meal. If you offer insurance, show a family that’s safe and sound to inspire confidence.
Capitalize on this trend by picking an image that’s right for your brand while being mindful of the reader experience, and your site will see better character, conversion, and recognition.