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Avoid Graphical Overload

When designing a website, it is easy to start loading with graphics. At the time of temptation, you have to resist – otherwise, you will end up with a graphical overload.

Why is that bad thing? Why here on

It is too long to download

The first reason for cutting graphics is because the more they are, and the longer they are, the longer you will be downloading each of your pages. People are impatient while waiting to download the page – you only have 5 seconds before your visitor hits the back button.

What can you do about this? In addition to using fewer pictures, you can also ensure that you resize your images in the graphics editor. It actually makes their file size smaller. If you change the size of images by specifying a width and height in HTML or CSS, then they will still be slow to download because the full file size is being used.

You should consider turning on compression in your image editor. JPEG files can often be compressed up to 25% before noticeable differences in quality. Try different formats and compression levels to see what works.

It gets very busy

If you use a site with more than 4 images on the page at a time, then your eyes are being pulled across the page. They are not sure where to focus, because the page is just running too much.

Look at the first pages of the newspapers, and note how they move on 1 picture. Keeping 2 pictures on the front page is considered bad: the reader does not know where to look.

This doubles for those websites where the viewable area is too small from the newspaper page. Even if you have more than 1 thing to say, then it is better to go “big” with 1 figure and then explain the other things in the text, front or bottom of it.

It distracts from the material

Users go to your site to get information, not to see your graphics. A lot of graphics will distract you from your content, or worse, readers will be forced to find it. Any time your graphics are easily found in the way of people using your site, you are suffering from graphical overload. And this is a bad thing.

What’s the solution? Just decide which of those graphics is really necessary. Remember, do not just add graphics to look good, each graphic should have a specific purpose.

One exception: Photo gallery

If the purpose of your site is a photo presentation, then clearly many images are appropriate. However, do not paste only large photos – provide thumbnails: small versions of each image. If interested, visitor can click on 1 to make it bigger.

It fits more photos on each page, and avoids user download time and wasting your bandwidth.

Keep in mind that in all web designs, the images are strictly supported to support the content. Even when the content is graphical.

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