People love looking at pictures of other people. Our brains seem to be hardwired to respond when we see a photo of a face. In the article Your Attention Is Riveted By Pictures of People, Susan Weinschenk discusses the effects photos of people have on us:
We start young — With some creative experiments it has been proven that babies as young as 4 months old will look at pictures of other people more than pictures of other objects or of animals. And this preference for faces continues throughout the life span. It seems to be part of our brain wiring.
The eyes have it – Research using eye tracking shows that when you show people a picture of the face of a person, their attention goes mostly to the eyes. If you want to capture someone’s attention at a website, showing a picture of a person who is looking right into the camera captures the most attention.
Special unconscious brain processing – The latest research implies that there is a part of the brain that is focused on recognizing human faces, as well as interpreting the emotion that is on the human face. Fearful and angry faces get the most and quickest attention, but any face gets a lot of attention. The circuitry in the brain from this specialized spot is believe to go right to the amygdala, which processes emotions. So it is fast, since it doesn’t have to go through the normal route that most vision goes through (the cortex and conscious mind). This means that you are processing faces unconsciously.
How Can You Use This Information On Your Firm’s Website?
Now that you understand the effect these types of photos can have, it is a good idea to use the photos in areas you seek to draw attention from your visitors. For example:
- Signup Forms – Integrating photos of people next to or directly on your signup forms can be an effective way to draw attention
- Other Important ‘Calls to Action’ – Perhaps you are offering a guide download or have a click to chat button on your site.
- Attorney Profile Page – This should be an obvious one but you’d be shocked at how many attorney websites have bio pages without photos.
- Blog Posts – Using photos of people in your blog posts is a great way to further engage the readers and make your posts appear less “dry”.