Some photos don’t help

If you know what you are after online, images don’t make much difference. That’s the implication of some of the research on how users use the web that has been reported this week. Laura Ruel, writing for E-Media Tidbits, Poynter’s weblog about online journalism, has several helpful reports about research presented by Neilson-Norman Group (Jakob Neilsen). Users tend to look at images that are
• Related to page content
• Clearly composed and appropriately cropped
• Contain “approachable” people who are smiling, looking at the camera, not models
• Show areas of personal/private anatomy (Men tended to fixate on these areas more than women — really!)
• Items a user may want to buy.
(Posted June 25, 2006)

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Jim Stovall, a retired journalism prof, is now a novelist, self publisher, watercolorist, gardener, woodworker and beekeeper -- among others things.

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