Illustration is a great way to enhance positive user experience in UI/UX design, so lets take a look at why you should be embracing illustration as a core principle of your brand and some of the ways you should be putting it to work. It's often noted how much faster our brains process and recognize images over text. Human beings are naturally attracted to visual images, they not only offer an aesthetic value but often times are able to convey more to the observer than an elaborate block of text. In fact, the historic definition of the verb "illustrate" means "to clarify" or "to make clear by giving or by serving as an example or instance."
Often organizations choose to go the easy route, purchasing stock photography to represent their branding. While this may feel like a safe and comfortable choice for some, it leads to more and more brands over saturated with near identical images and can render your brand nearly invisible. Today's consumers are able to discern authenticity and will know the use of stock photos vs. images of your real office,employees,etc. Your website should be the face of your company, the over use of stock images detracts from your credibility and the message you are trying to convey. However, if you are willing to step out of your comfort zone you will find that homepage illustrations can have a huge significant impact on potential customers by enhancing a brand's visual appeal. User perception can be positively influenced by illustrations because they distinguish you from other brands, establish a stronger personal connection with the user, and appeal to the user's imagination.
When launching a new product or service, you will need to spend a lot of time and resources on attracting new customers. Once you have attracted potential customers, you need to demonstrate why it is that they need your product or service and how they will use it or risk losing them as a future customer. Onboarding in UX is used to describe a process that new customers go through when they begin interacting with a new feature, product, or service. Illustration used during onboarding can allow for quicker explanation of features, provide context, add clarity, or lead the user to their next step. Using an illustration in place of a long and elaborate block of text can turn a boring tutorial into a quicker and more interesting experience overall.
One way to encourage users to engage more with your product and increase conversion rates is through the process of "gamification" which is the technique of adding game like mechanics like goals and rewards for your users to achieve. Illustrations can be used in the form of badges, stickers, stars, etc. Gamification brings an element of fun to your product and rewarding users produces positive emotional and psychological engagement. The excitement and competitive spirit of completing goals and the promise of reward drives people to perform various tasks and engage more deeply with your product. Gamification is growing in popularity as more and more companies discover its reliability as an effective method of increasing engagement with their product and many users are already familiar with gamified products.
Illustration is a powerful tool for providing deeper understanding and engagement within your product or brand. Illustrations can take something usable one step forward by providing aesthetic beauty, convey information quicker, or producing emotion and that is what makes them work considering for your next project.