Category: Web Design

The Power of Visual Storytelling: 5 Stunning Examples to Inspire You

Thanks for the article, Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré | @NikkiElizDemere (Hubspot)

Before the days of neon lights and marquee signs, business owners had to get creative when it came to advertising their establishments. In fact, wine bars in ancient Rome used to hang bunches of vine leaves outside their door as a nod to the God of Wine, Bacchus. And when weather conditions left them with a short supply of vine leaves, barkeeps turned to bushes — inns called Bush, or Bull & Bush, still exist today.
But others didn’t even have that. They had to get artistic. And with a largely illiterate population, pictorial signs were the only logical advertising choice.

Visual storytelling — or passing on a lot of information through a relatively simple visual aid — has been a cornerstone of marketing for thousands of years. I’d like to say we’ve come a long way, but really? What worked then works now: We see what we want and we’re driven to buy it.

Perhaps, if anything has changed, it’s what we want from life. That’s where today’s visual storytellers have a chance to not only say “Hey, you can get this here!” but also lead the consumer into a whole new world of possibilities.

Below you’ll find 15 of the very best examples of visual storytelling from B2C, B2B, crowdfunding, and SaaS. These companies know how to tell a brand story that seeds desire, starts relationships, and inspires nothing short of love. Check ’em out.

5 Stunning Examples of Visual Storytelling:

1) Modcloth

Something grabs hold of me every time I visit Modcloth … which I do with alarming regularity. Sure, part of the appeal is the clothes. But that’s not what has me back on an almost daily basis — just to check.

When I click onto Modcloth’s homepage, I find myself in a world of friendly sisterhood. I see stories of women, like me, who are having the times of their lives. The online retailer presents their visual storytelling as a slider on the homepage. Instead of each slide having its own image, each corresponding to a different sales page or theme, they devote the entire slide series to expanding on one core idea. This spring, that idea was a girls’ road trip.

Cutlines | Blog: Modcloth Storytelling

This series showcases the clothes, but it also tells a deeper story about relationships, female bonding, and a distinctly feminine sense of adventure. These images make me feel part of a tribe of active, vibrant women. After just a few seconds, I’m ready to start planning my own road trip with my best friend — and when I do, I know exactly the clothes I want to pack (just have to order them first).

These aren’t just aspirational advertisements, like those you’d seen in a magazine. These are no catwalk models. Nothing here is impossibly chic, or so stylized that it’s out of reach. That is part of what makes the magic of Modcloth’s particular brand of storytelling. These are stories we could write for ourselves.

2) Patagonia

Patagonia has one of the strongest brands and most passionate followings. They’re just good people. Every piece of their marketing points to their commitment to quality and a deep integrity and care for the environment. I have no reason to buy Patagonia — you won’t even find a windbreaker in my closet — but I love them as a business. And if even your non-target audience sings your praises, you are clearly doing something right.

Their visual storytelling supports this core story of integrity and environmental stewardship. Each image shows real people (they don’t look like models — it looks like users sending in their photos) enjoying the outdoors, clinging to cliff sides, trudging through snow-covered mountains, or flinging themselves off the sides of yachts in the Caribbean.

Cutlines | Blog: Patagonia Storytelling

These are images that speak to a very specific niche audience. After all, not all of us associate snow, cliffs, or open water with a good time (Jaws? Open Water?). But for their target audience, these are the images that stoke the fires, fill the sails, and send them off into planning their next adventures.

Cutlines | Blog: Patagonia Bus Storytelling

And then there was the Worn Wear campaign. The tagline “Better than new” immediately tells you that this is no ordinary marketing effort. In fact, the “Worn Wear wagon” (pictured above) drives around the country with Patagonia to repair old garments and gear, sell used clothing, and hold DIY workshops. Along the way, they’re also reinforcing the brand’s values and bolstering their community of loyal fans. They spread the word on Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter — all highly visual mediums — for brand followers to meet up and mend their garments.

3) Slack

Seems like everyone is on Slack these days … even NASA.

Cutlines | Blog: Slack Storytelling

This single piece of visual storytelling on their homepage speaks volumes. And the story it tells isn’t about team meetings or group chats: it’s about ROBOTS ON MARS!

That’s got to be the most thrilling three words a nerd like me can hear. (Right next to “aliens on Mars,” which would be even more exciting. But robots? Still pretty cool.) And this image, with this perfect tagline, tells me that this product enables teams like mine to accomplish something spectacular.

When I see this image, it’s almost as if I’m putting a robot on Mars myself. I must have dropped my NASA badge around here, somewhere …

4) Internet Live Stats

Internet Live Stats is part of the Real Time Statistics Project and was created by an international team of developers, researchers, and analysts with the goal to make statistics available in a dynamic, time-relevant way to everyone. Their data-visualization team isn’t too shabby either — it’s one thing to read that there were 7,162 Tweets in a single second. It’s quite another to see it.

Cutlines | Blog: Live Internet Stats Storytelling

The visual of 7,162 birds is far more impactful than the header saying “7,162 Tweets sent in 1 second.” It’s a different kind of visual storytelling, but compelling nevertheless.

5) Offerman Woodshop

Nick Offerman, best known for his role as Ron Swanson in NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” is not only an actor and comedian — he’s also an accomplished carpenter. And he’s got attitude. This guy has personality, and it emanates from everything he does. No nonsense. Back to basics. Rugged. Bacon. These are the phrases that resonate for Offerman fans, who won’t bat an eye at paying $145 for a “Build Your Own Damn Stool” kit.

Cutlines | Blog: Offerman Woodshop Storytelling

Why? Because you’re buying so much more than a deconstructed stool. You’re filling out a membership card to an exclusive group of unapologetic carnivores, manly men, and people who figure that if an Abacus was good enough for their great-grandfathers, it’s good enough for them. It’s an ideology and a fantasy. And all of it comes through in every. Single. Image.

No smiles. Smiles are superfluous. Give that man bacon and you might get a twitch of the lip.

Read the full article at Hubspot Blog.

Things Worth Considering When Designing A Website

The first thing that matters on a website is its appearance. That’s the first thing a visitor notices when coming across the website, which is why web design is indispensably important.

The idea of trendy design appeared a long time ago, and it evolved simultaneously with technology improvements and consumerism. The final result of this process is what we call ‘mature technology’, and its design has nothing to do with how design looked back in 90s.

To start with, design has to be responsive on multiple high-tech mobile gadgets (iPhones, iPads, screen cell phones, notebooks, etc). Secondly, it has to be intuitive enough to invoke a social network feeling, and creative enough to satisfy all needs, tastes, and efficiency expectations.

Basically, the final result should look nice and perform even better, which makes us think of few essential points no web designer should let out of control:

THE PURPOSE OF THE WEBSITE

Cutlines Creative | Blog: Things Worth Considering When Designing A Website-1

Image source: Tomasz Zagórski

Why are you launching that particular website? Is it because you want to boost sales? Or maybe because you want to inform visitors? Does the website require an Email marketing campaign? Or is it just a sign of your online presence?

Whatever it is, you need to know that. It is your best bet to make the most of your design capabilities.

WEB PSYCHOLOGY

Cutlines Creative | Blog: Things Worth Considering When Designing A Website-2

Image source: Kacper Będuch

Is it just us, or psychology is severely underrated in the world of web design? Designers seem to surpass it in every occasion, maybe because they find it too difficult to learn the basic principles. What they don’t know, however is that they are missing on some of the critical effects their website can have on visitors.

We are not going to deny that applying psychological principles is sometimes complicated, but that doesn’t make them less necessary.

Let us explain the most important ones:

Building trust

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Image source: allbirds.com

The difference between good and not-that-good websites is visible even for people that have nothing to do with design, which puts poor design on the throne of mistakes that should be avoided.

When a person encounters a poorly designed website, the first thing that comes to their minds is that the brand should not be trusted, and you can forget the happy-ending story of successful conversions. That’s why we recommend you to invest as much as you can in the quality of your website, to present relevant and time-accurate contents, and to update regularly.

Including familiar patterns

Cutlines Creative | Blog: Things Worth Considering When Designing A Website-3

Image source: Andrej Krajčir

People nowadays are overwhelmed by websites, and for the good or the bad, they have certain expectations when landing on yours. They need to have an immediate idea of where they are, and to recognize options placed in familiar locations.

If you fail to provide those, people will feel strange, as if they were wasting their time with a brand that has nothing to offer (even you feel like this sometimes, don’t you?). Generally speaking, you need to be clear about two things: the reason why your website is there; and the manner of navigation through it.

Social psychology

Cutlines Creative | Blog: Things Worth Considering When Designing A Website-4

Image source: etsy.com

Social psychology refers to the way in which people interact with each other, and this can be very helpful in web design. Think about real-time relationships: aren’t we all prone to make judgments based on the actions of other people around us, or at least to look for their approval and validation?

People do this, and they will certainly compare your design to other designs they’ve seen. However, don’t think of this as a burden of being the better one-all people are expecting form you is to reach a certain standard, namely to respect a consistent website architecture as other brands in your branch.

Color psychology

Cutlines Creative | Blog: Things Worth Considering When Designing A Website-5

Image source: milkable.me

Color psychology is probably the most complex psychology consideration in design, and it may really make or break your design.

We are not going to go as deep as to explain the influence of every color, but we sincerely recommend you to study this impact on visitors’ perception of your website. Choose colors that support your theme, and that correspond to your brand or the message you’re trying to convey.

Keeping it simple

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Image source: gilera.com.ar

Making the appearances, interface, or access to basic information complicated will not make your website look unique, and it certainly won’t attract more visitors. Creating a great website is possible even without Dreamweaver, as long as you know how to position features.

Another thing is that the real quality of your website is estimated on the basis of your content, meaning that if content is good, there will be no such lack of special effects that can decrease its value.

Look at some outstanding websites, and you will understand the importance of simplicity (even Google!)-the design is almost plain, with nothing but a recognizable logo to greet visitors each time they ‘land’ on the website. There are no sounds, animations, or special effects, but millions of people are still using it every day. That should make things pretty clear.

Read the full article at http://visualhierarchy.co/blog/things-worth-considering-when-designing-a-website/