looking for research on using pictures of people or faces...pl help.

30 Jan 2010 - 7:52am
4 years ago
1 reply
1210 reads
Mohammed Mansoor


I'm looking for a research published on the web recently that says
using pictures of people or faces on website does not have an effect
on its users. Users find Websites having pictures to be no different
to websites without them.

Please help me find it. Just to further clarify this is not the
research done with eye tracking where they find the best way to use
pictures of people.

It would be of great value if you could also give your collective
experiences or links to supporting research on this. I'm trying to
convince my client that regular articles and supporting pictures
matter more for an intranet than stale faces on static parts of the
intranet website like header.

Thanks in advance


31 Jan 2010 - 4:37pm
Daniel Zollman

Based on what I've read (which might not have been very extensive),
faces unfortunately do have an effect on users--but I think you can
use that to your advantage in this argument.


Users tend to fixate on pictures of faces. The question is, how will
the design take advantage of this effect?

You probably want users to focus on the main article or the main
message. If that's the case, then putting people in the header will
distract users from the main content. Faces should probably be used
only when the goal is to draw the users' eyes to a particular spot.

Even if the design accounts for this by making the images look more
neutral, I think the images would still compete with the primary

On a side note, I wonder what an eye tracking study would reveal
about writers' pictures in the NY Times...I actually have trouble
reading these articles, especially because of the proximity of the
photo to the article:

(Disclaimer: I'm not an expert, just a student, and I've never done
any research on this type of thing.)


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