We All Know Stock Images Belong Nowhere Near Our Projects, Now There’s Data To Prove It

The New York Times has picked up an eye-tracking study by Jakob Nielsen, a Web site consultant and author of a number of books about design and user interface.
Not surprisingly, Neilsen found that some types of pictures are completely ignored while others are scrutinized.

In an aspect of the study comparing a set of products on Pottery Barn’s furniture Web site and a page of televisions on Amazon.com, the research showed that users largely ignored the televisions on Amazon because they were generic, and the image on the screens, usually a “guy on a canoe” or a football player, made the product image even less inviting.
In contrast, when people navigated the Pottery Barn Web site, they engaged with the decorative photos of the bookcases for extended periods of time because they were images of the actual objects for sale.

Go to your Web site now and scrub it of fake filler imagery. Okay? Thanks.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.