Anna Hosie Team : User Experience and Information Architecture Tags : Web Design SEO User Experience

Words are out, pictures are in

Anna Hosie Team : User Experience and Information Architecture Tags : Web Design SEO User Experience

Gone are the days when lengthy written content was the standard for websites. Admittedly, it was good for SEO, but with Google getting smarter, websites with better user engagement are ranking higher than those with hundreds of SEO keywords embedded into lengthy, wordy and generally boring content pages. So how do we engage the user? With pictures of course!

How it works

‘Studies show our brains not only process visuals faster, but they retain and transmit much more information when it’s delivered visually’

Refer: Importance of visual content

Brain processes visuals

What you can do

If you can say it with a picture, use a picture. Infographics and customer journeys are very popular ways of illustrating potentially heavy or complicated content in a visual way. They generally still include written content but images are used to break up this content into a more manageable format. Because they are visual different elements capture the user’s attention and they are more like to study the picture to gain an understanding rather than trying to read through a wad of content.  


Customer journey

Infographics and customer journeys, as useful as they are, take longer to design and can be quite costly. You can still benefit considerably by introducing images into your written content that support what is being written. A user is much more likely to read an article or blog that includes images that help to gain understanding or that stimulate the imagination.

Lastly, be creative with the use of graphics or iconography. If you can visually represent a word or words with an icon, use one. Either use the icon instead of the word, as is common with a search or menu buttons, as the New York Times website does.

New York Times 

Or use the icon or graphic to support the understanding of the words as NAB does in the home loans section of their website.


And if you are going to use words…

Remember to keep it simple and concise! Someone has even done some research on this, and found out the ideal length of everything online. Examples of this are:

The ideal length of a Facebook post is less than 40 characters.

The ideal length of a tweet is 100 characters.

The ideal length of a headline is 6 words.

The ideal width of a paragraph is 40-55 characters.

The ideal length of a blog post is 1,600 words.