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Strategic Use of Graphics

Define the Purpose

Web Services is adopting a new strategy on graphics usage to not only keep the load time down on any page our constituents are viewing but to provide better meaning to the content they are viewing. Pictures of people interacting are more engaging than pictures of buildings or empty classrooms. All graphics should be chosen carefully.

Pictures of people looking towards the camera are more engaging than pictures of people looking at each other because they bring the audience in. Of course, there is a place for pictures of our environment as well, such as a section that talks about our amazing facilities, however, students or other individuals interacting in those environments are preferred over empty space.

As a general rule, due to the limits we must impose on the number of graphics on any page to keep load time down, no graphics will be allowed on a page for strictly aesthetic purposes. Each graphic must extend the message, or provide a message in and of itself, of the page. Depending on the module used, it can inform or explain a concept.

Slideshows and Other Graphics Intensive Modules

Image files published to the website should be around 100 KB average. No images should be more than 300 KB in file size. When you add up all the files that must load on a page, the more you have, the longer it will take to load the page. Long load times discourage your users from viewing your webpage and decreases conversion rates. If it takes longer than three (3) seconds, 4 out of 10 of your users will leave. Webpages should be typically around 1 MB, or 1000 KB, or less in size. Consult with Web Services regarding special cases or how to compress .jpg files to appropriate sizes.

Web Services will not approve images that are not intentional for the message and goal of the webpage. For example, any rotating content on the Tarleton website should be focused on calls-to-action. No more than seven (7) slides to any slideshow. This number may change as more studies show slideshows adversely affect SEO and user experience. Slideshows for the sake of displaying photographs from an event should either be displayed in past events on the calendar, which we can display in a customized widget, or via social media where participants can better interact and engage with it.