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What is a Hero Image? When, Why, and How to Use them in Web Design

What is a her image and how to use them

So what is a Hero image?

Noticed how some websites feature a large image right below the navigation bar and the rest of the webpage content? That right there is the hero image. If you didn’t notice it that’s a straight-up failure from the designer. Wikipedia defines it as “a large banner image, prominently placed on a web page, generally in the front and centre.” The hero image can actually be a static pic or dynamic (videos and animations). It typically covers the full width of the webpage and is the most eye-catching introduction to your site. You can see the Lux Web Design at the top of the home page (it’s the massive phone).

Why use a hero image?

A hero image is used for several purposes on a website. Most importantly, it immediately arrests a visitor’s attention. We all respond positively to visual content and showing off a high-resolution image on your website is an obvious way to entice visitors to explore your site further.

Of course, good design is an absolute must for every website and digital product these days. Sure, we need perfect functionality and excellent service but the design is the first factor that influences a visitor’s opinion of your company and plays an important role in increasing conversions. The hero image is a key element in web design. It can either establish trust among visitors and make them interested in what you’re offering, while the wrong one can drive them away.

Hero images are also extremely useful for directly engaging your site’s visitors; you can display your company’s USP, entice visitors to take a particular action using a CTA button, or ask them to sign-up for a service trial.

What is a Hero Image? When, Why, and How to Use them in Web Design
The hero image for a website we designed called Chauffeurs Experience Ireland

The benefits of using a Hero Image

1-Attention and impression.

First, because it activates the power of visual perception from the first seconds. The hero image gives a chance to impress the users as fast as possible.

Information

Visuals over words! People perceive images much faster than words. It means that the hero image is not only the element of attraction – it’s also an informative part of the page, providing a quick visual message about the content.

Navigation

The hero image can strengthen navigation and bring more attention to the call-to-action button.

Emotional appeal

The hero image can make communication between the website and its visitor more human-like. Hero images are a well-proven way to transfer the needed emotions via images, shapes, and colours. 

Aesthetic satisfaction

The offer and functionality of the website are a priority, sure. Still, people also expect to get their eyes pleased. Aesthetics means much in terms of high competition on the web and rising desirability as a part of a positive user experience. A hero image is one of the ways to activate aesthetics at once.

What is a Hero Image? When, Why, and How to Use them in Web Design
The hero image for handsomeburger.com makes a huge impact by showing the customer a close up of a meal as soon as they arrive on the page.

The Visual Elements of a Hero Image

Photos

Photos connect the stuff which users see on the web page with a real-world of physical things and live people. They have been a part of human reality long before the internet or social media. Plus, with all those devices that let any of us capture something in a second, photography is really a part of everyday life. On websites, photography makes strong associations and reflects the needed atmosphere in a style typical specifically for the target audience.

Illustrations

A big web design trend now is using custom illustrations for a variety of website needs, including hero images. Custom graphics effectively support the quick perception of the information on the page or screen. They also set the solid foundation of visual originality and adds aesthetics and beauty to landing pages, blogs, and websites.

3D Graphics

One more type of web visuals growing its presence this year is 3D graphics, visuals created by turning 3D wireframe models into 2D images. Many of them have photorealistic effects which are their big advantage for web design. 3D renders may serve well in cases when photo content you need is impossible to get or highly expensive. Although creating images of this kind demands specific skills and is quite costly and time-consuming, well-done 3D graphics are highly attractive, trendy and convincing so they can have a great impact on web design looks and conversion rates. That’s why now they are also very popular in hero images.

What is a Hero Image? When, Why, and How to Use them in Web Design
The hero image for Open Road Logistics also uses a massive picture to communicate to the client exactly what the company is about through the use of an image. A trucking company in Tipperary is immediately clear to anyone who knows the rock of Cashel.

How to select the best hero image...

Selecting the perfect hero image for your website is a tricky task. The banner image you employ will vary depending on whether you’re offering a product, a service, or simply content (blogs). If you want to offer in-depth details about your company, then videos can be used as well. But, regardless of what you want it to achieve, the hero image should always be in high resolution. You should also optimise it to make sure that your site loading time isn’t affected as it may dissuade visitors with a slow internet connection.

Of course, it is impossible to know outright which one will work the best, but narrowing down your options and then testing to see which one is the most effective is the best way to go about it. You can also use a slider to display multiple images at a go. 

So don’t be afraid. Embrace the hero image and show potential customers what you’re made of.

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If you have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to get in touch now. 

At Lux, we feel we can contribute to any project. We look forward to hearing what you have in mind. Visit our contacts page or send us an email by clicking the button below.