The axiom “A picture is worth a thousand words” refers to the concept that a complex topic can be conveyed with a simple still image. At the same time, it clearly characterizes one of the principal goals of visualization, making it possible to take in large amounts of data instantaneously and well.It is, therefore, no wonder that website designers are much in favor of using images in their designs. Of course, the selection of images greatly affects the merits of a website, making or marring its success. For instance, a website that deals in automotive accessories should have images that include car mats, steering covers, alloy wheels, car GPS Systems, etc, instead of having multi-color parasols or other such non-related items. This is a fairly important factor since images leave forceful impressions on us because our gray matters are more quickly drawn to familiar real life objects than to words.
An effective image quickly catches attention, conveys the spirit and all but tells a story. And here lies the professionalism of the website designer who not only has to select a quality image but also see to it that it fits well into the context of the page. In other words, effective images must focus on something to prove fruitful. But care should be taken to check that it does not focus on multiple items, because in that case, the visitor will become confused about what the website is trying to say. As for the quality of the image, it should not be blurry or fuzzy but should be clear, bright and contain some amount of contrast. In simple language, it should stand out to attract immediate attention. Incidentally, many website designers take the help of Adobe Photoshop while creating image for sites belonging their clients. Some of the advantages of this powerful image editing program include clearing blemishes and imperfections in photos, removing or changing the backgrounds, etc.
As for image formats that are commonly used for websites, there are three principal configurations – GIF, JPEG and Flash. Out of these, GIFs are considered appropriate for simple graphics and/or line drawings. Also, they can be created with transparent background as well as used in easy-to-do animations and can be optimized easily, too. The JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group), also known as JPG format best suits photographs and full color images, but alas, are not suitable for animation. However, when these files are saved, they use ‘lossy’ compression, meaning loss of image quality which is directly proportional to the decrease in file size.
As for Flash or Adobe Flash (earlier called ‘Macromedia Flash) is a multimedia and software platform used for creating vector graphics, games, animation as also rich Internet application (RIA) that can be viewed, played and executed in Adobe Flash Player. Even though Flash was oftentimes used to add streamed video or audio players, advertisement and interactive multimedia content to web pages, its usage is declining now to some extent.When using a graphic image or a digital image, the website designer takes note of its resolution, which in other words tantamount the details the image holds. Nevertheless, image resolution can be measured in several ways. Primarily, resolution takes into account how close lines can be to each other and yet be fully visible. Resolution units can also be linked to physical sizes, such as lines per mm/ lines per inch to the overall dimensions of a picture (lines per picture height or just lines, TV lines or TVL).
The dpi (dots per inch) or ppi (pixels per inch) also determines the resolution of an image, without affecting its file size. Web designers keep the resolution of images at 72 ppi not only because it produces a sharp image on a computer screen but also the picture will download quickly because the picture is not weighed down by the weight of pixels.