Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Stock Images?

When it comes to stock imagery, designers will often see it as an essential practice. Getting the best from your images is often something which can go by the wayside, particularly in the fast moving world of business.

While these same designers may – in an idealistic sense – want to impose their own particular brand of style on a project, sometimes costs and time work against them. Quite often, having a library of unique and engaging images such as those from sites like focusedcollection.com can be nothing less than a life saver.

What can we do to make sure that we are getting the most out of the stock imagery we use to bring our websites and demos to life? Here are some essential tips:

Choose the Right Images
While this may seem pretty obvious, it is clearly not to everyone. If you have landed on a corporate webpage to find contextually incompatible stock photos with the design and content of a site, you will understand how puzzling this can be.

The right images should bring your mission, brand identity, environment and solution to life. Simply ignoring the compatibility between text and imagery is a mistake which is made far too often by lazy and uninspired designers, and this can hinder a company’s potential for a profound impact among its audience.

Utilize Search Options & Categories
Rather than trawling through image after image, waiting for something to click, ensure you completely understand the idea you are trying to promote. Work out the best way to convey the idea and then choose photos which you feel are pertinent in delivering this concept to your audience.

You can speed up the process of finding the best photos by utilizing the search functions and filtering photos by category. It is so simple but really does help in the long run, making for less puzzling accompanying images to incompatible content.

A/B Testing
An extremely useful tip to those in the know is to run an A/B test – also known as a split test – in order to determine which of two designs has the greater impact among your audience. In order to do this, you will have two unique versions of the same webpage, with different stock images.

By running an A/B test, you can figure out what images hit home with clients, customers, and subscribers. There is no perfect formula in web-design, and the parameters for success are often undefined, so this will require insights and reviews which will take things such as social media clicks and engagement into consideration.

Marry Photos & Text
Your text and images should always be in harmony, as anything considered visually incongruous by your audience may push them away. While even the most junior web designer worth their salt will understand that Hawaiian fonts and images of sandy beaches and palm trees should never accompany a funeral parlor in Detroit, many seasoned designers still manage to get things wrong (albeit more subtly).

Your stock image and typography should therefore be married in order to compliment both, and help contain consistency in design.

Dare to be Bold
We have all seen the generic stock images of three suited and booted office workers looking mildly lobotomized while a superior stands in front of a projector. Avoid these images at all costs as they can be a horrendous thing to be associated with.
Instead, capture the brilliant timbre of the idea with which you want to bring to your audience. Dare to be bold; try to be wonderful, but above all, don’t be generic.

Original post: Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Stock Images?

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