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Smashing UX Design: Foundations for Designing Online User Experiences by Jesmond Allen, James Chudley

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Chapter 26: Photo UX Deconstructed

Photos are critical to the success of digital products, but are seldom discussed by UX designers. This is strange because of the huge impact that photo selection has on the final user experience. In all of our user research, we see just how much users rely on good photos to help them to make choices and decisions. We know how important photos are to users, so why don’t user experience designers pay them more attention during the design process?

There is a lack of guidelines around photo selection from a user experience perspective. This chapter identifies some of the qualities that a photo needs to improve the user experience as well as the commercial benefits of good photo selection.

Key user tasks and questions

A good photo can answer all manner of user questions in a split second. Users often have key questions they need to answer when performing tasks using digital products. Photos that improve the user experience are ones that have been selected with user tasks in mind. Good photos address these questions and lead to products and services that typically perform extremely well in user research.

The following sections cover typical user tasks and questions commonly associated with photos.

What does it come with?

Photos are a great way of illustrating products and their accessories. They enable users to ascertain whether they are getting value for their money.

What does it do AND what are the benefits?

A good photo can clearly demonstrate ...

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