1. Purpose or emotion
What kind of images would be effective for a website/app? To answer this question, think about the primary purpose of the page.
Understanding the product essence will help you to make a right choice of images which will have an impact on visitors and create the lasting impression associated with the platform.
2. Nature of the brand
There are two types of approaches:
A. Explicitly displaying the product itself
B. Showcasing the benefit/experience received by the product
The decision of A or B, depends completely on the nature of the brand. It is very important to be aware of the brand personality as well as taking under consideration the type of products/services offered by the brand before you select one of the approaches.
For example A hero banner of an eCommerce website or a Marketplace are always going to be focused on the exact product they want to highlight; whereas the visuals used on the hero banner of a luxury brand website need to sell an experience offered by the brand in form of a product.
However, in some cases it’s also wise to have a combination of A & B, but is equally important to determine the right usage.
3. Target audience
How effective would it be if you came across a pack of shaving cream with a picture of a boy who’s hardly in his early teenage? Or how would about a western model’s picture posing on a flyer for an Asian cuisine restaurant? You are probably going to think “What a mismatch!”
Similarly it’s very important to choose the right visuals for any digital product. You need to consider the demographics as well as the geography while planning the imagery.
Here’s an example — when we talk about a brand like LIC of India, it’s very hard to imagine any campaign with non-Indian people posing.
On a side note, we do have exceptions 😬
4. Theme, colors & tone
Color is a very powerful tool to touch the emotions of the website visitors. It creates a physical and emotional reaction of the viewers and is able to carry a concrete message to the visitors. When it comes to expressing emotions and attracting attention, color is the essential means. Besides that, the brand personality also plays a very essential role in defining the theme for the website.
5. Tech specs
Quality in terms of required resolution, size of the image and preferably its orientation for the intended usage, effective composition and cropping of the photo to draw attention, and properly exposed subjects on the photo.
In today’s world where we have multiple brands manufacturing endless number of devices in various set of dimensions, it’s highly important to choose images which have the flexibility of being cropped/expanded/resized relatively in most of the possible aspect ratios.
For best results, it is recommended to use images that are 1920 x 1080 pixels or above. Smaller images will not work as they will get distorted on higher resolution monitors.
You can also adjust the view of your full page background in mobile views!
JPG: Use this in most cases! This file type is good for saving images with millions of colors, including photographs and graphics with a variety of shades and gradients
GIF: Best for line art/cartoon-like drawings, graphics & animations
PNG: Also an acceptable format, can be used when transparency/alpha is required
Avoid using any other image formats unless there’s a strong technical reasoning.