Friday, September 7, 2012

Modernizing Your Website

Have a few laughs, and learn how to modernize the look of your software website. Pay attention to the portraits that you see on The Colbert Report and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Instead of showing ordinary photographs of the people being discussed on these TV shows, these Comedy Central programs consistently show portraits with the people's heads breaking out of the graphics' frames. This technique makes these still images look vibrant and dynamic - and modern. And with a little work, you can do something similar to help you sell more software on your microISV website.

Below are two versions of the image which ultimately became the picture in my Software Marketing Glossary that illustrates the concept "above the fold." On the left you can see the original photo that I bought from Fotolia, my favorite source for affordable stock images. And on the right you'll see the version that I created.

I removed the busy background behind the man's head. And I framed the image so that his head bursts out of the new frame. With a little bit of effort, a blah image can be transformed into one that grabs viewers' attention.

Below are a couple of images that became another illustration in my Software Marketing Glossary. I started with a somewhat cluttered image of four people looking at a computer screen. I removed one of the people, and I used the same Colbert/Stewart technique to modernize the image.

I'm not a professional artist. And you don't have to be a gifted graphic artist to create images that look great on your website.

You know that your website visitors spend only a few seconds reading the words on your web pages before they decide to stay, or return to their favorite search engine and look for your competitors' software. Well, your prospects spend even less time evaluating the quality of your photos. If your photos "work" they'll grab your prospects' attention, and keep them on your website longer.

Use a photo manipulation tool that's designed for this type of work. And don't rush the work. Take your time, and work carefully. You'll be pleased with the results.

Charts are people, too. The chart below - the one that is bursting out of its frame - looks more modern than the original stock photo that I bought. I've used this technique to show money bursting out of wallets, books breaking out of shelves, and all sorts of objects that look like they can't be contained in normal frames.

Don't be afraid to tackle complex images. The two pictures below show what you can do with a complicated, stylistic image.

It's more time-consuming to create a frame for an image like this. But it's not more difficult. There's just more repetitive work that you have to slog through.

As an entrepreneur, you need to make your site look both professional and modern. Look for techniques like the ones discussed in this posting to add a modern touch to your web pages. Don't create images that take people's attention away from your sales message. But if you can spruce up the images on your website, you'll find your software sales going up.

1 comment:

  1. What a great tip, Al. It's amazing how the very same picture looks a zillion times more active and interesting with just a few modifications.