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generic vs authentic

Yesterday while scarfing down a quick lunch, I zipped over to the NY Times on my phone and read the techology section (ironic, I know).  I came across this interesting article entitled “Study Shows People Ignore Generic Photos Online.”

The premise is simple: people are more likely to interact with photos of people they know or recognize than with generic stock photos.

Using eye-tracking software, Jakob Nielson discovered that generic stock photos are largely ignored; even more so, they are considered to be annoying.

What does this mean for websites that are in the “people” business?  Stock photos are counter-productive.  They not only do not contribute to the message, they may actually be subconsciously working against the message.

It may take a little more time, effort, and coordination, but utilizing “real” people from your church, business, or organization may produce unseen (pun intended) benefits.