Lets-Get-VisualWhat grabs your attention as you look through your various social media streams? Is it the thought provoking quote, the witty comments or is it the eye catching visual. The answer is apparent, if something doesn’t catch your eye in 1/4 of a second, you will scroll on by. The same is true for marketing, web design and many aspects of your business. If something doesn’t catch your eye, it will be lost. Why are visuals important and how can you make yours better?

Visuals are important because that’s how our brains operate. We don’t think like computers. In order to do a simple math problem we have to interpret the visual information and turn it into discrete concepts in our minds before we can perform the calculation. Visuals are the first step in our understanding of our world. They don’t require a language to understand so your visual can work in any language (assuming it fits the culture.) Your visuals can make a lasting impression even if it’s skipped by quickly. Our brains can process visuals extremely quickly and those with impact will stay with us.

What can you do to make your visuals more compelling be it marketing, photography, or something as simple as a plain report?

  • Clean – Clutter in a visual will distract the eye. It will muddy the focus and make the whole visual average. Clean images have a clear focus and purpose.
  • Bold – Images that make a statement without words are extremely compelling. This could be high contrast images or it could lie in a bold subject matter.
  • Out of the norm – Some may think that this is the same as bold, but it isn’t. We are so used to seeing the same things every day that when we see something unusual, it stops us even for an instant.
  • Arresting – Certain color combos will slow us down , but the color red will grind us to a halt. There’s a reason why stop signs and stop lights are red. When ever you see any bright red, you will naturally want to stop.
  • Sexy – Believe it or not, this doesn’t really belong on this list, however it is a complementary attribute. If you have something clean and arresting, that will surely stop someone, if it’s sexy as well, it will cause them to linger longer than normal.

So what did I miss on this list? What would you add to make your visuals more compelling and cause someone to stop and take notice?