Graphics

Graphics, defined as pictures, artwork, animations, or videos, can be very effective if used

correctly. Graphics can provide interest, information, fun, and aesthetics, but they can also take

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forever to load, be meaningless or useless, not fit on the screen, and use colors that are

not browser safe colors (i.e., colors that look the same on PC and Macintosh operating systems).

Images enhance a web page, but they should be selected and placed carefully.

Graphics should be used to “convey the appropriate tone of your message. As the old saying

goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Make sure your images correspond to the text and are

appropriate to the business you offer. For example, an audiologist shouldn’t use a picture of a

woman holding her glasses because the spotlight should be on hearing.” [48] Graphics should also

help create a mood, or a sense of place. The use of the graphics has to be thoroughly considered

because they slow the loading of a website. [49]

It has been shown that quality images boost sales and enhance the visitor experience.

“Consumers who browse products on websites want to see the products they’re considering for

purchase represented by the highest quality image possible…People do not buy what they cannot

see, so the higher the quality and resolution of [the] imagery, the better [the] results will

be.” [50] The key for any small business that wants graphics on its website is to consider how the

graphics will add value to the user experience. The graphics should be for the direct benefit of

the user, not the business. Do not get carried away with lots of images and animations because

they can make a web page very hard to read. Graphics are a major part of the design, not just

afterthoughts.

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