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How to Use Illustrations in Web Design to Build Engagement and Trust

Posted July 12th 2013 Latest News - 0 Comments

web designWhile all the app-inspired iconic shininess of modern web design sure looks hot, it may be leaving your target customers cold – and wary. In fact, it may have them wondering if there are any people to relate to behind the design. Even with all of our technology, people are still hesitant to totally place their trust in a business that doesn’t have human touches. One remedy professional website designers often use to put the personal connection and trust back into web design is to thoughtfully use illustrations and freehand drawings.

Showing the Human in the Tech

So how do illustrations in website design signal the trustworthy presence of another human? It’s a neat trick actually. Whether the drawings are made by hand or using software, our brains tell us that a person made them. Once the customer can see that human element, they can begin to trust your business.

Building Intimacy

Of course before trust, comes intimacy. One of the quickest ways to build intimacy is to share an experience or relate an idea. Concepts and ideas can often be relayed quicker in an edited sketch or drawn icon, than any other type of content out there.

Remember, the brain is signaling that a human drew what they are looking at, therefor there is the impression that they are communicating on some level with a person

Accessible Processes

How many times have you come across a website that had a long explanation for a process that would have been a lot easier understand, had they just visually shown the steps? That’s because many complicated processes and technology can be condensed by incorporating freehand drawings or flowcharts.

We can easily understand in pictures what is hard to grasp in words. By using illustrations, it’s just like learning from another human, instead of from a machine. As a bonus, a nice flowchart or illustrated process often makes your website design a lot more user-friendly than a huge block of text.

Even while highlighting the features of a new product, specific features can be pulled out with hand-drawn icons. This makes the new product – especially if it’s tech – more accessible and approachable.

Visual Story Connecting

You would be hard-put to find a way of communicating that resonates with people as much as storytelling. The need to be entertained with a good story is the driving force behind television, books, video games and more. It’s because we connect with these on a deep personal level.

Freehand drawings can be woven into your web design to tell your visitors a story. That story can be focused on you, your company, a product, case study, etc. For whatever purpose you chose, a visual story will put visitors in a comfortable – and receptive – state of mind.

Branded Recognition

There’s no doubting that well-done illustrations are distinctive. So much so that they compel people to stop clicking and look at them, because they are a man-made product in a virtual space. Extra notice is given if the illustrations are in the form of a branded character. Most people find hand-drawn characters to be engaging and have personality.

Yet even if the illustration isn’t of a character, it should always follow the style of your brand. Too many styles of illustrations water-down the effect and leave customers uncertain of just with whom they are having a conversation. That type of uncertainty will wear away the trust you built by incorporating illustrations into your web design.

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