Tag Archives: media

Do people notice web photos?

Compared to text, photos take longer to render. Websites with a lot of photos have slower loading times directly impacting user experience (UX). Limiting the number of photos is important to create fast loading and usable sites.

Photos: noticed or ignored?

Riegelsberger et al (no date) analysed the impact of photographs and found the following main points:

  • Text takes longer to process. Text interpretation simply takes longer.
  • First time visitors look at photos. Experience influences what we see.
  • Attractive facial photos are attention grabbing.
  • We learn page structure. Returning, thus familiar, visitors ignore regions unless text or photos are displayed.
  • Consistent user behaviour evidence does not exist. Some studies suggest photos of faces attract visual attention whereas other studies suggest we ignore photos because we link them to adverts causing banner blindness.

Critical analysis of Riegelsberger et al’s work would conclude that we should: (i) limit the number of web photos, (ii) include first time and return visitors in user personas, (iii) create relevant photos and think about using a facial photo to catch the attractive-seeking eye.

Web photo tips and analysis

We scan webpages often unconsciously. Page location impacts attention. Element size affects attention maintenance. Larger elements do not get more attention. Think about where you place items as supposed to what size they are.

Photos add character to websites. Text heavy websites, from a design viewpoint, are dull. Interesting websites have character with a positive balance of text and other media formats, such as, videos and photos, for example. Use a mixture of formats on your website.

One of the most tactful and clever ways to gain hyperlinks is to produce unusually striking photos and allow other people to use or edit them under a Creative Commons License. Your license can be granted under the condition that the user attributes the photo — the hyperlink. Creative commons’ licenses are tactfully very effective for search engine optimisation (SEO).

Photo attention hot spots

Which screen position gets the most attention?

Position 1 in the image above gains the most attention, followed by postion 2 and 3. We also tend to associate position 1 with 2 whereas position 3, on the right hand side, is usually associated with advertisements. Owens (2011) also found that things we associate with adverts cause blindness regardless of format (text and photos).

Including photos on your website

Include great photos because they add character and improve the overall UX. Limit the number of photos, though. Depending upon how familiar a user is with your website they will either ignore or focus their attention on your photos. The location of elements on your website is important because we scan for information too.

It is also worth noting that search tasks influences photo acknowledgement and concentration. An Amazon user is likely to focus on photos if their task is to buy a product. If, however, a frequent user goes onto website-a to read an article photos might be ignored.

Do you work with digital media? How many photos do you recommended? Share your thoughts by tweeting Gerald.

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  1. Granka, L. (2006) Location, location, location: Viewing patterns on WWW pages. Proceedings of ACM. [Volume and issue numbers missing] pp. 43
  2. Owens, J.W. (2011) Are users blind to text advertisements? Usability News. 13(1) pp. 1 — 6
  3. Riegelsberger, J. Sasse, M.A. and McCarthy, J.D. (no date) Eye-Catcher or Blind Spot? The Effect of Photographs of Faces on E-Commerce Sites. [journal title missing] [Volume and issue numbers missing] pp. 1 — 15

Gerald Murphy’s Search on Technorati

Expanding your blog

A good blog utilises the various technologies, especially social media, to become a reliable and popular resource for information. Technorati helps you to do this.

Other good ways to promote your blog

  • Get a Twitter account
  • Like other posts on WordPress
  • Create good comments on other blogs
  • Set up a Facebook page for your blog (I have not, and will not, do this because I dislike Facebook’s lack of privacy)
  • Get involved in other social media outlets, such as, Pinterest, PhotoBucket etc
  • Don’t forget to use traditional methods (i.e. e-mail and telling people about your blog in person)
  • Use HTML effectively to make the search engines’ job easier
  • Above all, create excellent quality content for your audience


An easy way to get backlinks: White-hat

This post, and this blog, only emphasises white-hat related content.

Newsjacking breaking news and developments

Newsjacking is a form of content marketing which allows blogs and WebPages, among others, to write about breaking news stories rather than focusing on “how to guides” etc (Stetzer 2013: online).

Social media is a good foundation to find some newsjack stories. Some of the biggest news stories have been tweets on Twitter (e.g. Obama and the Bin Laden raid). Social media, therefore, needs to searched to find new stories and developments. Rumours can also be stronger or weaker by using social media, industry experts, for instance, are likely to use social media to give hints about product features.

How to search social media

Obviously not everything on social media is true, or one hundred per cent accurate, but it does allow everyone to find out reactions, opinions and rumours. Stories, of course, should not be based on rumours because the information is unreliable. Unreliable information could affect your ranking (i.e. Google’s Panda update).

Certain social medias do, however, have effective search features. Twitter Search, for example, allows users to search for keywords: This will allow you to generate stories for the latest developments. Related stories to your business model can help you create newsjacking material(s).

We all like to stay informed, as part of being human, because we are inquisitive by nature; however, we also like to read good opinions on the latest developments. We are, therefore, more likely to share links of good ‘breaking news’ stories we are interested in: Links allow us to get / earn backlinks which helps improve our Google PageRank.

Topsy: Instant social insight

Topsy allows users to search social media in real-time which helps us generate excellent content for newsjacking stories / articles. Tweets, photos and videos, to name a few of Topsy’s medias, can be searched for for more information on a breaking news story, or to find out how strong a source is for a new product release, for example.

Like Twitter, Topsy displays what is trending. Do trends contain information we, humans, like to read? Does this match our inquisitive nature?

Social media is massive. The amount of user generated content is too much to search but some services allow us to search through the mass of free opinions. It is, however, time consuming to do this. Backlinks of people taking about your newsjacks could be priceless.

Conlin (2012: online) identified that becoming popular online, among other factors, allows you to earn great backlinks. Does this show that newsjacking content allows you to become popular?


  1. Conlin, B. (2012) Five Ways to Earn Backlinks the Right Way in the Wake of ‘Disavow’. [Online] [Accessed on 29th March 2013] http://www.vocus.com/blog/seo-earn-backlinks-right-way-disavow/
  2. Stetzer, A. (2013) Creative SEO Tip: Newsjacking. [Online] [Accessed on 29th March 2013] http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2258014/Creative-SEO-Tip-Newsjacking