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What is a GIF file?

If you’ve scrolled through any social media feeds today, it’s likely you’ll have encountered a few GIF files (pronounced JIF…although personally I’m in the hard ‘G’ camp).

What is a JPEG file?

If you’ve ever moved photographs from a digital camera to a computer before, you’ll have encountered the JPEG (pronounced jay-peg) file format. These files will end with .jpg or .jpeg. What is a JPEG? A JPEG is a…

Choosing image backgrounds for hero banners

Selection criteria for images appropriate for hero banners can be quite complicated. There are plenty of stunning photographs that would work well to welcome positive first impressions of a website, but are they fit…

Social media image sizes cheat sheet for 2017

Recent studies have found that images used on Twitter double the engagement rate of posts – and this makes a lot of sense. In the world of social media, images stand out in a sea of text. However, image sizes vary…

Canva logo

Canva: the design tool for non-designers

Canva is an online graphic design tool that allows users to create their own designs for a variety of purposes, including: social media posts (such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Tumblr) blog images PowerPoint…

Images: Quality over quantity

The modern web is built on strong visual imagery. Sites like Twitter, Netflix, and even LinkedIn, all utilise large images to add to their sites’ appeal, aesthetic, and brand identity. The University of St Andrews’…

How important are large images?

Image-focused design: Is bigger better? The latest research from Nielsen Norman Group surrounds the use of large images. The rationale for this approach is that compelling images have a unique ability to inspire and…

The usability of photos and URLs

Usability mistakes to avoid when using photos in your website There is often a temptation to use photos to brighten up a page without giving much thought to whether it helps serve a real purpose, or whether it might…

The University homepage, Placekitten style

Last week I wrote about Placekitten, a service that automatically generates pictures of kittens as placeholder images in web designs. I decided to put the service through its paces by testing it on the University…