Summarizing Chapter

Here are key messages from Chapter 11:

• Illustrations serve several purposes. They can be

- purely representational (pictures of the exact item)

- meant to convey a concept or process

- primarily to evoke an emotional response or to set a mood

• For pictures of exact items:

- Think about what aspects people want to see.

- Make sure your words match what happens.

- Make sure the larger pictures are clear.

- Think about other situations where pictures or diagrams would help people.

- Help people make connections between information on paper documents and fields on online forms.

- When the picture is a book or magazine cover or printed brochure, think about whether the link between print and web is necessary.

• Use pictures to illustrate concepts or process, to compare sizes, and to help people understand dimensions.

- Consider combining maps with lists.

- Keep it simple. Let your web users choose how much to see.

- Write key message titles for charts and graphs.

- Follow principles of good data reporting.

- Make sure that the photos evoke the mood you want.

- Think of your global audience.

• Don't make people wonder what the picture shows or why you are showing it.

• Choose an appropriate size.

- Make sure small pictures are clear.

- Don't use so much space for pictures that critical content gets shoved down or aside.

• Use illustrations to support, not hide, content.

• In pictures of people, show diversity.

- To represent your organization, show diversity, but be truthful.

- To represent your site visitors, think broadly.

• Don't make content look like ads.

• Don't annoy people with blinking, rolling, waving, or wandering text or pictures.

- Don't change content while people are on the page.

- Don't let animated animals, birds, butterflies, and so on, roam the page.

- Weigh the trade-offs for animation carefully.

• Use animation where it helps - not just for show.

• Don't make people wait through splash or Flash.

- Splash pages waste people's time.

- You wear out your welcome by welcoming people too much.

- People want to control their online experiences.

- Videos at the beginning are roadblocks for some people.

• Make illustrations accessible.

- Make the alt text meaningful.

- For purely decorative graphics, use empty alt text.

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