By Ejik Ebuta & Moses Richoffor
Finny, my dog, somehow discovered that the only way to draw my attention to his belly was to walk around pushing his food bowl with his paw. It works! And he always got food whenever he was hungry. My best friend’s dog, Jao, sits and stares at you instead, trying to tell you she’s hungry. No one ever understood her, and somedays, she would go for almost 24 hours without food. Finny is better at communicating than Jao and that is why he gets what he wants when he wants it. He plans it!
Imagery is a key element in any form of communication. While it takes just 3 seconds to capture one’s attention using visuals, you need 7 seconds to do that with words. Statistics show that the attention span of most adults has decreased to about 12 minutes and is continually decreasing.
Children mostly read books with visual illustrations. No matter how sparsely distributed the images were, their motivation is to read as fast as they can just to see the next image. Likewise, in today’s world of evolving trends and digital communication, users are very sensitive to the visuals used for communications.
For maximum engagement, Visuals are the best way to communicate with users and customers. As communications experts, we have few tips for creating visual communication for maximum engagement;
1. Research and then create.
In creating effectively communicating visual content, you would need to ask and answer a series of questions including;
What design or visual style (form) do I want to go for? What specific emotion do I want to invite? What problem do I want my visual content to solve?— Design Trends and colour scheme.
Where will I be hosting my visual content? Can I use these visual elements across other media? — Communication Channel.
Who am I communicating to and where will I find them? Do I want to educate, entertain or inspire? What action do I want my audience to take? — Target audience.
Do the above align with my brand? What kind of questions are people asking about my industry? — Brandcentricity.
Once these questions are answered, you’re half-way there.
2. Choose the best design concept.
Before you make a conceptual decision, it wouldn’t hurt to first get inspiration. Pinterest, Behance, Dribble, Instagram, medium, Flipboard and Twitter are only a few among many platforms for visual concept inspiration. However, remember to always keep your design simple both in messaging and design style. LESS IS MORE in visual communication.
3. Consider the medium of deployment.
Traditional or outdoor media vary in size and style of design from that of digital media. Determining what media to use for your communication, however, is dependent on your target audience/segments, message and objective. The two key considerations are the visual communication forms, such as video, infographics, gif, image, audio or article, and the rules/guidelines for the media in use.
4. Maintain good alignment and arrangement
Arrangement and alignment are always underrated by many visual designers. Hence, understanding that your arrangement can make or mar the message in your design is key. Remember — the human eye reads from left to right and from biggest to smallest elements on the design layout. Use this knowledge to your advantage. Keep the audience on your page for longer than they would normally stay.
5. Pay attention to brand visibility
This is done by inputting your brand’s logo in a strategic position on the creative design and throw in your brand colour(s) and icons, depending on how you want the design to look. Nonetheless, ensure that whoever comes across the design knows who is sending the message to them.
6. Visual appeal is everything
Anything that looks good would attract people’s attention. Maintaining visual appeal is bringing aesthetic touches to your work, either by white space or whatever technique you choose. Make it beautiful.
In summary, good visual communication is art, and art can be mastered. Keep working and doing things better and you’ll keep getting better