• X Factor

Images vs. Text: When To Use What

Updated: Jul 18, 2019

How People ACTUALLY Use Websites - Part 1

Drawing users to a company web site is only half the battle. Once there, users decide to remain and explore, or exit and ignore. An ill constructed landing page creates a negative impression of a company, while a well constructed one sends a positive message.

In this multi-part series, we will explore several techniques that, when implemented properly in your website, will help it make a strong first impression on your potential clients.

Images vs. Text: When To Use What

Ours is a visual society. Just as a silent movie holds little appeal to viewers accustomed to amazing visual and audio effects, so a web site that is burdened with too much type is unlikely to attract and maintain users as much as one that is visually appealing.

That’s not to say that a web site must be little more than a collection of photos. Rather, effective web sites are designed around a user-friendly balance.


Images are ideal for engaging a user and should be what is seen first. They make that invaluable first impression and are best used to convey many simple ideas at once (e.g., location of your company, the industry you are in, categories of services offered, etc.) Images such as landmarks (for location) or photos of people performing various tasks at your company can convey important information in more palatable fashion than by doing so via a detailed account of your company’s history, mission and services. You’ll accomplish more by using pictures instead of a wall of text because users prefer to access information quickly and easily.


Text is best used to convey more complicated pieces of information (e.g., details of specific services you offer and what they entail). Utilize text when providing necessary details would be difficult if not impossible to convey through imagery. When it comes to text, less is more. Too much text is simply boring. To determine how much text to include, consider what information your visitors are looking for and make it as easy to find as possible. For example:

The user wants to know the services you provide. One way of accomplishing this is to display detailed descriptions of your services on the home page. However, this takes up a lot of space. Additionally, the user may only be interested in one of your services and may become bored and navigate away from the site before finding what they're looking for if too much information is shown to them at the start:

The home page is no place for long descriptions. Keep things short, sweet, and to the point here.

Instead of describing every service in depth on the landing page, name your key services in large text and then provide links to a services page where detailed descriptions will be. This keeps the landing page simple rather than overwhelming, but still features key information:

Notice how 4 services are displayed here in the same space that only 1 was visible in the previous image. That means that the user can get 4x the information in a single glance when text is used properly. Often times, less really is more!

Call to Action

No matter how big or small your business is, you're always looking for more paying customers. Often times, the difference between a site visitor staying or leaving, and thus buying from or turning to the competition, is dependent on their fast first impression.

Take a moment to look through your website's landing page and make sure that it utilizes text and images in an appealing manner as described above.

If you'd like the help of a professional designer to make this process easier and implement any changes required, we'd be happy to help! X Factor will analyze your site, provide useful feedback, and address any flaws that impact the overall professional look of this all-important business tool. Contact us today!