Wednesday, June 3, 2009


This statement refers to the idea that complex stories can be described with just a single still image, or that an image may be more influential than a substantial amount of text. It also aptly characterizes the goals of visualization where large amounts of data must be absorbed quickly.
I completely agree with this principle and encourage clients to utilize graphics and photos in their websites. They are both visually eye-catching as well as informative.

However, one has to be careful that the beneficial use of graphics and photos do not pose the detrimental side effect of slowing down page rendering. Slow page rendering can be very frustrating and will surely drive Internet visitors away from a website.

Thus, care must be taken to ensure that images used on a website load quickly. To do this a number of considerations must be made. Image files should be as small as possible without dostorting/loosing resolution and clarity. There are a number of tools available that can be used to adjust images to provide very reasonable clarity and color and at the same time maintain a reasonable small size. Other tricks, where many images on a page are available are to pre-load the most importatnt images, e.g. headers, logos, etc., so that a viewer knows very quickly what he/will be looking at.

The truth remains that “a picture is worth 1,000 words” and even more so on the Internet where viewers are looking for as much information as possible in the shortest amount of time. When designing a website, one just has to apply a few techniques to ensure that the pictures show up on the screen in a timely manner.