The usage of generic stock photography in digital applications has become so recurrent that nowadays users almost always skip them and hunt for the content that they desire. I mean come on, how often do you relate yourself to those photographs where delighted people are getting things done. The genericness of these photos found in our digital products fails to grasp our attention. Studies by Nielsen Norman Group in 2010 ( Photos as content — eye tracking study ) have found most users completely skip the stock photos.
“ Human’s desire to feel connected is etched in their genes. ”
The age-old form of art which represents modern views with a visual treat. — ILLUSTRATIONS
Illustrations add personality and spike up the visual interest of the product. In addition to adding personality traits, they increase the clarity and context of a product. With level of abstractness being controlled, they can easily convey the meaning they were supposed to spread , there by adding a deeper sense of connection with the respective brand. That being said, when the illustrations being portrayed are misleading or they lack the fundamental details, it results in loss of users trust.
How we perceive Illustrations ?
The processing speed of a human brain with respect to visual cues is usually high. When the cues fetched by visual perception are straightforward, the primary visual cortex (V1) of the our brain formulates a response with an alarming rate. But when the abstractness of the subject (in case of an illustration) in primary focus increases, the cognitive processes in the brain tend to give a meaning to what has been visually perceived from the surroundings of the focussed object. This prolongs the time taken by our brains to come to conclusion. This is the sole reason why we connect to an illustration, when we see one. As humans, our impulse to detect story patterns is so powerful that we see them even when they’re not there. But when the stories are tried to be forced on to us we, get bored of them as we don’t have to process anything.
We can see that illustrations work best when the colour palette is constricted to 2 (or max 3). Increasing the number of colors in the palette brings the illustrations closer to being a photograph which contradicts the whole point of having a custom artwork.