The Importance of Visual Context in Web Design
From the author: According to the results of a popular study by the University of Missouri Science and Technology, visitors form an opinion about your business site in less than two tenths of a second. The visual context helps them in this, which forms a good impression and delays users on the site longer. A picture affects users more than textual content, since it can be used to transmit a message more efficiently and faster.
In words, it is difficult to explain to the reader what the writer wants to convey. The same thing in web design. A website needs a visual context that links the life experience and organization histories.
What is a visual context?
The visual context is related to the presentation of content in such a way as to better convey the main idea of the site.
For example, an architect’s site may have a portfolio with successful projects. The user will decide whether he needs this section or not. The visual context from the very beginning (images, colors, indents) will give the user an understanding of the architect’s knowledge in design, experience in construction and administrative expertise.
Let’s look at one more example with an aerospace engineering company. A bold picture of the aircraft and equipment immediately makes it clear about the position of this company in the aerospace industry. The user does not even need to read the text on the banner.
Imagine how this landing would look without an image of an airplane. More vague and more complicated. Merc Aerospace offers a wide selection of engineering solutions in various sectors. The main direction is the aviation industry. All this is appropriately presented through the pictures.
How to create a visual context?
Creating a visual context depends on the understanding of your users, the prospects for changing users with age, gender and ethnicity. For example, images with white color can cause happiness in some people and sadness in others. Therefore, to create the perfect visual context on your business site, you need to evaluate the understanding of your audience, of what the user can help you with.
A few valuable ingredients in creating a visual context:
images with the type of business;
infographics collecting the main text in a readable form;
arrows, lines, patterns, highlighting numbers and showing direction;
a selection of words and phrases that enrich the visual context;
stories told using creative graphics;
attractive menu icons.
How important is the visual context?
Let’s look at several reasons for the importance of visual context:
We have already said above that users need a split second to form an opinion about your site. A more complete view develops over the next few seconds. Brand, images and icons should create a good first impression in a short period of time. To keep users on the site longer, make sure that the visual context provides an informative picture of what your site is about and why.
Helps with reporting
The visual component of the site is “sensually” more attractive than textual content. The user is likely to pay attention to a few more images that confirm the general context, and not to phrases and paragraphs of the text. No matter how well you convey the story, the first emotional response from the user is highly dependent on the images, which helps in conveying information.
Users understand the visual context much better.
The visual context enlivens the story; it helps the user understand your business and your operations. He or she will understand the basic idea of your business from the context and start looking for options, products and services.
If you are looking for an innovative interface that defies conventions, the visual context will help bridge the gap between users and your product.
Emotional connection matters
The visual context evokes emotions in the target audience. Here’s an example from Lend With Care, a microfinance institution. Count the number of people on the home page. This instantly conveys context and connects the user. Warm and soft colors make the site more attractive, smiles convey a positive and a sense of community.
The Importance of Visual Context in Web Design
In seconds, visitors create an emotional connection with the site.
The same applies to goods. Buyers can create a form of communication with different products. You, as a designer, must create a picture that will awaken the inner feelings of the target audience.
The visual context helps users, especially those who are on your site for the first time. It interprets the characteristics and values from the site. As a designer, you can use all of the above to create an important context (images, colors, visual data, infographics, video, animation, icons, directions, and other visual tools).