Anyone who’s read the chapters on graphics in Vincent Flanders’
Web Pages That Suck or
Son of Web Pages That Suck knows that if a picture is worth 1000 words, then the poor rendering of graphics can scream “don’t visit my church – we’re a bunch low-bandwidth lunatics” to seekers. Aside from the crime of pixel bloat, which I mentioned in post all the way back in May, another deadly sin is falling for graphic gimmicks.
Don’t get me wrong, not all image effects are bad, but there are some that are dated and out-of context with your compelling content. Case in point … the one effect that I find common, or should I say plaguing, too many church web sites … I’m talking about the dreaded beveled edged image.
Now beveled edges on a small button that actually functions as a button is a good use of an existing human-user interface idiom. However, beveling a picture just because you can … don’t do this. It can potentially confuse the user, if it doesn’t make then think “sheesh, how lame is this?“!
Instead, consider the image in the context of your compelling content (yes, I know I’m repeating myself). Read your words, look at your page layout, then give your image careful consideration to determine if an effect is even called for at all. If it is, why? Are you trying to get the edges to blend in? Are you trying to give or take away the prominence of the image on your page? Is the effect distracting? Does it help you punctuate a point? Here are two effects based upon a free image courtesy of FreeFoto.com … one in which I want the edges to blend, one in which I want to subdue the image a bit – to the point of abstraction.
|Frame Edge||Water Color|
The point is, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Meaning, just because you can bevel and edge or inflict a page-turn effect on your image doesn’t mean you should.
One final thought. I personally find the photo of this particular church is good enough that effects aren’t really needed. That said, and realizing that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I’d like to hear what you think.