We all use images in our web designs. We know that we should pick images that are related to the content, convey a message, aren’t stock, and so on. We know that using faces or skin, playing with directionality and empty space, and keeping images simple (high contrast, few subjects, plain background) can really make images stand out and help guide attention on a page.
But when we watch users interact with pages, we can see that they typically only glance at images (if they even do that – peripheral vision can let us determine the gist and relevancy of an image without even looking at it).
So when you’ve put the time and effort into creating/choosing and using a good image, how do you get people to stop and look at it so that you can get your message across?
Add a caption.
Sean d’Souza over at Copyblogger provides some great whys and how tos for adding captions to your images. His focus is on landing pages, but I think you can apply the same principles site-wide (remember, every page can be a landing page… thanks Google!). It’s a simple thing that can make a big impact.