The Internet provides a vast wealth of pictures and videos for everyone to see,
but just because they’re there, that doesn’t mean that they can be used or that they should be used. This is even more true for designing a mobile website. With limited space, you have to make sure that the images you choose are the best for what you need to accomplish. It’s important to bear a few things in mind.
Choose Images That Tell the Story
When designing a mobile website, you need to be selective with what images you include. This means that you should not put images up that are there just decorate the page. Choose images for your pages that tell the story or create some sort of example. Generic pictures that add nothing to the text should be avoided.
Getting on point images may require that you do your own photo shoot. Copyright free photo companies can sell a number of photos that represent general concepts as well as shots that can be interpreted in a number of ways. If your picture does not clearly tell a story or add value to your article, make sure that the tagline makes it clear how it connects. If you do decide to purchase a picture from a copyright free photo company like Shutterstock or Getty Images, try to get a subscription package. These are generally a better deal because they allow you to get multiple pictures in various sizes rather than a single image. This can help save you a great deal of money when you decide to create a free mobile website.
Don’t Forget Instructional Sketches
Sometimes during the design process, you can get so involved in the art that you forget about functionality. While full color pictures with their depth and details can add a great deal, basic sketches that demonstrate a key concept may be more important. Think about the kinds of pictures you find in instruction manuals.
Ideally, these images should be vector based. This way, they will remain in focus no matter what size screen your customers view them on. Vector based images cost significantly more than a simple .jpeg or .gif. Once the image is completed, go ahead and compress the file. It will not reduce the clarity of the image, but it will make it load faster.
Restrict the Number of Images per Page
Since the most important thing about a mobile site is having one that people can access, you still need to choose your pictures with care. You don’t want to overload the site with lots of pictures. Even if you are running an eCommerce store, you will want to make sure that only a few images will load per page to increase the overall loading times. For a general article, avoid having more than two pictures per mobile website page. For an eCommerce store, try to limit it to four or five pictures per loading screen.
Never Use Illegally Obtained Images
Make sure that whatever you do, your images come from a legal source. Do not just save pictures off the Internet and upload them to your site. You may have found them on a photography site but they are normally not intended for public use. Make sure to read the fine print that comes with the picture when you download it. If no file comes along with the image when you download it, then look for the agreement on the website. If you cannot find it there, then do not use the image. You do not want to risk using a stolen image on your website. An artist is well within their rights to sue for infringement and that will look very bad for your company if that happens.