Is a Picture Really Worth a 1,000 Words?

29 Aug

We’ve all heard the saying “a picture is worth 1,000 words” and even on the computer screen this holds true. I am often times guilty of judging a book by its cover and a webpage by its graphics. With the fast-paced nature of the internet, it is important to ensure that visitors are drawn in to your page through visuals as well as calls to action. Here are some ideas to visually intrigue your page’s visitors to keep them from moving on to the next webpage:

1)      Infographics are eye-catching (and cool) – I found this great infographic on typepad.com, which serves as a perfect example of the unique power of this type of visual. Sometimes simple bullet points can be too lengthy to hold a reader’s attention, but a stimulating graphic can support your point and pique the interest of the reader in just a few seconds. Consider generating an infographic to spice up a chart that shows an increase in the number of clients you are helping, a timeline of events that have helped you to reach your goal, or an Indiana Jones-style map plotting the route of your journey.

At Fundly, we’ve created fundraising pages that take the appeal of infographics into account, including a graphic at the top of the screen displaying the percentage of money raised, a thermometer to gauge this success, and how many donors/supporters your campaign has. Most people are highly visual and move through websites at the speed of light, the quicker you can convey your message, the better.

2)      Take advantage of your space – I’ve browsed through hundreds of nonprofit websites and blogs and the ones that catch my eye make full use of the screen. If there is a lot of empty space, minimal text, or sparse graphics, I tend to think it looks amateurish and bland. This doesn’t mean that your website needs to be flashy, gaudy, or overdone – just as every news story needs a captivating hook, so does your webpage need visual interest.

The Kentucky Rescue and Restore homepage is a great example of creative use of a space. There is something about the color scheme, haunting pictures, and simple headlines that grab the visitor’s attention. It is artistic in its photography, yet poignant in its message.

3)      Evoke emotion – I’ve mentioned this a few times before, but your website is a reflection of your nonprofit’s image and personality. It is important to keep your audience in mind and play to what will attract them to your page. When choosing images and graphics to tell your organization’s story, be sure to ask yourself, “what do I want my website’s visitors to feel?”.

On top of sharing compelling images of organizational need and impact, continue the story by showing the faces behind your organization. There is something genuine and sincere that donors find relatable about the people working to carry out a mission, which cannot be duplicated by simple bios.

4) It’s all about the content – This point may seem out of place, but your website really is all about the content. Yes, you need pictures and graphics to capture the attention of your audience and draw them in, but it’s the content that is going to hold the reader and invoke a passion. Too many bells and whistles can distract from the ease of use, and drawn out text can make it too difficult to decipher what is most important about your organization.

A great way to gain a little inspiration is to check out how top nonprofits are designing their websites and take a few tips from what they have displayed. Revisit your site with fresh eyes and see how yours measures up.

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