One of the biggest trends right now in the field of web design is the use of big, eye catching images. And why not? After all, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. These large images seem to come to life on the screen and when used at the top of the page, it is often referred to as the hero header. These Hero Header images serve to grab the visitor’s attention right away and present a call to action in a clean and minimal way.
However, a hero header is not limited to merely images; it includes the use of a hero image, text or even navigation elements on the homepage or at the top of any webpage. Furthermore, hero headers can be used in diverse ways — from an image, image with text to image slider, fixed image and even videos and animated images. The images itself can be either realistic or drawn. Truthfully, hero header works with a wide variety and style of web designs with the key focus being a visually pleasing image.
Hero Header Images: How?
The most important thing to keep in mind when using Hero-Headers is its visual attractiveness and strong focus. Since it is the first thing a visitor sees on a website, it needs to have a strong focus on the visual aesthetics. Simple typography, minimal color choices and user interface elements with basic shapes also influence the visual interest of the hero header, but the focus remains on the image itself with elements like branding, navigation, and other tools placed around the outside edges.
As for the elements of hero image, three components are essential for its effectiveness. A great combination of these three component result in persuasive hero image that persuades and compels the visitor to take action that is in line with the conversion goal of the website.
These elements are:
- Eye-Catching Image: Big, bold and bright images featuring graphics, images or photos that are high resolution are most effective in the hero header space.
- Catchy Text: Catchy, concise and witty text that immediately attracted the attention of the visitor and communicates the needed message.
- Strong Call-To-Action: Finally, all hero headers should feature a prominent call-to-action, that is indicate the action you want them to take. Such persuasive messages are very effective.
This brings us to purpose of the hero headers and what it adds to web design.
Purpose of Hero Header Images
Broadly speaking, hero headers can be used in multiple ways to achieve multiple goals depending upon the context.
Most commonly, the hero headers are used for the following purposes:
Hero headers give the websites an option to tell their story in a simple, eye catching yet effective manner. This involves feature key information that about the brand’s story in the hero image space. Thus building of the brand is an important potential use of the hero image space on the homepage.
Answering Customer Queries
Another common approach with hero headers is to feature answers to FAQs or frequently asked questions. It may even be used to address time sensitive questions the visitors may have.
Highlighting the Value Proposition of the Brand
The value proposition of a brand refers to the value a brand’s product offers to its customers. Undoubtedly, one of the most effective uses of the hero design is to explain the brand’s value proposition. Since homepage is where most visitors land, there can be no space more effective than hero headers for this task.
Another effective way to use this space is to feature announcements regarding the products, such as sales etc. Since it has the highest reach of visitors, hero header image space is one of the best place for sale notifications.
Featuring Product Line
Lastly, the hero header images can also be very prominently used to showcase a product or a particular product line. This can be very effective when launching new product that require the highest amount of attention. This space can also be used to feature products with the highest profit margin or products that are to be liquidated.
Now that the concept and purpose of Hero Headers is clear, let us take a look at how to effective use this design technique. Here a key thing to keep in mind is that the overall web design must be clean such that other elements do not get in the way of the main image, images or video. One method to do so can be creating separation of elements. As for the efficient use of hero headers, a few points to remember are:
- Including branding elements, although this again must be minimalistic.
- Bold titles and typography to grab the attention of users.
- Wise color choices, contrasting colors for images and texts.
- Effective text placement so that it does not impede the visual flow of the image.
- Use of fixed navigation so that scrolling around the page is easy.
Analyzing the reason, purpose and uses of a hero images on homepage, it is clear that hero headers are an important and essential tool for web design that keeps the website lively and drives visitors to takes the actions that are in line with the conversion goals of the website.
Have you employed hero header images in your site? Share your views in the comments below.