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No eye contact in sales page photos?

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jimcoe
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No eye contact in sales page photos?

This is a tip I picked up years ago (I think from a blog post by Bryan Eisenberg of "Waiting for Your Cat to Bark" fame).

Web developers often install photos of people looking directly out of the page at the visitor. Don't we all know that a smooth eyepath through your sales page, with no blockages or sudden stops, is important!

Yet encountering an image of a person making eye contact with you brings your prospect's eyepath to a dead halt!

While striving to become a Visual Persuasion expert and for use in my recent "Art Head Start" ebook on Visual Communication, I learned something about this effect (I'm already a digital artist and online marketer).

Seems our brains are hard-wired to react to eye contact and horizontal axis symmetry as a danger sign and attention grabber.

For example, imagine you're in a jungle. Oh oh! You spot a lion at some distance, moving across your field of vision. It doesn't see you. This lion is not a symmetrical object. But now the lion pauses and turns toward you - OMG! It has just become a symmetrical shape, with symmetrical eyes pointed right at you. See how this pre-conscious visual cortex pattern recognition can set off visual alarm bells? This works because few objects in nature are symmetrical, except animals (including people) viewed straight on and some foodstuffs.

Bryan recommended that pictures of nearby people should show them looking toward your content - not directly out of the page. This is a small thing and I don't always stick to it myself. Still, a sale (or not) can depend on the accumulation of a number of small cognitive disonnances which add up to an unconscious dislike of a page. Or, "little things count".
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cterao
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This is a good lesson.

I learned something similar to this in architecture school.

When you're rendering a picture of a building, you want to put people into the image so that it shows how others will be able to interact with and use the building.

However, you never want to have those people looking directly out of the image or at the viewer.

This only focuses the attention on the people.

Instead, have people looking toward the building so that it draws attention back to the architecture, which is the main point of the rendering to begin with.

Thanks for the tip :)
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Clayton
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cecille.l
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Hi jimcoe,

Thanks for sharing! This reminds of a similar article published on the Affilorama Blog. I can't locate the article now but it was a while back and is about using the psychology of colors on your website to attract and keep your visitors on your website.

Have a good day!
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Cecille


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PremiumMember
jimcoe
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@Clayton: Thanks for your response, good example from architectural photography.

@Cecille: Yes, it's important (especially on a sales/landing page) that EVERYTHING support and leverage your Unique Value Proposition - that includes images, and all graphical elements - even the color scheme. I have info on color schemes for websites in my 'Art Head Start' ebook.

Besides the more subtle psychological effects of different combinations of Hues, Values and Saturations (the elements people mean when they say "color"), there is a stronger effect of "Busyness/Restfullness" for layouts and color schemes on web pages.

Imagine you're an interior decorator. How would you paint the interiors of: Hospital Recovery Rooms Vs Fast Food Outlets Vs a long corridor to the Departures gate of an airport?

By the way:
Hue = the frequency (or frequency range) of a particular color - think "rainbow"
Value = the intensity (even if you turn your sample into a gray, it retains it's Value) - think "brightness"
Saturation = Purity - think "grayness" or "muddiness"

By the way 2:
Do you realize that you are a sub-microwave radio receiver? Yes light is electromagnetic energy, no different from other electromagnetic waves/particles - except in its frequency. Electronic Engineers like to say "DC to Daylight" to indicate a very broad spectrum of electromagnetic energy.

We perceive something less than 1% of the known electromagnetic spectrum with our eyes, the part called "visible" - starting at red (just above Infrared) and going up to violet (just below Ultraviolet).

Also, there is no such (academic) word as "purple". "Purple" is slang and detested by many color experts. Therefore, the EM range above Violet is NOT called "Ultrapurple"! But we'll never be able to stamp it out of existence - no matter how hard we try, lol.

Hues:
Image

A 3D model of a Munsell Color Tree I made (will have to animate it for a video tutorial one of these days):
Image

Electromagnetic Spectrum:
Image
my custom images from 'Art Head Start' ebook

[Sorry - "Once a teacher, always a teacher"]
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michellerana
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Your post is full of good information, Jimcoe. We appreciate you being helpful and sharing your ideas. :)

See you around and keep posting information is really useful.

All the best!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

P.S. I tried to find the blog that Cecille mentioned but all I can find was this thread: Right Colors In Design.

It has a link to this article: A Glimpse into the Meaning, Symbolism & Psychology of Color
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Michelle
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jimcoe
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Yummmy page!
A Glimpse into the Meaning, Symbolism & Psychology of Color


By the way:
I came up with a fun way to get inspiration for color schemes. Was kinda beating my head against the wall thinking up different color scheme versions for a client. While approaching their front door for a design session, I walked through their extensive flower garden [shazam!] All you have to do to find dozens of beautiful color schemes is look at flowers.

By the way 2:
A useful little program for Windows is "Pixie". When you run Pixie, any pixel you hover your mouse cursor over is read out by its color code, so you can copy that color elsewhere. Free from Nattyware:
http://www.nattyware.com/pixie.php
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cecille.l
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P.S. I tried to find the blog that Cecille mentioned but all I can find was this thread: Right Colors In Design.

It has a link to this article: A Glimpse into the Meaning, Symbolism & Psychology of Color


I think that's it Michelle because I can't find it in the Affilorama Blog.

@ jimcoe - Thanks for your response on colors and their effects. Another one of those "good to know" things.


Also, there is no such (academic) word as "purple". "Purple" is slang and detested by many color experts. Therefore, the EM range above Violet is NOT called "Ultrapurple"! But we'll never be able to stamp it out of existence - no matter how hard we try, lol.


Can't believe there is no such thing as "purple". That's my favorite color! :)
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Cecille


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marcobrandon762
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This article is great! I didn't know that symmetry and direct eye contact can have so much influence on other people, but when I think of it.. yes you're completely right- especially your example of the lion is true! I really would agree on this point. I also thought that colors have a huge influence on people and photos in general! eg I would definitely prefer visiting a seranata florist than a gothic shop! Do you know what I mean? It's more friendly!

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PremiumMember
jimcoe
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Thanks Marcobrandon762...

@Cecille:
No Cecille, your favorite color (and mine too!) is "Violet". And I also like "Red-Violet" and "Blue Violet" and even "Blue-Blue-Violet". But "Red-Red-Violet" is to close to "Magenta" for me.

So much for academic purity. I'm sure "Purple" is here to stay. I guess someone could write a PhD thesis on why "People Prefer Purple". But I won'r write that as an ebook - 'cause I don't think it would sell, lol.
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