USER EXPERIENCE EXPLAINED
Acupuncture Richmond: Website Re-brand
One of the challenges was visitors thinking of going to see an Acupuncturist were deterred by the assumption it involved excessive pain, bleeding and needles. White needles are used, there is minimal pain, no bleeding and the majority of the consultation involves talking with the patient and consultation.
The website images were shot to placate the customer's fear of pain by showing the Doctor in a warm and caring manner. The image here is shot over the patient's shoulder as it allows someone to experience what a typical consultation might be like. As the website viewer is unlikely to know the Doctor, they view the image differently to the way a friend or family member would. When we look at photos of ourselves we're critiquing our dress and how we look. A stranger's photo is much different and we often make decisions subconsciously about brands and websites without realising it. For example"
He's leaning in, showing he's listening to the patient
The setting is naturally-lit, highlighting an emphasis on natural and holistic medicine and differentiating himself from a regular GP.
I asked him not to smile - which we naturally do when someone takes our photo, however it's not always appropriate. It's a natural human behaviour to interpret things we don't understand, and without knowing the full context of this image a viewer tries to figure out what's happening on their own. The look of concentration suggests concern for and interest in the well-being of the faceless patient - whereas the same shot with the Doctor smiling would lead to an entirely different assumption being made that is highly unlikely to encourage the viewer to make a booking.
Clothing designer: Establishing a new brand
A local business was establishing a boutique dressmaking business and needed photos of her designs to sell online. She was also wanting to target the plus-sized market and had asked a friend to model for her. User Experience as part of a planned business photo shoot helps answer some customer concerns they might or might not know about:
Instead of photographing against an indoor wall which the customer initially wanted, I suggested an outdoor setting. Customers are looking for visual cues on how they can imagine themselves using the product or service - in this case how they would look wearing the clothing in the photo.
The girl was instructed by the owner NOT to smile as models never smile. Yes, it's rare to see a smiling Burberry or Gucci advert in a glamour shot, however for functional, local designs viewers are not expecting the same experience. In this image, a hint of a smile subconsciously conveys a positive experience with the clothing. The bright green background supports this by conveying the positive emotions and experiences we associate with the colour- nature, freshness and relaxation.
The model should look like your intended audience - customer need visual prompts when using your website to imagine themselves using your product or service - if you're targeting or your customer base are generally over 40, then using a 20 year-old isn't advisable. Te first thing your customer do when they see the photo of the young model is automatically thin that whatever the picture is trying to sell does no apply to them and so you lose their interest and engagement.
Colours and emotions - something to consider.
What is your favourite colour?
When taking photos, we normally consider colour in terms of how much we personally like it. and how it contributes to the overall image and if we like it.
Business photography needs to take this further, because without you (the business owner) explaining to someone over their shoulder as they view your website and decide if they should buy from you, they use subconscious factors to help understand and create an explanation for what is happening in the picture. Colour plays a big role as it triggers certain emotional responses as people associate different colours with certain experiences, events and feelings. The significance of colour also changes considerably based on your culture so it's vital to understand who your customers are when planning your photo shoot so you can target or avoid certain shades - for example white is often associated with cleanliness and purity on western cultures, yet a florist advertising to an Asian market would be advised against photos of white roses and lilies as these nations often associate white with death - hardly an appealing prospect if you're trying to evoke happy memories (but good if you're specialising in funeral bouquets).
Check out my colours and emotions slides - but also consider these are generalisations and not necessarily true for everyone and are certainly not hard-and-fast rules you need to abide by, but hopefully something we can consider and discuss as part of your overall business photo needs. A nd you also need to create something that reflects who you are if you're the business owner - for example I recently changed my website colours from shades of green to grey and pink - while I intend for it to reflect my professional and fun photographic services, there's probably someone out there who was deterred from booking me because they felt my services - and as an extension of my brand, me as a person - was weak and too immature for their needs. Should I be upset that there's a possible customer out there I didn't get - probably not, for multiple reasons, however if I were a GP or a security firm the likelihood of alienating potential customers might be too high and a different option would be advisable.
For further information on how I can help you create brilliant website content please contact me through the bookings enquiries form or call me on 0410 586 596.
Further discussions and advice after your photo shoot, or standalone UX consultation without a photography session is also available.