We shouldn’t use image just for the sake of it. Each image should be added with a purpose and there’s a reason for its presence. For example, we may consider adding images if they improve experience and understanding. In fact, a website with too many images could look rather amateurish and considered as obstacles to accessibility. In this case, we should also make sure that images are well optimized, so the file size can be reduced and page loading times shortened. One sign of badly designed website is the one with so many images that it takes forever to load. We should remember that the audience is just one click away from quitting our website. GIF images are still usable in 2010’s, but we should avoid using those cartoonish, low resolution ones, which can make our website looks like something built in 1990’s. GIF images have up to 256 colors, so they should only be used supporting graphics, instead of the main image. GIF images can also be made transparent to create specific effects. However, we should animated GIFs, because it is very hard to make them look modern for today’s usages.
However, GIF is a good format if we want to space online spaces by using images with fewer colors, such as graphs and infographics. On the other hand, JPG files are probably the most common image format. It could contain millions of colors and at specific resolution and quality level, we could use JPG files to represent professionally made photographs. Regardless of what image formats we choose, we should make sure that images we use could highlight functionality. As an example, we could use buttons with smooth gradients to make the button look more realistic. Although this sounds like an old implementation, many users still find it useful if buttons change somewhat when the mouse cursor hovers over them. This will give them a sense of interaction and they know that the buttons are usable. We should also be wary of sounds and animation unless they could serve specific functions. It would be rather difficult to read text, if there are animations flying around the page. Rich animations could also trouble people with slow connections, especially if they use mobile devices.
It is not considered as a good design practice to use many Flash animations in our website. People will resent us for forcing them to waste time waiting the animation to load. Unless our website contains very useful information, they are unlikely to return if they are being assaulted by many blinking elements. Some pages can take longer to load in our website and if they do, we should make sure that people are still eager to wait, because they are expecting much more. Images could also be combined with proper use of background colors to create stronger experience. We should create balanced color palette that can make the website looks much more professional.