I had a great conversation recently with someone who was responsible for the selection of photos on her corporate website.
Her main problems were:
1. How can we measure the success of the photos that we change?
2. How can I determine the quality of the photos that we use on our current site
After a broader conversation it became clear that in order to answer these questions she needed to take a more strategic approach.
During the call we worked through what I think presents a sensible strategy for improving the quality of web photos that you could apply to your own digital product or service.
1. Define the role of photography within your product/ service.
Create a photographic strategy document that explains how photos should be used to communicate your brand, your proposition and how your product / service meets the needs of your customers.
This will become your ‘rule book’ that will be used in the future to guide the selection of photos for your digital product/ service. Treat it as a hypothesis that you can test and refine during this process.
Use tools like customer experience maps to plan what types of photos you will need to meet both business and user requirements throughout the entire customer lifecycle/ journey.
2. Take stock of what you have
Create an inventory of the photos that you have and audit them using your style guide. Get some user input to help to understand what your photos are communicating to them at the moment.
You can also use my ‘photo usability checklist (excel download)' as an evaluation tool.
List the photos you can use and the ones you need to lose.
3. Work out what you need
Your experience map will provide a complete picture of what you need and your audit and inventory will have told you what you have. The gaps represent what you need to shoot/ commission/ locate (some useful sources here).
4. Shoot and measure
Once you have got the new photos you need publish them and measure the effect that they have both qualitatively and quantitatively.
5. Learn and iterate
The role and impact of the photos within your digital product/ service will continually change. As your knowledge grows you should regularly update your photographic strategy (and the photos you use) to reflect both the changes in your business strategy and the usage of your product.
Compare your results to the benchmark you defined at step 2 to keep track of your successes and failures.
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I find that a lot of ‘strategy’ stuff I read is often long winded and vague so I have deliberately tried to make this short and to the point.
Do give it a try and let me know how you get on.