Form Vs Function - The Importance Of Image Optimization In Web Design




The ever prevailing form vs. function debate has been ongoing since the day modern architects started to follow the principle that the form of a building should follow its function. This was predominantly due to industrialists questioning whether ornaments were necessary in a building or not. Ah well, looks like capitalism was the death of design, or was it?

People taking courses to become a web developer often find themselves at a crossroads during their training. Is it more important to concentrate on the UI or the functionality of the product? You will find people on both sides of the weigh scale but the observed truth is that both matter.

Why is image optimization so important? To put it simply, it’s important because a potential customer likes to look at nice looking things. When talking technically, image optimization plays a much more important role for your website.

What Is Image Optimization?

Image optimization is the term given to delivering an image on a platform in the right size, dimension, format and resolution. A thing to be kept in mind while doing this is to keep the image in the lowest size possible.

Image optimization can be achieved in many different ways such as resizing the image or by compressing or caching its size.

Why Is It Important?

Image optimization is important for a number of reasons but the most important one is converting visitors into leads. Analysis shows that if a website takes more than 30 seconds to load, the visitor will probably leave.  This will adversely affect your conversion rate and increase your bounce rate.

Let’s look at some other important reasons for image optimization:

Increased Page Load Speed

The loading speed of your landing page is one of the most important factors for converting leads. The speed depends on factors such as the host for your website and its layout. If a site takes less than 3 seconds to load, it becomes one of the user’s favorite.

Images make up for about 65% weight on your website. If you are able to optimize images successfully, the main weight of your website that will take time to load goes down drastically creating a faster experience for the user.

The optimal file size for web images depends on what is the main purpose of your website, here is where your form depends on your functionality. Different formats can work better with smaller file sizes, for example a JPG 24kb file may be the best in quality, but it will take too long to load. You can try using a GIF format at 24kb but this format eats up most of the data of the image causing it to deteriorate a bit. The best bet is to use a PNG at 24kb as it does not deteriorate much in quality and is the fastest to load.

Using different formats for different purposes:

  • Since e-commerce sites have their business depending on the quality of pictures, their best bet is to use JPEGS as they produce the highest quality pictures in the smallest size.
  • GIF format should never be used for HQ images as they will eat up the quality, use GIF for buttons or decorative purposes.
  • PNGs are a good alternative for both the formats but not in case of very HQ images, using PNG-8 over PNG-24 is a better choice.

Improve SEO Ratings

During 2010, it was clearly established that the loading time of the page is a ranking factor. Google made sure that the sites which take longer to load are ranked lower than the ones which have faster response time.

If you want to improve your sites ratings, image optimization for SEO purposes is essential.

For most people who are running an e-commerce site, image optimizations is something that should be done religiously. If the pictures appear fast and in good quality, the customer is more likely to turn into a conversion.  These days customers are extremely impatient when it comes to leaving a site to look for another so to make sure your customer stays there, there should be no compromise on High image quality and lower loading time.

If you are thinking of setting up a website that you would like to be fast and better looking, taking courses to become a web developer will help you in learning image optimization to achieve these goals.

About The Author
Shane
Manager Enrollment and Inside Sales at QuickStart

Shane Babar

Shane Babar is a sales guru with 8 years of experience in the tech industry. Having worked with IT Ops related products for such a long time, Shane has decided to contribute to QuickStart’s blog with topics specific to the commonly asked questions he comes across. When he is not working, he is busy in cooking and travelling. Bookmark our blog to see more helpful posts from Shane every week.