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March 3, 2011

Should you include Visual Icons in your next Website Design?

If you are looking for a fresh and exciting way to update your website design you may want to consider using visual icons instead of text-based ones. There are many reasons why doing so can be a definite advantage for your company although they are not always suitable for use on every website. Here are a few things that you may want to consider.

Visual icons grab a visitor’s attention

A visitor to your site will usually decide very quickly whether your site is of interest to them. If it is not, they will simply move on to another website that is offering the same goods or services. If your site is largely text-based, it will take longer for them to figure out what your site is offering. If they are not interested in spending the time to read through the text on your site you will have lost that person as a potential customer.

Visual icons will give a quick glimpse into your company and the goods or services that it offers. This means that a potential customer will be able to glance at your site and figure out whether you have what they are looking for. It may not get you every potential sale but you may find that your conversion rate is much higher once you utilize visual icons

They can make your site more functional

Using visual icons can make your site more functional. Visual clues will make it easier for users to figure out how to get your site to do what they need it to. A perfect example is a virtual store front. Visual icons can show clients where to click in order to purchase items and can also help guide them through the ordering and payment process.

They are also fantastic if you are dealing with customers who may speak a variety of different languages. The less text they will need to wade through the more likely it will be that they will choose your site over one which is more text-heavy. Remember that many people are shopping globally by using the internet and because of this it is important to find ways to accommodate them.

Things you need to be careful of

There are a few things that you do need to be careful of when using visual icons on your next website development project. You want to make sure that the images do not cause your site to load slowly. Static icons rather than animated ones will usually load faster and this is important. You want to make sure that the icons do not load well after the rest of your site. There is nothing more frustrating than looking at a site with text blurbs where the icons will eventually be located.

You also need to make sure that they are designed and positioned in such a way that they do not make your site feel cluttered or overly busy. This can make it difficult for users to find what they are looking for even if they are represented by visual icons. You do not want to sacrifice looks for functionality.