I’ve recently published an article over at UXMagazine that shows you how to use my new photo usability checklist.
In the article I show you how to use the checklist to evaluate the effectiveness and usability of photos from a hotel website.
The checklist has been designed to be used to evaluate photos (in an expert review situation) and also to help people to determine their own photo requirements.
I launched the checklist in my “Usability of web photos' eBook and article represents the first public demo of how to use it.
It is with great pleasure that I can now announce that my new eBook ‘Usability of web photos’ is now available to buy from Five Simple Steps (£2).
I believe that this is the first book of it’s kind on this topic.
I’m particularly excited because within it I share my new photo usability checklist (Excel, 83kb). It is a simple tool for you to use to evaluate the usability and effectiveness of photos in your own work.
The book will appeal to anyone who wants to learn more about the impact that the photos are having within their digital product or service. It will also be useful for photographers to use to help them to plan to take more effective and usable photos.
Within the 60 odd pages of the book I cover:
Part 1 - What are usable photos and why are they so important?
I explain what I mean by a usable photo and introduce some of the psychological reasons behind why they are so important.
Part 2 - Photo usability stories from the coalface
In every research project I see usability problems with photos. In this chapter I share some of my favourites.
Part 3 - How do you know if a photo is usable or not?
I have developed a photo usability checklist for you to use to evaluate the usability of photos in your own projects. In this chapter I introduce the checklist and explain it in detail.
Part 4 - The digital design process and web photo usability
I interviewed a commercial photographer and a digital designer to understand the issues they face when producing and working with the photos that we see online. This chapter identifies some of the problems that we face in typical design projects that directly impact upon the photos that end up on the web.
Part 5 - User-centred design techniques to improve photo usability
In this chapter I share some techniques that I’ve used during user centred design projects that have helped to improve the usability of the photos that were selected for the final product.
A cut of the book is being donated to Children in need.
I hope you enjoy it, drop me a line via @chudders to let me know what you think of it
This is the official resources list to accompany my ‘Usability of web photos’ eBook:
Blogs & Articles:
Examples of usable photos:
On a recent persona project I thought I should practice what I preached and get some decent photos.
The whole point of personas is to bring real users to life so that project teams find it easier to understand and empathise with their customers.
I often see personas that use stock photos of models to represent customers of a product or service. The problem with stock is that the models often look fake. This clearly causes problems when using it for personas which must be believable to be successful.
We had recruited actual customers of my clients service to take part in some research at our offices. This presented an ideal opportunity to get easy access to real people to take photos of.
I thought that we could take a quick full length portrait of them after they had finished, we we could then crop as we needed to suit the final format of the personas.
I set up a simple studio (as above) in the office but you don’t need to use lights or a back drop to do this (although it made doing the work in post production easier).
We asked all of the customers for permission to do this and they all signed model release forms.
We created booklets of the final persona profiles for everyone at my clients business, as well as 4 life-size cut outs of the final personas to ‘live’ in our clients office.
Ideally I’d have liked to have shot them in their own environments but given the logistical challenges this presents, dropping backgrounds in using photoshop might be the next step.