The way we include visual elements in our communications can make all the difference, so why does this part of what we do often get the short shrift? When that happens, there may be multiple factors at work. Here are a few things that you can do to make sure that visual communication is at the forefront of your thinking.
Conduct the 5-second test
Select someone who knows nothing about the communication you just developed and have them look at it — for 5 seconds. Then ask them what the communication was about (no whispered hints). Can they tell you the key message that you were trying to deliver? If not, you may consider creating more emphasis with your visuals. Attention spans are decreasing and the window of time we have to put something in front of our audience is very short. Try it. The 5-second test works every time.
Build in time
If your expertise is in writing, you know how much time it takes to finesse your prose, get permissions for quotes, and proofread copy to end up with the perfect piece. For those of us who fall in that category, editorial is easy to understand. But that same attention to detail should go into searching for the right visual and integrating it with the information. It takes a lot of time to get an understanding of what you need to convey visually, and then even more time to seek out and fold in that visual. It’s critical to build in the time needed for creative professionals to do their work.
Respect the expertise
Of course you should trust your instincts when it comes to finishing up and approving the piece—looking at the copy and visuals pulled together.
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