Make sure small pictures are clear

Look back at the small photos as bullets in the example from the U. S. National Science Foundation in Chapter 9 (Figure 9-11). The two small pictures of people are clear. You can tell what (if not who) is in each picture. But did you instantly realize that the first picture is a hummingbird? that the third is a grain held between a thumb and finger? (The second picture may be visually clear, but its relationship to the topic may be obscure unless you already know a lot about high-temperature superfluids.)

Or consider the icons used as bullets in Figure 11-20, a page from Elvis.com, the web site celebrating the life and continuing cult of Elvis Presley. Which work well? Which cause eyestrain and make you wonder what they are trying to convey?

And remember how many of your site visitors are likely to have vision problems. Elvis Presley was at the height of his fame in the 1950s and 1960s; his fans who were teenagers then are now in their 50s and 60s.

┬ęSome of these small pictures are easy to "get" at a glance.

But others are not.

Figure 11-20 If you plan to reduce photos to use as icons or as bullets in front of links, keep the composition clear and simple. People may have difficulty figuring out what is foreground and what is background when the pictures are very small.

Figure 11-20 If you plan to reduce photos to use as icons or as bullets in front of links, keep the composition clear and simple. People may have difficulty figuring out what is foreground and what is background when the pictures are very small.

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